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Sunday, May 19, 2024
HomeNew YorkNew YorkWorst Pho NYC, Worldwide

Worst Pho NYC, Worldwide

Mama Pho NYC is part of the TPOL in NYC Trip Report.

I was reluctant to go to Mama Pho NYC because I had a bad experience at another pho joint called Mama Pho (see Mama Pho Warsaw? More Like Mama Huhu). But since it was the closest result after Googling ‘pho near me,’ I gave it a chance.

a store front with a sign on the window

I thought the worst pho in the world was in Darwin, Australia (see Pho Darwin: Worst in the World). That is no longer the case. Here’s why:

Star Anise

According to, star anise is a key pho spice. It adds a slightly bittersweet and licorice-like aroma and taste to pho broth. At Mama Pho, the chef must believe that star anise should be the dominant spice. It was all I could taste. While I love Sambuca, I don’t want an extra large bowl of it.a bowl of soup with vegetables and meat a bowl of soup with sprouts and vegetables


What rhymes with anise? The answer is grease. And that’s what this bowl was, a big bucket of grease.a bowl of soup with noodles and greens


The beef was dry and old. It looked like it had sat out for too long.a bowl of soup with meat and vegetables


What lazy person cut these onions? Huge pieces everywhere in all shapes and sizes.a bowl of soup with a spoon and sauce on a tray

Summer Rolls

The summer rolls came out after the pho. I hoped that it would be a good dessert. It was not. Like the beef in the pho, the shrimp was stale.a plate of food on a table a shrimp wrapped in rice paper

Large Bowl

I always order a large bowl and I usually finish it. Here, I was given a medium bowl by mistake. That was fine with me because I had no intention of drinking the broth. Unfortunately, the employee realized he gave me the wrong size and brought me a supplemental bowl. Like when I was in Darwin, I didn’t want to be rude but I also didn’t want to eat it. Unlike Darwin, I didn’t send it back. I forced myself to have a few spoons before giving up.a bowl of soup with noodles and meat


a bowl of soup with sauce and sauce in the background
Don’t be fooled by the great photo.

This is the worst pho place in the world.











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