Pho Thu Do (Original Location)

Posted on 2005-06-08 18:52

Edit: This restaurant is at a new address. See our new review here.

765 Somerset St

One of the smaller places for pho, and usually one of the busier.

They have a small menu with not much variety. Their soup is more of the “traditional” Vietnamese type. Mostly beef, one menu item with chicken. There are no shrimp to be had, unless maybe in a spring roll. There’s also no sate.

The upside of the small menu is that they are usually fast.

Prices are on the low side, with a large bowl costing about $6.50 including tax.

Edit: Comments for this restaurant are disabled. Instead, please see our new review of Thu Do, for the new location.


Although I rarely eat out due

Although I rarely eat out due to my demanding regime, Pho Thu Do is one of the places I go when i get the chance. The cuisine is fantastic. I use the word cuisine because it's french and sounds nicer than whatever the english version of the word is. Excelsior.

Benjamin Linus

yooooo guys..... this is the

yooooo guys..... this is the besssssssst phoooooooo restaurant in all of chinatown. It is a home away from home to me. I live at the basketball court and have no regard for human life. I do it live. 9/9 stars for pho thu do. du meh mai

tung nguyen

I am a nooby pho goer. I like

I am a nooby pho goer. I like to eat pho at pho thu do. I am not from vietnam but rubber band pho is my favorite! yes yes yes

geoff maines

I've been to quite a few of

I've been to quite a few of the Pho places near Pho Thu Do (What I consider to be the 'centre' of 'Chinatown') and I have to say I like this one the best. I don't know about the fake beef broth and the MSG, but the thick flavour is perfectly suited to my taste.

As already mentioned, they have crazy fast service - which is perfect for a quick after-school jaunt when I have a craving, or for a cheap lunch between school and work. The pricing's on the lower end, which makes it more affordable for students, and I really love the atmosphere of the place.

Rating: 9

Jenny Zhang

I found in Thu Do pho, that

I found in Thu Do pho, that they put ARTIFICIAL BEEF inside, its disgusting.It tastes really heavy and bitter because of that AND they charge you 8 dollars for a MEDIUM. Try Pho Huong que. Nice, big good quality and only 6.50 for a small.

Simon Bui

i just found out that 6.50 is

i just found out that 6.50 is for a med-large! NOT A SMALL! sorry

Simon Bui

I dont like how Pho Thu Do

I dont like how Pho Thu Do serves just pho. There is too much msg in EVERYTHING. The broth is actually artificial beef after asking the chefs why it tasted dense. From my last visit the food has gone downhill.

Rating: 4.75

Matthew Le

I am not Asian, but moved on

I am not Asian, but moved on Booth St. one week ago. I decided to try some Vietnamese restaurants as there were so many. One particular restaurant caught my eye with there intelligently placed pictures and it was Pho Huong Que. It was delicious, the best tasting soup I had in years.
The next day when i went to Thu do, to my dismay, they served mostly Pho only. the broth was a little too heavy and the beef was under cooked.

Pho Thu Do rating 5.5/10

Karen Macdonald

Msg, hey??? Don't get all

Msg, hey??? Don't get all panicky. Every pho restaurant you go to is going to have substantial msg in it, and after talking to the owner/chef, he says they don't use a lot.

The artificial beef kinda freaks me out though.


OK, this was the best soup

OK, this was the best soup I've had in a long time. Very very tasty. There soup has been slightly up and down over the years, but it is at a high now. Service was fast, spring rolls (actually "rools", as there is a mistake in the menu) were awesome, the soup came out quickly and the broth was simply fantastic. I could eat soup like that every day. Nothing was wrong with it.

The only thing which is an ongoing complaint here is the lack of variety, but that is minor since I loved the regular beef so much.

rating: 9.5


To me this is the best Pho

To me this is the best Pho restaurant in town. The soup is most flavourful. You can smell it once you enter the restaurant. However, the tastiness could because of the MSG? But, the mix of spice in the soup is definitely nice. The spring roll aren't bad either. Their drip ice coffee with condense milk really kicks. Try it out if you are into strong coffee.

Rating: 8


How do you like your beef?

How do you like your beef? Would you like it: medium-rare or well-done? What beef parts would you like: tendons, brisket, tripe, or even in ball format? The lack of variety in their menu is limiting for me as I am shrimp, sate, and egg noodle partial.

I reluctantly ordered the medium-rare beef with tripe in rice noodles (again for emphasis, there was no egg-noodle option available). I must say, though, that I was pleasantly surprised. The beef broth had an excellent flavour and there was a generous amount of noodles for the bowl size. The broth was definitely one of the best I've tasted.

The short and fat shrimp rolls (not the usual long and skinny boring ones) were tasty; it had a softer crust giving it a unique wrinkly texture.

Also of note is that they provided great service as our meals were on our table within minutes of ordering.

Rating: 8


What can you say about Thu

What can you say about Thu Do. Call it original, basic, authentic, plain - call it whatever you want, but don't call it bad pho. They have been up and down over the years. I haven't been there myself for over a year at least, since at that time the quality had, in my opinion, really gone downhill. So, time for another try.

The broth is really what makes it of course - simply delicious. I wish they had egg noodles, or shrimp, or bbq pork or the variety of the other places we go to. But the broth is just so darn good, I almost don't mind. Almost. Should also note that they are generous with their noodles - I find that their small is equivalent noodle-wise to a medium everywhere else. This time their beef was plentiful and of good quality.

One word about the spring rolls - they are tastier than I remember. Thicker and rougher than the normal long, skinny, smooth ones, they have the usual stuffing with small chucks of shrimp - but somehow they taste a bit different, in a definite good way.

Good to know "they're back".

Rating: 8.5 (less marks for lack of variety)


I have occasionally timed

I have occasionally timed them from the when the order is given until the food arrived. Once it was under 2 minutes! It is always fast, except when I'm at the tail end of the crowd.

Their broth is rich in star anise which gives it a slightly licorice flavour. That's not to everyone's taste, but it is of mine.

This place is one of the few pho places to keep napkins on the table so you can help yourself. Most other places dole them out one at a time. I dunno.

The one complaint I have about this place is that sometimes, not often but sometimes, the sliced meat they add to the soup does not contain much meat but is mostly fat or gristle.

However, this is probably the first pho place that I went to after moving to Ottawa, and it continues to be one of my favourites and I return to it time and again.

Rating: 9