Eat the Strip

Noodle House 79

1600 Merivale Rd Unit 5 Ottawa, Ontario K2G 5J9

July 18, 2023 9:08 AM

By: Sophia Lindfield


The LRT was down. A common enough experience for all of us living in Ottawa, but my friend Emma happened to be visiting from Halifax and was shocked at the two packed-to-the-windshield buses that we used to travel from downtown to Merivale and our ultimate destination of Noodle House 79.

After our transit escapades, we were more than ready to sit down in a cozy corner booth inside the wonderfully air-conditioned restaurant, tucked unassumingly as usual into a strip mall within a larger industrial park near where my dad grew up in the 1980s.

However, Noodle House 79 is a newer addition to the area. Opened only in January 2022, and in the middle of a pandemic nonetheless, it seems to be thriving already. We came in around 6:30 on a Monday night and the space remained steadily busy with families, groups of friends and work dinners throughout our time there. This should be no surprise though as we learned its owner’s older brother runs the successful Kanata Noodle House; providing for a neighbourhood's noodle needs clearly runs in the family.

We were not disappointed.

With over a hundred different options ranging from pho, to paid thai, to coconut curry soups, there are options for everyone. Emma and I are both plant-based and appreciated the vegetable broth and coconut milk bases that were available to choose from.

Our food arrived quite quickly, steam rising readily from the various bowls. My eyes perhaps bigger than my stomach, I ordered the large vegetable and tofu pho and received a deep bowl easily the size of a large dinner plate.

The vegetable and tofu pho came with a generous portion of fresh vegetables and tofu
The vegetable and tofu pho came with a generous portion of fresh vegetables and tofu

A generous portion of rice noodles, poured over with a flavourful vegetable broth and swimming with tofu, bok choy, carrots, cabbage, and other vegetables. Personally, I prefer a bit more spice and so added sriracha, but the soup base was delicious.

Emma ordered the other plant-based option, a medium green vegetable curry that still ended up leaving her with a sizeable portion for leftovers. Ameya ordered the Bún bò Huế—a spicier, bolder cousin of pho from the central Vietnamese city of Hue. He said the broth was some of the best he had ever tasted. With a base of shrimp paste and chilli oil, he said he could taste the time and effort that had gone into it and that the family experience with cooking was clear.

A number of reviews online said the Bún bò Huế was one of the restaurant's most well-loved items
A number of reviews online said the Bún bò Huế was one of the restaurant's most well-loved items

Our final bill for our party of three, tax and tip included, came out to $48.95 and only Ameya, who ordered a small, walked away without generous leftovers. A wonderful amount of delicious food for the price and a solid five-star experience.