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Lele East and West, Tacoma.
Lele/Official

8 of Tacoma’s Finest Pho Spots

Where to find the steaming bowls of noodles to fight the winter chill

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Lele East and West, Tacoma.
| Lele/Official

Pho, the traditional Vietnamese rice noodle soup, is the perfect cure for Northwest winter blues. The comforting, aromatic dish typically features a spice-heavy beef broth, flavored with the likes of charred onions and ginger, brimming with thin slices of eye-round steak, and served with fresh basil, bean sprouts, jalapeno, and lime. Tendon, brisket, meatballs, and tripe are popular additions, and chicken, seafood, and vegetarian variations are also common.

Like Seattle, Tacoma has a strong assortment of Vietnamese restaurants to satisfy diners’ pho cravings regardless of location, budget, and taste preference. Ranging from trendy to divey, here are eight local options that can’t be missed.

Note: Map points are listed geographically, not ranked by preference. What’s your favorite Tacoma pho place? Show it some love in the comments or send us an email.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

La Cà Bar

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The Vietnamese street-food trend comes to 6th Ave. with this stylish two-story eatery, open since December 2017. Downstairs there’s a mix of exposed brick, rustic wooden benches, and Edison bulbs, upstairs features a full bar with a more modern aesthetic, and the kitchen fires until midnight during the week and 2 a.m. on weekends to satisfy the late-night set. Beef, chicken, and vegetarian pho are offered alongside five-spice grilled quail and the house banh xeo, a traditional Vietnamese rice crepe, served here with pork belly and squid.

La Ca Bar, Tacoma.
La Ca Bar/Yelp

Pho King

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This cozy Hilltop dive caters to college students and locals alike, and the evenings hours are bright and bustling. Beef, chicken, and vegetable broth are available. Pho dac biet comes with big, frilly ribbons of tripe and sizable hunks of collagen-rich tendon.

Pho King, Tacoma.
Neal E./Yelp

Pho Bac Cafe

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This longstanding Hilltop cafe has been serving pho in its tiny, sparse space since 1986. Diners can choose from beef, chicken, or seafood as well as limited sides, including salad rolls and egg rolls.

Pho Bac Cafe, Tacoma.
Alekkz H./Yelp

Pho Dragon

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Lincoln District’s Pho Dragon offers all of the classics in a snug, well-lit dining room with a deli-counter-meets-pool-hall vibe. The menu also features pho with meatball and shrimp and some harder-to-find Vietnamese offerings like thinly sliced smoked veal, a salad of chicken feet, cabbage, and ginger, and spicy bun bo hue, which comes with dark, velvety hunks of congealed pork blood and generous cross-sections of hock.

Pho Dragon, Tacoma.
Lyna Phan for Pho Dragon/Official

Vien Dong Restaurant

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A Lincoln District institution, Vien Dong is recognizable by its corner lot and angled brick facade set with floor-to-ceiling windows. For almost 30 years, this local establishment has offered huge portions of Vietnamese standbys like rich beef-broth pho, vermicelli noodle bowls, and lemongrass barbecue beef with broken rice. The weekday lunch hour is hopping, and no wonder: A large pho is twice the size of an adult’s head and not much pricier than a cup of coffee.

vien dong fb
Vien Dong, Tacoma.
Vien Dong/FB

Lele East and West

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Newcomers shouldn’t be put off by the restaurant’s mall-adjacent real estate: This South Tacoma dining hall serves up beef pho with a light, delicate broth in a spacious, attractive venue with a live-edge bar and banquet-style tables, ideal for larger parties. Non-pho favorites include the green papaya salad and a crisp roasted duck served with tangy house-made fish sauce.

Lele East and West, Tacoma.
Lele/Official

The three brothers who founded I5pho in 2017 are clear on the importance of a good meal: Their stated mission is to provide the food their mother cooked for them to “all who need a bit of love, warmth, and nourishment.” If that doesn’t win out over sitting in traffic on the interstate highway for which the restaurant is named, nothing will. Signature dishes are the traditional beef pho, a banh mi dip with a side of pho broth, and caramelized fish sauce chicken wings.

I5 Pho, Tacoma
I5 Pho/FB

Thuy's Pho

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This small neighborhood cafe in Larchmont prepares fresh, locally sourced ingredients daily in the traditional Vietnamese style. Chicken, vegetarian, and seafood options are available, but the oxtail pho takes center stage.

Thuy’s Pho, Tacoma.
Thuy’s Pho/FB

La Cà Bar

La Ca Bar, Tacoma.
La Ca Bar/Yelp

The Vietnamese street-food trend comes to 6th Ave. with this stylish two-story eatery, open since December 2017. Downstairs there’s a mix of exposed brick, rustic wooden benches, and Edison bulbs, upstairs features a full bar with a more modern aesthetic, and the kitchen fires until midnight during the week and 2 a.m. on weekends to satisfy the late-night set. Beef, chicken, and vegetarian pho are offered alongside five-spice grilled quail and the house banh xeo, a traditional Vietnamese rice crepe, served here with pork belly and squid.

La Ca Bar, Tacoma.
La Ca Bar/Yelp

Pho King

Pho King, Tacoma.
Neal E./Yelp

This cozy Hilltop dive caters to college students and locals alike, and the evenings hours are bright and bustling. Beef, chicken, and vegetable broth are available. Pho dac biet comes with big, frilly ribbons of tripe and sizable hunks of collagen-rich tendon.

Pho King, Tacoma.
Neal E./Yelp

Pho Bac Cafe

Pho Bac Cafe, Tacoma.
Alekkz H./Yelp

This longstanding Hilltop cafe has been serving pho in its tiny, sparse space since 1986. Diners can choose from beef, chicken, or seafood as well as limited sides, including salad rolls and egg rolls.

Pho Bac Cafe, Tacoma.
Alekkz H./Yelp

Pho Dragon

Pho Dragon, Tacoma.
Lyna Phan for Pho Dragon/Official

Lincoln District’s Pho Dragon offers all of the classics in a snug, well-lit dining room with a deli-counter-meets-pool-hall vibe. The menu also features pho with meatball and shrimp and some harder-to-find Vietnamese offerings like thinly sliced smoked veal, a salad of chicken feet, cabbage, and ginger, and spicy bun bo hue, which comes with dark, velvety hunks of congealed pork blood and generous cross-sections of hock.

Pho Dragon, Tacoma.
Lyna Phan for Pho Dragon/Official

Vien Dong Restaurant

vien dong fb
Vien Dong, Tacoma.
Vien Dong/FB

A Lincoln District institution, Vien Dong is recognizable by its corner lot and angled brick facade set with floor-to-ceiling windows. For almost 30 years, this local establishment has offered huge portions of Vietnamese standbys like rich beef-broth pho, vermicelli noodle bowls, and lemongrass barbecue beef with broken rice. The weekday lunch hour is hopping, and no wonder: A large pho is twice the size of an adult’s head and not much pricier than a cup of coffee.

vien dong fb
Vien Dong, Tacoma.
Vien Dong/FB

Lele East and West

Lele East and West, Tacoma.
Lele/Official

Newcomers shouldn’t be put off by the restaurant’s mall-adjacent real estate: This South Tacoma dining hall serves up beef pho with a light, delicate broth in a spacious, attractive venue with a live-edge bar and banquet-style tables, ideal for larger parties. Non-pho favorites include the green papaya salad and a crisp roasted duck served with tangy house-made fish sauce.

Lele East and West, Tacoma.
Lele/Official

I5 Pho

I5 Pho, Tacoma
I5 Pho/FB

The three brothers who founded I5pho in 2017 are clear on the importance of a good meal: Their stated mission is to provide the food their mother cooked for them to “all who need a bit of love, warmth, and nourishment.” If that doesn’t win out over sitting in traffic on the interstate highway for which the restaurant is named, nothing will. Signature dishes are the traditional beef pho, a banh mi dip with a side of pho broth, and caramelized fish sauce chicken wings.

I5 Pho, Tacoma
I5 Pho/FB

Thuy's Pho

Thuy’s Pho, Tacoma.
Thuy’s Pho/FB

This small neighborhood cafe in Larchmont prepares fresh, locally sourced ingredients daily in the traditional Vietnamese style. Chicken, vegetarian, and seafood options are available, but the oxtail pho takes center stage.

Thuy’s Pho, Tacoma.
Thuy’s Pho/FB

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