Cheap Eats 2016: Pho 88

Extra-Cheap Good for Carryout No Alcohol

If you haven’t eaten a lot of pho, the broth in a bowl of the Vietnamese soup might appear to be not so different from place to place. It’s a subtle thing, but take a closer taste and you’ll see that some broths are watery or thinly extracted, some are strong with hits of cinnamon and star anise, some are almost consommé-like in their lightness. This one’s rich—the most fortified and full-bodied we’ve come across, testament both to the quality of the oxtails that give up their flavor and fat and to the care of the kitchen in tending the elixir over the many hours it takes to simmer on the stove. It’s an addicting bowl, no matter what meats, garnishes, or condiments you customize it with.

Also good: Pho with gau (fatty brisket) and gan (tendon); pho with chin (well-done steak) and nam (flank).

See what other restaurants made our 2016 Cheap Eats list. This article appears in our May 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.