By Nick Dekker
Posted On: Nov 9, 2020
When the weather turns colder, nothing beats a hot, steaming bowl of soup, loaded with meats, veggies, noodles and fragrant spices. Fortunately for Ohioians, stellar shops serving Vietnamese pho and Japanese ramen dot the entire state. Here's a collection of favorites from across the state.
Note: Check directly with places before your visit to stay up to date on all safety precautions and learn more about the guidelines surrounding COVID-19.
It's Pho Real
Superior Pho in Cleveland
Superior Pho is a long-running city-wide favorite, a hidden gem in a simple strip mall area east of downtown. The décor is no frills, but that's because the focus is clearly on the complex bowls of pho, ladled with thin-sliced meats and mountains of veggies.
Huong Vietnamese in Columbus
Speaking of hidden gems, Huong Vietnamese on Columbus' northeast side is another family-run favorite. Its beef broth pho is among the city’s best. It's also available in varieties with rare steak, chicken, beef meatballs, well-done flank, tendon, tripe, fish, and shrimp.
Pho Viet Nam in Toledo
This simple but welcoming Vietnamese spot is tucked into a red brick home on Upton Avenue. This is the place for rich and dynamic bowls of pho, generously seasoned, mounded with vegetables, and topped with rare steak, brisket, shrimp and other proteins.
Pho96 in West Chester
The casual Pho96 in West Chester focuses on counter service, with bright digital menus showcasing its creative pho selection. Bowls can be ordered in regular, giant, or kid sizes, with chicken- or beef-based broths, and a collection of vegetables, seafood, brisket, eye round or flank steak.
Rocking the Ramen
Speakeasy Ramen in Springfield
The name says it all: Speakeasy Ramen feels like a secret, a hidden gem tucked in a residential Springfield neighborhood. The local dive bar serves colorful and complex bowls of ramen, absolutely loaded with noodles, proteins, and veggies. Try the Szechuan ramen with house-made Szechuan oil and soft boiled tea brine egg, the classic Tonkotsu, the Thai Curry. There's even a kid's bowl with broth and noodles!
Hoshi Ramen in Fairborn
Hoshi is a relatively new addition to Fairborn's dining scene, but has already made a name for itself with its hearty and creative collection of Japanese dishes. Leading off the menu is its selection of six ramen bowls, from the Tokyo-style chicken-based Shoyu to the spicy seafood with shrimp and calamari. Don't miss the vegetarian ramen with marinated tofu, bamboo shoots, sautéed beansprouts and mushrooms.
Meshikou in Columbus
Find Meshikou tucked into a large strip mall on Columbus' northwest side. The quiet and cozy interior is perfect for savoring one of a dozen different soups on the menu. Try the Shoyu Chintan with clear chicken broth, scallions, mushrooms, greens, marinated soft eggs, bamboo shoots, pork belly or tenderloin. Or the rich and fragrant Spicy Miso Paitan, which delivers a serious kick.
Quan Hapa in Cincinnati
Quan Hapa sits in the heart of Cincinnati's historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, a cozy and comfortable hangout serving a creative fusion of Asian cuisines. Amidst the menu of Korean fried chicken wings, okonomiyaki fries, and Filipino BBQ pork skewers is a selection of ramen. Try the Hapa Ramen or Spicy Ramen, built on a base of 48-hour tonkotsu broth, or the rich and earthy Mushroom Ramen with smoked shitakes and enoki mushrooms.
What's your go-to spot for ramen or pho?