PHO! Yummy, steamy, noodly, Vietnamese-y, beefy-brothy, spicy bowls of hot, hot goodness! PHO! How could such simple ingredients as mint, basil, lemon or lime, bean sprouts, and chili peppers combine in such perfect unity? PHO! Sip it for what ails you. Slurp it to fill your gut. It's both light and filling, and ever so cheap to boot. It's the perfect food... because it's PHO!

Thanh Long

635 SW College

College kids aren't the only ones in need of a hefty portion for a not-so-hefty price. Get in on the PSU territory (without actually setting foot on campus) and hit Thanh Long, which serves huge portions of steaming, delicious pho, as well as a small but tasty selection of appetizers. Plus, Thanh Long also features a bakery, so you can explore the Vietnamese take on dough treats in a sack to take home, or as an addendum to your meal. (Assuming you have the tremendous capacity it would require not to get filled up entirely on the soup, of course.) MARJORIE SKINNER

Pho Hung

4717 SE Powell, 7330 NE Fremont

Arguably the best all-around place for pho in Portland, Pho Hung carries on tradition, with hefty portions for cheap—even cheaper than most other local options, at about $5 a bowl. It's also one of the more authentic restaurants, a trait carried out in the entire menu, which besides boasting a wide selection of beef noodle soups, offers rice and noodle bowls, and a huge selection of exotic drinks from bubble teas to Vietnamese coffee to avocado shakes. One thing on the menu that has been Americanized are the egg rolls, which are kind of greasy, but still yummy as hell. My only real complaint is that Pho Hung doesn't have beer, and nothing goes better with a hot bowl of pho than a bottle of cold Vietnamese brew. MS

Pho Jasmine

714 N Killingsworth

Sporting a fresh remodel, a rotating gallery-like installment of local "outsider" art, and located far from most of the other quality pho places, Pho Jasmine has evolved into more than just a divey little joint to grab some takeout. It's literally the place to go for pho in NoPo. Their pho is classic, made with thin slices of lean beef bathing in a tasty broth sufficiently infused with coriander and other savory secrets. They also make a much-needed vegetarian version, which is packed with fresh vegetables and up to three different types (tofu cubes, fried tofu cutlets, and seitan) of protein. Add this to a selection of excellent seafood dishes, imaginative specials, and genuinely friendly service and you really can't go wrong. LANCE CHESS

Pho Ton

35 NW 3rd

Denizens of Portland's downtown clubs and apartment buildings alike are saved from the usual junk-food-only options of late-night dining by places like Pho Ton. Bypass the greasy bar options and head to this pho shop, which stays open until 4 am on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, when your immediate options are probably dominated by donuts and other items that have seen the business end of a deep fryer. What more pleasant way to soak up the alcohol of a good night's carousing than with some warming noodle soup? And while the sprouts may not be the crispest in town, and the prices a buck or two higher than you might find on Sandy or 82nd, just try and convince me you're going to give a shit after last call at the Shanghai Tunnel. MS

Pho Van

1012 NW Glisan, 3404 SE Hawthorne, 1919 SE 82nd, 11651 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy

Pho Vans have been steadily multiplying over the years, with each location's vibe (quite logically) reflective of the neighborhood it resides in. The Pho Van in the Pearl District, for instance, has a swankier vibe, particularly during the dinner hour, where the beef noodle soup that's represented in the restaurant's name isn't even on the menu. You can still request it (although your only choice is between chicken and beef), and it's a staple of their lunchtime offerings, but it's deemphasized in favor of other delectable and exotic Vietnamese dishes—which are notably more spendy than your everyday friendly bowl of pho. Recently Citysearch listed them on their profile as "closed" which they perhaps confused with "open," as in Pho Van has opened its newest location, on Hawthorne, where there was formerly a dearth of pho availability. MS