Words & Deeds

Meat eater or vegan? Either way, this Boise restaurant wants you. It just opened

Got a craving for Vietnamese comfort food? It’s hard to top a big bowl of rice noodles, meat and slow-simmered broth.

Fortunately, new restaurants specializing in pho keep materializing in Idaho’s capital city.

The latest option is 208 Pho & Vegan, which plans to open its second Boise location today at 7310 W. State St. The new restaurant will follow the formula of the original business at 812 W. Fort St.

“Same name, same menu,” owner An Nguyen said when he spoke to the Statesman in July about the plans. “Same everything.”

Since debuting near the Boise Co-op in 2016, Pho 208 & Vegan has poked its chopsticks into two potentially challenging culinary worlds. The restaurant aims to serve authentic Vietnamese food to Idahoans, and it also targets a veggie-only crowd. With a mostly favorable response on Yelp, the two-in-one tactic seems to be succeeding. (Those North End vegans aren’t going to cut ’em any slack, right?) Customers praise the restaurant for portion size, flavor and affordability.

208 Pho.jpg
Pho fans in Boise’s North End are familiar with 208 Pho & Vegan, which opened two years ago at 812 W. Fort St. 208 Pho & Vegan/Facebook

Are you a newbie to pho? Dig into a signature bowl of 208 Pho, which includes rare steak, well-done brisket and flank tenderloin.

Not in a meat mood? Go vegan. Or not in a pho mood at all? At 208 Pho & Vegan, you’ll also find assorted rice vermicelli noodle choices, other rice-and-meat-or-veggie dishes, and appetizers such as crispy egg rolls and fresh spring rolls.

The new 208 Pho & Vegan restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Does the newly remodeled space feel vaguely familiar? It’s been serving pho (along with Chinese food) for a long time. Pho 79 operated there for 15 years before shuttering several months ago.

By the way, pho is pronounced “fuh.” Practice saying it between happy slurps.

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