Orange Street has added a new pho restaurant with brick walls and an expansive dining area to an already-bustling block of activity.
After pioneering five restaurants in the Boston area, Thailand native Sumon Suwan has opened up his first New Haven restaurant, Pho and Spice, at 76 Orange St. Sitting just a block away from Elm City Market, Pho and Spice officially started serving its authentic Vietnamese and Thai food on Nov. 5. Though it has only been officially open for a short period of time, Suwan said that the restaurant has seen a steady stream of customers.
“We have a lot of students come in,” Suwan said. “Some students come three to four days a week, so we are very lucky to have regulars.”
Suwan said he started his first Vietnamese and Thai food restaurant — Pho and Rice — in Somerville, Massachusetts 13 years ago. He also opened another similar restaurant in Boston, this time called Pho and Spice, in 2011. Each time he opens a new restaurant, he sells the one he has most recently opened, Suwan said. For example, he added, after he opened Pho and Spice in New Haven, he sold his Boston restaurant to his cousin.
Suwan said the restaurant tends to cater to big groups, including families, residents and students. But, Suwan said, his restaurant does not target a particular demographic. He also noted that he does not see much competition from around the area because his restaurant serves the most authentic Thai and Vietnamese food in the area.
“I don’t think we have any [competition] because we are totally different,” Suwan said. “We do more authentic Thai and Vietnamese food.”
Suwan said menu items range from pho to stir-fried noodles and bubble tea.
Students who have eaten at Pho and Spice praised the restaurant’s authentic flavors and architectural openness. But they said the restaurant’s location, which is nearly a mile away from Old Campus, may deter them from visiting.
“I ordered a classic Asian dish that they prepared very well,” Thomas Aviles ’16 said. “The only worry I have is that students might not be compelled to walk down there from central campus when other Asian spots like Basil and Thai Taste are closer.”
Other students who had not yet visited expressed interest in visiting the Orange Street location.
“I like pho,” Lyndon Ji ’16 said. “So I’ll definitely visit.”
Pho and Spice is open for lunch and dinner all week.