Photo by Roberto Rodriguez

Pho Long

A decade after Pho Long opened, it remains my favorite spot for the traditional Vietnamese beef-noodle soup, both beefier and more complexly aromatic than any other in town. (Which does actually mean something: There are more than a few good bowls of pho in St. Louis.) A decade after Pho Long opened, however, few restaurants have followed its model of focusing on one or a few dishes within a larger tradition, a model that I thought would be Pho Long’s legacy. It still can be. Pho Long’s continued success — show up in the middle of the lunch rush and expect to wait — shows the wisdom of trusting St. Louis diners to be curious enough to learn about a specific dish and how to appreciate its range of quality and possibilities.

Opened: 2006

Must order: Pho ($7.95-$11.95)