Found this place on TripAdvisor when I was looking for banh xeo so the moment we spotted the eatery on Hang Bo Street, we were very excited that we could finally have some savoury Vietnamese pancakes for breakfast as we were famished. The lady boss welcomed us with a big smile and eagerly gestured towards an empty table. We sat down and she walked away quickly – assuming she was going to give us a menu or something.
Seconds later, we were each served a bowl of piping hot pho bo (beef rice noodle soup). But no, we didn’t order that. I looked at the lady boss and asked for banh xeo. She looked at me with a confusing expression and mumbled something. If I understood her correctly, I think she meant that banh xeo was only available in the afternoon. But anyway, the pho was already right in front of us and it looked not bad so we decided to have it anyway.
The broth was light yet flavoursome. The sliced beef was very tender compared to this other ‘famous pho place’ that we tried which I would blog about very soon. For spice lovers, I highly recommend that you mix in some chilli sauce (provided on every table) with the broth for an extra spicy kick. Overall, it was a very comforting breakfast that wasn’t heavy on the palates. I couldn’t remember how much we paid for the pho, probably 30,000 or 35,000 VND per bowl which was reasonable by local standards.
We never came back here for banh xeo thereafter because we found another place (Banh Xeo Zon) that served excellent banh xeo.
Pho Bac Hai
22 Hang Bo Street
Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Opening hours: 8.00am till lunch time
Pho is served during breakfast and lunch. If you want to try the banh xeo, come between 3.00pm to 10.30pm.