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A Guide To Ordering Phở In Vietnamese

Due to popular demand, we’ve created this guide to help those who haven’t mastered Vietnamese order a bowl of phở exactly the way they want it. 

Before we get into ordering procedures, one piece of advice: if you want a great bowl of phở, don’t go to a restaurant, only street vendors and noodle houses will serve you the real thing.


Phở gà (phở with chicken)

Phở gà xé (chicken meat already in pieces without any bones)

Phở gà chặt (chicken meat with bones in)  



Bò chín (sliced, well-done steak)

Bò tái (sliced rare steak)

Nạm (flank)

Gầu (fatty brisket)

Gân (tendon)

Bò viên (beef meatballs) 

Related Articles:

A Short History Of Phở

Phở” Added To Merriam-Webster Dictionary

The Extras:

Here are some words you should know in case you want some extras or don’t want them at all. If you want some more, you say “thêm,” if you don’t want them at all, say “không.”

Nước béo (fatty broth)

Hành lá (scallion)

Hành tây (onion)

Húng quế (basil)

Ngò gai (coriander)

Giá (bean sprouts)


Here is the way locals often order:

How many bowls you want + what kind of meat you want + extra information.

For example: Một bò tái thêm hành tây (One bowl with sliced rare steak and extra onion).

Now you have the tools to customize your bowl of phở. If you’re worried you can’t pronounce or remember your choice, simply write it down and show the chef.


[Photo via Joanne Wan]

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