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WEEKEND: Pho Viet For the $20 Diner story in Weekend’s Nov. 10 issue.
Spicy lemongrass pho with beef eye round at Pho Viet
Dixie D. Vereen/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

18 Essential Pho Shops Around D.C.

Where to find rich Vietnamese bone broth with rice noodles and all the garnishes

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Spicy lemongrass pho with beef eye round at Pho Viet
| Dixie D. Vereen/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Pho seems to have magical healing properties. A big bowl overflowing with noodles and bone broth that’s been simmering for days can make ailing customers feel whole again. During the dreary days of winter, it’s an especially soothing elixir that warms and satisfies. And fortunately for Washingtonians, the D.C. area is bursting with dependably delicious pho thanks to a substantial Vietnamese population.

For the uninitiated, pho is typically a meat-based soup — a beef base is standard, but chicken pho is common, and vegetarian versions are out there — that includes a flavorful, rich broth, piles of rice noodles, and loads of fresh garnishes such as basil, cilantro, scallions, bean sprouts, lime, onions, jalapenos, hoisin sauce, and sriracha.

While ongoing COVID-19 restrictions in Virginia, D.C., and Maryland have complicated the dining out experience, many pho shops remain open for business, offering takeout, delivery, limited in-person dining, or all of the above. Here are 18 places to add to your list.

D.C. is shutting down indoor dining from December 24, 2020, through January 14, 2021. Many restaurants offer outdoor seating, but this should not be taken as endorsement for dining out, as there are still safety concerns. The Washington Post is tracking coronavirus cases and deaths in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. More information can be found at coronavirus.dc.gov. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Pho Nom Nom

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Head to this respected Rockville eatery for an extensive menu of chicken, seafood, and beef pho, all topped with thinly-sliced onion, cilantro, scallions, and lime. Pho Nom Nom is also known for its bun bo hue, a spicy lemongrass noodle soup.

Pho Nom Nom/official photo

Pho Tan Vinh

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The Pho Tan Vinh Special is the dish to order at this unassuming Silver Spring establishment, which features an aromatic broth and perfectly medium rare tenderloin. The deep fried chicken wings are another fan favorite, and the array of banh mi options — including grilled shrimp and fried fish cake — are not to be missed. Limited indoor dining is available, as is takeout and delivery via UberEats and DoorDash.

Rice Paddies Grill

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This go-to lunch spot for downtown Bethesda’s office crowd is one of the Maryland town’s only Vietnamese options. The tiny restaurant, open for takeout from around noon to 9 p.m. daily, serves a vegan tofu option in addition to beef, chicken, and seafood. Order for curbside pickup or delivery here.

Rice Paddies Grill [official]

Pho 14 (Multiple Locations)

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This upper Northwest chain, with locations in Van Ness and Columbia Heights, remains a popular takeout option. Broth features noticeable star anise and unexpected cinnamon flavors, and chicken pho comes loaded with diners’ choice of white or dark meat. Open every day.

Pho 14/official photo

Pho Tai 63

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This new spot in Bladensburg serves up an assortment of Vietnamese fare. The pho ga, in particular, is a must-try with a savory mix of beef broth and huge chunks of chicken. The steamed rice plates are another attraction worth returning to time and time again. Though the dining room is currently closed, takeout is available for online ordering via Toast Tab.

Head to Brookland for a taste of Hanoi. The extensive menu at Pho 12 offers just about every possible combination of pho you could dream of, including a fatty brisket option and a seafood version loaded with shrimp, scallops, fish balls, and crab meat. Open for takeout only.

Pho Viet Restaurant

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They don’t skimp on the servings here, so come with an empty stomach and don’t miss out on the rare ribeye and brisket pho. The meats are tender and the broth is supremely savory. An added bonus: the peanut sauce that accompanies the spring rolls is among the tastiest in the area. Open for takeout only. 

Dixie D. Vereen/The Washington Post

Sprig and Sprout

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Billed as D.C.’s first fast-casual Vietnamese restaurant, this low-key counter-service cafe in Glover Park is the perfect option for getting in and out. Try the Viet tacos too, served with your choice of protein, Asian cabbage, pickled carrots and daikon, onions, jalapeños, Thai basil, and cilantro. It’s conveniently open seven days a week. Open for takeout and delivery via Caviar.

Simply Banh Mi

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The focus of this tiny Georgetown Vietnamese jewel may be banh mi, but it also serves a strong pho. Try the lemongrass beef option. Simply Banh Mi also sells cups of broth for a light, warm pick-me-up. The shop may look closed, but it’s in the basement now. Open for takeout and delivery on most apps. 

Froggy Bottom Pub

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With standard pub fare like burgers, fries, nachos, and chili poppers, one wouldn’t suspect this casual GWU-friendly stop serves pho. But the Vietnamese owners offer a great selection. The pub’s origin story is worth mentioning: owners Hien and Hoang Bui met in a refugee camp while fleeing Vietnam and eventually settled in D.C. Currently open for takeout.

This mini-chain of pho restaurants has earned lots of local awards over the years, and remains one of the region’s standard bearers. All locations, including the popular Rosslyn shop and two Montgomery Country outposts in Maryland, are open for takeout.

Tim’s top 25 The Washington Post via Getty Images

Pho Deluxe (Multiple Locations)

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Pho Deluxe is one of the region’s top destinations for Vietnamese food. The beef pho menu includes everything from meatball to brisket bobbing inside, with other options like seafood, chicken, and vegetables. Pho Deluxe also serves grilled meat platters, spring rolls, and more. Both the Arlington and Tysons locations are open.

Nam-Viet Restaurant

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This Clarendon standby put eight different soups, including options for beef, chicken, and seafood pho, on its takeout menu when it reopened in late May. — Gabe Hiatt

Huong Viet Restaurant

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This modest spot in Falls Church’s Eden Center usually commands lines out the door at peak times. For now, the restaurant is offering takeout on its hot bowls of pho and other noodle soups — totaling nearly 30 options.

Huong Viet’s dining room during pre-pandemic times.
R. Lopez/Eater DC

Hai Duong Restaurant

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Another Eden Center favorite, Hai Duong has gone the takeout route, offering 11 different variations of beef pho, plus a chicken pho. Each comes with lime, basil, sprouts, and plenty of sliced scallions. Its spicy beef noodle soup is a house specialty.

Four Sisters Restaurant

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The family-owned mainstay in Merrifield went dormant at the beginning of the pandemic but has reopened for takeout and delivery with two sizes of beef or chicken pho. An additional soup menu includes options like shrimp and pork, won tons, and fish. Delivery ($30 minimum) is three within three miles of the Merrifield restaurant. Order here.

Pho Thang Long

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Tucked inside Fairfax’s Pan Am shopping center, this pho place churns out reliable noodle soups, along with vermicelli bowls and rice dishes. Indoor dining and takeout options are available.

Caphe Banh Mi

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This eatery, somewhat hidden in the heart of Old Town, is among the best of the best in the DMV, largely thanks to a hearty standout broth and premium meat selection. The house pho is so packed with flavor, It’s hard not to fantasize about that ultra-rich broth long after leaving. The summer rolls and the Vietnamese iced coffee are also must-haves. Indoor dining is closed, but takeout is available to call in.

A bowl of pho with toppings on the side as well as a white spoon.
Pho at Caphe Banh Mi
Deb Lindsey/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Pho Nom Nom

Pho Nom Nom/official photo

Head to this respected Rockville eatery for an extensive menu of chicken, seafood, and beef pho, all topped with thinly-sliced onion, cilantro, scallions, and lime. Pho Nom Nom is also known for its bun bo hue, a spicy lemongrass noodle soup.

Pho Nom Nom/official photo

Pho Tan Vinh

The Pho Tan Vinh Special is the dish to order at this unassuming Silver Spring establishment, which features an aromatic broth and perfectly medium rare tenderloin. The deep fried chicken wings are another fan favorite, and the array of banh mi options — including grilled shrimp and fried fish cake — are not to be missed. Limited indoor dining is available, as is takeout and delivery via UberEats and DoorDash.

Rice Paddies Grill

Rice Paddies Grill [official]

This go-to lunch spot for downtown Bethesda’s office crowd is one of the Maryland town’s only Vietnamese options. The tiny restaurant, open for takeout from around noon to 9 p.m. daily, serves a vegan tofu option in addition to beef, chicken, and seafood. Order for curbside pickup or delivery here.

Rice Paddies Grill [official]

Pho 14 (Multiple Locations)

Pho 14/official photo

This upper Northwest chain, with locations in Van Ness and Columbia Heights, remains a popular takeout option. Broth features noticeable star anise and unexpected cinnamon flavors, and chicken pho comes loaded with diners’ choice of white or dark meat. Open every day.

Pho 14/official photo

Pho Tai 63

This new spot in Bladensburg serves up an assortment of Vietnamese fare. The pho ga, in particular, is a must-try with a savory mix of beef broth and huge chunks of chicken. The steamed rice plates are another attraction worth returning to time and time again. Though the dining room is currently closed, takeout is available for online ordering via Toast Tab.

Pho 12

Head to Brookland for a taste of Hanoi. The extensive menu at Pho 12 offers just about every possible combination of pho you could dream of, including a fatty brisket option and a seafood version loaded with shrimp, scallops, fish balls, and crab meat. Open for takeout only.

Pho Viet Restaurant

Dixie D. Vereen/The Washington Post

They don’t skimp on the servings here, so come with an empty stomach and don’t miss out on the rare ribeye and brisket pho. The meats are tender and the broth is supremely savory. An added bonus: the peanut sauce that accompanies the spring rolls is among the tastiest in the area. Open for takeout only. 

Dixie D. Vereen/The Washington Post

Sprig and Sprout

Billed as D.C.’s first fast-casual Vietnamese restaurant, this low-key counter-service cafe in Glover Park is the perfect option for getting in and out. Try the Viet tacos too, served with your choice of protein, Asian cabbage, pickled carrots and daikon, onions, jalapeños, Thai basil, and cilantro. It’s conveniently open seven days a week. Open for takeout and delivery via Caviar.

Simply Banh Mi

The focus of this tiny Georgetown Vietnamese jewel may be banh mi, but it also serves a strong pho. Try the lemongrass beef option. Simply Banh Mi also sells cups of broth for a light, warm pick-me-up. The shop may look closed, but it’s in the basement now. Open for takeout and delivery on most apps. 

Froggy Bottom Pub

With standard pub fare like burgers, fries, nachos, and chili poppers, one wouldn’t suspect this casual GWU-friendly stop serves pho. But the Vietnamese owners offer a great selection. The pub’s origin story is worth mentioning: owners Hien and Hoang Bui met in a refugee camp while fleeing Vietnam and eventually settled in D.C. Currently open for takeout.

Pho 75

Tim’s top 25 The Washington Post via Getty Images

This mini-chain of pho restaurants has earned lots of local awards over the years, and remains one of the region’s standard bearers. All locations, including the popular Rosslyn shop and two Montgomery Country outposts in Maryland, are open for takeout.

Tim’s top 25 The Washington Post via Getty Images

Pho Deluxe (Multiple Locations)

Pho Deluxe is one of the region’s top destinations for Vietnamese food. The beef pho menu includes everything from meatball to brisket bobbing inside, with other options like seafood, chicken, and vegetables. Pho Deluxe also serves grilled meat platters, spring rolls, and more. Both the Arlington and Tysons locations are open.

Nam-Viet Restaurant

This Clarendon standby put eight different soups, including options for beef, chicken, and seafood pho, on its takeout menu when it reopened in late May. — Gabe Hiatt

Huong Viet Restaurant

Huong Viet’s dining room during pre-pandemic times.
R. Lopez/Eater DC

This modest spot in Falls Church’s Eden Center usually commands lines out the door at peak times. For now, the restaurant is offering takeout on its hot bowls of pho and other noodle soups — totaling nearly 30 options.

Huong Viet’s dining room during pre-pandemic times.
R. Lopez/Eater DC

Hai Duong Restaurant

Another Eden Center favorite, Hai Duong has gone the takeout route, offering 11 different variations of beef pho, plus a chicken pho. Each comes with lime, basil, sprouts, and plenty of sliced scallions. Its spicy beef noodle soup is a house specialty.

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Four Sisters Restaurant

The family-owned mainstay in Merrifield went dormant at the beginning of the pandemic but has reopened for takeout and delivery with two sizes of beef or chicken pho. An additional soup menu includes options like shrimp and pork, won tons, and fish. Delivery ($30 minimum) is three within three miles of the Merrifield restaurant. Order here.

Pho Thang Long

Tucked inside Fairfax’s Pan Am shopping center, this pho place churns out reliable noodle soups, along with vermicelli bowls and rice dishes. Indoor dining and takeout options are available.

Caphe Banh Mi

A bowl of pho with toppings on the side as well as a white spoon.
Pho at Caphe Banh Mi
Deb Lindsey/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

This eatery, somewhat hidden in the heart of Old Town, is among the best of the best in the DMV, largely thanks to a hearty standout broth and premium meat selection. The house pho is so packed with flavor, It’s hard not to fantasize about that ultra-rich broth long after leaving. The summer rolls and the Vietnamese iced coffee are also must-haves. Indoor dining is closed, but takeout is available to call in.

A bowl of pho with toppings on the side as well as a white spoon.
Pho at Caphe Banh Mi
Deb Lindsey/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Related Maps