By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published May 07, 2011 at 1:03 PM Photography: Whitney Teska

Vietnam's signature noodle soup has existed for more than 100 years. A North Vietnamese staple with strong French and Chinese influences, the rice noodle dish is typically served with a choice of red meat or tofu, but the best part about pho is personalizing your bowl: each order comes with a wide selection of standard sides, including bean sprouts, lime or lemon wedges, basil, scallions, cilantro and jalapeño slices.

Pho doesn't skimp on options, and Milwaukee has followed suit by playing host to Vietnamese restaurants serving up the hearty soup in all corners of the city. These bowls boast a hearty meal at an affordable price and are perfect for an easy lunch or dinner any day of the week.

222 E. Erie St., Suite 100 (414) 727-9300
The Third Ward gastropub serves $5 bowls of pho noodle soup as a special treat during their Monday night dinner service.

2691 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., (414) 294-0483
Once the royal capital of Vietnam, the city of Hue and its nearby hills are recognized for its spicy, ornate and often labor-intensive mix of flavors. Hue in Bay View's pho comes with bean sprouts, mint, jalapeno and lime, with hoison, soy and Siracha sauces provided on the tables. Choices come in a homemade beef broth or a mushroom-based vegetarian version served with tofu and vegetables.

Mekong Cafe
5930 W. North Ave., (414) 257-2228
If you appreciate variety, you're in luck. In addition to a quality pho, Mekong features a huge selection of authentic dishes from Thai, Laotian and Vietnamese cuisines. The restaurant also takes a unique Eastern take on Wisconsin's own staple food, the fish fry. 

Miss Saigon Vietnamese Restaurant
9201 W. Center St., Wauwatosa, (414) 258-8889

Wauwatosa's newest restaurant dishes up a wide range of affordable Vietnamese entrees, including a mean Pho do bien (seafood noodle soup) and other Pho varieties.

Phan's Garden
1923 W. National Ave., (414) 384-4522

From attentive service to a charming interior and straight on to tasty dishes, Phan's Garden has a lot to offer. Located on Milwaukee's near-South Side, diners can expect a quality bowl of pho at an affordable price.

Pho 27
4756 S. 27th St., (414) 282-9990
The chefs at Pho 27 have over 20 years of experience dishing up their restaurant's namesake. The rich, spicy broth is accented with ginger, cloves, star anise and cinnamon, and each helping comes with the classic customizable array of sides. New in 2011, diners can savor their soup (and other great Vietnamese dishes) outside on the patio.

Pho 43
2155 Miller Park Way, (414) 383-2425
Pho 43 offers a medium-sized menu, but the obvious star here in the pho. Choose from 10 different varieties of the traditional soup with meatballs, sliced eye round steak, well-done brisket, beef tripe, chicken or shrimp, or go vegetarian with a vegetable broth base, tofu and vegetables.

Pho Hai Tuyet
3881 S. 27th St., (414) 282-8041
Open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Pho Hai Tuyet is a reliable pho locale for dining room or take-out Vietnamese cuisine. 

Pho Viet
5475 S. 27th St., (414) 282-8852

The pho at this straightforward Vietnamese food spot comes in two sizes for diners looking for more variety than the many add-ins offered with your order, but you'll be hard pressed to finish a fully loaded large bowl solo.

Thai Bangkok
9112 W. Brown Deer Road, (414) 362-0189

This Brown Deer-area restaurant is a small but quality family-run spot for pho. Diners can expect friendly service, a savory bowl of soup and a minimal hit on their wallets.

Vientiane Noodle Shop
3422 W. National Ave., (414) 672-8440

Another winning Silver City restaurant, Vientiane packs a great selection of authentic ingredients to customize your pho, plus a friendly and knowledgeable staff. 

West Bank Cafe
732 E. Burleigh St., (414) 562-5555

This Riverwest Asian restaurant is a pho dining staple. Not only does the dish itself impress, but the cozy and casual environment lends itself to a leisurely eating experience.