Some popular Vietnamese soup dishes include: Pho, Bun Rieu, Bun Bo Hue, and Chao. Pho is the most popular and well known Vietnamese dish. Pho can be made with a chicken or a beef based broth. The proteins associated with Pho are very diverse ranging from tendon, brisket, beef flank, filet mignon, and chicken to name a few. This dish traditionally uses rice noodles.
On the other hand, Bun Rieu's base is a pork bone and tomato broth. Crab/shrimp paste and tofu serve as the protein of this dish. Rice noodles are typically used in this dish and cabbage is used to garnish the soup, giving it a refreshing flavor.
Bun Bo Hue is the spiciest of the list. The soup is made with a chili oil, pork bone, and lemongrass broth and includes beef shank, pig knuckles, oxtail, and pork blood. The noodles used are vermicelli noodles which are thin and firm. Often this dish is garnished with lime, green onions, and cilantro. Bun Bo Hue is often served with fish sauce on the side to complement the meat.
Lastly, Chao is a rice porridge, which has the mildest flavor of the dishes. Sometimes this dish is served with dau chao quay which is a Vietnamese fried bread stick. This dish can have beef, pork, or chicken as the main protein. The soup is often garnished with green onion.
Here are some restaurants that serve these popular dishes (note: numbering does not imply rank).
1. Pho ABC a. Address: 7811 Greenback Ln, Citrus Heights, CA 95610 b. 4/5 stars on yelp
2. Pho Viet
a. Address: 5948 Auburn Blvd, Citrus Heights, CA 95621 b. 4/5 stars on Yelp
3. Pho Bac Hoa Viet a. Address: 3110 Bradshaw Rd, Sacramento, CA 95827 b. 2.5/5 stars on Yelp
4. Pho House
a. Address: 6436 Fair Oaks Blvd, Carmichael, CA 95608
b. 4/5 stars on Yelp
5. Pho Xe Lua a. Address: 5331 Stockton Blvd, Sacramento, CA 9582 b. 4/5 Stars on Yelp