Pho Mai Cali & Grill
San Diego's Premiere Vietnamese Cuisine
Pho Mai Special
"When you drink the water, remember the spring"
Our Story Begins In The East
The history of Pho began in Nam Dinh province in northern Vietnam, around the time the French colonised the country in the late 1880s. It is believed the word Pho is a Vietnamese adaptation of the French soup pot au feu, which the French brought to Vietnam. The northern Vietnamese took the beef parts and bones that their French conquerors didn’t want for their dishes, and it’s widely believed that this is how Pho of the north, called ‘Pho Bac’, came to be.
In 1954, the country was divided into North and South Vietnam. To avoid Communism, many northerners migrated southward, bringing their Pho culture with them. As the dish moved south, cooks infused it with additional ingredients until it evolved into the Southern style known as Pho Nam today. After the Fall of Saigon, masses of Vietnamese people fled the country, taking their Southern-style Pho to all corners of the world.
As time went on, an evolution of Pho occurred outside Vietnam. Although the basic ingredients were retained, Pho recipes were adapted to suit whatever ingredients were available locally, such as seafood and pork, though these cannot be considered Pho in the strict traditional sense.