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Cheap Eats—Pho Saigon

Whether you're looking for comforting soup or an adventurous beverage, Pho Saigon churns them out


Pho has replaced french fries in Walnut Creek’s Newell Promenade. Taking over the space previously occupied by the old-school burger joint Taxi’s, Pho Saigon opened in late January, bringing fresh Vietnamese cuisine to hungry downtown lunch-goers. The budget-friendly menu, dominated by the popular rice noodle soup pho, has been keeping tables full with an already-steady clientele—especially at lunch, when Kaiser employees sport work badges and Broadway Plaza shoppers tuck Nordies shopping bags under their tables.

A bowl of pho ($6.75–$7.95) consists of thinly sliced beef (pick from tendon, tripe, or brisket, to name a few), fresh basil, lemon, and bean sprouts served in a steaming broth. Appetizers range from lighter options such as the fresh spring rolls ($4.25) to the weightier house special, fried shrimp cakes ($6.50). Generously portioned entrées such as the grilled beef over vermicelli noodles ($7.50) are packed with flavor; meanwhile, the combo plate—a grilled pork chop, fried chicken wings, and egg rolls over rice—can satisfy heavy-duty appetites for $7.95.

Although the spacious restaurant offers speedy service, there’s also takeout for those on the go.

Talk Soup: Pho is not the only soup on the menu; vegetarian egg noodle, and wonton and egg noodle soup are available, and start at $6.75.

Daring Drinks: Try Che Ba Mau—also known as the “rainbow drink” for its colorful tri-layered bean gelatin packed into a milk shake glass ($2.75)—or an avocado smoothie (3.25) for dessert.

Daily Deals: Everything on the menu, whether it’s pad Thai or even a thin-crust pizza, is under $10.25

Pho Saigon, 1560 Newell Ave., Walnut Creek, (925) 296-0777. Lunch and dinner daily.

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