In a bustling city like Ho Chi Minh City that bustles even more at night, places to find food in the wee hours of the morning is never a difficult feat. And Pho Ha, a cosy little pho-focused eatery in District 1 just a short walk from where we stayed, proved to be a solid go-to to satiate our pho cravings from as late (or early) as 1am.
This late-night spot is a bit of an institution in Saigon. Before the arrival of Bitexco tower across the road, the street that Pho Ha sits on used to be packed with late night pho outlets serving Saigon’s later night revellers.
Having been around for the past 20 years, these folks know how to serve up a proper bowl of pho, so skip your McDonald’s and head over to Pho Ha for a delicious late-night bite instead.
A popular pit stop among the Vietnamese locals, Nhu Lan Bakery houses several food stalls in one. The establishment functions as a banh mi kiosk, a proper sit-down Vietnamese eatery as well as a delicatessen and meat grocer.
Every morning from as early as 5am, throngs of locals park their scooters right outside the eatery, grabbing themselves a quick bite before going about their day. Curious, and pining for a taste of what locals deem delicious, we decided to pay the humble eatery a visit.
They serve everything under the sun, from tasty, proper bowls of pho bo, to a massive selection of banh mi toppings and even some other local delicacies not commonly found elsewhere.
Hardly anyone can say no to a good bowl of pho, essentially a simple bowl of bone broth with a swirl of rice noodles topped with beef slices, Thai basil leaves, coriander and raw bean sprouts, this bowl spells total comfort—especially so on a cold, rainy day or after a boozy night out. Despite its unclear origins, it can be considered Vietnam’s treasured national dish.
Since the days of the Vietnam War, Pho has spread far and wide across the globe to be enjoyed by many, but there’s definitely something about having it in its home country that makes it so much better than at anywhere else.
Walking down the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, one might find it a challenge to identify exactly which pho stall is truly the best especially with the sheer amount of street-side stalls, food stands and restaurants selling it.
But perhaps one of the best and most highly recommended pho places in Ho Chi Minh City to visit is Pho Phuong 25 in District 1. Having heard so much praise being sung by both locals and tourists, we did not hesitate to pay this humble corner stall a visit—we were far from disappointed.
For a truly authentic and out-of-this-world beef pho experience when in Ho Chi Minh City, you really have to drop by Pho Phuong 25.