Where to go on a Friday night when you need to make it to National in time to skip the almost always massive line? Why yes, there must be a Vietnamese shop open for some late night eats. We were thinking of going to Shikiji but they were already closed. Our eyes spotted Pho So 1 across the street – decision made, we hustled over and were seated immediately. This is the original location (the second one is out in Midnapore). OG is always the way to go.
The prices are dirt cheap and their pho options come in three sizes (small, large and extra large).
Vietnamese iced coffee with condensed milk (#32) ($3.99)
My sis and her friend both ordered up a Viet iced coffee. This one, which I’ve never seen before, was served in a bowl of hot water. Interesting. Drip, baby drip.
Pork salad rolls with prawns (#19A) ($5.99)
Don’t fret, there are actually three rolls when you order but my sis is too fast for me and grabbed before I could get a picture. These were pretty standard fare.
Bun bo hue (#23C) ($10.18 extra large)
I had to order an XL because why not? It’s only a dollar more than the large size. The bun bo hue was very good – spicy, fragrant, good depth in flavour and smelled soooo good. The meat was a tad chewy but didn’t distract from the main event. I haven’t had a chance to try any other Vietnamese places in Calgary yet but this one was quite delicious.
Pho ga (#16) ($7.88 small)
My sis ordered the chicken pho. Wow, a small costs you less than $8.00! WTF, that’s like unheard of in Alberta. The small is actually pretty reasonably sized – she was bursting to the seams after eating her bowl.
Shredded skin pork and grilled meat ball with vermicelli (#22D) ($10.88)
For some reason, we thought this was a shared appetizer style dish but it’s definitely not. It’s a vermicelli bowl with a couple spring rolls, meat balls and other goodies. I didn’t have a taste but our other friend enjoyed it. Just know it looks different from the menu pic…
Pho So 1 was pretty darn good. The place is bare and minimalistic, but if you’re here for food, the prices are extremely reasonable and the portions are generous. That’s all I want when I go for pho. Close enough to downtown and they are open 7 days a week (bonus!).
Pho So 1
1609 Centre Street NW