Small Vietnamese restaurant serving pho, rice and rice vermicelli dishes.
I was in the West End without the kids and decided to drop in on my old neighbourhood in the Davie Street area.
I was thinking of going to Stephos for some roast lamb for less than 10 bucks plus tax n tip, but just couldn't fathom of the idea of standing in a long line up in the rain.
I noticed this Pho place (which has opened since I moved out of the area). A hot bowl of Pho seemed a nice thing and I stopped in.
The place is tiny. There were 9 tables. It was functional only - no decorations or anything.
The waitress was pleasant and gave me a steaming cup of complimentary tea. I ordered a bowl of rare beef pho (my personal fave) and a lemongrass chicken vietnamese sub sandwich.
The Pho was highly flavourful, seasoned nicely with cilantro and came with bean sprouts, basil, lemon wedge and hot peppers on the side. The noodles were firm and nice and the broth nice and hot. It was good value at $6.95
The sub was okay. I found the lemongrass seasoning on the chicken a little thick and gloppy, I would have preferred something more lemony and a bit less thickened. Otherwise, it was okay and certainly good value at $3.95.
I didn't bother with a beverage as I was satisfied with my tea, but soft drinks were reasonably priced at $1.50 and Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk was reasonable at $3.15.
The place seemed to be filled with budget conscious 20 somethings. As a budget conscious thirty-something, I still felt perfectly comfortable in the surroundings.
I would go again on a rainy day if I was by myself or with an able bodied friend (I wouldn't try to navigate a stroller or wheelchair into here).
This tiny little place (just 8 small tables and maybe seating for 20 in the entire restaurant) has some splendid pho.
I've been in several times, sampling the pho and the grilled chicken/pork/etc vermicelli dishes and all have been excellent. Freshly prepared, well made, and quick and inexpensive.
The servers are pretty prompt and attentive, and try their best.
The room is cramped and plain, nothing to rave about, but at least it's clean.
I'd normally never think of eating pho downtown, but well, we had a craving one day and didn't feel like getting in a car and driving over, so Pho Central it is.
It's like a lot of eateries on Davie, small, relatively well kept. Most un-pho like.
The proprietor is very friendly, speaks Vietnamese I think, English of course, and also French. Just in case that matters to you.
The menu is on the small side for a pho place. It's not really a problem I guess, because, well, it is just a pho place and honestly, most other places list 20 different kinds of pho, 19 of which all taste the same...
Pricing is probably in-line with other pho places in town, maybe a touch higher due to the location, but not overly so.
The food itself was ... well, solid if un-spectacular. But otherwise, no complaints.
I mean, I certainly wouldn't make a trip of it. But Pho Central is in the enviable position of having few competitors (none?) anywhere nearby, so if you are downtown and have a craving, this is your only choice. At least you won't regret it.
A recent addition to the neighborhood, Pho Central serves up some good Pho. The place does look a little lived in, which surprised me because I did not recall seeing it there before, just two doors down from Stephos. It is very tight, with about 8-9 tables. All 2 seaters, but can be combined for larger groups.
Back to the food. I had my usual, which is rare beef Pho. It came with a good helping of sprouts, a lemon wedge (I assume lime is not in season and at premium?) and sliced hot peppers, which is becoming a rarity. I also sprung for an iced coffee, and spring rolls. Spring rolls are also available in vegetarian. They are not the generic store bought variety, and have quite the unique taste. The dipping fish sauce comes with the shredded carrots and some pepper flakes, and is quite spicy.
The soup finally arrived, and it was a generous portion. The noodles were glumped together, and I had to tease them out. There was a good amount of green and sliced onion, and the beef slices were first rate. The broth was rich and flavorful, maybe a little too much (wink wink), but I was not particularly thirsty after, so who knows. The soup also had a copious amount of ground black pepper on top, which is something I have never seen before. If you do not like the taste of it, or don't like the spice, make sure you tell them to hold the pepper from everything.
The place also seems to do a good amount of take out business, and looked fairly popular. For now, I'm calling this the best Pho in downtown, although I have yet to try the place @ Burrard and Pacific-ish. Happy noodling.
I work in the area and come here for lunch and dinner every so often. Great for our rainy Vancouver days. My coworkers and I have tried a couple other Pho places around (on Howe and Burrard) and when Pho Central opened, we quickly decided that this was the best of the three.
We usually get pho (different assortments of meat or the veggie one), which comes with sprouts, basil and lime wedges. The broth is pretty tasty (in my opnion better that the places I mentioned above) and you get a good amount of food (at one of the other places, the portion was smaller than usual for Pho and, being a decent eater, I wasn't full). The vermicelli bowls are also good and they give you quite a bit of meat for the price. We also enjoy the spring rolls.
Not all the staff speak the best English, but they're friendly and efficient. You get piping hot tea with your meal and the prices are good (I'd say $10-15 with tax and tip, not $15-30). (Pho Central was better in this aspect as well; the other places were kind of pricey for Pho.)
As others have mentioned, it's not a big place. They recently added a couple more tables, but I think it seats around 20 tops. They open at 11:30 and we try to arrive before 12 if there's more than a couple of us
Overall, recommended if you're in the neighbourhood and want a nice bowl of Pho!
Been here for beef pho a few times. Pho is always good, noodles are perfect and the sprouts and basil are always beautiful and fresh. The grilled pork salad rolls are also really nice- even though they're mostly noodle. Dining room is TINY but very clean, washrooms are through the kitchen but also kept up well.
Don't come here if theres more than 2 of you unless it's really slow.