It’s 3 a.m. Last call has come and gone, the drive thru at Taco Bell is dark and there’s nothing in the fridge but a half-eaten PB&J and a jar of mayo.
While the City’s dining scene continues moving steadily uphill, the pickings get pretty slim when the witching hour comes around.
Fortunately for the City’s ravenous insomniacs, the best late-night eating in Falls Church isn’t a stale, nine-hour-old taquito rolling around at 7-Eleven or a short stack and hash browns at IHOP.
Head and shoulders above anything else for F.C. night owls is the longtime Vietnamese deli, Ba Le, stuck in the back of a strip mall on Graham Road. Not only does Ba Le’s made-to-order soup and sandwiches rival the Eden Center’s best, the 24-hour bakery and deli also serves a selection of pre-made dishes that are better than anything you’d find on the shelf of a convenience store — at any hour of the day.
With 14 options, all the traditional banh mi are here — dac biet (special combo), xiu mai (meatball), xa xiu (BBQ pork) — but don’t overlook the cha trung which combines pork and an omelet-style egg with pickled veggies on a buttered banh mi.
And because nobody is worried about eating light after midnight, pairing a sandwich with a giant bowl of Ba Le’s soup is practically a must. The shop serves up 15 generously-portioned bowls of pho, congee and more filled with everything from egg, rice and glass noodles plus beef, pork, chicken, seafood and more.
It’s 3 (or 4 or 5) a.m. eating at its finest.
(Ba Le has recently pared back its 24-hour schedule during the week as the deli is now open all-night Thursday – Saturday and until 11 p.m. Sunday – Wednesday.)
Ba Le | 2822 Graham Road | Falls Church | 703-876-9062