The Superpower of Survival: Young’s Cafe, Fort Collins, Colorado

Open for 35 years, this mom-and-pop restaurant has played a part in many people’s lives. In fact, I have a friend who grew up in Northern Colorado who claims it as her favorite in part because she remembers going there as a kid. She is the first person who introduced me to Young’s Cafe many, many years ago.

It is located in Fort Collins, so it has not been my go-to Asian food restaurant, as I live in Loveland, but I have been a handful of times, years ago.

Last week, I had a lunch date with my friend Christine Forster, owner of My Big Day, LLC, and a longtime friend. We went to Young’s Cafe because I had been told they had pho and I’d visited long before this pho craze that I am currently enjoying. They have both Chinese and Vietnamese food on the menu.

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The restaurant has a comfy feel and we got a table near the front. The restaurant’s popularity was apparent as they were busy on a Wednesday. There were curry bowls and lunch combos, as well as six types of pho on the menu. Christine got a curry, but of course, I got the traditional beef noodle soup ($13).

There is only one size and that is huge. The broth tasted strongly of lemongrass. In fact, no need for a squirt of lime as it was already quite citrusy, but there was a ton of beef in this pho. In fact, I took half home and I liked the broth better once it had been sitting in all the pho components for a couple of days.

I reiterate this pho has a lot of beef and you can’t go wrong with lots of beef in my illustrious opinion.

Young’s Cafe is a Fort Collins tradition and I love tradition. I’m not sure anyone in Northern Colorado was eating pho in 1987 when Young’s Cafe came on the scene. I’m not sure pho was even on the menu then, but it is now.

While it might not be my favorite pho in the world, this place has to be doing something right. I applaud that, especially in the restaurant industry where survival is a superpower.

I have to go back because “crystal rolls” are on the menu. I’ve wanted to try them since a Vietnamese chef on The David Chang Show sang their praises. They are apparently superior to spring rolls and do not often appear on menus in my experience. Also, I want to try one of their meals that come in a clay pot.

Young’s Cafe – Vietnamese Cuisine, 3307 S. College, Fort Collins, Colorado 80525

Do you have a favorite item at Young’s Cafe? Or a favorite pho place? I’d love to read about it below.

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