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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Austin
Food
Feel
Price
8.4
5.5
$10
Vietnamese
Casual restaurant

Hours
Daily 10:00am–9:00pm

Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC
Reservations Accepted

Website

Far North Austin
10901 N. Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX
(512) 821-1022
Pho Saigon
One of Austin’s pho-ly trinity

This is one of the top three pho places in the city. Just ask the hordes who swarm Pho Saigon on weekends, filling every table of a restaurant that is more than twice the size of the others. The airy space is high-tech, with flatscreen TVs showing the news and sports, and abundant natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows. These small touches of intended elegance don’t fool anyone: this is, first and foremost, a chow factory. Each table is stocked with its own utensils and sauces, so the staff can concentrate on getting diners in and out.

To compare Austin’s best pho—we think the contenders are Pho Danh, Pho Van, and Pho Saigon—means splitting hairs. These three have deeply beefy and beautifully salted broths; Pho Saigon’s broth is a little deeper than Danh’s, and lately, even slightly more complex than Pho Van’s. Unlike at those two, the fatty brisket at Saigon is inedible, just rubbery sheets of yellow fat with little meat that just helps flavor the broth; but you get way more eye round here than at Pho Van.

One thing this place easily does better than the rest is bun, with less oily vermicelli and nicely crisped pork, a refreshing fish sauce and sweet, charred shrimp. It does make for some difficult decisions come Sunday morning.

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