Cơm Dĩa (rice with grilled meat) at Cô Châm
Cô Châm
Bún Ḅ Huế at Cô Châm
Gỏi Cuốn (Summer Roll) at Cô Châm
Cô Châm
Cơm Dĩa (rice with grilled meat) at Cô Châm
Spring Rolls at Cô Châm
Cơm Dĩa (rice with grilled meat) at Cô Châm
Bánh Ḿ at Cô Châm
Bánh Ḿ at Cô Châm
Bánh Ḿ at Cô Châm
Cô Châm
Foods from Cô Châm
Comments

Jan 4
Why I don’t come to this restaurant more often is beyond me. The food is really good and the prices are low! $8.95 for a bowl of bun (grilled beef on rice vermicelli)! Agree with another reviewer that the style of different from Huong’s Bistro but it is very tasty and fresh as well. Just a different style of cooking. The grilled beef had a layer of sauce which was nice. The bowl was huge. I didn’t finish the noodles despite how hungry I was when I walked in.

The service was fine. The lady just has resting b**** face, but so do I, so take my word for it, it is not bad service at all! It is similar to any other small restaurant in Ottawa. The only staff has to run up and down the restaurant by him or herself and the owner covers cash, helps to clear tables, and answers the phone for take out orders.

I’ll be back more often from now on.

2015 Jul 23
This tiny little restaurant is a favourite for many because the quality is good and the prices are excellent. For example, my massive plate of cơm chả cá (26. fish sausage on rice) was $7.95! Even though there isn't a whole lot of fish paste here (maybe 5 or 6 wee fried patties, bisected transversely into twice as many thin medallions), there's a lot of food: loads of rice, tender-crisp onions, chunks of warm pineapple, a few slices of tomato, and a good amount of lettuce. I added some chili sauce (the chunky tuong ot toi one) and it did amazing things to the sweet and tangy pineapple.

Some people on social media have slammed the service here. I found it to be a little quirky but nice. They seem quite strict on their policy that only Bánh Ḿ may be ordered to-go and that they must be ordered to go. A few complaints I read said that the lady is too grumpy (seriously?!), but if you catch her eye at the right time you might be rewarded with a smile. The fact is, this place rocks a solid menu and extremely fair prices. If you expect fancy restaurant service from a clean place that has good food at prices that undercut fast food and mall food courts, then you need to think hard about whether or not you have anything to complain about.

I'm looking forward to going back!

2011 Nov 9
Not knowing which Vietnamese restaurant to walk into, we looked for the busiest one and chose Co Cham. It seemed as though most people were regulars which speaks well of a restaurant.

I ordered the pho with chicken (which is strange because I've always ordered it with rare beef in the past) and despite the chicken (white meat), the broth was very flavourful and tasty. There are other soups on the menu that I'll have to try in the future.

I also happened to be in the area a week or so later and I picked up a couple of Bánh Ḿ. As embarrassed as I am to admit it (being from Montreal where they are readily available), this was my first time trying Bánh Ḿ. I wasn't disappointed. The fillings were fresh and the bread was nice and crusty. Talk about a deal! I should also mention that even though it was almost 8 p.m. on a Tuesday, I still had to wait in line for my Bánh and that has to be a good sign.

2011 May 14
My friday WORST experience @ CO CHAM restaurant (780 Somerset Street West

Ottawa, ON) Will Not return: Went out for lunch with my buddy Mr. Haha Ha, we decided to eat @ CO CHAM Place (since it's known as cheap and decent foods). Guess what went in @ 11:30am, didn't get any foods till close to 12.45pm. Ask the manager (the lady that stand making banh mi`), where are our foods, she said it's comming, and that we have to wait little longer, cause we order appetizer before, so it'll take longer hmmm, then 1min later she went up to us trying to explain that, since our order is out of the ordinary (Bun bo Hue, and Bun Ga` Xao Xa, it's listed in the menue, we don't pick it out of nowhere), the way they work was if not many ppl order the same foods you order, then your order will be last, and so many other ppl came after us got their foods (Pho, Bun bo Hue, Appetizer etc...) with in like 10-15min hmmmm. Then I ask so I must be lucky or take my chances when I order my foods @ your restaurant, because if I order something that no1 else order @ the time, I will have to wait more than 40mins for my foods, and guess what she said, oh it is like that for all restaurant. I don't say myself I am a restaurant goer, but trying to tell me waiting 45mins+ for foods is normal for any restaurant, it is a stupid way of explaining. Any how CO CHAM I will never return to eat or recommend to any of my friends

2010 Sep 12
Got the shredded pork on a whim this past week.
BEST. SANDWICH. EVER.

I can't believe I waited so long to go in!

2010 Aug 19
Allume - yes, the hidden secret to co cham is their wonderful NON banh mi items on the menu... really affordable & flavourful & fresh & filling portions. This is a fav spot of mine in chinatown for viet eats, along with Huong's Bistro (unbeatable thit bo kho)

2010 Aug 19
Cameo: I visited Co Cham for the first time last Friday night and can confirm that, yes, they do accept payment with debit cards.

Neither I nor my dining partner tried the banh mi so I can't comment on them (the dishes we did have were very good, though, especially #39, grilled pork + noodles). However, while we were eating, a ton of people kept coming in to pick up sandwiches to go. I will definitely try them next time.

2010 Aug 19
Momo - Ottawa banh mi v. other banh mi, if we had more grilled meat banh mi in Ottawa, and better baguette, we would be rivaling the ones I had in Kitchener. NYC had good ones as well.

2010 Aug 19
Hi Cameo,

Welcome to the site! I'm really interested to see what your take on the banh mi are, because I haven't had them anywhere other than Ottawa so I don't know how they stand up.

Co Cham is still open, and the prices include tax, although it's up to $2.25 now (the horror!)

I'm not sure if they do debit. I think they do?

On the non-pork side, they have a really good sardine banh mi, and I think they have a chicken/roti one, too.

My plan's to eat there tonight, so maybe I'll try something new ;)

2010 Aug 19
Hello everyone,

Newly transplanted to Ottawa from Calgary (where I guess I was spoiled by having a decent banh mi spot at almost every corner), and I've been craving some good banh mi for a while now. So from what I've gathered, this place seems to be the best place to get them, I was wondering if it was still in business as it has been a while since anything has been posted about it (seems like restaurants in Ottawa open up & shut down in no time)

I've been reading all about their assorted & pork subs, but I was wondering if they had any none pork etc options as well? Also whether the price includes tax & whether they accept debit or not (just so I know whether or not to have cash handy, don't want to make the trip all the way to Chinatown only to be left scrambling to find an ATM lol) I'll be looking forward to your replies.

Thanks

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2015 Jul 23
These were some of the freshest gỏi cuốn tôm I've encountered... still warm when they arrived at my table!
$4.95 for two, very nicely presented. Stuffed with shrimp, quite a lot of vermicelli, and some lettuce. The peanut sauce (nước lèo) was the hoisin-centric style, with crushed peanuts on top. Very nice!




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2017 Jul 12
When it comes to comfort food, this is still the place to go in Chinatown! Sure, funkier places are popping up left right and centre in this gentrifying neighbourhood, but this one has withstood the test of time. The eclectic juxtaposition of a banh mi takeout in the middle of a full service restaurant definitely makes this family run place unique. Get 6 subs to go on a hot summer day and you've got dinner for 2 and lunch for the next day covered.

2015 Dec 9
Practically an Ottawa institution after all these years, Co Cham still has the charms of a family run business and is still true to its roots as a take-out sub shop before becoming full fledged restaurant at its present location. The subs are still a good deal but make sure to get there early before the baguettes run out lest you have to settle for the softer hoagie bun. The best way to go is to stop in for lunch and order six subs to go while you are there. Leave the hoagies for the late comers after work!

2015 May 12
The Banh Mis are now $3 each. Still a pretty good deal for a yummy sandwich.

2013 May 18
Still the best after all these years. The owner still remembers my usual order: 6 subs, on baguette, hot pepper! Buy 5 and get 1 free may not sound like much, but at only $2.25 each, this is a supper deal. Try also the home made chicken bologna-like sausage tightly wrapped in banana leaf like a cigar and easy to eat on the go..

2012 Oct 27
Stopped by for takeout: 2 assorted Bánh Ḿ (don't forget to ask for fresh chilies!) at this tidy and clean little resto. At $2.25 a pop, these fresh and tasty sandwiches are a nice alternative to the usual fast food fare in this city.

2012 Apr 16
Update:

A friend of mine bought 5 banh mi` (Vietnamese Sub) from Co Cham, and went home ate one, and she go Diarrhea symptom and vomit. She had to drop by the hospital. She recalled the person that was coughing while making the subs. She throw away the rest of the subs.

***So be warn.

***Eat/buy with caution if you decide to eat/takeout from there.

2009 Sep 20
Hi Monty,

Just ask them for the peppers. You also have a choice of bun or French baguette. The baguette is my favorite.

I used to eat at this place when it was a couple of doors down, then it went away and the new owner said they sold it to him. This happened about 2 years ago. Apparently this is not true. They simply moved, and did not sell the store.

I'm glad I found this place again. The spicy subs are very good and so cheap ($2.50 per sub).

The desserts in the display case are quite good too.

2009 Jul 25
I decided to give Co Cham another shot this morning. Ah...banh mi breakfast. It was the lady making my sub this time, instead of the man I usually see there (the owner?). I got an assorted on a roll. The bread was fresh, and she certainly layed on enough pate and mayo. This was good. My only gripe - NO PEPPERS! Damn my pale white heritage! I guess she figured I couldn't handle it. I get no respect in Chinatown I tell ya...no respect.

Anyhow I'll definitely be back to checkout the sardine sub and the banh quai vac (empanadas) sometime.

2009 May 12
Had my first Vietnamese sub today :-) Was still under the weather and thought this would do the trick. It did! I tried the assorted sub, mix of cold cuts, pâté, marinated onions, carrots, fish sauce and red chillies. Very fresh, tasty and cheap $2.25 I was pleasantly surprised also at how clean and nice the place was. Will go back for sure.

2009 May 9
momo
I love the sardine banh mi! extra chilis please

(yes my avatar is a lobster banh mi..something I often run as a special)

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Mar 10
Grilled beef, shredded pork and fried egg on steamed rice. Great dish and a generous portion for $8.95! The meat on its own is on the sweeter side but mixed with the rice and dipping sauce it comes together as a nicely balanced dish.

2015 Jun 10
I too had the grilled pork, shredded pork and fried egg on steamed rice.

Very generous portion of grilled pork. Quite different from Huong's Vietnamese Bistro. Not better or worse ... just different.

I truly enjoyed this dish, especially when i sparingly added fish sauce and two kinds of hot sauce And

Did i say dish? ... i mean DEEP dish ... not a shallow plate. And a peculiar red plastic(?) one at that.

Was quite full after this and a durian shake.


2015 May 12
Grilled pork, shredded pork and fried egg on steamed rice.

The grilled pork is thin, well seasoned, grilled well and there was a lot of it. Underneath all that is a huge mountain of rice. I could not finish it and I hate to waste rice. The shredded pork was like it is everywhere else I have had come it. It is a great deal too for $8.95.




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2015 May 12
Shrimp, pork, carrots, cabbage and vermicelli filling. The pork and shrimp seemed marinated so it is a little better than most spring rolls. It's 2 rolls for $4.95 but they are huge.





2015 Jul 27
This was a tasty soup and a very satisfying meal for $8.95. But the broth wasn't nearly as rich, earthy, and lemongrassy as I like it to be. It tasted like mild phở with a spoonful of Huế paste from a jar stirred in -- or pretty much the same shortcut I might take at home. Don't get me wrong, this is a great bowl of soup... it just isn't what I've come to expect from Huế.