The past weeks were full of dull, cold weather and a friend of ours had not tried it before so we thought pho was the perfect meal for lunch! Pho Boy is along Whyte Ave and is pretty accessible if you’re already there or through public transit, but parking is limited and scarce. According to their website, they even offer takeout, which is great to utilize if you don’t have enough time to spare to sit down and enjoy your meal inside.
Pho Boy’s atmosphere and aesthetics are unconventional from the typical pho place, but we feel that’s a great touch that distinguishes them from the others. The design is modern, playful and intimate, making it a great place to dine and have conversation with your friends. It even has a functioning Street Fighter II game machine for you fans of old-school gaming.
In terms of the food, we really appreciated the sheer amount of options we had. We were all really happy about seeing that there were MSG-free, vegetarian and build-your-own-pho options. They also have vermicelli bowls and many sides typical of other Vietnamese places. The amount of food was satisfying and possibly even a little more than enough for us, despite only ordering regular sizes! Other than the regular size, they also offer large and extra large bowl sizes to fill your cravings. The prices varied depending on what kind of pho you order and at what size, but overall we felt the prices for their pho were reasonable and cheap enough ($9-12). The sides, however, are a little bit more pricey than other pho places but if you are willing to splurge a little, they are definitely satisfying enough.
We had ordered the Pho Boy Pheonix Special, Pho Boy Eden Special and the Build-Your-Own Pho. The Pheonix Special was served with chicken rather than beef. It was generally very flavourful, especially the broth. We noted that the rice noodles in general were chewy and at just the right texture.
One of us is a vegetarian, so she was incredibly pleased about the fact that they had a vegetarian menu, as well as vegetarian pho, which is the Eden Special. It has the fundamental pho flavour, but sweeter. The real star of the bowl was the fried tofu, since it was just right. Along with the Pheonix Special, it was MSG-free which lessened any ‘unhealthy eating’ guilt and post-meal face bloating.
Along with the two mentioned, we also decided to also build our own pho. Pho Boy has a wide variety of options to put in your pho, such as which type of broth (chicken, vegetarian (no msg), beef and satay (extra $0.50)), three types of toppings ranging from beef, chicken to vegetables and tofu and the usual pho garnishes. Since the person in our group ordering was new to pho, they had one with beef broth, steak, flank, carrots, cilantro and green onions. They thoroughly enjoyed the amount of meat they were given and how it all tasted.
Our final verdict:
7/10 for service
8/10 for taste
7/10 for aesthetics
9/10 for price
We definitely enjoyed Pho Boy and will be going back sometime in the near future! You should definitely check this place out if you are looking for a healthy and filling meal. Pho Boy is worth your money and we promise that you will not regret it. We see this restaurant becoming a group favourite.