While most non-Vietnamese associate the word pho with Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup), banh pho actually refers to the flat, thin rice noodles. There are two types of banh pho noodles, which are sometimes called rice sticks (I have no idea why.).
On the left, in the photos above and below, is banh pho tuoi (Vietnamese fresh rice noodles) and on the right is the dried version. The difference is that the fresh rice noodles only have to be plunged in boiling water for mere seconds before they are soft. The dried noodles obviously need to be boiled for several minutes longer.
Banh pho is made with just rice and water, suitable for the gluten-free trend that seems to be popular lately.
The width of the noodles may vary from very thin to about 1/4-inch, but banh pho will always refer to flat rice noodles. Round rice noodles are called bun, but that's a lesson for another day.
These are also the same noodles used in Pad Thai and sometime substituted in Hu Tieu Saigon (Vietnamese Clear Noodle Soup with Barbecued Pork and Shrimp), although I prefer clear tapioca noodles for that.
As for brands, I've always been pleased with Three Ladies' products from rice to rice paper to rice noodles. Since fresh rice noodles have a shorter shelf life, I suggest looking for brands from companies that were produced in your area. When all else fails, I sometimes go with the cheapest or whichever one is seems more popular (evidenced by the empty shelves).
Banh pho may cost anywhere from 99 cents to $3 depending on location.
Recipes that feature banh pho:
Pho Ap Chao Bo (Vietnamese Pan-Fried Rice Noodles Sauteed with Beef)
Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)
Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup)
1 year ago today, Ca Ri Ni An Do (Vietnamese Madras Indian Curry Powder).
2 years ago today, Fried Rice with Kimchee and Spam.