During the winter months, Columbus diners turn to warm soups for relief. I mean, hot soup has is healing to both the body and soul, right? Instead of turning to the traditional chicken noodle soup, you should track down some of Columbus’ Vietnamese and Japanese eateries for pho or ramen. Let’s taste some of Columbus’ best – six ramen and six pho.
Pho #1: Lan Viet. This North Market stall serves up hot and fragrant pho to downtown workers and convention-goers. It’s hard to beat a bowl of pho and some summer rolls while sitting upstairs in the market.
Ramen #1: Meshikou. As a relative newcomer, Meshikou has quickly staked its territory in the ramen game. It’s hard to go wrong on their menu, but the shio chintan with chicken broth and the shoyu tonkotsu with pork belly and fish cake are real stand-outs.
Pho #2: Huong Vietnamese Restaurant. Considered by many to be the best pho in the city (although it’s got stiff competition), Huong’s pho is incredibly rich while still remaining delicate. You can order pho to-go as well; they’ll pack the broth separately from the noodles, meat, and veggies.
Ramen #2: Rishi Sushi Kitchen & Bar. The name may say ‘sushi,’ but the ramen is still a major feature at Rishi downtown. The lunch menu features pre-arranged ramen bowls with chicken, pork, steak, seafood, and veggies, but the dinner menu allows you to craft your own using their house-made broths, garnished with your choice of proteins, veggies, and extras like hard-boiled eggs, kimchi, and shitake mushrooms.
Pho #3: MiLi Cafe. Mili serves a killer bahn mi sandwich and simple but loveable bowls of chicken and pork pho. They’re amazingly fragrant when mixed with fresh sprouts and herbs.
Ramen #3: Mashita Noodles. Mashita owner John Franke has taken his operations mobile to the Meatbar during lunch and at Double Happiness during select evenings. He lets customers build their own ramen bowls or opt for his specialty bowl with miso broth, ground pork, and kimchi.
Pho #4: Buckeye Pho. True to its name, Buckeye Pho is located fairly close to Ohio State’s campus, where students can warm up with steaming hot bowls of pho packed with steak, meatballs, and even tripe. Buckeye Pho has also become a favorite among vegetarians, with their completely meat-free bowls (ask for a vegetarian menu.)
Ramen #4: Edamame Sushi & Grill. Edamame treats Easton diners to rich bowls of ramen – a chance to warm their toes while shopping! Each bowl begins with a creamy chicken broth, scallions, mushrooms, bean sprouts, and half a hard-boiled egg. From there diners can choose from garlicky shio ramen, savory shoyu ramen, the marinated pork chashu ramen, and more.
Pho #5: Pho Asian Noodle House & Grill. Over on Lane Avenue, Pho Asian Noodle rocks out great bowls of pho, from the pho dac biet that combines beef flank and tendon meatballs, to the pho ga with steamed chicken breast, fresh basil, and sprouts.
Ramen #5: Tensuke Express. Located inside the Tensuke Market, the Express serves up bowls with udon or soba noodles loaded with vegetables, spicy tempura shrimp, chicken teriyaki, and pork cutlets.
Pho #6: Indochine Cafe. Indochine brings the flavors of Vietnam and Laos to Whitehall. Their pho is a favorite of many, and if you want to take that love to a whole new level, you can take the Pho Challenge. You have one hour to eat the equivalent of nine bowls of pho!
Ramen #6: Ba Sho. Ba Sho rotates between a couple types of ramen, between the soy sauce-based shoyu ramen and the soy bean paste-laden miso ramen. In the summer they also offer the cold hiyashi chukka, served chilled with ham, egg, and veggies.
There you have it: six Columbus ramen and six Columbus pho. The real winner in this contest? You. Because you get to warm up with delicious hot soup.