As a freshman in college, I went with a friend to a Vietnamese club meeting. At the meeting, they served enormous, steaming bowls of pho. After that fateful day, I was hooked. That was four years ago, and since then, I've hopped from place to place trying to find the best bowl of pho. As difficult of a decision as it is, I want to introduce Taste Pho & Noodle House, the tastiest pho in Gainesville.

The Layout

Darya Molibog

Sitting on the corner of 34th and Archer, Taste Pho & Noodle House is smaller on the inside than it seems on the outside.  On both sides of the entryway are small trees with little fruits hanging off them: calamansi (similar to kumquats). There's a large outside seating area as well - the perfect place to slurp up a steaming bowl of pho on a chilly day. 

Although my personal favorite is the pho dac biet, the Taste Pho & Noodle House menu is eight pages long, with over 100 food and drink options. While this menu can be daunting, you really can't go wrong. Order a milk tea, a plate of kimchi, an enormous helping of pho, and waddle home swearing you'll never eat again. Then come back the next day.

The Right Way to Do Pho

Darya Molibog

For those unfamiliar with pho, it's a rice noodle soup made with bone-beef broth, typically served with beef. Served on a small side plate are bean sprouts and herbs that you can use to customize your soup. My favorite way to customize pho is first and foremost to dump the herbs into the bowl. After that, I add the bean sprouts (for texture) and jalapeños (be sure to remove the seeds if you're sensitive to spicy food). Finally, squeeze a slice of lime into your soup for the best pho experience.

After the soup is perfectly garnished, it's time to make a fool of yourself. Outside of Taste Pho & Noodle House, in full view of everyone in the parking lot, lean your head over your bowl and slurp up your noodles. Unless you are a chopstick aficionado (and I most certainly am not), there is no proper way to experience pho without needing a napkin.

Probably the biggest challenge to the pho experience is finishing your bowl. I have no idea how much food in cups or pounds is in that bowl, but the portions at Taste Pho & Noodle House are ENORMOUS. But pho is never as good out of the microwave, so I always push myself to finish what's put in front of me. After you are full and content, you'll know it was worth it.

Go to Taste Pho & Noodle House NOW!

Out of all the places for pho in Gainesville, I highly suggest Taste Pho & Noodle House. This small restaurant has a nice selection of pho options and plenty of options for those who aren't in the mood for pho (if there is such a mood). Plus, the cute outside seating area really ties the experience together. I'm so excited for Florida to get a little chillier for a prime pho experience. Let's get pho-cked up!