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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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