plate of short rib with scallions now pho Vietnamese

Now Phở Has the Vietnamese Food We Crave

Pho may be part of it, but the is eatery offers so much more than the namesake soup.

BY Linnea Covington


Choosing a Vietnamese eatery along Federal Boulevard can feel daunting, around a dozen reside down the strip between W. Alameda and W. Arkansas Avenues in Denver. But that’s where Now Phở comes in. 

After four years under the care of owners Toan Le and Nhan Tran, it’s the place to get solid pho, rice bowls, short rib, and fresh spring rolls. Don’t be surprised if the menu feels a bit intimidating, with over 100 food items, there’s no shortage of choices. Ask for guidance from the waitstaff, peruse the menu for recommended plates, or simply follow our lead for some winning dishes.

Eat This

Bột Chiên, or Sizzling Rice Cake Omelet, is a Vietnamese street food dish not often found. | Photo by Linnea Covington now pho
Bột Chiên, or Sizzling Rice Cake Omelet, is a popular street food dish. | Photo by Linnea Covington

Gazing at Now Phở’s epic menu is like reading the index of book on Vietnamese cuisine. One might be drawn to B1, Đặc Biệt, the combination noodle bowl. Or, perhaps I6, Bún Bò Huế Đuôi Bò, a spicy lemongrass soup with oxtail. Someone looking for classic and not spicy Vietnamese food may like A1, Gỏi Cuốn Tôm Thịt, the fresh spring rolls with shrimp and pork. Honestly, all these items hit the spot, sporting different textures, levels of spice, and the fresh flavor the cuisine is known for.

Of course the pho should not be missed. Each bowl of aromatic broth pleases with notes of cinnamon and star anise, and comes filled with springy noodles. Choose from an array of toppings such as rare steak, meatball, tripe, chicken, and many combinations of these and other meats. A vegetarian bowl also graces the menu. All options have a side of fresh basil, bean sprouts, lime and jalapeno to enhance the soup to your liking. At $14.99, this dish can easily fill a diner or even get split to create two meals.

white bowl of shrimp, herbs, chicken, spring roll and noodle
The combo noodle bowl gives diners a taste of so many things at Now Phở. | Photo by Linnea Covington

That pro move means more stomach space to indulge in Bột Chiên, a sizzling rice cake omelet popular as street food in Vietnam but not found easily in Denver. That $14.99 appetizer is best drenched in the umami-rich sauce and topped with the fresh pickled carrot and daikon it comes with.

Now Phở also has a simple kids’ menu for those 12 and under who are dining inside the restaurant. Each bowl runs between $8.99 and $9.99. Think grilled chicken noodle bowl, grilled beef rice bowl, and pho topped with meatballs, rare steak, brisket or chicken.

Drink This

Tea is the main name of the beverage game at Now Phở. It’s absolutely what one should get, even if you think tea isn’t your thing. Yes there’s hot green tea, but the real star of the show comes iced at $6.50 each.

large cup of brown liquid coffee with pho written on it
Indulge in a giant cup of iced Vietnamese coffee, it’s works as dessert too. | Photo by Linnea Covington

We’re talking jasmine, mango, lemon, lychee, oolong, strawberry–the list goes on. Each one is served in a large cup with various options based on sugar level and toppings. That’s where the boba and jellies come in. Varieties cost $1.50 each and include orange popping boba, lychee jelly, boba pearl, strawberry popping boba, coconut jelly, and so many more.

Don’t skip out on the winter melon drinks either. Running $6.95 each, the seasonal Vietnamese special welcomes all the options the iced teas have,. Not only that, but offers drinkers a unique, naturally sweet and slightly earthy flavor found only in the winter gourd.

Vietnamese coffee also hits, and the iced version tastes rich like a milkshake. It’s large too, and after downing a whole cup of the sweet, strong coffee, dessert wasn’t needed. 

Visit Now Phở Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to midnight; and Friday and Saturday from 10 to 3 a.m. The restaurant is located at 1195 S. Federal Blvd., Denver,

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Linnea Covington

Linnea Covington is the managing editor of DiningOut. She comes to us with a long background in food, restaurant and drinks journalism. Over the last two decades she’s written for tons of publications including Denver Post, Washington Post, Forbes Travel Guide, 5280 Magazine, New York Magazine, New York Times, Time Out New York and more.