Pho Quynh - A Ho Chi Minh Must Eat
Pho Quynh, 323 Pham Ngu Lao, District 1
Open 24 hours
Pho Bo Tai – 40,000 Dong
Banh Mi Bo Kho – 40,000 Dong
Hot Coffee with Milk – 12,000 Dong
On the vibrant backpacker Mecca that is Pham Ngu Lao Street, you can easily get lost, overwhelmed and, worst, hungry. We all know that it is fairly easy to find food in Ho Chi Minh's streets. Small food vendors are everywhere, mostly right on the sideways. However, I must warn you, not all are tasty.
I got confused choosing a good place to eat breakfast yesterday and was wandering around Pham Ngu Lao until I found a neat-looking place right on the corner of the street. It was only 7:30 in the morning, yet this semi-outdoor restaurant was already crowded with hungry locals and tourists. Following my instinct, I sat down and asked for the menu.
Pho Quynh’s menu consists of many choices of pho, the traditional Vietnamese noodle soup. Using my culinary instinct, I picked menu item #1, Pho Bo (beef noodle soup) and Vietnamese coffee with milk. Just minutes after ordering, the server put a big bunch of fragrant Thai basil on the table. And by big, I mean a lot! The smell of my table was starting to get interesting.
The big bowl of Pho Bo came just two minutes after the coffee, and I didn’t hesitate to dig in. The taste of the broth, I’m telling you, was probably the best I’ve ever tasted. With an additional mix of chilis (burning hot, beware!), bean sprouts and Thai basil, it became heavenly.
The Vietnamese coffee with milk in Pho Quynh was amazing, even better than the Indonesian/Javanese coffee I drink every morning. It had a distinctly strong, caramel-y flavor, and only costs 12,000 Dong!
Another delicious recommendation is the Banh Mi Bo Kho (beef stew with bread). One portion comes with French/Vietnamese bread and a big bowl of tender beef stew. I suggest enjoying it with a handful of Thai basil and a few slices of chili if you like it hot.
So, if you are looking for a good, inexpensive and superbly delicious place to eat in Ho Chi Minh, Pho Quynh is definitely recommended. Trang, the manager, and her servers are nice and helpful. Most of the servers speak basic English too, so you won't find any difficulties ordering. Even better, the place is open 24 hours!
Next time you’re in the city, go here, pick the sidewalk table, order a big bowl of Pho Bo and enjoy the beauty of Ho Chi Minh.