Pho Hoang on Main St, Vancouver

Nothing beats a steaming bowl of Pho on a cold and rainy winter day. Pho Hoang is one of our favourite Vietnamese restaurants. Located along Main at East 18th Avenue, it is easy not to miss this restaurant with a wide store front. What we like about Pho Hoang is not so much for their Pho but the fact that they had a very extensive menu beyond just Pho.

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From the many reviews we read of Pho Hoang, the biggest beef (pun intended) is with their slow service. I think it is because of the way the restaurant is laid out. It is wide with two wings separated at the entrance. It took about 10 minutes before they came with the menu and our pot of tea.

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It is without a doubt that it’s a very popular restaurant. The place were simply packed when we arrived late for lunchtime. Unlike a lot of other Vietnamese restaurants, this place has a good mix of Asians and non-Asians customers.

Thai Peppers! I love Thai Peppers but they game only one — unchopped. This means that they expect the customer to bite into it. They are lethally hot. They are 50,000-100,000 on the Scoville Rating. As a comparison, Tabasco is 7,000-8,000, while Jalapeno is only 2,500-8,000.

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The Cha Gio (Vietnamese Spring Roll) costs $3.95 for a serving of three. The skin is deep fried and crisp. The fillings were seasoned with lots of ground black pepper. This is one of the best spring rolls I have tried. I like the way the skin is deep fried. Do you know how they make it so different from the normally smooth skin?

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Arkensen ordered the large Pho Bo Vien (Beef Ball with Rice Noodle in Soup) for $5.95. Anything below $6 for a large bowl is a deal. The characteristic of a great bowl of pho is that it must be served piping hot — you must see the steam. This one came served with the all important steam. The soup was great and had a full beefy flavour.

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Me, I ordered what they called the Com Bi, Cha, Ga Nuong Sa (Shredded Pork, Meat Cake, Lemon Grass Chika with Steam Rice) for $7.45. I liked the taste of the pork chop. It is both sweet and salty at the same time. The best part is the charred parts — carcinogenic? *shrug*.

The Meat Cake is nice but I don’t know what’s in it. The dish is served with both rice and vermicelli which is great drizzled with the fish sauce. For $7.45, this is like having three dishes for a price of one. Highly recommended.

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Suanne and Nanzaro shared the Bun Mang Vit (Duck and Bamboo Shoot with Vermicelli in Broth Soup). This one costs $6.95. They ordered this because they sound unique. They had no idea how it looks like. It was a good choice.

The Duck Meat was so soft that they fall off the bones. Duck meat is known to be tough but with this you don’t need to cut, you just pull the meat apart. It is served on a separate dish filled with crunchy fresh onion rings.

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The Bamboo Shoot served in the bowl of vermicelli soup were chewy. This is a good departure from the Phos. We’ll try this one again the next time round.

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To us, this is one of the best Vietnamese restaurant. They have a good variety of Vietnamese and Cambodian cuisine, the food is great and the price very reasonable. Be prepared to wait for service, they are a bit slow.

Total bill is $28 inclusive of tax and tips. Not bad.

Pho Hoang Vietnamese Restaurant 煌記牛肉粉 on Urbanspoon

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  1. You are three kinds of evil. I have been craving good vietnamese food for a long time. I broke down and made Won Ton Soup yesterday to try and ease the need. I didn’t have the ingredients for Pho.

    *sigh*

  2. Yes, Pho Hoang is slow on service ! I find their offerings no better than many other Viet spots on Kingsway or Fraser, but at least their decor and ambience is slightly better.

    For Fraser Street, my fave is Pho Van (at 18th Ave). Lots of neon ! Food is more focused on pho and less “dishes” like at Hoang. But prices are great, servings are generous and fresh and you get that extra dose of kitsch for free 😉 They’re open until midnight all week.

  3. Wow..! that’s really value for money.. 🙂

  4. Nice write-up. Keep up the good work, your website makes me very happy!

  5. Hi I really like all your posts, it makes me hungary though, I started a new blog directory if you are interested, it is free and easy. http://www.weblog-index.com/
    thanks, Shelly

  6. Hi Jennifer: If you want to, we can go buy the Vietnamese ingredients for you here. But mailing it might not be cheap, I reckon. Let me know if you want it.

    Hi LotusRapper: We like Pho Van too. Their pho is certainly one of the best we tried.

    Hi Jason: I had been following your series of Pho restaurants. You like Pho very much don’t you?

    Hi Shelley: Glad you enjoyed our posts. I’ll check out your new blog directory.

  7. those egg rolls and the both soups look very good.

  8. Thanks for the offer, but we should be going into Edmonton in the next few weeks. They have several large Asian grocery stores, looks like I’ll be dropping some cash, and going to our favorite Vietnamese restaurant (The Pagolac).

  9. The Vietnamese springrolls are much more crispier because of the different wrap that is used. It’s funny that they’re named springrolls because they’re much more similar to eggrolls. 😀 Anyway, the wraps look identical to eggroll wraps; however, they’re labeled as “springroll” wraps.

  10. I think Pho Hoang has the best pho soup in Vancouver. They make a broth that is beefy and perfectly balanced in sweetness, saltiness, and aromatics. Also, the restaurant is impeccably clean. I’ve tried a lot of pho restaurants in the past, but now I don’t bother going anywhere else. My boyfriend likes the lemongrass chicken too.

  11. Hi Jennifer: Show us how your Pho turns out.

    Hi Maria: I agree. Pho Hoang is certainly one of the cleaner Vietnamese place. It sure is much brighter in there because of the large windows all round.

  12. Cha Gio are wrapped in rice paper, while Cun Juan are wrapped in flour wrappers. The texture you like so much comes from layer after layer of thin rice paper, which separates as it’s fried.

    The Cha, or “meat cake”, is actually an egg custard that typically contains ground or thinly sliced pork, wood ear mushrooms, and mung bean “glass” noodles. It’s mainly flavored with nuoc mam, the ubiquitous Vietnamese fish sauce.

  13. Pho Hoang is just like any standard Pho place in vancouver. I eat Viet food at least once a week at many different places. There use to be May Haunh (not sure the spelling) on kingsway and fraser that was my fav. Pho Van (neon city) on fraser is pretty good too.

    There’s a lot of Pho restaurant 5 min away on kingsway that are easily way better then this place. Try to look for mom and pop’s small size pho restaurants that are packed with vietnamese customers to pretty much guarantee good pho.

  14. While passing Main st. today I saw quite a few people eating in there and without checking to see if the restaurant was any good, me and my wife decided to go in to try it out. We figured, these other people should know better. Unfortunately, this turned out to be the worst restaurant in Vancouver, period! I’ve never had worse service in my life. The people absolutely didn’t care about service at all. They were downright uncaring and made my happy day a very disappointing one. First, after waiting half an hour and seeing other people who came later than us, get their food already, we asked about our food. Big mistake as we were given a nasty look like as if we were wrong. Then after 40 minutes I accidently knocked over one of my chopstick on the floor. I asked this server for a new one and she never came back. After another five minutes we asked for our food again and just got ignored. We figured we had enough and just got up and left. I really don’t know why they are still open with all these bad reviews. Maybe their food really is that good, but for me, I would rather die from hunger than go back there begging for food that should arrive. We went down the street to another Vietnamese restaurant that was also full of people. Our food came in less than ten minutes and the service was very good.

    1. Hi Winnjc,

      I have to totally agree with your comments about the service at this place. It’s terrible. That being said, my expectations at a Pho Place is next to zero in terms of service. Don’t take it personal.

      As for the food there, I actually find it very good. The soup broth is not oily, not too salty and just the right amount of saltiness.

      Ryan

  15. I love the Pho Hoang, has been my favourite Vietnamese place for years.

    The thing is, each Pho restaurant has a different recipe for their stock, so different customers will champion different restaurants. For our (my wife’s and my) taste, Pho Hoang has the best Pho, period. Others may differ.

    The other food on the menu is great, too! The 37 on the menu is a full 1/4 chicken, a charbroiled pork chop, rice or vermicelli, with some vegetables for under $9! At that price, it’s a steal.

    As for the service, I have found it occasionally slow, but mostly adequate; the food makes up for it.

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