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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 21 - 39 of 39 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
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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Good Pho at Pho Tan
By styledish of Vancouver (21 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, September 25, 2008 - 9:58pm [Dine in]

Among the many Pho places in Vancouver, I would say this one has one of the more comfortable seating environment ie no big bright neon lights, dirty tables, sketchy chairs, etc. We ordered 2 different types of noodles and the minced pork crepe dish. The noodles were pretty good portions and the soup was delicious. The crepe was somewhat disappointing as the crepe skin tasted tough...like as if it was left out in the open for too long. But if I ever wanted comfort food, especially during rainy cold weather, I would come here again.

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Non-Pretentious Tastiness
By jollyg of westend (11 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, June 5, 2009 - 8:28am [Dine in]

Great bowl of Pho as well as other traditional vietnamese dishes -not found at "just pho restaurants". MSG in soup, as expected, but does leave overly dry mouth feeling. Decor is simple and clean -no neon signs in sight. Prices are good. Outside needs a few cosmetic fix ups. Overally I will come back for the pho alone.

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Good Pho On Ya
By lazyhusband of Burnaby (31 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, October 2, 2006 - 1:55pm [Dine in]

Checked out this place this past weekend because I was feeling in a pho kinda mood. I ordered the large rare beef/tripe/beef brisket pho noodle soup and it was very satisfying. The soup was nice and hot (temperature wise) with just the right amounts of green onions and regular onions added in. It was not oily but light and refreshing. My bowl had ample amounts of noodles and meat and price was just $5.85. Unlike Pho 66 on Hastings, this place is not limited in the pho combinations, vast array to choose from.

Service was excellent. I asked for ice water, they brought it right away. I asked for little dishes to squeeze my hoisin in, they brought it right away. I asked for extra smaller bowls and a fork, they brought it right away. This is one place that goes that extra mile to make the customer happy and I applaud them for that.

Inside is very clean with some recent updates/renos done.

Overall, good food, prices, service and cleaniness makes this place a worthwhile visit for any pho lover.

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Bad service, rude server
By May Chan of Vancouver (east) (1 Review)
Submitted Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 11:00pm [Dine in]

A group of us (6) went to the restaurant last Friday for dinner and had a terrible night out. All the servers are rude and unpleasant. Other than bring out the food to the table, there was no return of the servers. We flagged down the server and the response were rude and unpleasant. The restaurant is full but they should not neglect the service. The dishes we ordered are OK but we would never return because of the bad experience.

Worst of all it's CASH ONLY, so remember to bring CASH or you will have to run to a bank machine to get some to pay for the bill.

Some of the restaurants are forgetting good service is a MUST and not a bonus to the customers.

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The Worst Bowl of PHO Noodles
By May Yee of Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 6:46pm [Dine in]

On Sunday July 22nd 2012, we decided to head to Pho Tan for some noodles.

Unfortunately, the meal experience was not enjoyable. I had No. 18 - sliced rare beef and beef ball noodles.

The service was quick as we were one of the first few customers of the day.

The bowl of noodles with rare beef and beef ball that I had was just plain awful. I managed to skim out a full chinese tea cup of oil filled from my noodle bowl. The beef slices looked awful.

The first waitress had notice and mentioned to me, that there was so much oil skimmed out from the noodle bowl. She was shocked herself.

Secondly, the second waitress tried to take $3.20 of tips for $16.80 meal. I took the tips back and gave what was deserved. She was upset and she told the lady boss, and they both knew I was very upset for the meal and did not do anything about it.

I will grant the first waitress, as she was kind and nice to serve us efficiently. The second waitress was upset with me for giving such a small tip before she can swipe it from the table.

Definitely, will not step into this restaurant again.

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A disapointing experience
By susanchan of Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Monday, July 23, 2012 - 12:55pm [Dine in]

We had heard about the Beer Crab and other special dishes, so the 6 of us decided to try this restaurant for our get-together. We made an appointment and pre-ordered the 4 of the specials that I read about in the reviews.The crab was okay..not outstanding. It was supposed to be 2 1/2 lbs, but that was questionable, the chicken salad, bitter melon/egg was okay. I have to say that the braised oxtail was really good..big pieces and very tender.
It was the attitude of the staff that will prompt us to never go there again. We had ordered just one bread to dip the oxtail sauce, we got that within 5 minutes. Since we had more sauce left, we ordered another one. We waited 10 minutes, no bread. We asked a second server about the bread, no bread. Finally, we got hold of another server and told them to cancel the bread because now we have no more sauce left (15 minutes now). After a few minutes, the male server came to us to verified that we had cancelled the bread, we said yes. He then said that it takes at least 15 minutes to make the bread. We said sorry, but we are almost finished and there is no sauce left to dip. A few minutes later, a lady server came and again told us that it takes 15 minutes to make the bread, it is ready now and they had to throw it away. NOT NICE, she said angrily. Whatever happened to the customer is always right? It was a $1.25 Vietnamese roll..not one of their overpriced specials!

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First time I refused to leave a tip at a sit-down restaurant.
By pickygourmand of Vancouver (5 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, June 10, 2011 - 6:20pm [Dine in]

Restaurants, especially mom & pop outfits, are a tough business in Vancouver. Knowing this I try to be very forgiving when I have a bad dining experience. Every restaurant has a bad day.

I also judge restaurants in their respective context. I don't expect to a busy noodle place in East Van and expect cheery, smiley service, and have the server ask if I'm enjoying my meal and if I want my water glass topped up. That's strictly for Rob Feenie like places; not a noodle place where you go to have good, cheap, eats.

What I DO expect is consistency and, above all, professionalism.

I have only gone to Pho Tan a few times - usually under protest to friends who want to go - and have never enjoyed my dining experience. While I appreciate the many positive ratings given to this restaurant I find that the Vietnamese food is mediocre. The pho broth lacks flavour and excites me as much as a bowl of instant ramen.

The portions are skimpy at Pho Tan for what you pay, and for what their competitors more north of 30th Ave offers along Main St., and Fraser St., respectively -- although I will give Bon Cafe on Main and 33rd Ave a thumbs up for a grilled pork Vietnamese sub that more than rivals offerings at Au Petite Cafe.

So I already had reservations about going to Pho Tan because the food is unexciting and I leave hungrier than when I started.

However, today was the straw that broke the camel's back. The server, older lady, screwed up my order. My dining companion distinctively heard what I ordered yet when the server brought my food it was incorrect.

I pointed out that she had brought me the wrong plate and she put up a fuss and kept insisting it was what I ordered. Knowing this was futile, and not wanting to make a scene, I accepted the wrong order.

To me, a server making a mistake, not making any effort to correct it, not even apologizing, and then blaming the customer is wrong. While I don't believe the adage, "the customer is always right", in this case the server was wrong but could not care less.

I left my payment separately from my friends, and left only the price of the meal, and no tip except two pennies; the second penny was to let them know the first penny was not a mistake!

I don't ever recall a time I refused to leave a tip. Even in the worst times where the food was bad, or the server was having a tough day, I would leave 10-15%. However, I was so annoyed that I gave her and restaurant what I thought they deserved and will never go back there again. My friends may want to go back but I'd sooner eat alone elsewhere than to give Pho Tan my business.

I'm not discouraging people to NOT go to Pho Tan but please don't think it's the best Vietnamese restaurant in a 2 km radius just because you heard it was. There are much better ones who give better food, better portions, and better service.

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Mmm Food
By davidsugarclub of Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Wednesday, December 8, 2010 - 12:55am [Dine in]

For fresh and tasty food, I suggest Pho Tan at Main St and 30th for food that is bursting with joy.

The menu is filled with tempting appetizers and main courses to fit for any sized hunger.

The food arrives fast.
It is always a pleasure to spend extra time speaking with the manager and the kitchen staff love the compliments. Customers leave happy and warm hearted after filling their desires.

You choose the right meat combo in bowls of noodle soup broth filled with rice vermicelli, fresh basil, sprouts and a few slices of chili and lime.

Don't bother looking at prices because you will want to try everything and all the prices are reasonable.

Look forward to sharing different appetizers and having your own bowl of noodles.
It is so tasty and refreshing, I find myself there to enjoy it year round.

Vietnamese iced coffee is perfect with a little extra condensed milk.

My personal favourite is plain noodle soup and having a side order of Lemongrass grilled chicken.
The spring rolls are always number one, and for dinner consider asking for specialties off the menu as they have mastered the grilled lamb chops.
Be sure to tell them that you want them cook medium or med-well as the lamb cuts are bigger than normal.

Parking is free, service is depending on who which waitress is on (or off). Food has never let me down.

If you are looking for something for plain or exotic, fast lunch or casual dinner, you can find good value to visiting Pho Tan regularly.

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Pretty good
By tripware of Vancouver (5 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, February 2, 2008 - 5:34pm [Dine in]

I've been here a few times both for dine in and for take out and the quality of the food and service has always been solid. My friend loves their spring rolls and their house special chicken noodle soup. I usually order various pho and it's always been good. The salad roll is tasty though, a bit big and over stuffed with vermicelli. The grilled chicken roll is quite yummy, however I did find a rather long strand of hair in it once. It didn't gross me out and I didn't call any attention to it as, in the great scheme of things, it wasn't a big deal and I've accidentally eaten worse.

Overall, I like the food and service and will continue to eat here.

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Not great
By chica of vancouver (36 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, June 15, 2007 - 12:37pm [Dine in]

Yea, the portions are really small, and the lemon grass chicken is really dry and bland. I think the ambiance is nice though. I would prefer to go to Vietnamese Restaurant on Main Street and King Edward, because their portions are huge for its price.

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Lemon grass chicken at Pho Tan
By chowman of Main Street, Vancouver (20 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, August 3, 2006 - 11:07pm [Dine in]

Mrs. C and I went for lemon grass chicken last night. I had mine on vermicelli and she had hers on rice. The dishes arrived so quickly I thought that we must be getting pre-prepared food, yet the chicken was freshly grilled. The prices were very reasonable: $6.50 each. I have had more flavourful grilled chicken but this was good for the price.

The decor is much more attractive than that at the proprietor's previous location closer to Main and King Edward which is currently occupied by a Vietnamese restaurant. The colours are brown and tan which may not sound exciting but they are warm and restful (the other place featured purple and lime green).

My only quibble is the drinks list. The only alcoholic beverage is beer; there is no wine or cider. I am not a beer guy and so tea and iced tea was my drink.

I have not explored the menu at this location, but the lemon grass chicken is good.

Chowman

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Best enviro, best pho
By bubba of Vancouver (17 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, September 15, 2010 - 10:15pm [Dine in]

Most Vietnamese restaurants can use a fixer uper or two, this one does not. It is solid, comfortable, and I would say even nice. The cups even are like you are being cared for... they are the big ones that Starbucks uses. Most Vietnamese places either has too much bad Karaoke going in the background or so greasy that you wanna just eat and "slide" outta there, not this one.
Back to the food, it is great, it is really wonderful. Just the right flavor, not greasy. The beansprouts are fresh, crispy, and white, NOT yellow, soggy, and creepy. Food sometimes is simple to judge, when you have tasted the best, you just know. The pho is better than Phnom Penh, but it doesn't have the variety. The special (pre-order) menu looks good, should be good for a family dinner. Prices - Asian, 'nuff said.

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Consistant food & service
By frugal-diner of richmond (20 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, February 2, 2008 - 10:52pm [Dine in]

This is one of our favorite places to go with the kids. Everytime we go, the waitress brings us kids bowls and utencils without being asked. Service has been fairly consistant each time. Friendly fast efficient servers. Like previous reviewers, the food always arrives quickly (which is a good thing when you have children). Favorite dishes are the seafood dry noodles, lemon grass pork chops, pho, and spring rolls. Can't really go wrong with anything here. I hear they have specialty dinner items such as whole fish cooked in traditional vietnamese soup but haven't had a chance to try that yet. One time we did have an issue with our food (hair in the noodle/sprouts), the server apologized, took the food away, and returned with a replacement right away. Parking can be found fairly easily in that area. There are a few spots in the back as well. Highly recommend this restaurant if you are in the area.

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Best 'all around' Pho joint in Van!
By grnbastard of South Van (17 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - 7:59pm [Dine in]

A 'pho' connosieur at heart, I can honestly say this place is the best of it's kind. The ambiance and service is stellar if you compare it with all other pho places in Van. This is probably the cleanest pho joint in the lower mainland. The owner is there 7-days a week making sure things are running smoothly and that you are getting good service. If you check out the empty wine bottles displayed (Mouton Rothchilds/Lafites), it's a good indicator that the owners have a tasteful palate.

The food is excellent all around. Some honorable mentions: Curry lamb stew (specialty item), bun bo hue, dry seafood noodles, stuffed chicken wings, crepes, minced pork patty rolls, spring rolls and any of the vermicelli 'Bun' bowls.

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Great little Vietnamese restaurant!
By ieatbuttons of Vancouver (downtown) (3 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, November 11, 2010 - 10:00pm [Dine in]

After sampling a lot of Vietnamese restaurants in Vancouver, Pho Tan ranks as one of my absolute favourites. The atmosphere is clean and comfortable, the service is friendly and quick and the food is excellent. They make an exceptional Vermicelli Bowl with Grilled Pork and Eggrolls, Pho and Satay Noodle Soup. The eggrolls are delicious and they are one of the few Vietnamese restaurants to serve fresh young coconut juice straight from the coconut shell! I'm never disappointed when I come here for Vietnamese food and would highly recommend it to anyone craving pho!

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one of my regularly patronized Vancouver places to eat
By likestoeatout of Richmond (8 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, June 17, 2010 - 11:57am [Dine in]

This place started off as a bubble tea place many many years ago , back when bubble tea was a novelty for many Vancouverites.
The food served here is good, and the quality is maintained and duplicated time and time again. They have no "bad" days, the people are always pleasant and friendly, and the place is clean and immaaculate.

Their soup is delicious and they serve it without MSG, words of music to the ears of those who get a bad headache after partaking soups that have the dreaded substance.(supposedly a flavor enhancer)

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it's clean!
By ChIrish of Vancouver (8 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - 2:39pm [Dine in]

My first clue as to whether I'm going to enjoy an asian restaurant or not hinges on one thing....the cleanliness of the bathrooms. If they don't care about that, they probably don't care about the rest of the restaurant either. The bathrooms in Pho Tan, though small and old, are immaculate (for asian restaurants...).

The service is pretty good (again for asian restaurants....not to sound racist....i AM asian). The value and the food are what make me a regular at this place. I've had some Pho where the noodles are all starch and the meat is all, well for lack of a better adjective, OLD. The food at Pho Tan is always fresh. The portions are sometimes a little wacky, but come on....you can't have it all.

If you want something quick, cheap and easy, check em out. Plus there's a VW dealership across Main street so you can pick up a new ride after lunch....

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Great Pho - Specials ordered in advance
By spicy_jimmy of Main St. (4 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, July 13, 2009 - 12:35pm [Dine in]

I love my pho. At least once a week I go somewhere in the city as I travel. I have been here 4-5 times now and it is always great. I like spicy and they will bring me chopped thai bird chilis on the side with a smile.

The specials are really good. The owner/boss (?) told me last time I was inquiring about dishes coming out of the kitchen they were 'not on the menu' he informed me with a days notice they will make house speical ox tail, pork chops and crab. The dishes looked unreal and would feed a table of 8.

I would go here for pho alone or reserve a party. Well rounded menu and great clean flavor.

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