Le’s (Formerly Pho Pasteur)

Le's Pho

I love pho.  Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup with a rich, flavorful broth made from a stock that’s been stewed for hours.  Add some tender slices of rare steak and a choice of various other “meats” such as tendon and tripe (cow stomach).  Finally, throw on top fresh basil and raw bean sprouts, and you’ve got perfection in a bowl for only $6.50.  I love it.

I live about a 10 minute walk from Le’s in Harvard Square.  I think it’s my top choice for a cheap sit-down restaurant.  It’s just as fast and cheap as fast food but has the ambiance and food of a full service restaurant.

Seriously, if you order pho, it comes out in less than 5 minutes.  Sometimes in like 3 minutes.  It’s awesome. It’s especially great if you’re really hungry!  :)

Le's Collage

My friend likes to get the extra large sized noodle soup because it only costs slightly more and look how much bigger it is!  My small bowl (on the left) cost $6.50 while his extra large bowl only cost $7.95.

They also have a lot of other yummy dishes.  I often like to get the vermicelli (top left photo) if I’m not in the mood for soup.  It comes with a tasty fish sauce that you pour all over the noodles.  The portion size is generous and again, good prices.  The bowl above is only $7.75.

As for appetizers, we like to get the fresh summer rolls.  I also like the rice chowder ($5.50), which is sort of like the Vietnamese version of congee.  Very flavorful and delicious.

I don’t think I have ever met a dish here that I didn’t like. One fun dish to try is this make-your-own fresh Vietnamese spring rolls dish.  They give you all the fixings – cooked meat, vermicelli, vegetables, wrappers, and a big bowl of hot water to soften the wrappers. I learned how to make my own Vietnamese spring rolls at home directly as a result of ordering this dish.

Because Le’s is in Harvard Square, you may notice some subtle differences from a normal Vietnamese restaurant.  Most notably, table settings are a little fancier.  In a normal Vietnamese hole-in-the-wall, the hot sauce comes in a huge squeeze bottle (usually with the picture of the rooster!).  Similarly, other the hoisin sauce comes in another unlabeled plastic squeeze bottle. Chopsticks are stored at the table in bulk, sticking out of a container like a bouquet of twigs. Here in Harvard Square, sauces come in small round clear sauce containers with lids and cute little spoons sticking out.  Not a squeeze bottle in sight.

All in all, I think you can’t go wrong coming here.  There’s almost always seating, it’s in a great location, it’s fast, cheap, delicious, and has pretty good ambiance.  Oh, and you can get boba tea or Vietnamese iced coffee.  What more could you ask for?

Note: Le’s is virtually identical to Pho Pasteur.  They used to be the same restaurant, but split up about a year or so ago.

36 Dunster St
Cambridge, MA 02138
Le's Vietnamese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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  1. says

    I haven’t had pho in a while and you’re totally making me crave it! The soup is SO good on a cold day but the dry noodles are great when it’s warm outside and just about anything tastes good with fish sauce on it!

  2. says

    Excellent post over the perfect food. It was a really hot summer in the Pacific NW, so I had to swear off pho for a bit, but the “liquid sunshine” of Seattle has returned, so it’s perfect weather for spicy soup. I go nuts with the chili sauce and fresh peppers, turning the broth angry orange, and I just sweat my life away eating it. Such bliss!

  3. Anonymous says

    Le’s is utterly amazing for the quality of food, price, and atmosphere. I go to the one in Allston constantly, super fast!

  4. Anonymous says

    This is basically my most favorite Viet place, ever. If you go to the one in Chinatown, beware of the downright nasty staff.

  5. says

    It’s been a long long time since we been to Harvard Square, we’ll have to go back one day soon! We had planned a trip to SF area the week after the conference…before info on the conference came out! :( So as of now, we’re not planning to attend, but if we win the contest by Nature’s Pride, then of course we’ll be able to go and demo this dish…if you can help out by buzzing the post, sending it etc..thanks!

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