The beauty of Pho is that there are just three crucial components: Broth, meat (easily swapped out for tofu), and rice noodles. Everything else is up for interpretation – down to the herbs, sweetness of broth, and wide range of toppings.
Luckily for us, Auckland is a diverse melting pot of cuisines. So, whether you want a more traditional Pho or something with a fun modern twist – There’s something on offer for you. From Takapuna to Auckland CBD, we’ve consumed a criminal amount of Pho just to round up some of the best for you.
What do you get when you take Pho’s street food origins, fuse it with the best local New Zealand produce on offer, and a fresh take on Northern Vietnamese cooking? A hot bowl of magic. A bright red door next to Britomart leads you into the modern, cool renovated space that is Café Hanoi. Sticking with the modern feel, everything here is meant for sharing. The Pho comes in a bitesize bowl but, don’t take this for a lack of flavour. This mini bowl packs a big flavor punch, with sirloin steak, lots of fresh herbs, and of course sriracha and lime. You’ll be ordering another round for the table in no time.
Located on an unassuming corner on Surrey Crescent, it would be easy to miss Café Viet if not for it’s steadily packed tables all nights of the week. Offering authentic Saigon cuisine, while all items on the menu are delicious the Pho is truly something special. Juicy beef brisket slices are soaked into a perfectly salted oxtail broth with a zesty ping of lime to finish and of course soft rice noodles to slurp. There’s a gluten-free option if that’s your vibe and we also hear the rice paper rolls here are out of this world.
Le Vietnamese Kitchen
Sparkling fairy lights, hanging greenery and red lamps set the mood at Le Vietnamese Kitchen on Ponsonby road. With a strong nod to the French culinary influence in Vietnamese cuisine, Le Vietnamese Kitchen is the place to try the best of southeast Asian cuisine with a twist. There’s two types of pho on offer here, and the choice between tenderly cooked Angus eye fillet or gently poached chicken thigh and kaffir leaves is a difficult one–So, we recommend you visit with a friend, so you can just get both.
Nem Vietnamese Fusion House
Tucked in the quaint Parnell village, when you enter into Nem Vietnamese Fusion House you’ll feel as though you’ve travelled much further afield. Cane screens, warm woods, hanging lamps, and mood lighting create an intimate yet sophisticated atmosphere. The food is presented beautifully here, with every dish a nod to both traditional Vietnamese culinary techniques and western influence. The broth on the beef pho is deliciously rich and salty, as authentic as they come. If chicken pho is more your thing the addition of crisp spring onion keeps things fresh. Oh–And the cocktails…Well we just recommend you try those for yourself.
Calling all vegetarian/vegan Pho lovers! Nam Nam Takapuna has you covered. Going back to the traditional street food roots, Nam Nam offers an array of delicious Vietnamese offering in a cute modern location. The large open space is open lunch through dinner and offers a relaxed spot to enjoy the best offerings of Hanoi-inspired street food. All Pho here comes with bean sprouts and coriander but whether you choose beef, chicken, or the vegan mushroom and tofu is up to you. The pho here is light and fresh, making this the perfect spot for a quick afternoon stop.
An Auckland classic, no matter where you are when your pho craving hits–A HanSan to satisfy your needs won’t be far. A more casual and relaxed style of dining, HanSan was established in 1998 by two Vietnamese brothers (coincidentally, Han and San) who have continued to serve Auckland with some of the best authentic Vietnamese around ever since. Rich with an unparalleled depth in flavor for price, HanSan’s Pho is a steal at under $16 for the generous portion sizes. Plus, an extensive menu offering everything from seafood, pork, chicken, and beef means that HanSan can cater to even the fussiest taste buds.
Sen Vietnamese Kitchen & Bar
Taking “natural and fresh ingredients from Mother Nature” to create authentic Vietnamese cuisine that pays homage to the “vibrancy and colour of Vietnam” is the aim of head chef Billy Dang at Sen, and we have to agree–It’s done flawlessly. The long-stretching stone-walled space is filled with comfortable benches and cane lamps to provide the perfect atmosphere for a special night out. A secret blend of combination spices is the game-changer in Sen’s Pho, which comes with either chicken or beef, and is about as authentic as they come. They’re open for lunch and dinner, so what are you waiting for?