10 Great Pho Places in Orange County

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I dare say that I'm the only Forker who has tried pho since our epic Final Pho Tournament earlier this year--but the weather is about to get chilly, so I guarantee Dave, Shuji, and Edwin will slurp anew. For the rest of ustedes, here's the 10 best pho palaces in Orange County--all familiar names, but never put in a list before! Oh, app joy!

10. Pho Hien Vuong
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Really put here more out of respect, as this SanTana dive was the first restaurant in Orange County to serve pho. Used to be better until new ownership decided to take that unfortunate step that many 1.5-generation Viets took a couple of years ago of pretending to use higher-quality ingredients--and charging $3 more on average. Still: gotta pay respect to the elders. And the pho still does its job.

2525 Westminster Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 554-2696

9. Kim Loan

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This was the first place I ever ate pho, and this is perhaps the best place to try ur-pho, as this joint hasn't changed since the heyday of Miami Vice (the television series, not the godawful movie). Robust, massive, boiling, bueno.

1651 W. Orangethorpe Ave., Fullerton, (714) 773-0374

8. Pho Cali

This is still one of the cheapest, biggest bowls of pho in Little Saigon, and it's one of those great places in Orange County where English is the third language spoken, as the clientele is half-Vietnamese, half-Latino. LOVE how they call pho here fideo, when fideo is more accurately vermicelli noodles. Hey, at least they don't call it sopa chinita...

120 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 531-4556

7. Pho Vinh Ky II
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Home of fish pho and the awesome neon sign declaring it sells it. 'Nuf said.

14390 Brookhurst St., Garden Grove, (714) 531-4965

6. Pho 79
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Pho 79 is old-school, one of the first Vietnamese chain restaurants in the United States, with a vast selection of foods from different regions of Vietnam. And pho, of course!

Pho 79, 9941 Hazard Ave., Garden Grove, (714) 531-2490.


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35 comments
OC Weekly
OC Weekly

Most of them go past midnight; as for 24 hour, none we can recommend—you're better off with tacos at that point!

OC Weekly
OC Weekly

What?! We shall investigate!

Rebekah Marie
Rebekah Marie

North OC... Pho Ly in La Habra..great broth.homemade noodles.yummy spring rolls and egg rolls. Owners are very personable.

Stoli Oropeza
Stoli Oropeza

Which one of these is open 24hr? Or at least late LATE night???

Chris Criner
Chris Criner

Someone told me that Thanh Lich is now closed??

Bao Nguyen
Bao Nguyen

Pho Lu for late night, not to be confused with Cafe Lu.

Minerva Thai
Minerva Thai

Duc, we still need to try out Dakao but hey, 79 made it onto the list - whoop whoop!

Nikki Phillips
Nikki Phillips

Pho Kimmy will always be the best. In Westminster on Bushard & Bolsa

John Lobel
John Lobel

theres cockroaches all over Pho Thanh Lich, went into the bathroom there and saw a cockroach run out of the sink bowl

Kathy Acosta Colin
Kathy Acosta Colin

Wow...I have never given pho any thought before, and only last night one of my co-workers was telling me about the joys of eating it!...and now YOU mention it! Guess I'm going to have to try it now...

René Bruce
René Bruce

Try the one on 1st and Broadway in Santa Ana it's great !!!

A.j. Freibott
A.j. Freibott

Sweet never been to ANY of these spots, driven by a few of them though. Let the games begin!

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

Which one makes the best coffee with the metal drip filter? 

chau
chau

Bad ranking - coming from a Vietnamese herself

TustinGuy
TustinGuy

Is there any restaurant worthy of being on the list south of Santa Ana?  For those of us who work near Irvine/Lake Forest, we'd love your opinion on those.  (Or does your gas budget limit you to close to home?) 

JB
JB

I'm sure the soup's great, but is that Pho Da Kao, or the Armed Forces Recruiting Station?  My guess is this place didn't get a "28" in "décor" for its Zagat rating.  That building looks like it might implode, or just drift away -- intact -- at the next strong gust.

JB
JB

"...at least they don't call it sopa chinita..."

LOL

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

Pho Vinh Ky II and 79 are personal favs of mine, but I don't take newbs or out-of-town visitors there; instead, we eat out on the patio of 54. (btw - I didn't get a chance to congratulate you on the PBS segment.  Nicely done.)

Wun Hung "Jersey Jim" Lo
Wun Hung "Jersey Jim" Lo

"... one of those great places in Orange County where English is the third language spoken ...."

Whaaat? Oh, wait, I get it. You hate immigrants and don't want them to be sufficiently literate in English to rise above their raisin' to positions of influence and power -- is that it? Have to say, Mr. Fourth Generation, pretty prejudicial. Won't you reconsider?

Phil
Phil

You're my favorite 'forker' Gustavo. I've yet to try Pho Tranh Lich, but I AM making that Turkey Pho Broth that Dave posted a recipe for last year. My home smells like a noodle house - never a bad thing.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

No. No Viet restaurant south of Pho Bac Ky is worthy of Little Saigon...

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

Hmph. I'll have to settle for second place th... no? Third? Aw, come on—FIFTEENTH??

That turkey pho recipe is courtesy of chef Dee Nguyen at Break of Dawn.

TustinGuy
TustinGuy

Bummer.  I do like Pho Bo Vang most times.  But I think I'm missing something by driving up county.  Maybe I can try it out on a weekend.  But I'm also concerned that I might be spoiled for life.  Thanks for reporting on Pho!

GeneralVietnam
GeneralVietnam

You should try Pho Bo Vang in Lake Forest. My favorite in south county. 

Phil
Phil

Love you, brother. You know you're #1 in my heart.  And that Turkey Pho broth was equally as great as it was last year.  Thanks again for sharing Dee's recipe with us.

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