Slurp by Number

From Pho 1 to Pho 2000, have you ever wondered why so many Vietnamese noodle shops use numbers in their names?

By Susannah Black And Melissa J. Lyden

Sometimes restaurant owners are trying to give consumers helpful information in their name, such as a presumable tie to the area. Springfield’s Pho 495 pays homage to the proximity to the Beltway and Hyattsville’s Pho 301 nods to the area code.

Hau Le of Pho 14 in Washington’s Columbia Heights explains, “14 is because of the name [of the] street we are near.” And the Pho 14 in Adams Morgan? “We have the same owners,” says Le.


Sentiment plays a role in restaurant naming and numbering. “1975 was the year Vietnam fell to Communism,” explains Chi Ngo of Pho 75 in Arlington. “My father chose 75 in memoriam to us losing our country.”

Pho 24 in Manassas is named in reference to the shop’s opening on the 24th of the month.


Certain numbers have a particular stigma in Vietnamese culture, where others are seen positively. Pho 81 of Germantown describes the significance of 81 in the restaurant’s title: “It’s for luck,” the host says.

Owner Hien Nguyn (according to Vietnamese culture) considers 9 to be a lucky number (9 x 9 = 81 and 8 + 1 = 9).

And for Pho 88 in Falls Church, says Yan Chang: “Eight is a lucky number! Not like six, you know?”


Pho #1: 5764 Baltimore National Pike, Catonsville, MD
(a) Pho 14: 1436 Park Road NW, Washington, D.C.
(b) Pho 14: 1769 Columbia Road NW, Washington, D.C.
(c) Pho 14: 4201 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.
(a) Pho 24: 8448 Centreville Road, Manassas
(b) Pho 24: 420 Annandale Road, Annandale
Pho 33: 540 John Carlyle St., Alexandria
Pho 50: 7263 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church; 703-206-0483
(a) Pho 75: 1721 Wilson Blvd., Arlington; 703-525-7355
(b) Pho 75: 1510 University Blvd., East Hyattsville, MD; 301-434-7844
(c) Pho 75: 3103 Graham Road, Falls Church; 703-204-1490
(d) Pho 75: 771 Hungerford Drive, Rockville, MD; 301-309-8873
(e) Pho 75: 382 Elden St., Herndon; 703-471-4145
(f) Pho Reston 75: 12020-A N. Shore Drive, Reston
Nam-Viet Pho 79: 3419 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.
Pho 81: 19735 Frederick Road, Germantown, MD; 240-686-2068
(a) Pho 88: 232 W. Broad St., Falls Church
(b) Pho 88: 10478 Baltimore Ave., Beltsville, MD; 301-931-8128
(a) Pho 89: 3507 Fort Meade Road, Laurel, MD
(b) Pho 89: 6795 Wilson Blvd., Falls Church; 703-538-5289
Pho 95: 785 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD
Pho 98: 4090 Airline Parkway, Chantilly; 703-378-7958.
Pho 102: 13965 Metrotech Drive, Chantilly
Pho and Grill 198: 15504 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville, MD; 301-421-4300
Pho 234: 10376 Festival Lane, Manassas
Pho 301: 1425 University Blvd., East Hyattsville, MD; 301-434-8020
Pho 495: 7215 Commerce St., Springfield
Pho 888: 13955 Metrotech Drive, Chantilly; 703-961-8788
Pho 2000: 13045 Worldgate Drive, Herndon


(January 2015)