What is Pho?

Pronounced “fuh”, this delicious Vietnamese soup is all the rage right now. However, this is no ordinary soup! Pho is made with bone broth and restaurant quality pho broth can cook for 12 hours or more. Pho is made with a hearty beef or chicken broth, rice noodles, cilantro, onions, and topped with your choice of bean sprouts, basil leaves, fresh-squeezed lime juice, jalepenos, and a variety of sauces. In Vietnamese culture, it is typically eaten for breakfast, but pho can be eaten any time of day. Eating this dish for the first time can be slightly intimidating, but it’s one you don’t want to miss. 

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Eating pho for the first time can be overwhelming!

Where can I get pho in Harrisonburg?

Great question! There are a few resturants around the ‘Burg where you can try this tasty dish, the Daily Duke team visited three great restaurants! Vietopia is located on Port Republic Road in the Food Lion shopping center and offers a full menu of authentic Vietnamese cuisine. Thai Flavor is a family owned and operated restaurant located on Kenmore Street off of East Market Street. Lastly, Beyond is in Downtown Harrisonburg and offers everything from sushi, thai dishes, hibachi, to pho. The Daily Duke team and I visited all three of these restaurants in order to explore the pho’s and con’s of each. 

Pho Toppings
Pho toppings at Vietopia.

Vietopia: 1015 Port Republic Rd, Harrisonburg, VA 

Highlights:

  • Pricing
  • Portion Sizes

Vietopia is pho-nomenal! As our first stop on our “pho-voyage”, The Daily Duke crew and I dined at Vietopia to experience the hype for ourselves. For our appetizer, we ordered the K2, Goi Cuon-shrimp and pork spring rolls. The spring rolls are made with rice paper and come in pairs of two with a small dish of peanut sauce on the side for dipping. For my main dish, I ordered the A1, Pho Toi with eye-round steak. You can customize your pho by selecting what kind of broth you’d like- either chicken or steak broth. Both are delicious but I typically choose chicken broth.  I garnished my pho with bean sprouts, siracha (for a little kick), jalepenos, lime juice, and a mint leaf. Overall, we LOVED our experience at Vietopia and will be back pho-sure. Checkout Vietopia’s menu here, to see their incredible selection!

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The A1 (steak pho) is only $8.50 at Vietopia!

Thai Flavor:  51 Kenmore St, Harrisonburg, VA 

Highlights:

  • Authenticity of Food
  • Service

Next up is Thai Flavor, this location is a little off the beaten path, so make sure to utilize your GPS if this is your first visit! Thai Flavor is a quaint, family owned restaurant where the staff is friendly. The Daily Duke team was highly impressed with the authenticity of Thai Flavor. For an appetizer, we ordered spring rolls (and a couple of egg rolls) in order to compare to Vietopia’s popular spring rolls. We found that the only difference was the peanut dipping sauce, which was more of a liquid base at Thai Flavor versus a thicker sauce at Vietopia. 

Spring Roll
Spring and Egg Rolls at Thai Flavor.

For our main dishes, we ordered both steak pho and steak & flank pho. For a large bowl of pho at Thai Flavor, it is only $8.95- a deal pho-lovers can’t say no to! If you’re not feeling pho, Thai Flavor’s menu is also loaded with a plethora of diverse Thai food options. Give Thai Flavor a visit, you can’t go wrong with any dish here!

Thai Flavor pho
Large steak pho from Thai Flavor ($8.95)

Beyond: 50 W. Water St, Harrisonburg, VA 

Highlights:

  • Atmosphere
  • Variety of Menu
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Pho Tai Nam ($9.95) and Spicy Tuna Roll ($7.75)

The last stop was Beyond Restaurant and Lounge! In order to keep my order as uniform as possible, I got the #22, Pho Tai Nam, steak pho (minus the well-done flank). For some diversity, I ordered a E15, a spicy tuna roll, topped with scallions and siracha.  For only a dollar more, pho at Beyond was comparable to my selection other two locations. Beyond’s atmosphere was top-notch, as the restaurant gives off a modern vibe with gorgeous artwork lining the walls. If you’re not completely sold on pho, this is the place for you to try. Beyonds’ menu offers a wide variety of sushi, salads, noodles, and rice platters. 

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Interior of Beyond

All in all, your dining experience at any of these three locations will be un-pho-gettable!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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