Hamilton's Top 5 places to get Pho
As the weather turns cooler, I find myself gravitating to soups more often and one of my all-time faves is pho.
I’m not really sure how you’re supposed to pronounce it because every time I seem to nail it down someone comes along and pronounces it differently. All I know is that it is delicious, though a little messy, it’s cheap and there are so many places to find it here in Hamilton.
So here are the Top 5 places to get pho in Hamilton.
This restaurant on Upper James is a busy place around lunchtime so be sure to plan your visit according. I ordered the small rare beef and I have to say, I’m almost afraid to see how big the large is. This was huge but I ate every last drop because it was so delicious. The broth was really fragrant and full of the flavours of ginger and anise. The fresh basil, onions and bean sprouts add a nice fresh crunch to the mix. The beef was slightly tough but very flavourful and everything was lightly seasoned. This was a delicious bowl of soup for a very reasonable price, I must say.
4. Pho Lac Vien
(Picture above) I had a little trouble finding this place and I didn’t have the easiest time parking in the teeny tiny parking lot but the hassle was worth it. Again, this is a very fragrant and beefy broth. They are very generous with the beef so this is a pretty hearty meal. There’s something a little sweeter about the Pho Lac Vien broth but it’s not a bad thing. I can’t put my finger on exactly what makes it sweeter but it’s nice. That light sweet flavour certainly makes it stand out from the others on this list. Despite the extra effort I had to put in to get this pho, it definitely didn’t disappoint.
3. Pho Dui Bo
This place was hopping when we popped in around lunchtime on a Monday so you might want to consider ordering ahead if you’re picking up. This was a gigantic bowl of soup with big portions of beef and noodles. You will definitely not find yourself hungry after this — if you can even finish it. This was a very nice beefy broth with hints of anise flavour. This was on the saltier side of the ones I tried but I like that. The beef was perfectly tender and all the fresh herbs and bean sprouts just add that little extra element of fun and yumminess. This was a very tasty pho.
This restaurant on Stoney Creek mountain is a favourite in the neighbourhood. It seems to always be pretty busy and I can certainly vouch for their pad thai but it’s their pho I typically like to grab. The portion is rather large (as seems to be theme with all of the pho we tried) and they don’t skimp on the beef and noodles. They practically gave us an entire basil plant as a garnish. The broth is a little less fragrant than some of the others on the list but it still carries notes of ginger and anise. It’s the right amount of salty beefiness and the fresh parsley they add just really makes it sing. I really love Lotus and the people who run it and their food, especially the pho, is what keeps me and my family coming back.
1. Made pho you
This place is a little nostalgic for me: it used to be the Ranch House on Queenston. In high school, we’d go there for lunch and order coffees and waters and sit there forever and drive the staff crazy (they still let us in though, go figure). In recent years, though, it’s changed identities and now it’s Made Pho You. This bowl of pho was far and away my favourite of the bunch because I felt like it was just so perfectly balanced between beefy, salty, and fragrant. Every bite seemed to have its own unique flavour profile. I think I could’ve just kept eating and eating and not have gotten bored. The garnishes were fresh and crunchy, the beef incredible tender and cut paper-thin. It’s really my ideal bowl of pho. On a side note, I really love the name of this restaurant.
What’s your go-to place for pho in Hamilton?