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More than just a Restaurant in San Diego: The Meaning Behind Bolsa

Hoi An Laterns Vietnamese Traditions Culture Bolsa Vietnamese Restaurant San Diego Mira Mesa Our Name Unveiled Family History

What’s in a Name?

There is more to us than a restaurant in San Diego. For many Vietnamese immigrants who came to this country by way of Southern California, Bolsa Avenue, a main thoroughfare that runs through Orange County, is perhaps a familiar name, place, and memory. After the Fall of Saigon in 1975, the first wave of Vietnamese refugees from the Vietnam War resettled into cities like Westminster, Garden Grove and Fountain Valley in Orange County. Beginning in 1978, Vietnamese-owned businesses began to open up on Bolsa Avenue and thus, Little Saigon was born.

Today, Orange County is home to the largest Vietnamese-American population in the country. Like thousands of other Vietnamese immigrants, our family first came to America by way of Orange County. We opened our first restaurant in 1982 and named it after the street on which it was located, Bolsa Avenue. As our family’s diaspora expanded, we opened up a second restaurant in East San Diego in 1985 and kept the same name to pay homage to the restaurant’s roots. Our Vietnamese restaurant's current location in Mira Mesa, San Diego, which opened in 1995, has been family-owned and operated for 20+ years.

Pho Bolsa began as a modest restaurant looking to feed fellow Vietnamese immigrants who longed for the dishes we left behind after fleeing our Motherland post-war. Since the late 1970s, Vietnamese food has reached a wider audience and restaurants like ours have been able to flourish thanks to the interest and delight of our communities in San Diego. Today, it is not uncommon to see people who are not Vietnamese entertaining the thought of getting pho or egg rolls for lunch. The fresh flavors of Vietnam has been widely adopted as a staple in America’s multicultural diet. We are proud to continue serving food from our homeland and are deeply honored to tell our story and share a piece of our culture with our customers.

We are thankful to our surrounding community in San Diego for its continued support and we hope you continue enjoy the savory tastes of Vietnamese dishes offered from our restaurant.


The Pho Bolsa Family

This post was written by Ann Dang, daughter of the head chef Huong. Not only does she have a great palette for delicious food, but she has a lasting affinity to dive deeper into the culture and history behind it. One of her biggest influences was Anthony Bourdain, who sadly passed away. Lost but not forgotten, the curiosity and lust for food and culture that Bourdain continues through her veins as well.

Bolsa Vietnamese Restaurant

9225 Mira Mesa Blvd Ste #118, San Diego, CA 92126

(858) 693-3663




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