[Highly Recommend] Pho Ban Mai

Time for another San Diego food post! To mix things up, we decided to review a restaurant that’s good for a casual weeknight dinner.

Pho Ban Mai
8991 Mira Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA 92126
(858) 271-7199

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One could say that we live in the part of town where there is a pho restaurant on every other block. It can sometimes lead to decision paralysis when there is such a plethora of choices. However, ever since I came here for the first time few years ago, Pho Ban Mai has slowly become my go-to for some classic Vietnamese beef noodle soup. It checks all the boxes and I really can’t find much to complain about this place. The food is good and conveniently close by, making it a perfect spot for a quick and inexpensive weeknight dinner.

What we usually like to order:

  • Pho [obviously] – Beef noodle soup: rich broth with rice noodle and beef. You can customize the type of beef that goes in your soup. If you don’t know what to order, most pho restaurants have a house special that includes everything. Tiffany’s default order is pho with well-done steak.
  • Bun – Dry vermicelli noodles served with vegetables and various meats and dipping sauce. A more refreshing option compared to the heavier noodle soup, especially on a hot summer day. Vermicelli with bbq chicken and egg rolls is my personal favorite.
  • Egg rolls – Comes with lettuce and dipping sauce. Wrapping the egg rolls in lettuce gives it some extra texture.
  • Pork paste spring rolls -I don’t usually see this dish at other pho restaurants, so it sets this place apart for us. Pork sausage, vegetables, vermicelli, and what I think is a tiny egg roll wrapper in rice paper. That crunch in the middle really makes the dish.

Another thing I appreciate about this place is the variety. I noticed Pho Ban Mai seems to have many other rice and meat dishes than most other pho restaurants, and they occasionally have interesting specials they’ll recommend. Once in a while I’ll be adventurous and order new items and I’m usually not disappointed.

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Tips:

  • Sometimes it can get crowded at dinnertime, but the wait is typically only around 15-20 minutes.
  • Great place for bigger groups, since there’s parking aplenty, and a number of large tables.