100 Favorite Dishes: No. 47, Pho Ga at Pho Ga Dakao

Pho Ga photo.jpg
​This year leading up to our annual Best of Houston issue, we're counting down our 100 favorite dishes in Houston. This list comprises our favorite dishes from the last year, dishes that are essential to Houston's cultural landscape and/or dishes that any visitor (or resident) should try at least once.

By now, most Houstonians have [hopefully] gained a passing familiarity with pho, that beef-based noodle soup with tender slices of fatty brisket intertwining with fat mint leaves and tendrils of cilantro. Perhaps some fancy themselves pho connoisseurs, sniffing out their favorite anise-laced or cinnamon-spiced broths throughout the city. But pho ga represents new pho territory, territory that's easily accessible to both connoisseurs and newbies alike.

At Pho Ga Dakao, the restaurant's specialty -- as the name would imply -- is pho ga, or chicken pho. It's completely like and nothing like the chicken soup Americans grew up on, both familiar and exotic at the same time.

Like beef pho, chicken pho is made by boiling chicken bones and other assorted parts for hours on end to form a rich, fatty stock. To that, Pho Ga Dakao adds meat -- light or dark, your choice -- as well as buttery chicken skin and even organ meat if you're feeling adventurous. Chicken hearts and gizzards give the soup a complexity and tangy bite, but it's just as good with plain old breast meat too. Doctor it up with lime juice, cilantro, mint or Sriracha to your liking, and you're left with a bowl of chicken soup that's as good for a cold as it is for enjoying on its own, rich, chicken-y merits.

The list so far:

No. 100: Dumplings at Heights Asian Cafe
No. 99: Mixta Pizza at Friends Pizzeria
No. 98: Veggie tacos from Radical Eats
No. 97: Bean pie from Conscious Cafe
No. 96: Swiss chard crepes from Giacomo's Cibo e Vino
No. 95: Eggs Mia Bella at Mia Bella
No. 94: Mulligatawny soup at the Queen Vic
No. 93: Helado de Lúcuma from Pollo Bravo
No. 92: Black bean burger from Natachee's
No. 91: Chupacabra pizza from ERA
No. 90: Roast chicken from El Norteño
No. 89: Eggs El Salvador from Brasil
No. 88: Frank the Pretzel from Eatsie Boys
No. 87: Caldo Tlalpeño from Tacos del Julio
No. 86: English pea soup at Brasserie 19
No. 85: Falafel from Zabak's
No. 84: Buttermilk-fried pork loin with fried eggs at Canopy
No. 83: Grillades and grits from BB's Cajun Cafe
No. 82: Haemul dolsot from Seoul House
No. 81: Pandan waffles at Parisian Bakery III
No. 80: Pita bread and hummus at Phoenicia
No. 79: Goat pepper soup at Peppersoup Cafe
No. 78: Melon and Texas feta salad from Beaver's
No. 77: Hot Italian beef from BB's Beef & Hot Dog
No. 76: Bacon-avocado burger from Facundo Cafe
No. 75: Pancakes from Fountain View Cafe
No. 74: Hobnobs from Fluff Bake Bar
No. 73: Chu chee eggplant from Nidda Thai
No. 72: Sausage sampler from King's Biergarten
No. 71: Shawarma from Abdallah's
No. 70: Moules-frite at the Broken Spoke
No. 69: Hong Kong-style French toast at House of Bowls
No. 68: Sashimi sampler at Sushi Miyagi
No. 67: Baleadas from Honduras Mayan
No. 66: Snow ice from Star Snow Ice & Teriyaki
No. 65: Boudin balls from MerCheri's
No. 64: Miso ramen at Umai
No. 63: Grim burger at Lankford Grocery
No. 62: Dabeli at Bansuri Indian Food Corner
No. 61: Wine and cupcakes at 13 Celsius
No. 60: Pâté de France from Spec's
No. 59: Steak and eggs from Ninfa's on Navigation
No. 58: Breakfast pita at Niko Niko's
No. 57: Vegan curry at Cafe TH
No. 56: Samosas at Shiv Sagar
No. 55: Ceviche at Latin Bites Cafe
No. 54: Wicked Philly at Pappa Geno's
No. 53: Pork chop at Perry's Steakhouse
No. 52: Soft-shell crab at Pico's Mex-Mex
No. 51: Sno-balls at MAM's House of Ice
No. 50: Whole catfish at Saigon Pagolac
No. 49: Nova fish box at New York Bagel & Coffee Shop
No. 48: Sojok mana'eesh at Cedars Bakery



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Location Info

Pho Ga Dakao

11778 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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4 comments
Sbarker
Sbarker

fingers crossed you'll go to freebirds!

Ahandal
Ahandal

My favorite dish in Houston! Also some of the highest quality chicken you will find anywhere!

Christine Ha
Christine Ha

I actually prefer pho ga to pho bo (beef) most of the time--it just feels lighter.

Foster Janet
Foster Janet

One thought after reading list as of now....isn't it fantastic how most of the list is ethnic in nature.  What a wonderful smorgasbord of food we have here in Houston

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