We’ve heard that, over the last year, some Pho Hoan Pasteur regulars weren’t pleased that the Kingsway eatery finished atop the Best Vietnamese category in 2015. There are reports that the lineups for those oh-so-warming bowls of pho have gotten just a little bit longer.
That’s the thing about lists like ours; we can ruin the “hidden gem” designation. The people who weren’t happy about Pho Hoan Pasteur’s spike in popularity won’t be happy to see that it defended its title this year.
It’s simple, really – it’s an unassuming place where a variety of rice, vermicelli and, of course, pho dishes are served. But it’s the pho that will keep you coming back – the broth is meaty and deeply satisfying, strongly scented with Asian herbs. It still ranks as our favourite pho in a city that has long been obsessed with this Vietnamese staple. In Edmonton, if you make great pho, the city will come knocking at your door. –Steven Sandor
At over 10 pages long, Thanh-Thanh’s menu is exhaustive. Make it easy for yourself by selecting one of its suggested combinations. The mammoth No. 9 gets you steaming wonton soup, Imperial rolls, rice and a variety of skewered meats. From the beef to the bacon-wrapped scallops, all the proteins are perfectly seasoned, and you may find yourself wishing you’d ordered more than three of the Imperial rolls, filled with pork and tender carrots and then deep fried until crisp.
Make sure to order a Vietnamese coffee with your food – by the time you’re scooping up the last few grains of rice, it’ll be ready to enjoy as the perfect conclusion to your meal. –Adrianna Szenthe 10718 101 St., 780-426-5068, thanhthanh.ca
Co Do Hue
If you’re going to name your restaurant after a dish on the menu, that dish had better be delicious. Good thing for the folks at Co Do Hue that their bun bo hue, a spicy beef and pork noodle soup, is just that. But there are plenty of other dishes at this northside eatery to rave about, too.
Co Do Hue’s version of the classic Vietnamese pho is also a soup worth the trip to the north side, with rare beef and rice noodles simmering away in an aromatic broth that gives off hints of star anise and herbs. The soup bowls are huge, but if you can manage it, the pork and shrimp salad rolls are a great appetizer, especially with the sweet peanut sauce that comes on the side. –Glenn Cook