BòCàPhê is clearly a cool place for cool people – located on the most hip and bustling stretch of Lafayette Street, hitting all the Instagram highlights, with rainbow terrazzo tabletops, neon pink lights, hanging plants, and murals galore. Typically a ploy to reel in the masses who care more about their feed than what’s actually being fed to them, the SoHo eatery successfully executes a balance of classic and experimental Vietnamese in a trendy, playful atmosphere.
The quirky menu is health focused, and puts a bit of a French twist on its Vietnamese fare. The spring rolls are a must-have (and gluten-free!), with options such as Chick’Ginger, Fresh Veggie, and beef – we recommend getting all three and splitting them for an appetizer. The Taro Fries are also great for two to split if you’re really hungry and want a twist on regular fries, with hefty cuts of taro paired with an aioli.
The quality of a Vietnamese restaurant can be truly determined by the quality of its pho, and here, I can’t describe the Classic Pho in any other way besides that it is truly a classic pho – a large, piping hot, brothy bowl full of rice noodles and thinly sliced beef, served with heaping piles of garnishes to dress your bowl to your exact liking. The Bo Bun is another popular choice, a cold vermicelli noodle bowl topped with fresh vegetables, lettuce, peanuts and your choice of protein (we went for the chicken and ginger). Zucchini noodles can be subbed in for the rice noodles.
An extensive array of drinks is presented at BòCàPhê, particularly non-alcoholic house special drinks, including fresh pressed juice, smoothies, and “healthy shots” of honey lemon ginger and just straight up ginger if you’re looking for a little detox. If you’d rather tox, they’ve got cocktails – we tried the cheekily named Ho Chi Mint (house sake, ginger, lemon juice, pineapple, mint) and the Bloody Mango (sake, mango, hibiscus, mint), both fruity and refreshing, and festively decorated with fresh garnishes and brightly patterned paper straws.
If you’re looking for a place that dishes out both a literal feast and a feast for the social media eyes, BòCàPhê is a sure bet.
To visit BòCàPhê, head over to 222 Lafayette Street in Manhattan. This meal was provided by BòCàPhê, however all opinions are our own.
All photos by Conor Rose.