Pho Intelligence from Chinatown

A bright spot on New York’s often-maligned Vietnamese scene is New Tu Do in Chinatown.

Its basic pho, number one on the menu (brisket, navel, flank, tripe, tendon, eye of round), outclasses nearby competitors Nam Son and Cong Ly, says SomeRandomIdiot. bigjeff enjoyed this too—“very very happy with the flavors, the portions,” he writes—but he’s especially high on hu tieu my tho, a soup that appears only on the special menu under the glass that covers the tables. It’s a Chiu Chow–style specialty of sweet, fragrant chicken broth with pork done several ways (sliced, ground, cracklings), quail eggs, a bit of seafood, and glass noodles.

Also recommended: suon nuong (grilled pork chop), crisp cha gio spring rolls, bun nem nuong (rice vermicelli with rich grilled pork meatballs), banh mi carry (curry chicken soup with bread), and a terrific appetizer of rice cake strips fried into a big omelet.

The main thing that’s new about New Tu Do is its address, across the Bowery from the old space where it was known as Pho Tu Do, but there’s a more inviting vibe as well. At the current location, SomeRandomIdiot marvels, “The utensils were clean!”

Two-year-old Xe Lua has also gotten some recent hound love. janethepain pronounces its pho “one of the best I’ve had in Chinatown, if not the best.” cimui singles out the broth: clean-tasting, with sharp flavors, way better than the one at nearby Nha Trang.

New Tu Do [Chinatown]
102 Bowery (between Hester and Grand streets), Manhattan
212-966-2666

Xe Lua [Chinatown]
86 Mulberry Street (between Canal and Bayard streets), Manhattan
212-577-8887

Board Links: Best Manhattan Pho
Xe Lua Vietnamese restaurant