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3.5
  • Food3.5
  • Service3.5
  • Value3.5
  • Ambiance3
  • Reviews39

Pho Tan Vietnamese Restaurant

4598 Main Street
Vancouver, BC V5V3R5
Tel: (604) 873-3345
Neighbourhood: East Side
  • Cuisine: Pho, Soup, Vietnamese
  • Price: $ ($15 or less)
  • Reservations: Accepted
  • Service: Takeout
  • Meals: Lunch, Dinner
  • Features: Wheelchair accessible
  • Serving not only noodles and lemongrass chicken/pork/beef shortribs, but also a good variety of la carte dishes, from skewers to fried bean curd wrapped crab meat paste. Special orders/requests for off-menu items are always welcomed. Just call ahead and discuss with management.

    Plenty of free parking all around with no meter parking and a small lot behind the restaurant.

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 39 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Off the Menu items
By cocoeater of vancouver (323 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, April 20, 2010 - 1:20pm [Dine in]

Went here on a Friday after a friend pre-ordered a few items which isn't available on the menu. Beer crab came in a clay pot, very good with some soup on the bottom to add to some white noodles after. Crab was moist and very good. Lamb chops were made in some tangy sweat sauce and BBQ'd, very good. Then the oxtail was in some five spice and came in a thick sauce, again very good. Also had the boneless chicken wings and spring rolls off the menu.

Would go again but pre-order. The service was very good and changed plates with a better than your normal Pho place ambiance. Value was good.

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Decent clean place
By EatsFats of Vancouver (321 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, November 11, 2007 - 10:46pm [Dine in]

Considering what kind of restaurant it is, unusually "nice". Very clean decor and finishings inside. Very clean, you can feel comfortable hanging around there.

Service was pretty quick and friendly. Maybe a little too friendly, almost "used car salesmen" like. Hmmm...

Food presentation is above par for Vietnamese places in Vancouver. By far. Fortunately, it also has the taste to match. We had a lot of stuff, broken rice dish, thin noodles, spring rolls. Just no pho that day. Some stuff was slightly on the greasy/oily side, but was otherwise done quite well. My only disappointment is that the menu selection is pretty much "the usual", nothing new or really interesting like I've experienced at other places (i.e. not in Vancouver).

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Amazing Beer Crab
By 8there of Vancouver (66 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, July 5, 2011 - 11:18am [Dine in]

I had been here on a few occasions for the regular pho and rice dishes, and found them to be adequate but not outstanding. What I never knew was that some of their special items not on the menu were incredibly good.

Beer crab in a clay pot - amazingly tasty, even for someone who usually doesn't like to eat crab because it's so messy. It was hot, juicy, and full of flavor. After you eat the crab you can ask to add noodles to the delicious soup to finish it all up. For a 3lb crab it was $50.
Braised Ox tail - this one was tasty and tender, but a bit oily for my taste.
Lamb chops - wonderfully seasoned, tender, and grilled to perfection.
Eggplant - this was an interesting one. You could taste a charred flavor like it had been grilled before being doused in a slightly sweet and sour sauce. If you like your eggplant mushy then it's worth a try.

We had dinner on a weeknight and had made a reservation. When we arrived it was pretty empty, but halfway through our meal there was a lineup and people were being turned away. It's not often you see that at a Vietnamese place. Service was decent, our plates were changed about 3 times during the course of the meal. I think you may need to pre-order the special items, but it's definitely worth a try. My mouth is watering just thinking about that crab!

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Good Pho, reasonable value
By lindarose of Vancouver (172 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, June 18, 2010 - 9:19pm [Dine in]

After reading many good reviews at Dinehere.ca, I decided to give Pho Tan a try.

First impression was only okay. I called ahead to ask if they accepted VISA. The woman who answered the phone said, "Hello." This is a pet peeve of mine. I answer "hello" when I am at home. When I am at work, I answer, "Hello (or, better yet, good evening) then state my company name." This is basic professionalism. I asked the woman if I had reached Pho Tan and she said "yes." I asked my question "Do you take Visa" and she answered something unintelligible. I asked again, this time a little slower and tried to be more clear. She stated, a bit impatiently that it was cash only.

Anyways, they have no telephone manners.

I tired the place anyway (and brought cash)...

The place is decorated nicely - a bit more atmosphere than most.

There were lots of people there including lots of families (so we felt we fit in nicely).

We ordered our standard fare (Rare Beef Pho, vermicelli bowls with chicken, minced pork and spring rolls and I had my favourite drink - a salty lemon on soda).

The prices were very reasonable ($7 for a large Pho; $7.50 for the vermicelli bowls and only $2.75 for my salty lemon drink; soft drinks were $1.60).

The Pho was tasty. The bowls were okay - I found the minced pork had a weird powdery seasoning on it. The chicken was good and it was nice that it was completely boneless. The spring roll was tasty. My salted lemon drink was very tasty and had just the right amount of preserved lemon and sweetness. I ordered two of them!!

Our waitress was very pleasant and efficient.

I would go again if I was in the area, but I have another favourite Pho place which I will continue to go to as Pho Tan and my other place are the same driving distance from my home.

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Good, honest pho
By Bonka of Vancouver (464 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, August 15, 2009 - 3:20am [Dine in]

My friend and I dropped by during the lunch rush; we aren't too picky with seating so we were crammed into the corner table by the wait area.

We both ordered pho with a share plate of spring rolls. A rich and hearty broth with the usual body found in a well prepared stock. Good lean slices of beef though I felt the tendon in mine were a little stingy. The spring rolls were fantastic - though they weren't appreciably different from most other spring rolls I've eaten in terms of taste, it was tightly packed, with just the right amount of crispiness, chewiness and easy on the oil soakage with a finely minced pork filling inside.

We encountered both the servers on the floor, both incredibly friendly but both were clearly overmatched by the lunch hour crowd. It took about 10 minutes before they came to take our order and I didn't particularly like how we received our spring rolls half way through our noodles. They could surely use an extra body on the floor.

While the entrance/wait area is nothing to look at, the actual eating area is nicely up-to-date, with dark, engineered floors, nice wallpaper and noticeably clean.

One of the better pho places in town - I will surely make subsequent visits.

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MMM, MMM, Pho
By chasiubow of North Van (675 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, September 23, 2007 - 4:31pm [Dine in]

Mrs. C and I Mrs. C and I were desperate for Pho, and we spotted this place on Main. We found it to be a small and pleasant. The décor was comfortable and clean, and our server was helpful with our choices. We had spring rolls with beef brisket pho for me and brisket and tendons pho for my beloved co-diner.

The spring rolls were excellent, and the pho was very good. No MSG, and hearty soup with noodles that were just right. Even the beef was better than average. One thing that struck me was how comfortable I felt in the restaurant. Some places make you want to eat and run, but at PT I wanted to linger. It was a great pho experience. Plus it didn’t cost much.

Recommended.

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Consistantly great
By thecritic of Vancouver (376 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, October 2, 2006 - 2:09pm [Dine in]

I recently moved into the area and have eaten here 3 times. Each time I had 3 different items on the menu. All were good even with the higher expectations from the previous visit. The food is inexpensive, quality Vietnamese food and tastes of home cooking. The pho broth is tasty and not greasy. Ingredients are fresh, items come out of the kitchen very quickly.

The service is very good, especially for a Vietnamese restaurant. You can tell that they actually care about the customer and ensure they are well looked after. When the restaurant is slow, they offer great service without hovering over the tables.

Definately recommended, I will return often.

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Good honest Vietnamese cuisine.
By foodfanatic of South Vancouver (286 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, March 26, 2006 - 2:46am [Dine in]

Always reliable, always friendly, and consistently tasty. From when they were located closer to King Edward on Main St. doors down from The Grind, to when they passed the lease on to the current pho restauranteur that relocated from Cambie, they've always provided a reliable meal and friendly, enthusiastic service. This is one of the few pho places I'd completely trust the freshness and integrity of the ingredients & staff. They seem to take great pride & passion in their creations. Now, with the newer, better location (still awaiting their liquor license and interac/cc machines to be delivered), they have managed to impress me more than before. The food seems to have found & settled on an identity it wants to keep as has the new menu along with added kitchen staff. The self renovations seem to be mostly complete, though still in need of some fine-tuning.

I sincerely hope this one is here to stay so that I would not have to venture over to Richmond's Pho Lan all the time when I'm in need of a quick pho fix and then some. Though their a la carte dishes can't quite compare to that of Phnomh Pehn's, but I definitely prefer their location over to venturing out into Chinatown for a meal (missed the Broadway location :( ).

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Better than the average pho joint
By Lanie23 of Vancouver (53 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, January 19, 2009 - 9:57pm [Dine in]

The restaurant decor and furniture is definitely nicer than most pho places that I've been to. The spring roll/pork/vermicelli combo is awesome. So is the pho- tasty soup, perfectly done pho. Big portions, very reasonable prices for these dishes, in the $6-7 range. The only minus is that the rice dishes that I've seen come out leave something to be desired- something that looked like a stirfry and another one was a porkchop? Anyhow, it looked a bit like something the average person would cook up in their kitchen which is not a compliment. Stick to the pho or vermicelli and you will not be disappointed!

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Love the food
By panda of Burnaby (56 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, March 15, 2008 - 1:04am [Dine in]

I have read great reviews about this restaurant and I was itching to try it out. We finally had dinner here last nite and I was impress with their decor. Most Vietnamese restaurants are not known for their ambiance nor their decor, just good food. This place has both. Their menu selection was different from other vietnamese restaurant. We had stuffed chicken wings, Pho Tan special rice noodle soup, chicken veg. stir fry with rice, and shredded pork & spring rolls with vermicelli. Each dishes was very good and well presented. Good service, food came quick, water and tea were refill w/o being asked. The owner made an effort to talk to his customers which was why I gave the service rating a 4. My husband & I would definitely come back to try out more of their dishes.

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very good pho, great prices.
By pickyjerk of kitsilano vancouver (67 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - 5:20pm [Dine in]

I came out of my way because I heard that this place has very good Pho.

I ordered the large rare beef and beef balls. It arrived fairly promptly with a side of fresh condiments, including chilies which I always appreciate. The broth was wonderfull and there was a generous portion of fresh, quality meat. The noodles were harder than I am used to but still nice.

I recommend this place. Their prices are very competitive, you can have a pork chop or a range of things on the side for a mere 5$.

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Good Food Good Server VERY Reasonable Prices
By stevendrowe of Vancouver (44 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, October 5, 2009 - 10:08pm [Dine in]

This is our second visit to the restaurant. The new owners have been there since May 09 and looks better than the previous residents, we didn't go in prior to this as it looked dirty.

The good is excellent, both times I have had sandwich which were good but also tried others food and especially love the beef stew with noodle soup!! I always have their Vietnamese coffee as well, always delicious.

The service is quick and friendly, very attentive and ensure we are happy. Everything is served fairly quickly.

This isn't The Ritz but its very clean and welcoming, certainly above average for the price range they charge for the food.

This is local to us and would come back on a regular basis.

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Vietnamese/Cantonese Greatness!!!
By Bobeater of East Vancouver (58 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, April 17, 2006 - 11:59pm [Dine in]

Finally, a place where great food meets great taste!

I went to this place with a friend last week and I have a very delicious time.

The service was excellent. The servers were so friendly they actually communicated with us. The owners are chinese which is pretty much a rarity in Vietnamese restaurants.

The Food: Delicious and fast. I had the pork chop on rice with an egg and a order of spring rolls. The rice was perfectly cooked and the pork chop really tender. The dishes were very modern, something different!

The Ambiance: Super! The decor was spacious and elegant. The restaurant was too loud in both the atmosphere and colours. They were calm and zen-like.

I would come back for seconds next time!

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nice decor in a pho restaurant
By foodie57 of Vancouver (21 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, July 31, 2009 - 9:47pm [Dine in]

This place has above average décor for a pho restaurant. It is relaxing inside, and it looks like somebody put some thought into it. The food is pretty good, I have no complaints. The pho has a good broth, lots of fresh bean sprouts and the like on the side. Spring rolls and salad rolls have always been tasty. The people working there are friendly. I will be back, it’s nice to go there for lunch and finish with an iced coffee on a hot day.

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My new favourite pho hangout.
By leatherbelly of Vancouver (12 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, January 11, 2009 - 1:56pm [Dine in]

When it comes to pho for me it's all about the broth and the beef. Both were excellent on the two occasions I visited last week with clients. The broth isn't greasy or too salty. The beef is good quality, sliced thinly and fall apart to the tooth.

Service was solid the first time. The second time I got the pho, later the spring roll, finally the coke despite ordering them at the same time. There's a bit of a language issue I think rather than just bad service. Fair enough. Service comes with a smile though which isn't always the case at other pho eateries I've tried. If you want a big steaming cauldron of pho for less than $6 (large) give it a whirl. I'll be back for sure. Leave your plastic. Cash only.

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Solid Soup Noodles
By Spelunca of Vancouver (45 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, August 5, 2009 - 12:57pm [Dine in]

Preamble: a quiet Tuesday night

Food: not overly impressed by the boneless chicken wings or lemongrass pork, the former by a lack of flavor and the latter by the small portion size and a tad too much of the salt. We ordered two soup noodles and they were certainly better than your average Vietnamese restaurant quality. MSG usage was moderate.

Service: better than usual. They will give you an entirely new tea kettle to replace the old one. Quick and efficient.

Value: not the cheapest for the portion size, but not outrageous either.

Ambiance: better than usual. Slightly darker with blinded up windows. Fan running as no A/C.

Overall: will try again

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Great first impression and experience
By Haley of Vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, December 31, 2009 - 1:16pm [Dine in]

If you're looking for good Vietnamese food, this is the place to go! A first time experience last night will lead to more visits here. Friends took us after raving about it a few days before and I knew it had to be good as he used to be a food writer in Asia. He pre-ordered (not on the menu) the day before some interesting dishes that I would not have tried and I have to say the sauces for these dishes were fabulous!!!

1) Beer Crab - flavor explosion and the broth was great with vermicelli noodles. It's served in a clay pot steaming hot.
2) Lamb chops over fried chips with a slightly sweet sauce that doesn't cover up the taste of the meat but enhances it.
3) Ox tails - had a more Asian sauce with star aise or was it 5 spice? It was like having a stew where the meat fell off the bones and was juicy and tender.
4) Assorted spring rolls - crispy outside and a flavor explosion with each bite.

Highly recommend this place!

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Good pho
By foodluva of Vancouver (35 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, September 17, 2009 - 7:08pm [Dine in]

Came here for lunch today at around 330pm. There were only about 3 other tables so it wasn't busy. No complaints about service. I got my food about 5 mins after ordering. I came here after hearing good reviews from friends and its silver rating for best vietnamese from vancouver mag. I really like the broth, didn't taste msg nor was i thirsty afterward, and it had a really nice flavor. The amount of rare beef was about standard but they were a little stingy with the tendon. The sprouts and basil were fresh and clean (this is important to me). The decor is also nicer than other pho places. Would definitely return.

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what a great place
By beckybee of vancouver (7 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, December 21, 2008 - 10:48pm [Dine in]

We're new to Vancouver and are so glad to have found a great Pho place. I recommend the House Special Pho - a spicy coconut broth with rare beef. The spring rolls are also very good. I've been there twice now and the food is great. Seems to be popular locals and folks from all backgrounds. Highly recommend it if you liek Pho and Vietnamese cuisine.

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Oustanding Vietnamese Restaurant
By Toebee of Vancouver (6 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, November 22, 2008 - 11:54pm [Dine in]

I am new to Vancouver and my girlfriend and I are always looking for good places to eat. This time we went to eat at Pho Tan’s based on the good reviews that it received. We were not disappointed.

Food:
I ordered Grilled pork on rice and it was very good. Well cooked and flavourful.

My girlfriend ordered Satay Skewer, Prawn Supreme on Sugar Cane, Salad Roll, with Steamed Vermicelli. The Satay Skewers were amazing. Would go there just for that.

We also ordered a side of spring rolls which also tasted good. Not over done and the size of them was very big which was good for me.

Service:
The food came extremely fast and the place was full. Did not even finish the first cup of tea before the spring rolls came to the table. Staff was very pleasant and courteous.

Value:
Cannot complain about the price. Inexpensive good food! You cannot go wrong.

Ambiance:
Nice and clean on the inside. Décor was nice and modern with a touch of Vietnam. One of the nicest Vietnamese restaurants I have ever been in.

Overall, we would say that it is a good restaurant and it is one of our new favourite places to eat. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for good Vietnamese food.

Only downfall is that they take cash only for the immediate moment but you will not be breaking the bank to eat at this great establishment.

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