Foodie Review: New Pho Bo Ga La


Ottawa is addicted to Phở, the Viet­namese soup. A few years ago, one phở restau­rant opened, then another one, and another one… and now phở places can be found from Chi­na­town to the far sub­urbs of Kanata.

Really, what’s not to like? Phở restau­rants are typ­i­cally cheap if not very fancy, and I guess the soup is quite com­fort­ing dur­ing our long winters.

Most phở restau­rants oper­ate on the same basis: a small menu, with mostly spring rolls as appe­tiz­ers and dif­fer­ent phở com­bi­na­tions (var­i­ous cuts of meat). The items are num­bered and you write your order on the piece of paper pro­vided. Hot tea is almost always offered, as well as herbs and spices for your soup (i.e. mint, chili, lime wedges, etc.).

I’m not a huge fan of phở myself, I much pre­fer bún. It is typ­i­cally a bowl of ver­mi­celli served over a bed of bean sprouts and cucum­ber, topped with some meat (beef, chicken, pork or even shrimp) and chopped spring rolls, spring onions, roasted peanuts and a small bowl of nước chấm. Like with the phở, you can pick your ingre­di­ents (meat, spring rolls, etc.).

These two dishes are about $10 each and are very filling.

Not all phở places are cre­ated equal, and New Phở Bo Ga La is my favourite because of the effi­cient ser­vice and the fact the place is well-run and clean.

The Good

  • Super-fast ser­vice, can be in-and-out in 30 minutes.
  • Cheap and filling.
  • Free tea, lots of hot sauces available.

The Bad

  • Can get pretty packed.
  • Ser­vice is very imper­sonal, i.e. food is dumped on the table, period.
  • Doesn’t take debit.


At a glance

New Phở Bo Ga La (blue sign with a Bud­dha at the front)
763 Som­er­set St W (Chi­na­town)
Ottawa, ON K1R6R1
(613) 233‑2222

A Bowl of Phở

A Bowl of “Bun” (Vermicelli)

New Pho Bo Ga La on Urbanspoon


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. So I see you branched off into food reviews now. I do that too, but not in my blog, instead, I Yelp! it.

    Any­way, I’m glad you’re a fan of Asian soups too. I have a friend, who I took to a phở shop, but thought that it was just bits and pieces of meat and veg­eta­bles swim­ming in broth. Need­less to say, she wasn’t happy.

    • Orig­i­nally, I started review­ing a few local on Yelp but I got very annoyed with the web­site because all of my reviews were fil­tered. I don’t want to waste time writ­ing a thought­ful review if no one is going to read it! So I’m pub­lish­ing them on my blog, which I actu­ally think is a good idea. Just once in a while, for a change!

  2. I vis­ited a Viet­namese restau­rant when I was in Cam­bo­dia. The set­ting was beau­ti­ful, but too bad the menu was loaded with meat stuff… guess it’s com­mon for the Viets’ diet. Not really a cui­sine for vegetarians.

    But that said, I love noodles/vermicelli in soup! I’m a bi fan of soups and tonic con­coc­tions. Guess it’s my Asian root! 😀

    • You know what, come to think of it I can’t think of a sin­gle veg­e­tar­ian option in Viet­namese restau­rants here! Must be cultural.

Leave A Reply

Enjoying this blog? Please spread the word :)