The other day, someone asked me where I thought the best pho in Denver was, and I was embarrassed to say I wasn’t sure. I usually go to Pho-natic on Colfax because it’s so close to my house (and it has pretty good pho, too). I usually don’t drive very far to get pho — but I took it upon myself as my mission to find some of the best pho in Denver for my friend!
Just in case you’re curious about why most pho places have a number in their name (like I was), here’s some backstory: in Vietnamese culture, lucky numbers are a huge deal. So many pho places have incorporated numbers into their names — often symbolizing the year the owner moved to America, their street number, a special date in their lives, etc. Denver’s Pho 95 happens to represent its owner having come here in 1995.
Anyway, back to the food. I loved the pho here. I happened to get the filet mignon pho, and if that doesn’t sound F’in delicious, I don’t know what does. I also got some tendon on the side, as I always do, because you need some fatty meat to go with the lean. Trust me on that.
My favorite thing is that they don’t skimp on the meat. I mean honestly, no one is here for the noodles (although theirs were light and delicious). I’m here for some delicious meat and meat broth. And the broth is super flavorful and the meat is tender and plentiful. I barely even ate the noodles, and I almost couldn’t finish all the meat in my bowl (I got a medium). Priorities.
Just a short bit on how to eat pho:
I feel like I’ve eaten pho the “wrong” way for most of my life. And that’s fine. But just in case you’re curious:
- First, try the broth — and if it’s not flavorful enough, add some fish sauce (or other sauce)
- Add your basil, sprouts, jalapeños, lime and any other herbs or additions you want
- Pour some sauce into your mini side dish (usually 50/50 hoisin and Sriracha)
- If you’re right-handed, hold your chopsticks in your right hand, and your spoon in your left
- Dip your meat (or chopstick-full of food) into the side dish of sauce before you eat it — this is the part I always missed
- Use your spoon to drink the broth — or it’s also ok to use your hands to pick up the whole bowl and drink from it towards the end if you want