Pho is a classic Vietnamese dish that consists of a warm broth of beef or seafood, rice noodles and vegetables. It can be enjoyed all year-round but one of the best times to have Pho is on a rainy day.

Instead of moaning and groaning about the gray skies, use the rainy weather to your advantage by heading to Pho Real for a warm bowl of pho that is sure to satisfy.

Pho Real is a nearby restaurant that serves a variety of Vietnamese cuisine, including pho of course. It is only a five minute drive away from the University campus.

I have been to Pho Real at various times, from opening time at 11:00 a.m. to busy dinner times at 6:00 p.m. However regardless of when you go, I find that service is always friendly, quick and accommodating.

Most of the waiters there seem to be young college students as well so there isn’t any kind of rude, uptight or nonchalant service that you would find at other restaurants. The parking of this location is generally large because it is located in a complex that contains other restaurants such as Buffalo Wild Wings and Shane’s Rib Shack. There is a parking deck on the bottom as well as on the top.

The menu at Pho Real ranges from Vietnamese appetizers such as spring rolls to entrees like vermicelli, so you are bound to find something you like. The price range per entrée is generally seven to ten dollars.

Photo by Sarah Ro



In addition, Pho Real serves bubble tea, for those of you who enjoy the drink, so you can get it as a sweet treat for dessert afterwards. Bubble tea is a flavored drink of your choice that contains chewy tapioca bubbles.

Overall, the atmosphere is casual with numerous booths and tables along with a small bar area in the back. It is the perfect place to have a casual lunch or dinner with friends and family when you want to try something different.

When going to Pho Real, I wholeheartedly recommend trying the pho. For those of you who have never tried it and are reluctant, it’s simply a bowl of warm broth and noodles so what’s not to love? Also, pho is enormously popular throughout all cultures, so there must be a reason why it is loved by so many.

I chose to go with the Pho Vua which is the pho with the option of rare beef in the “just right” size which is the equivalent to a medium. In ten minutes, I was served a warm bowl of pho along with a plate filled with basil, bean sprouts and lime. For my personal taste, I find that adding the Sriracha sauce and brown sauce on the table with a little bit of basil and lime really perfects the dish.

Feel free to experiment with the vegetables and sauces to find your own personal favorite taste. For those that love cilantro, you can also ask for a side of cilantro to add to your soup. The rice noodles complement the warm broth perfectly and the side (beef or seafood, whichever you choose) gives it that extra flavor.

Photo by Sarah Ro



I find that the pho here is one of my favorites in Charlotte. I always leave feeling full and satisfied while also knowing that I didn’t break the bank eating here.

Overall, I give Pho Real four out of five stars. It’s a perfect place for college students to have lunch or dinner that doesn’t consist of fatty, fried junk food. The price point doesn’t strain wallets yet the food is filling. The overall environment is relaxed and the location is only a quick five minute drive from campus. For those of you who have never tried pho, I recommend giving Pho Real a try for your first pho experience.

Sarah is a senior business student double-majoring in Marketing and HR Management. She loves to read, write, explore new cities and watch TedTalks. Her favorite college experience was studying abroad in Seoul, South Korea. In the future, she hopes to continue writing- both professionally and personally.