In the CBD craving a big steaming bowl of pho? You don’t need to go to Richmond or Footscray – this classic Vietnamese noodle soup is just around the corner.
Twenty Pho Seven Restaurant
Pho cravings can hit any time – and 3am after a hard night’s partying is when you need this delicious, nutritious soup most. Twenty Pho Seven Restaurant has got you covered because – surprise, surprise – it’s open 24/7. There’s a nightclub feel to this new-ish joint, whether it’s 3am or 3pm, especially if you eyeball the extensive drinks list. Hello, bubble tea cocktails, including DIY! Then there’s the food, including several kinds of pho, from beef combination to Pho the Vegans, all peanut, gluten and dairy free. There’s more DIY joy, because you can add everything from pork belly to extra noodles.
This casual restaurant opposite Flinders Street Station has just the pho for you. There are four sizes, from small for when you’re waiting for the train, to extra-large when the train network has fallen over. Plus your choice of three toppings, like beef balls, chicken heart and veggies, and lots of drinks, including avocado smoothies. In the old days folks used to meet under the station’s clocks, but meeting at Pho Flinders is way better.
As you’d expect from an eatery in the well-heeled Emporium, this place does pho-nom-enal Vietnamese hawker food with contemporary style. For starters, Pho Nom use local, natural, ethical ingredients, including Milawa free range poultry and grass-fed Warialda beef bones for the stock. Choose your pho, from sliced wagyu sirloin to mushrooms and tofu, and a drink to suit your mood. Vietnamese-style iced coffee or Saigon 333 beer? Sugar cane juice or rum iced tea?
Homi Noodle Bar
It’s street food with street cred at Homi Noodle Bar. Check the cool neon-lit fit-out, dope beats and modern Vietnamese dishes you’ve never heard of but know you want. Like soft shell crab banh canh and tater thots. If you just fancy pho they’ve got that sorted too: three beefy options or grilled lemongrass chicken with quail eggs. Order a bowl as part of the $20 lunch combo and you also get a little munchie and soft drink. Later in the day, we recommend going wild with your drink – maybe a coconut and jelly slurpee or Hot Line Shiba cocktail.
This Swanston Street institution seems to have been around forever, and certainly pre-dates most other Asian eateries in the CBD outside Chinatown. Mekong Vietnam is still here and still busy because it’s reliably good, cheap and has every kind of pho you could want. Like beef and bone marrow, or fish balls, or the offal-y tasty Ta Pin Lu, which includes pork blood jelly and tripe. Medium sized serves are huge and under $15, so you can eat like a god even when you’re skint.