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One of Austin’s best Vietnamese cafes opens new concept at old Ruby’s BBQ next week

Matthew Odam

Right on time to warm campus-area diners up during this cold snap, a new concept from a popular operator opens next Friday.

Sip Pho, from the owners of Pho Please, will take over the property formerly inhabited by longtime barbecue stalwart Ruby’s BBQ (512 W. 29th St.).

While the new restaurant will feature much of the same menu items as Pho Please, like restorative pho, noodle bowls and enormous bánh mì, the owners say Sip Pho will give chef-owner Anh Nguyen, who has worked at many of Austin’s top Vietnamese cafes over the years, more space to get creative with a new “Chef’s Choice” section that feature dishes like pho wagyu, sourced from grass-fed, Texas-raised wagyu cattle.

“My intent is to honor our heritage, but present authentic food in a modern way,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen and wife and co-owner Tien Do met through family friends while Do was a student at the University of Texas and Nguyen was still living in Vietnam. They opened Pho Please on East Riverside Drive in 2016, and the restaurant boasts a very loyal following and landed one of the top spots on our list of best bánh mì in Austin in 2018.

“We don’t believe in resting on our laurels,” Do said. “We didn’t want to overly-rely on the success of Pho Please – as amazing and humbling as it is. What we really want people to understand is that we’re hard working people out to push ourselves, take new risks – and hopefully elevate the experience our customers feel just a bit as well.”

Sip Pho’s website is not yet up, but you can follow along and rev up your appetite via their Instagram page.

From 2018: The best places to eat bánh mì in Austin