As the cold weather settles in, all I’m craving is a steaming bowl of pho with rich, flavorful beef broth. Lucky for me, the Twin Cities are a pho-lover’s paradise. And in a town chock-full of great Vietnamese restaurants, it’s difficult to name the best, so I won’t go there. What I can say with confidence is that Pho 79 consistently makes one of the most delicious bowls of brothy Vietnamese noodle soup I’ve had, not just in Minnesota, but in the entire country. The casual St. Paul restaurant serves up 19 different variations of its namesake dish, from a simple version with rare lean beef to their signature combo bowl with brisket, tendons, tripe and meatballs. Topped with fresh onions, crunchy bean sprouts, spicy jalapenos and cilantro, it’s a symphony of texture and flavor that I can’t get enough of. I’m also a fan of their seafood pho, a salty, oceanic version of the classic soup with shrimp, fish balls, crab claw, scallops and squid. Beyond pho, the menu has all the traditional Vietnamese dishes I yearn for, like vermicelli noodle salads, broken rice platters with grilled pork chops, fresh spring rolls and banh mi.
2233 Energy Park Drive
St. Paul, MN
Photograph from Pho 79 on Facebook.