The 13 Best Places for Pho in Minneapolis and St. Paul

Best Pho in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul)

Looking for the best bowl of pho in the Twin Cities?

You came to the right place.

Today’s article is all about the best places for Pho in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Of course, narrowing down the list is no small feat where we live.

As most locals know, the Twin Cities is home to a plentiful population of Vietnamese immigrants, many of whom arrived as refugees of the Vietnam War.  When they did, they brought their deliciously brothy soup recipes to our chilly city, and these steamy bowls have been keeping Twin Cities eaters warm and grateful ever sense!

PS – Don’t miss our write up of the best Vietnamese restaurants in the Twin Cities or Sean’s crazy challenge to find the best banh mi.

Map of the Best Pho around Minneapolis & St. Paul

Most authentic experience: Quang Restaurant

Ask any pho expert in the Twin Cities Metro where to find the most authentic Vietnamese cuisine in Minnesota, and there’s a good chance they’ll point you to Quang.  For more than 30 years, they’ve been sharing traditional pho and the best banh mi using the family’s own recipes and signature flavors.  An Eat Street icon, you’ll often find a line of people waiting for take-out or for a table in their cozy dining room. It’s by far the most popular Vietnamese restaurant in Minneapolis.

Best variety: Pho Tau Bay

We love that Pho Tau Bay advertises their pho bowls to be “as big as satellite dishes” and for the “largest, heartiest appetites.” It’s not so much the size of the pho bowls that wow us here, as much as the size of the menu.  While the take-out options have been pared down in the pandemic, the dine-in menu has all the favorites and then some.  Veggies are fresh, and the egg rolls add just the right amount of crunch.

  • Address: 2837 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408
  • Website: Pho Tau Bay

Best for take-out: Trieu Chau

best takeout pho - trieu chau

Someone once told us if they were told they had 24 hours to live and only one meal left to go, they’d stop at Trieu Chau for a bowl of pho.  The love for Trieu Chau in St. Paul runs deep.  In part, it’s because the broth here has its own unique flavor (some say slightly sweet and a bit acidic).  Bonus points for the ultra-fast take-out, which is helpful since the tiny dining room is frequently packed for the lunch and dinner hours.

Easiest on the Wallet: Pho Ca Dao

Short on cash but still want an authentic, steaming bowl of pho in the middle of a Minnesota winter?  Pho Ca Dao in St. Paul offers a no-frills create your own pho menu starting at $5.75.  Add egg rolls for $2.75, and for a ten-dollar bill, you can grab some of the best in the Metro.  (Note if you’re literally short on cash, choose a different spot for dinner.  Pho Ca Dao doesn’t accept credit cards.)

  • Address: 439 University Ave W, St Paul, MN 55103
  • Website: Pho Ca Dao

Best for groups: iPho by Saigon

ipho by saigon

If you subscribe to the traditional Vietnamese values, food is best when shared with family and friends.  At both iPho locations, you’ll find great spots to enjoy “pho with friends.”  The menu includes many different options, and the staff here are always good about adjusting flavors and spices to suit if needed.  They even have a jumbo size pho bowl for those extra-long meals with your favorite dining companions.

  • Address 1: 704 University Ave W, St. Paul, MN 55104 (iPho by Saigon)
  • Address 2: 6508 Cahill Ave, Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076 (iPho 2)
  • Website: iPho by Saigon

Best for Seafood: Pho 79

We don’t often think about Energy Park Drive as a hot spot for Twin Cities dining.  The strip mall location off the University of Minnesota Transitway doesn’t scream “Best Seafood Pho in the Twin Cities” either.  But that’s what you’ll find on the menu at Pho 79.  The Hu Tieu Seafood and Pho Seafood are some of the most popular menu items here.   Their second location in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis also hits the spot for fish, veggies, and seafood pho.

  • Address 1: 2233 Energy Park Drive, #900 St Paul MN
  • Address 2: 2529 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404
  • Website: Pho 79

Best for lunch: Pho Mai Dinkytown

pho mai dinkytown

One of the newest players on the pho scene, Pho Mai in Dinkytown, opened in the middle of the pandemic.  But that doesn’t mean Pho Mai is without experience; this spot is actually an extension to the owner’s sister location – the hugely popular MT Noodles in Brooklyn Park.  Not surprisingly, the take-out counter service restaurant quickly became a favorite of the U of M community, and the $5 Pho on Fridays certainly helps.  Pop in for the lunch hour any day of the week, and you’ll get a hot, grab-and-go bowl of pho with fresh ingredients.

Best for Date Night: Ngon Vietnamese Bistro

Ngon shows up on quite a few of our list of recommendations here.  We can’t help it. It’s just that good.  Best in class for date night.  Best upscale Vietnamese. And now, best pho for date night.  The modern Vietnamese farm-to-table dishes here continue to knock our socks off.  Their classic and vegetarian broths are made the right way—slow and smooth, blended with fresh, local meats and veggies.  One of the best in the Cities.

Other Great Places To Try Pho in the Twin Cities

In the middle of a Minnesota winter, it’s good to have plenty of options for a steaming bowl of pho.  Once you’ve made it through the list above, try out these other Twin Cities Vietnamese favorites:

Lotus Restaurant

iHeart Pho

  • Address: 850 Maryland Ave E, St Paul, MN 55106
  • Website: iHeart Pho

Pho #1 Vietnamese Restaurant

  • Address: 544 St Peter St, St Paul, MN 55102
  • Website: Pho #1

Pho Pasteur

  • Address: 694 Snelling Ave N, St Paul, MN 55104
  • Website: Pho Pasteur

Bep Eatery

  • Address: Multiple Downtown Minneapolis locations
  • Website: Bep Eatery

**Note: Bep Eatery, our favorite Minneapolis skyway spot for pho, closed early in the pandemic.  No word on their opening, but we’re hoping they make a return to the lunch hour soon.

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