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Eatery brings authentic Vietnamese cuisine to qathet region

Family-run restaurant triumphs over adversity, celebrates success
Old Man Pho, a family-owned restaurant, is thriving by serving authentic Vietnamese cuisine south of Powell River.

Old Man Pho, which serves authentic Vietnamese cuisine, is located south of Powell River at 9398 Highway 101. Its owners aim to introduce the vibrant flavours of Vietnam to the qathet region.

Angela Phan said her parents opened Old Man Pho in April 2022 after a spontaneous trip here.

“It has always been my mom’s dream to open her own restaurant,” says Angela. “When she visited, she immediately knew that this was the perfect place. About a year later, we opened the doors.

Business was hectic for the first month, with full houses every day and many great reviews, she adds.

“We discovered that there weren’t any restaurants here that offer authentic Vietnamese cuisine. We fell in love with the community and wanted everyone to get a taste of Vietnamese cuisine. I could not have been any prouder of my parents.”

But, only three months after opening, Angela’s mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

“We planned to close down the entire business and let her return to Vancouver for treatment, but she insisted that we keep the restaurant running and that she would be back in no time to continue working, and that’s exactly what she did,” explains Angela. “To this present day, she has completed her chemotherapy and surgery. It is an ongoing battle, but there is no doubt that she will win.

“My mom is the most resilient and selfless person I know. She inspires me to become courageous, diligent and have faith in the darkest times.”

With her mom on the mend, Angela says she hopes to reach people in town and visitors who have not yet experienced dining with her family, or have not tried Vietnamese food before.

“We serve many people who have never tried Vietnamese cuisine before, but it wasn’t until the first anniversary that we met the largest number of first-timers,” she adds. “We held a 50 per cent off all phos promotion for our anniversary, which led to a flood of new customers coming to try our food. We often hear that our dishes have generous portions and fresh ingredients, our broth is phenomenal, and the atmosphere is calming.”

Old Man Pho serves up everything from salad rolls, vermicelli, stir-fried egg noodles and beef short ribs, to mango pudding and fresh-squeezed lemonade. And, of course, Pho, the signature dish, which is a hearty bowl of pho noodle soup.

“Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of a rich, slow-simmered bone broth, rice noodles and meat,” explains Angela. “However, we also offer vegetarian pho for our non-meat-eating customers. It may be garnished with a side of bean sprouts, Thai basil, jalapeño pepper and lemon.”
Everything from desserts to Viet subs are handmade right in the restaurant’s kitchen.

“When people step into our restaurant, we want them to feel like they are in Vietnam.” 

Angela says Old Man Pho also takes pride in catering to various dietary preferences, offering vegetarian and gluten-free dishes.

“Our menu contains many dishes that can be made gluten-free, the most popular being our pho noodle soups. We have placed a GF symbol next to those dishes to make it easier for anyone who wants to order something gluten-friendly.”

The interior dining area is thoughtfully decorated to resemble the charming city of Hoi An, Vietnam, immersing guests in an authentic atmosphere. Additionally, Old Man Pho offers a patio area where patrons can enjoy their meals in the warm sunshine.

Weekly specials feature brand-new dishes, unavailable on the regular menu, on Old Man Pho’s social media pages, Facebook ( and Instagram (

The menu is available online at Tables can be reserved by calling the restaurant at 604.487.1997.

Open hours are 11:30 am to 8 pm Tuesday to Sunday (closed Mondays).