[Cupertino] Pho Ha Noi

Going to Pho Ha Noi was an accident – I had intended to go to PHỞ HÀ NỘI (the main branch of the same restaurant, I think, though there is no such reference on their website) on Story Rd in San Jose but didn’t look at my phone closely. It was a wonderful accident, and I’ve been back twice.

Let me tell you about this broth. The beef broth is meaty, almost gamey, satisfyingly rich without leaving a coating on the tongue. The herbs and spices counterbalance the beefiness and elevate the deeply brown soup. I like to eat it with the thin rice noodles, rare flank, and meatballs – chewy and flavorful counterpoints that stand up to the strong broth.

The chicken broth is just as good, if not better, but for different reasons. To me, it trades most (but not all) the aromatic qualities of the beef pho for an almost piercing chicken flavor. The soup is slightly sweet, in the way that good roast chicken gets, without sacrificing any savoriness. This broth sticks a little to my lips when I sip it, but it’s definitely no tori paitan ramen. I eat it with the wider fresh rice noodles, which lack the chew of the thin noodles but maintain a nice bounce over the entire meal. The chicken is good quality with a clean flavor, and the skin is bouncy without being rubbery.

There are other offerings on the menu that I’ve seen on others’ tables but haven’t yet tried - roast chicken, sticky rice, shrimp, and much more. All of the fresh rolls are pretty tasty and hefty, though the bowls of pho are bounteous enough that I don’t want to eat anything else.

I haven’t had to wait to get inside, though the parking lot is pretty small. Sometimes they run out of the fresh noodles.

When I’m having a rough day and want to feel suffused with the sensation of eating nourishing, fulfilling soup, this is now what comes to mind. I hope you like it as much as I do!

10100 S De Anza Blvd Cupertino CA 95014
Open 11 AM - 3 PM, 5 PM - 9:30 PM.
Closed Wednesdays


It is part of the same group. On the website for their Cupertino location, it says ‘With the success of our San Jose, CA location, Our Cupertino, CA location has been open for a few years now and we have built a team that all carries Pho Ha Noi’s traditional culture.’

That said, it never occur to me that they were related also. I just thought pho restaurants have quite generic names. So thanks for sharing.

I’ve been to both locations a number of times, and I don’t think there’s a big difference in taste. That said, I do prefer the Story Rd outpost, partly because there’s outdoor dining, and partly so one can pick up some banh mi across the street at Duc Huong in the same trip (beware of the DH line, though).

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Tried a couple of new dishes here: roast chicken and garlic noodles. Good, but not as good as the pho – both were too sweet for my taste, though the roast chicken had a wonderful texture, soft meat, crispy skin. Garlic noodles were really sweet – skip. Crispy sticky rice (+$2) under the roast chicken was fun for the first few bites but not my cup of tea – the enormous pile of tomato rice on another table looked way better.


I’ve also regretted the couple of times I’ve ventured away from the standards (pho and cha gio). Maybe next time I’ll pay more attention to what the few non-pho customers are eating.