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Dec 27, 2007 08:19 AM

Non-high-end but tasty in Boca? Maybe pho?

Pre-Miami, making the annual trip to Boca for a family visit. I visit this board each year looking for some new, interesting, non-pretentious restaurant in Boca Raton or thereabouts, but I know it's slim pickings.

Anything new in the past year?

Or, any very simple pho or Cuban places in driving range?

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  1. The least pretentious place I can think of is a small Persian place called Boca Skewers. It's near Mizner Park.

    I wish I could suggest good Cuban. That's really rare this far north of Dade.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Mat Josher

      I like Cabana on Atlantic in Delray, but I am not Cuban so no idea if it's authentic or not, but I thought it was good.

    2. Mat's right - not much for good Cuban in this area but you should try Cuban Cafe (3350 NW Boca Raton[2nd] Blvd) in Boca.

      As for Pho, my wife and I make the drive to Pho Hoa ( 5435 North State Road 7 [Rt 441]) in Tamarac. It's not a bad drive and the Pho is excellent.

      Also to the south, if you like Thai try Bangkok Palace (4345 N. State Road 7, Lauderdale Lakes, 954-733-0069). The food is excellent and the owners are good people.

      Cuban Cafe
      3350 NW Boca Raton Blvd Ste B32, Boca Raton, FL 33431

      Pho Hoa Restaurant
      5435 N State Road 7, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33319

        1. re: OysterHo

          It's a wonderful Vietnamese noodle soup made from different cuts of beef. (

          To get an idea of the variety available, check our Pho Hoa's menu ( My favorite is the #45. Phở Chín, Nạm, Gầu, Gân, Vè Dòn (Noodle soup with brisket, flank, tendon, fatty, and crunchy flank.) This is serious comfort food.

          1. re: RickL

            Thank you. :)

            Have you tried the Vietnamese place in Boca called Cayda? (I think that's how it's spelled). I've heard good things, but haven't been yet. It's on north Federal Hwy, near Hidden Valley.

            1. re: OysterHo

              Thanks for these replies so far. Was hoping to find an independent pho place instead of a chain. While Pho Hoa isn't bad, I find that independents are usually better. That said, I know there's no choice in some places.

              I've heard good things about Cay Da, though it's a little more upscale than I'm seeking (but probably cheap for Boca!). Do they have any pho for lunch or dinner?

              1. re: dimsumfan

                I don't think it's as upscale as La Tre. I have a lunch menu from them at work (not with me now) and it seems very reasonable. I don't know about pho though.

                I found their menu on line


                1. re: OysterHo

                  Oh, yes... I think I was thinking of La Tre, which is considerably more expensive. But I still don't see a meal-sized portion of pho on the menu (thanks for posting it!). The quest continues, but maybe I have to travel further south.

                  1. re: dimsumfan

                    Oyster, My wife and I have been to Cay Da several times and it's very similar to La Tre (same family I think), less expensive, and very nice but not the place for Pho.

                    Dimsum, I normally agree about chains but you might consider making an exception for Pho Hoa. Their locations include about a dozen in SE Asia. That said I understand that there are several good Vietnamese places along 441 from about Sample south. I've heard good things about Saigon Cuisine (1392 N. State Road 7, Margate 954-975-2426) but I haven't tried it yet.

                    Here's the link to an earlier Chowhound Pho discussion: ( Let me know if you find anything you'd recommend.

                    1. re: RickL

                      Thanks for the link. That gives me a few good options, all about 20 minutes south of Boca. I live in Seattle, where we have Pho Hoa... again, it's not bad, but our more local places tend to be much better.

                      Might try Saigon Cuisine, as it's closest, but read it's closed on Thursdays. Just need to make sure they serve tripe, as that's a favorite for pho!

                      1. re: dimsumfan

                        Well after all this talk I just had to go out and get some Pho. We went to Saigon Cuisine and it's definitely the real deal. I spoke with one of the owners and she said their Pho is made the traditional way with a broth made from beef bones that simmers for about 10 hours. Pho comes in 3 sizes - Medium @ $7.50 (just the right size for my wife), Large @ $8.50 which works for me, and Extra Large for who knows who.

                        Dimsum - you can pick and choose which meats you want in the Pho and they do have tripe. I had steak and flank but after speaking with the owner I'll order the "special" (includes all the meats) next time. And next time will probably be Monday afternoon.

                        Oyster - they also have a full menu of Vietnamese sandwiches and dinners but try the Pho.

                        1. re: RickL

                          Cool... thanks for the report, Rick! Maybe you don't want to hear that a large (think huge) bowl of pho (with whatever choice of meats) here in Seattle is half that price: $4.25!

                          1. re: dimsumfan

                            Nah, we've lived here for 11 years so we've developed a callous where restaurant price outrage should be. Welcome to South Florida - home of the highest restaurant prices in the country (at least according to Zagat)! lol

                          2. re: RickL

                            Thanks for the recommendation! I live very close to Margate, so that's good to know!