If your go-to method of coping with our grey, rainy, downright gloomy weather is to tuck into a fragrant, steaming bowl of pho, you’re not alone. Especially if your favorite spot is Pho Bac Sup Shop in Little Saigon. This wildly popular place is hopping for four solid reasons:
#1. It’s the original and, arguably, the best.
In the 1980s, the original Pho Bac started in a quirky red boat structure in the parking lot of its present-day restaurant. There, Theresa Cat Vu and her husband, Augustine Nien Pham, started out selling American-style sub sandwiches. But it was their weekend-only dish, Pho — Vietnam’s signature hot noodle soup — that really caught people’s attention. One giant stainless-steel bowl of this rich, spicy, marrow-y liquid gold, and people were hooked.
#2. It’s family run — even today.
The couple’s three adult kids now run the show, which includes two other locations on Rainier and in Denny Triangle. Fun fact: all the staff speak Vietnamese — the family makes that a priority when posting ads for new staff in the local Vietnamese newspapers.
#3. The ambience is pretty cool.
The inside of Sup Shop is the perfect antidote to our less-than-sun-drenched climate. It’s like perpetual summertime in there. Whitewashed walls, bamboo and wood accents, ceiling fans made of palm leaves, and a light-filled sunroom make for a pretty tropical, invigorating space. Coming soon: the little red boat at the back of the property will be turned into a full bar with room to host the occasional popup.
#4. The menu is constantly evolving — and always delicious.
Love the original pho but want to branch out? Pho tron takes the original soup and transforms it with bean sprouts, chopped peanuts, fried shallots and turmeric-flavored noodles. Good, right? But short rib pho is the hands down favorite new addition, what with its two lengths of beef bone poking out of the steaming broth. But what if you’re not feeling soup-y? Never fear. There’s delicious prawn ceviche, twice-fried chicken wings, tender pork sliders, and thin, golden french fries with a lemongrass, garlic dipping sauce that will make you wonder how you ever lived without it.
Here’s the really great news: if you’re eyeing a home at Beam, you’re a four-minute walk to this delicious eatery. That means pho phoever!