Cay Bo De has undergone a great transformation over the years. Once located at 24 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, some years ago it added a second storefront next door at #22. For years their only offering was hu tieu chay, a vegetarian version of the popular regional breakfast soup hu tieu. In 2013 they decided to become a full-scale restaurant, and in doing so added a third storefront, but this one not contiguous with the others. It's at #32 NKKN, a few storefronts away. At the same time they developed a menu featuring a full complement of rice and noodle dishes, spring rolls and soups, while retaining their signature hu tieu chay.
Unlike some restaurants that lose all that was good about them when they expand, Cay Bo De has made a completely satisfactory transition, growing from a very good soup joint to a very good restaurant. Last year they added a fourth storefront at #36 NKKN. The seem to be growing according to demand.
We ate all our meals at #32, the most attractive of the storefronts (the original location at #24 is now the kitchen only). It's bright and clean and has a few nice pictures on the walls. The other dining rooms are clean but plainer.
For breakfast we had the hu tieu chay (chay means vegetarian so I'll drop that word from my descriptions) and chao, a rice porridge. I'm partial to porridge but both dishes were delicious. The hu tieu was 17,000 and the chao 15,000. For lunch we had bun thit nuong, a dry noodle dish that came with both vegies and mock meats. It cost 17,000. We also had cari banh mi, a delicious curry dish that is accompanied by a small baguette. It cost 20,000. For dinner we had bun gao xao Singapore, a noodle and vegie dish that while good was probably the least satisfying entree we tried. The selection of vegies was quite good but overall it was a bit plain. Our second entree was banh xeo, the so-called country pancake. You cut pieces of it off and wrap it in and with salad greens. It comes with a dipping sauce and was delicious.
With both lunch and dinner we also had goi cuon, one kind of fresh spring roll. These were also most delicious, and cost 3,000 each, a real steal. That's less than 15 cents US in January 2015.
Nothing on the menu exceeds 20,000 dong. No English is spoken there, but much of the menu has been translated into English. This is a wonderful restaurant.
Cons: No English spoken