These Restaurants Are Pho Real About Punning - Atlas Obscura
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These Restaurants Are Pho Real About Punning

(Photos: Adam Fagen (AW Shucks); Elizabeth Bryson (Crepes of Wrath); Simone Rapa (Moon Wok); Eric Cade (Turnip the Beet); Freddy Fuentes (MoPho); Jeff Barca-Hall (Claire’s Corner Copia); Samer Nashed (The Great Impasta); E. McDanel (Thai One On)).

See our ultimate crowdsourced map of punny businesses in America.

More than any other types of business owner, restaurateurs seem drawn to punny names. Of all the business name puns that Atlas Obscura collected, more were for restaurants than for any other category.

For the most part, these are not upscale restaurants: they’re pizza joints, Chinese restaurants and Mexican spots—the sort of places that serve comfortable, comforting, and somewhat interchangeable food.

What causes customers to choose one Thai restaurant over another? Maybe the pad thai really is that much more delicious at a particular place. Or maybe a clever name can make the difference and help a restaurant stand out from the crowd.

Here’s what our data says about the state of restaurant puns:

45 percent of all restaurant-related pun names submitted to Atlas Obscura were for Asian restaurants.

Vietnamese was by far the most common type of restaurant to have a pun name. The word “Pho” appears in 87 punny restaurant names out of 451 submitted—almost 20 percent of all restaurant names submitted contain a pun on “pho”.

—Pho King is the most common Pho pun.

—After Vietnamese restaurants, Thai restaurants were most represented among the names submitted: Thaiphoon, Thai’d Up, Thai One On were popular puns on Thai.

15 restaurants in our data set were named some variation of Wok ‘N Roll. One went the extra mile by adding a second bit of wordplay: Lettuce Wok n Roll.

Pizza and crepe joint names were also commonly punned upon.

—With 8 restaurant names each, New Orleans (pop. 384,320), Portland (pop. 619,360), and Austin (pop. 912,791) all punch above their weight; Chicago (pop. 2.7 million) has 10.* 

Editor’s picks:

Lord of the Wingz (Burbank, CA)

Burgatory (Pittsburgh, PA)

Miso Harney (Oceanside, CA)

Dew Drop Inn (Honolulu, HI)

Moon Wok (Dallas, TX, and New Orleans, LA)

Naan Stop (Isla Vista, CA)

Viet Nom Nom (Chicago, IL)

C’est Cheese (Morristown, NJ)

Lox Stock & Bagel (Berkeley, CA)

Thai, How Are You (Austin, TX)

Notorious P.I.G. BBQ (Missoula, MT)

Souper Girl (Washington, DC)

Thai-Namite (Milwaukee, WI)

The Wurst Shop in Dickinson (Dickinson, ND)

Given the number of names playing on pho, these deserve their own hall of fame. Here, in no particular order, are our top five:

  • 9021PHO (Beverly Hills, CA—of course)
  • Good Pho You (Lynnwood, WA)
  • Pho Nomenon (Hoboken, NJ)
  • Pho Shizzle (Renton, WA)
  • Un Pho Gettable (Un Pho Gettable)

Here are the other categories:

Coffee shops

Bar/Pubs 

Other (including retail stores, vape shops and lots of yarn stores)

Doctors and Dentists

Food Trucks

Pet Care

Cleaning Businesses/Flower Shops/Portable Bathrooms

Hair/Nail Salons

The full list:

16 Handles
Gaithersburg, MD
3.14 Pizza
Winchester, VA
6-1-Pho
Columbus, OH
9/11 Hero’s Sub Shop
Hamilton, NJ
9021PHO
Beverly Hills, CA
A. W. Shucks Cocktail & Oyster Bar
Carmel, CA
Absolutely Phobulous
West Hollywood, CA
Aesop’s Bagels
Boston, MA
Aesop’s Table
St Paul, MN
Aesop’s Tables
Indianapolis, IN
Agave Maria
Memphis, TN
Another Fork in the Road
Milan, NY
Appethaizing
Portland, OR
appeThaizing
Syracuse, NY
Aretha Frankensteins
Chattanooga, TN
Asian Chao
Atlanta, GA
Aunt Chilada’s
Hamden, CT
Aunt Chilada’s Easy Street Cafe
Hilton Head Island, SC
Auntie Pasto’s
Bellaire, TX
B.A.D. Sushi
Los Angeles, CA
Bagels N A Hole Lot More
New Hyde Park, NY
Bangkok Inn Downtown
Vero Beach, FL
Banhmigos
Brooklyn, NY
Baoguette
New York, NY
Baohaus
New York, NY
Be’Wiched Deli
Minneapolis, MN
Beau Thai
Washington, DC
Beau Thai Restaurant
Portland, OR
BeetBox Bakery & Cafe
Denver, CO
Belly Acre
Mt Victory, OH
Benaddiction
Fresno, CA
Between The Buns Sandwich Shop & Delhi
Roseburg, OR
Bon Appe Thai
Jackson, WY
Bread Kneads
Findlay, OH
Brown Chicken Brown Cow
Campell, CA
Bun Mee
San Francisco, CA
Bun Mi Sandwiches
Minneapolis, MN
Buns N’ Roses
Marfa, TX
Burgatory
Pittsburgh, PA
C’est Cheese
Morristown, NJ
Cali N Tito’s
Athens, GA
Cali Pho Nia
San Francisco, CA
Cauc-Asian Diner
Lovell, WY
Cheese Culture : A Whey of Life
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Chef at Wok
Seattle, WA
Chef Jon Lee Asian Confusion Cuisine
Walnut Creek, CA
Chez Guevara
Knoxville, TN
Chick Inn Drive In
Ypsilanti, MI
Chicken Pho You
Millbrae, CA
ChopShtix
Staten Island, NY
Chow Maine Asian Specialties
Southwest Harbor, ME
Ciao Thyme Café
Bellingham, WA
City Pork Deli & Charcuterie
Baton Rouge, LA
Claire’s Corner Copia
New Haven, CT
Cluck-U Chicken
Columbus, OH
Odenton, MD
Washington, DC
Coral Bagels
Coral Gables, FL
Counter Culture Restaurant
Austin, TX
Crabby Dick’s
Rehoboth Beach, DE
Craw Station
San Francisco, CA
Crepe Escape
Sacramento, CA
Crepe Myrtle Cafe
Auburn, AL
Crepes of Wrath
Redlands, CA
Crepevine
Palo Alto, CA
San Francisco, CA
Cross Rhodes
Evanston, IL
Crumb & Get It
Radford, VA
Curry Away
Edgewood, PA
Dairy Godmother
Alexandria, VA
Dawg Gone Good BBQ
Athens, GA
Dew Drop Inn
Honolulu, HI
Dill Or No Dill Subs
Edina, MN
Dirty Dicks Crab House
Nag’s Head, NC
Do or Dine
Brooklyn, NY
Doggie Styles
Colchester, VT
Dough’Lectibles
Redlands, CA
East of Edens
Chicago, IL
Eats of Eden
Eden, UT
Edible Complex
Portland, OR
Effin Texas Bar & Grill
Corning, NY
Egg’lectic
Wheaton, IL
Eggs in the City
Salt Lake City, UT
Eggspectation
Silver Spring, MD
Engine No. 9
St. Petersburg, FL
Enthaice Thai Kitchen
Astoria, NY
Fat Patty’s
Ashland, KY
Fatty’s Pizzeria
Breckenridge, CO
Fee-Fi-Pho-Fum
Denver, CO
Felony Franks
Oak Park, IL
Fillet of Soul
New Orleans, LA
Fonduely Yours
Mt. Pleasant, SC
Fork & Balls
Ft Lauderdale, FL
Franks for the Memories
Mundelein, IL
Franks For the Memories
San Francisco, CA
Franks-A-Lot
Portland, OR
Friend and Pho
Ithaca, NY
Fu King Chinese Restaurant
Lake City, FL
Garden of Eat’n
Grand Junction, CO
Gaysha
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Genghis Cohen
Los Angeles, CA
Good Pho You
Lynnwood, WA
Grateful Bread
Seattle, WA
Great Impasta
Brunswick, ME
Grill n’ Pho U
Greensboro, NC
Half Fast
Boulder, CO
Half Shell Square
New Orleans, LA
Hangover Easy
Cincinnati, OH
Columbus, OH
Haute Dish
Minneapolis, MN
High Thai’d Cafe
Cleveland Heights, OH
Hillside Farmacy
Austin, TX
Hole in One
Orleans, MA
Holy Crepe
Kutztown, PA
Home Slice
Austin, TX
Homeslice
Chicago, IL
Hops N Scotch
Brookline, MA
Hot Doug’s
Chicago, IL
Hot Wok Cafe
San Mateo, CA
HotBox Pizza
Indianapolis, IN
Hu Dat
Rockport, TX
Hugh Jass Burgers
Lexington, KY
Humble Pie
Raleigh, NC
I Dream of Weenie
Nashville, TN
I Got Your Crabs
Kittyhawk, NC
Ida Claire
Addison, TX
iPho
Warm Springs, CA
iPho Tower
Kansas City, MO
It’s About Thyme
Culpeper, VA
It’s Personal
Placerville, CA
Jamaica Mi Krazy
Smyrna, GA
Jamaican Mi Crazy
Bethesda, MD
Jimmy Changas
League City, TX
Juan In A Million
Austin, TX
Just BeClaws
Jersey City, NJ
Just In Thyme
Rehoboth, DE
Kale Me Crazy
Atlanta, GA
King Fu
Broomall, PA
Kit N Kitchen
Pearl City, HI
Kneaded Pleasures
Austin, TX
Korma Sutra
Overland Park, KS
Kumquat Mae Bakery
Athens, GA
Kung Food
Houston, TX
San Francisco, CA
Leaning Tower of Pizza
Basin, MT
Minneapolis, MN
Oakland, CA
Lek’s Railroad Thai
Montgomery, AL
Lenny and Joe’s Fish Tale
Madison, CT
Lettuce In
Concord, CA
Lettuce Souprise You
Atlanta, GA
Lettuce Wok n Roll
Yorba Linda, CA
Little Pizza Heaven
Caruthersville, MO
Little Thaiger
Scottsdale, AZ
Long Thinh Noodle House Restaurant
Saratoga, CA
Lord of the Wingz
Burbank, CA
Lox Stock & Bagel
Berkeley, CA
Loyd Have Mercy
Titusville, FL
Luna Sea
Yachats, OR
Madison Bear Garden
Chico, CA
Main Street Overeasy
Bozeman, MT
Maine-ly Sandwich
Houston, TX
Manee Thai Restaurant
Saint Louis, MO
Martha’s Inn
George, WA
Men at Wok
Lebanon, NH
Millie & Al’s
Washington, DC
Miso Harney
Oceanside, CA
Mona Pita
Raleigh, NC
Moon Wok
Dallas, TX
New Orleans, LA
MoPho
New Orleans, LA
Moto Pho Co
Charlottesville, VA
Moun Wok
Baltimore, MD
Mr. Yogato
Washington, DC
Munch Box
Brooklyn, NY
Mustard’s Last Stand
Denver, CO
My Thai
Champaign, IL
My Thai Beach
Capitola, CA
Naan Stop
Isla Vista, CA
Naansense
Chicago, IL
Nacho Daddy
Las Vegas, NV
Nacho Mama’s
New Orleans, LA
Richmond, VA
Stillwater, MN
Nachomamma’s
St. Louis, MO
Nao & Zen
Richmond, VA
Nauti Mermaid
Cape Coral, FL
Never Enough Thyme
Johns Creek, GA
New Big Wong
Washington, DC
New Kung Fu’od
Ventura, CA
Nhà Minh
Brooklyn, NY
No Forks Cheesesteaks
Virginia Beach, VA
Noodles Pho U
Lombard, IL
Noodles Pho You
Bolingbrook, IL
Noshville
Nashville, TN
Nothing Bundt Cakes
Boulder, CO
Nothing Bunt Cake
San Jose, CA
Notorious P.I.G. BBQ
Missoula, MT
Now and Zen
Charlottesville, VA
Oh Mai
South Salt Lake, UT
OinkADoodleMoo Smoky BBQ
Dayton, OH
Olive A’Sasudden
Palm Springs, CA
Olive Or Twist
Asheville, NC
One if Buy Bagel
Setauket, NY
Opart Thai
Chicago, IL
Open Sesame
Des Moines, IA
Over the Tapas
Bozeman, MT
Park Plates
Elkins Park, PA
Pastabilities
Williston, VT
Peace a Pizza
Stone Harbor, NJ
Peking Boy
Pleasant Hill, CA
Pete’s A Place
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Pho 20
Avon, CO
Galveston, TX
Pho All Seasons
Des Moines, IA
Pho Bistreaux
New Orleans, LA
Pho Ever
Bellevue, WA
Pho Ever Restaurant
Gardena, CA
Pho Four Seasons
Beaumont, TX
Pho Good
Shawnee, KS
Pho Ket
Seattle, WA
Pho Kim
Santa Fe, NM
Springfield, MO
Pho Kim Long
Las Vegas, NV
Ocala, FL
San Antonio, TX
San Jose, CA
Pho King
Alexandria, VA
Fort Smith, AR
Honolulu, HI
Humble, TX
Los Angeles, CA
Oakland, CA
Oklahoma City, OK
Portland, OR
San Diego, CA
Tacoma, WA
Torrance, CA
Visalia, CA
Wahiawa, HI
West Allis, WI
Pho King Way
Fort Worth, TX
Mission Viejo, CA
Pho Me
Tallahassee, FL
Pho Nomenon
Hoboken, NJ
Pho Q
Seattle, WA
Pho Real
Fort Smith, AR
Littleton, CO
Silver Spring, MD
Tracy, CA
Pho Shizzle
Renton, WA
Pho Sho
Culver City, CA
Pho Show
Redondo Beach, CA
Pho Sure
San Antonio, TX
Shrewsbury, MA
Pho Vu
La Quinta, CA
PHO-EVER
Encinitas, CA
Pho-King
New Orleans, LA
Pho-Nomenon
Temecula, CA
Pho’nomenal
Oklahoma City, OK
PhoNatic
Austin, TX
Phonatik
Anchorage, AK
Phonomenal
Pinole, CA
West Hollywood, CA
Phorage
Los Angeles, CA
Phorever
Sterling, VA
Pie Not
Costa Mesa, CA
Pie-casso
Stowe, VT
Pinche Tacos
Denver, CO
Pita By The Beirut
Dunwoody, GA
Pita Pan
Astoria, NY
Pizza My Heart
Palo Alto, CA
San Mateo, CA
Santa Cruz, CA
Pizza Pan
Cincinnati, OH
Poparazzi’s Popcorn
Houston, TX
Pork Slope
Brooklyn, NY
Pour Judgement
Newport, RI
Prairie Dogs
Minneapolis, MN
Punchline Juice BAr
Brooklyn, NJ
Ray’s The Steaks
Arlington, VA
Reel Seafood Grill
Greensboro, NC
Rhong Tiam
,New York
Roast Beast
Boston, MA
Rolling in the Dough
Speedway, IN
Rubbin Butts BBQ
Cobleskill, NY
Sake To Me
Montclair, CA
Sake2me Sushi Rolls
Hays, KS
Saketome Sushi
Bigfork, MT
Salvador Molly’s
,Portland Oregon
Schooner or Later!
Long Beach, CA
Serving Time Cafe
Draper, UT
Shake Shake Shake
Tacoma, WA
Siam I Am
,Redondo Beach
Six Feet Under
Atlanta, GA
Slim Chickens
Fayetteville, AR
Smoke Dem Bones
Phoenix, AZ
Sofa King Juicy Burger
Chattanooga, TN
Some Place Else
Muskegon, MI
Something Fishy
,Brunswick Maine
Souley Vegan
Oakland, CA
Sound Bites
Somerville, MA
Souper Girl
Washington, DC
Souplantation
Los Angeles, CA
Spankys Dog House
Livermore, CA
Strip Club
St. Paul, MN
Strip-T’s
Watertown, MA
Sub Conscious
Raleigh, NC
Sue Casa
Branford, CT
Sushi Q
Belmont, CA
Sushi Thaime
Oak Lawn, IL
Sushi To Dai For
San Rafael, CA
Sweetie Thai
,Wyoming Michigan
Ta Molly’s
Texarkana, TX
Tacos Tumbras
Spokane, WA
Takee Outee
Utica, MI
Tapa The World
Sacramento, CA
Tee Nee Thai
San Jose, CA
Tein Li Chow
Evanston, IL
Tempt-Asian
American Fork, UT
Tequila Mockingbird
New Canaan, CT
Thai and Mighty
Lexington, KY
Thai by the Sea
Southport, NC
Thai Juan On
San Juan Capistrano, CA
Thai Landing
Baltimore, MD
Thai Me Up
Jackson, WY
Pittsburgh, PA
Thai Me Up Thai Me Down
Los Angeles, CA
Thai Noon
Portland, OR
Thai on First
Spokane, WA
Thai One On
Angel’s Camp, CA
Anniston, AL
Mystic, CT
Seattle, WA
Towson, MD
Vista, CA
Thai Pod
Portland, OR
Thai Spoon
Chicago, IL
Thai Sticks
Houston, TX
Thai Tanic
Destin, FL
Washington, DC
Thai Tanium
Gaithersburg, MD
Thai Thank You
Chicago, IL
Thai This
Dana Point, CA
Laguna Beach, CA
Thai-ger
Clemson, SC
Thai-Namite
Milwaukee, WI
Thai-rific
Menlo Park, CA
Thai, How Are You
Austin, TX
Thai’d Up
,Mammoth LakesCA
Phoenix, AZ
Thaicoon & Sushi Bar
Atlanta, GA
Thaicoon Ricefire & Sushi Bar
Greenville, SC
Thaiger Room
Seattle, WA
Thainy
New York, NY
Thaiphoon
Arlington, VA
Palo Alto, CA
Washington, DC
Thaiphoon Cafe
Raleigh, NC
Thairish
Baltimore, MD
The Awe Shack
Gambrills, MD
The Bay Gull Store
Broad Channel, NY
The Big Cheezy
New Orleans, LA
The Boardwok
Virginia Beach, VA
The Breakfast Club
Seaside, CA
The Chatta Box
Bridgewater, MA
The Codfather
Phoenix, AZ
The Crepe Vine
Tallahassee, FL
The Deli Lama Store & Cafe
Lake Villa, IL
The Dew Drop Inn
Mobile, AL
The Epic Curean
Greenville, SC
The Great Impasta
Urbana, IL
The Grill From Ipanema
Couer d’Alene, ID
Seattle, WA
The Grill from Ipanema
Washington, DC
The Home Plate Diner
Des Moines, IA
The LobSteer Inn
Southern Pines, NC
The Mad Platter
Nashville, TN
The Meating Place
Los Angeles, CA
The Oinkster
Eagle Rock, CA
The Ol’ Factory Cafe
Sand City, CA
The Pecking Order
,Sanibel
The Prairie Dog
Pawhuska, OK
The Queenshead
St. Petersburg, FL
The Sardine Room
Plymouth, MI
The Squeeze Inn
Clark Fork, ID
The Wiener’s Circle
Chicago, IL
The Wurst Place
Seattle, WA
The Wurst Shop in Dickinson
Dickinson, ND
Thelonious Monkfish
Cambridge, MA
Thick & Thin Pizza
Boca Raton, FL
Tie Food
Oakland, CA
To Thai For
Waialae, HI
Top Bunz
Huntington, NY
Torta Landia!
Portland, OR
Tsukasa
Bordentown, NJ
Turnagain Arm Pit BBQ
Anchorage, AK
Turnip the Beet
Port Angeles, WA
Two Guys With Wieners
Crested Butte, CO
Un Pho Gettable
Seattle, WA
Uncle Petezas
Bothell, WA
Uncommon Grounds
Watertown, MA
Underdogs
Philadelphia, PA
Unphogettable
Mesa, AZ
Velvet Taco
Dallas, TX
Viet Nom Nom
Chicago, IL
Wana Pizza
Wanatah, IN
We The Pizza
Washington, DC
What the Pho
Cambridge, MA
Duluth, GA
Huntington Beach, CA
,Renton Wa
Seattle, WA
What The Pho
Norcross, GA
What The Pho!
Bothell, WA
What the Pho!
D’Iberville, MS
What the Pho?
,Virginia Beach
What’s Your Beef?
Rumson, NJ
Wi-Pie
Brooklyn, NY
Wichcraft
New York, NY
Wiener Take All
Buffalo Grove, IL
Wise Pies
Albuquerque, BM
Wok & Roll
East Lansing, MI
Knoxville, TN
Spring Lake, MI
Wok and Roll
Washington, DC
Wok in the Park
St. Louis Park, MN
Wok Inn
Boston, MA
Wok Inn Chinese Buffet
Magnolia, TX
Wok N Roll
Atlanta, GA
Ayer, MA
Marion, IL
Morrisville, VT
Wok N’ Roll
Cambridge, MA
Laporte, IN
Wok N’ Talk
Boston, MA
Wok On In
New Haven, CT
Wok On The Beach
Myrtle Beach, SC
Wok Star
Springfield, MO
Winterville, GA
Wok This Way
Chicago, IL
Wok to Walk
New York, NY
Wok-N-Go
Danville, KY
Wok-N-Roll
Austin, TX
Murfreesboro, TN
Wok-N-Roll Express
Overland Park, KS
Wok’N Roll
Magnolia, NJ
Woksabi
Collingswood, NJ
Yang Kee Noodle
Louisville, KY
You-A Carry Out-A
Clarksville, IN
Yum Mee Chinese Restaurant
Bath, ME

 

*This sentence has been updated to use 2014 Census population estimates; it originally included Atlanta but cited the metro area population.