There are times when I get a sudden pang inside followed by an urge. The message floats to my brain, ” I need Pho from Tank Noodle Restaurant.”

Vietnamese food was an entirely new experience to me when I moved to Chicago over a decade ago. My worldly friend Josh introduced us to Argyle street, which is lined with Vietnamese eateries, bakers, grocery stores and butchers. As I mentioned just a few posts ago, it is like a world travel experience, just over a mile from my home.

I find the flavors of Vietnamese food intoxicating: thai basil, cilantro, lime, savory dipping sauces, pickled radish, marinated meats and perfectly flavored broth. It is comfort food of an ilk quite far from my childhood favorites but equally as satisfying. In my book, a bowl of Pho (the traditional beef and noodle soup) trumps chicken noodle to cure all ills.

Tank Noodle Restaurant is our standby when we need to scratch our itch for Vietnamese food. It is casual, fast and family-friendly with an extensive menu. (For a bit of a fancier Vietnamese dining experience, try Hai Yen) At busy times, you might have to wait for a table at Tank Noodle but it moves fast. Once seated, don’t attempt to wait for your own server. They have a unique system where everyone seems to serve everyone. Just wave someone down and order up your feast.

Though everything I have tasted at Tank Noodle is good, I would highly suggested the Self Wrap Grilled Beefs, Shrimps (#16) appetizer and I have read that the Vietnamese Sizzling Crepe (#12) is delicious. I like to look around at what the many Vietnamese guests are eating and try to follow suit. There are over a dozen varieties of Pho. I usually order the one with all the grizzly bits and parts like tripe and tendon. The more faint of heart can stick to flank steak and meatballs.

For first timers, it will be a learning experience figuring out how to eat the soup. Just watch those around you. Tear off a few leaves from your beautiful plate of greens, sprinkle on some bean sprouts, give the soup a squeeze of lime. Consider some hot sauce and then grab your chopsticks in one hand and the flat-bottomed spoon in the other. Lean your head over the bowl and inhale the therapeutic vapors.  Dig in.

4953 N Broadway
(between Argyle St & Ainslie St)
Chicago, IL 60640
Neighborhood: Uptown
(773) 878-2253

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10 Responses to “Tank Noodle Restaurant”

  1. Anna Says:

    mmm…I love pho and I agree, Tank is fantastic. I never leave that area without popping into one of the grocery stores and I swear the people at checkout think I’m nuts because I buy every random item I can find. One time I found a bag of what I’m calling devil’s chestnuts (they have a dark brown leathery skin of a regular chestnut, but are shaped like the head of a bull complete with horns) and the woman at the checkout asked me what I was going to do with them. I said that I didn’t know and asked for a suggestion and she just shrugged and said that I was the first person she’s ever seen who bought them.

  2. Dana Says:

    Oh pho. So good. Our favorite local place for pho is called Pho Mama’s (hahaha) and it looks like I need to make a trip now that I’ve been reminded that we haven’t been there in a while. :)

  3. krystal Says:

    Agreed on Pho being the cure all! For years every time a friend has gotten sick I invariably suggest chicken pho and echinacea. Here in Tucson the best pho is Pho 88 on Campbell, they make it just right!

  4. stresscake Says:

    You get the gristly bits?!?! I never knew that! Can’t quite muster up the courage to order the one with bull penis though. And that sizzling crepe is delish. OK, if I ever get free you and I got a lunch date. And you know, Sun Wah is just down the street …

  5. Neil Butterfield Says:

    The self wrap beef grilled beef sounds awesome, I love the pic of apple pie on this page :-)

  6. michelle lee Says:

    i live in an area with no vietnamese restaurants – that being said i have my mommy to make it for me !! so one of my friends asked if she would makes us next weekend i am having a party where my mom is making pho , eggrolls and Gỏi cuốn. i am going to try and write down recipes and how she does it but she does everything from memory with no mesauring :( banh xeo is the sizzling crepe and it is my favorite dish … you should diffently try it .

  7. lmcgee Says:

    You must try Pho 888- it is right next door to Tank. We fell in love with this place after we returned from a trip to Vietnam. It’s the closest thing we could find to the food we had there. Mmmm…I’m drooling.

  8. Stacey Says:

    I love Tank. It’s my favorite place for Pho in Chicago. Recently, Saveur correctly called pho, “Heaven in a bowl”.

  9. Suzette Says:

    Thanks for the review! I’m with you – even if I’m feeling just a little under the weather, I love a bowl of pho. Delicious and comforting. If I’m ever in Chicage, I’ll have to try Tank.

  10. Coleman Says:

    Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t
    show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all
    that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say great blog!

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