The popular #8 combination pho with rare filet mignon, well-done brisket, flank and tendon. Jeff Cianci
The popular #8 combination pho with rare filet mignon, well-done brisket, flank and tendon. (Jeff Cianci)

Bay Area Bites Guide to 10 Favorite South Bay Pho Restaurants

Bay Area Bites Guide to 10 Favorite South Bay Pho Restaurants

As El Niño brings grey and rainy days to the Bay Area, a large steaming bowl of pho noodle soup may be the tastiest way to warm your soul and lift your damp spirits. Vietnamese noodle soup, with its savory broth and thin slices of beef is easily customizable by adding different condiments and garnishes. The South Bay Area has a wealth of Vietnamese restaurants serving pho and each restaurant has its own specialty and offerings of beef cuts. Here is a collection of 10 tasty South Bay spots to slurp pho. If I missed your favorite please be sure to share it in the comments.

The Lovers special noodle with rare steak, beef balls, at ox tail.
The Lovers special noodle with rare steak, beef balls, at ox tail. (Jeff Cianci)

Pho Lovers is a popular, family-run restaurant in Sunnyvale serves a small offering of pho in addition to traditional vietnamese dishes. The signature "Lovers Special" features rare steak, meatballs and ox tail. The broth is very light, predominant flavors are fresh onion and cilantro. The meatballs are surprisingly tender while the oxtail meat practically melts off the bone. The tableside jar of oiled chili flakes is a perfect condiment to add a touch of spice. Do be aware that Pho Lovers will not take credit cards for checks less than $10.

Pho Lovers
253 E Maude Ave. [map]
Sunnyvale, CA 94085
Ph: (408) 530-8583
Hours: Mon-Sun 10am-9pm
Price Range: $ (entrees under $10)

Pho dac biet at Pho Factory with rare filet mignon, well-done flank, brisket, tendon and tripe.
Pho dac biet at Pho Factory with rare filet mignon, well-done flank, brisket, tendon and tripe. (Jeff Cianci)

Pho Factory serves bowls of pho in a clean, modern setting with friendly servers who take customer orders on iPads. The house specialty is a smoked veal pho. The veal arrives on a plate raw and is quickly cooked in the hot broth. A special shrimp sauce served alongside the veal pho adds a unique sweet and salty flavor to the broth. Perfect for meat lovers, the #11 features tender slices of filet mignon, flank, brisket, tripe and tendon served in a broth seasoned with star anise and white pepper.

The smoked veal special pho at Pho Factory.
The smoked veal special pho at Pho Factory. (Jeff Cianci)

Pho Factory
888 E Capitol Ave. [map]
Milpitas, CA 95035
Ph: (408) 956-1888
Hours: Tue-Sun 10am-9:30pm; Closed Monday
Facebook: Pho Factory
Price Range: $ (entrees under $10)

The popular #8 combination pho with rare filet mignon, well-done brisket, flank and tendon.
The popular #8 combination pho with rare filet mignon, well-done brisket, flank and tendon. (Jeff Cianci)

Pho Kim Long enjoys being the crowd favorite for pho in the South Bay. The restaurant's popularity and quick flying service means you are likely to be squeezed onto a table with another party — take it or leave it. The popular #8 combination features rare filet mignon, well-done brisket, flank and tendon. The extremely fresh tender cuts of beef give the broth a deep, savory flavor complemented by a heaping garnish of cilantro. Pho Kim Long accepts cash only.

Sponsored

Pho Kim Long Restaurant
2082 N Capitol Ave [map]
San Jose, CA 95132
Ph: (408) 946-2181
Hours: Mon-Sun 9am-9:30pm
Facebook: Pho Kim Long
Price Range: $ (entrees under $10) Cash Only

The spicy beef noodle pho with ox pizzle and pork blood.
The spicy beef noodle pho with ox pizzle and pork blood. (Jeff Cianci)

Tucked away in a San Jose strip mall, Bun Bo Hue An Nam is a popular location for pho and is known for its add-on ingredients. The signature bun bo hue is a spicy beef noodle soup. For an extra charge, customers can add pork blood cake as well as ox pizzle (braised ox penis). The pork blood cake has an acquired gamey and iron flavor. The ox pizzle is chewy and while it may give you some bragging rights, it offers little to no flavor to the soup. The regular beef pho broth has a very pleasant lemongrass aroma. Bun Bo Hue An Nam accepts cash only.

Pho with thin slices of filet mignon at Bun Bo Hue An Nam in East San Jose.
Pho with thin slices of filet mignon at Bun Bo Hue An Nam in East San Jose. (Jeff Cianci)

Bun Bo Hue An Nam
740 Story Rd. Ste 3 [map]
San Jose, CA 95122
Ph: (408) 993-1755
Hours: Mon 9am-9pm; Wed-Sun 9am-9pm; Closed Tuesday.
Facebook: Bun Bo Hue An Nam
Price Range: $ (entrees under $10) Cash Only

Pho Y special with eye of round steak, well-done flank, fatty brisket, soft tendon and meat ball.
Pho Y special with eye of round steak, well-done flank, fatty brisket, soft tendon and meat ball. (Jeff Cianci)

Pho Y #1 is a sparsely decorated yet popular dive for pho in East San Jose. The pho served here arrives so hot the menu makes note to warn you. The Pho Y special features eye of round steak, well-done flank, fatty brisket, soft tendon and meatballs. After you’ve let your piping hot pho cool down, you are rewarded with a delicious balance of savory and slightly sweet broth swimming with a bounty of tender cuts of beef. Pho Y #1 only accepts cash.

Pho Y #1
1660 E Capitol Expy [map]
San Jose, CA 95121
Ph: (408) 274-1769
Hours: Mon-Sun 10:30am-9pm
Facebook: Pho #1
Price Range: $ (entrees under $10) Cash Only

The Pho Gourmet with rare steak, lean brisket, flank, tendon and tripe.
The Pho Gourmet with rare steak, lean brisket, flank, tendon and tripe. (Jeff Cianci)

Pho Cong Ly serves as a popular pho option for SJSU students and downtown San Jose residents alike. Pho can be ordered in small, medium or large sizes. The popular Pho Gourmet features a mix of oxtail, beef shank, rare filet mignon and beef tongue. The tender oxtail is indescribably savory and the mix of different beef cuts give the broth a bold and salty flavor. A large glass of water is a must.

Pho Cong Ly
460 E William St [map]
San Jose, CA 95112
Ph: (408) 610-9849
Hours: Mon-Sun 9am-10pm
Facebook: Pho Cong Ly
Price Range: $ (entrees under $10)

The house special pho at Pho Nam in Sunnyvale with steak, lean brisket, flank, tendon and tripe.
The house special pho at Pho Nam in Sunnyvale with steak, lean brisket, flank, tendon and tripe. (Jeff Cianci)

Pho Nam serves a menu of beef and chicken pho as well as traditional Vietnamese dishes in a clean and friendly setting. The restaurant also offers special toppings such as green onions in oil and kimchi. The house special pho features rare steak, lean brisket, flank, tendon and tripe. The meaty broth gets a subtly sweet touch from a garnish of fresh white onions. The green onions and oil add an additional bright, sweet flavor to the mix. Pho Nam also serves a special pho and smoothie combination.

Pho ga at Pho Nam in Sunnyvale.
Pho ga at Pho Nam in Sunnyvale. (Jeff Cianci)

Pho Nam Restaurant
844 W El Camino Real [map]
Sunnyvale, CA 94087
Ph: (408) 737-1086
Hours: Sun-Thu 10am-8pm; Fri-Sat 10am-9pm
Facebook: Pho Nam Restaurant
Price Range: $ (entrees under $10)

The smoked veal special pho at Pho 90 Degree.
The smoked veal special pho at Pho 90 Degree. (Jeff Cianci)

Pho 90 Degree serves pho featuring cuts of Certified Angus Beef in a dining room that resembles a Venetian palace. Servers take orders using iPads and are available by the push of a tableside button. The house special is a smoked veal pho served in a salty, piping hot broth that quickly cooks the thin slices of raw veal. The restaurant also serves a vè dòn pho which features stir-fried flank steak.

Pho 90 Degree
San Jose Vietnam Town, 999 Story Rd. [map]
San Jose, CA 95122
Ph: (408) 993-9090
Hours: Sun-Thu 9am-12am; Fri-Sat 9am-3am
Facebook: Pho 90
Price Range: $ (entrees under $10)

The number 1 house special pho at Pho Nguyen in Milpitas.
The number 1 house special pho at Pho Nguyen in Milpitas. (Jeff Cianci)

Pho Nguyen is set in a busy shopping center in Milpitas. The bustling restaurant serves a large menu of pho, other noodle soups and traditional Vietnamese dishes. A steaming pot of complimentary hot tea is served at each table. The #1 special beef noodle is an excellent choice for first-timers (as well as regulars) with its salty and savory broth complemented by copious amounts of fresh green onions. The spicy beef noodle soup is also a crowd favorite.

Pho Nguyen Vietnamese
275 W Calaveras Blvd. [map]
Milpitas, CA 95035
Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-9:45pm; Sun 9am-8:45pm
Facebook: Pho Nguyen Restaurant
Price Range: $ (entrees under $10)

House special combination of beef and beef balls at House of Pho.
#2 House special combination of beef and beef balls at House of Pho. (Jeff Cianci)

House of Pho serves consistently tasty bowls of pho. The #2 combination features rare steak, tripe, well-done flank and brisket. The salty and savory broth is nothing phenomenal, but the inexpensive generous portions served in a clean, comfortable setting makes House of Pho a popular South Bay destination.

Sponsored

House of Pho
1066 E El Camino Real [map]
Sunnyvale, CA 94087
Ph: (408) 260-8410
Hours: Mon-Sun 10am-9pm
Facebook: House of Pho
Price Range: $ (entrees under $10)

Volume
KQED Live
Live Stream
Log In ToPledge-Free Stream
LATEST NEWSCAST
KQED
NPR
Live Stream information currently unavailable.
Share
LATEST NEWSCAST
KQED
NPR
KQED Live

Live Stream

Live Stream information currently unavailable.