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best pho in toronto revisited

silent bob Oct 10, 2005 04:44 PM

Hello chowhounders,
I know the subject of pho has come up at least once or twice on this site yet I seem to be having trouble finding the threads. Managed to read great things of the departed Dai Nam and plenty of rec's for Pho Hung but just wondering if there's more out there. I have recently moved from Ottawa where all our pho houses are cluttered in one simple spot and now, I'm in dire need of some great tasting pho in the big T.O. Could anyone help out with a few suggestions-would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.

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  1. w
    Wiley RE: silent bob Oct 10, 2005 07:32 PM

    Mi Mi on Gerrard East, around Jones I think..north side of street. It's all good there

    1 Reply
    1. re: Wiley
      jayseeca RE: Wiley Oct 11, 2005 01:24 AM

      Definitly Ginger by Yonge and Bloor is extremely tasty, and reliable. I actually went to Pho Hung today, and noticed all the items we ate seemed to be not as good as usual... but it was still enjoyable.

    2. l
      Level RE: silent bob Oct 11, 2005 07:26 AM

      Dai Nam has relocated to Scarboro. Here's this week's review in the Now.

      Link: http://www.nowtoronto.com/issues/curr...

      1. k
        k-dogs RE: silent bob Oct 11, 2005 12:13 PM

        I started one of these threads a little while ago, looking to add to my pho favourites which are both midtown: Lemongrass (Bayview Ave, south of Eglinton)and Green Papaya (Yonge St., north of Eglinton).

        1. j
          justto RE: silent bob Oct 11, 2005 03:29 PM

          for authenticity, go to east chinatown (gerrard and broadview), behind a store called maple gardens, there is a restaurant where i see mostly vietnamese people go. they have the most authentic pho. i think because the stock that they use is the riches of the bunch.

          Previous post mentioned MIMI, if you are adventurous, try the dish with the pig stomach and pig blood cube!It sound aweful but if you already have a taste for pho, you might find this interesting. A friend of mine said one can only get this dish here in toronto.

          1. s
            shanny RE: silent bob Oct 27, 2005 04:52 PM

            Pho Dau Bo Restaurant 2437 Finch Av W

            Love it...

            1 Reply
            1. re: shanny
              Hondapendragon RE: shanny Jul 14, 2008 10:54 AM

              Is this the one near Finch and Weston. In the strip mall behind the gas station? If so, I agree 100%. This place is great.

            2. Charles Yu RE: silent bob Jul 13, 2008 03:39 PM

              Pho 66, St Claire west and Old Weston Road! Weird location for the 'hands down best pho' in town. Best broth - dense and flavourful!

              3 Replies
              1. re: Charles Yu
                fickle RE: Charles Yu Jul 14, 2008 01:45 PM

                Thanks for the tip Charles, mrbozo and I were trying to figure out what might be worth exploring along that stretch of St Clair West.

                mrbozo: I tried Pho Rang Dong a couple of weeks ago and was seriously disappointed. Flavourless and bland with a very limited menu. Their curry tasted chalky and their sauces were watery. Another one off the list :-(

                1. re: fickle
                  mrbozo RE: fickle Jul 14, 2008 05:23 PM

                  Thanks for taking one for the team, fickle (I owe you one). And yes, thanks Charles for the info that the best pho in town is a short stroll away.

                2. re: Charles Yu
                  mrbozo RE: Charles Yu Jul 18, 2008 09:46 AM

                  A point of clarification: Pho 66 is now named Pho so 6. Also there is a branch of the Golden Turtle (HQ on Ossington) open across the street. In fact, the stretch between Old Weston and Silverthorn is now home to a number of Viet eateries. Check out my photo essay for more: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hendriks...

                3. w
                  warlock RE: silent bob Jul 13, 2008 07:09 PM

                  I used to frequent Pho Hung a lot but then it was always so packed and came acoss Pho Pasteur on Dunas /Spadina and have never returned back to Pho Hung.......Another gem is Que Ling on Gerrard/Boulton ,if you are not looking for atmosphere and ambience.....

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: warlock
                    jennjen18 RE: warlock Jul 13, 2008 11:30 PM

                    I have to agree on Pho Pasteur. I dont know why I had an inhibition to visiting it - maybe 'coz it's not on Spadina or something. But anyway, quite authentic, I like the soup. I think that'll be my new spot in Chinatown. I used to frequent Xe Lua, but their ingredients (noodles, cuts of beef) have gone downhill.

                    1. re: jennjen18
                      atomeyes RE: jennjen18 Jul 15, 2008 02:37 PM

                      people keep on saying that about Xe Lua, and there may be differences between locations, but we've been going to the Gerrard and Broadview location and its pretty darn consistant.
                      you may get some broth variations on a daily basis (guess it depends on the meat they use in the broth), but its the most fragrant and tastiest soup in the city (IMO). has hints of cinnamon or cardamom in it. the meat in the soup is very tasty and the fresh noodles are just that: fresh.

                      we've been to MIMI and it was bland. most pho places disappoint me (and we hit a pho restaurant in any city in North America that we visit) and i still find Xe Lua to be the best

                      1. re: atomeyes
                        jennjen18 RE: atomeyes Jul 15, 2008 04:29 PM

                        That I totally agree with - different Xe Lua locations vary. There's one near my house in Scarborough that's totally different as well.. still not good though. But the one in Chinatown *used* to be REALLY good, until they renovated and moved upstairs............

                      2. re: jennjen18
                        Matt H RE: jennjen18 Sep 14, 2009 05:57 AM

                        Is the Pho Pasteur in TO from the same ownership or company as the location in Boston?

                    2. jayt90 RE: silent bob Jul 13, 2008 07:41 PM

                      In the northwest, Pho Mi Asia is very good with fast service. Ask them to go easy on the noodles, because the broth is so good.

                      Pho Mi Asia
                      1008 Wilson Ave, Toronto, ON M3K1G6, CA

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: jayt90
                        archive RE: jayt90 Jul 15, 2008 12:50 PM

                        I agree with the vote for Pho Mi Asia on Wilson Ave.
                        There location in Mississauga is almost as good - Service is a tad slower.

                        1. re: jayt90
                          redearth RE: jayt90 Mar 4, 2009 09:41 AM

                          The Pho Mi Asia on Dundas west of Dixie in Mississauga also has a fantastic Pho, with one of the most flavorful, richest broths I've tried. No need to add sriracha or hoisin to their broth, that's for sure!

                        2. s
                          snackboy RE: silent bob Jul 13, 2008 09:51 PM

                          Hi Bob,

                          I really like the Pho at the Golden Turtle . . . It is located on Ossington just south of Dundas . . . They also have a patio which is a bonus...


                          8 Replies
                          1. re: snackboy
                            Charles Yu RE: snackboy Jul 14, 2008 05:39 AM

                            Based on report in Toronto Life that Susur Lee used to frequent there, three foodie friends and myself drove all the way from Richmond Hill to give it a try a few weeks back. Extremely dissappointed!!!! Quality and taste, especially the broth, was way inferior than Pho 66 on St Claire, our unanimous choice for best Pho in town!

                            1. re: Charles Yu
                              gijoeanne RE: Charles Yu Jul 14, 2008 09:43 AM

                              I completely agree with Charles Yu on Golden Turtle. The broth was actually a lot less flavourful than other pho establishments.

                              That being said, I think Anh Dao on Spadina has pretty good pho, especially the "Hue" style beef. Nem Nuong (I'm sure I'm spelling everything wrong here) rocks too.

                              1. re: Charles Yu
                                happycamper RE: Charles Yu Jul 14, 2008 12:52 PM

                                Totally Agree.
                                Last time we were there, a friend has peanut allergy. We had informed our server when ordering. The pho arrived with a generous spoonful of peanuts. We asked the kitchen to replace it.
                                10 minutes later it arrived: it was the same bowl, with just the top layer scraped off (we could still find alot of peanuts in the noodles and soup).

                                I know this is not an uncommon practice...but it just shows how little they care.

                                1. re: happycamper
                                  tjr RE: happycamper Jul 14, 2008 01:17 PM

                                  Yikes! Had I been eating there, I wouldn't be around to post this :-(

                                  1. re: happycamper
                                    acd123 RE: happycamper Jul 14, 2008 01:33 PM

                                    The pho at Golden Turtle never comes with peanuts. I order it at least once a week and I've never seen a peanut in their pho.

                                    The vermicelli dishes are, however, always served with peanuts.

                                    1. re: acd123
                                      Charles Yu RE: acd123 Jul 14, 2008 04:06 PM

                                      The satay broth version does have peanuts on top.

                                    2. re: happycamper
                                      snackboy RE: happycamper Jul 14, 2008 07:48 PM

                                      I have eaten pho there for years as it is right by my work . . . I have yet to see peanuts on any soup . . . and I've pretty much had them all


                                      1. re: snackboy
                                        happycamper RE: snackboy Jul 15, 2008 07:10 PM

                                        Yes you are absolutely right. It was the vermicelli that he ordered, not the pho.
                                        Sorry to all about the report.

                                2. happycamper RE: silent bob Jul 14, 2008 10:41 AM

                                  We enjoy Pho Linh on College west of Dufferin.
                                  Golden Turtle was alot better a few years ago. Now, we found the service lacking and the broth bombarded with MSG.

                                  1. e
                                    Everythingtarian RE: silent bob Jul 14, 2008 11:42 AM

                                    Kim on St. Andrew @ Spadina is amazing for pho and everything else they do.

                                    1. atomeyes RE: silent bob Jul 15, 2008 06:27 PM

                                      not saying that its the best, but there's a restaurant beside El Mocombo on Spadina and College. I do not recall the name, but it has a yellow rectangular sign

                                      anyways, their pho was different than any other pho place. it was a more transparent broth, but it was incredibly spicy. very different.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: atomeyes
                                        happycamper RE: atomeyes Jul 15, 2008 07:13 PM

                                        Are you referring to the Saigon Palace on Spadina and College?
                                        I have only visited it once, and it was not a very pleasant experience. The pho came in a big bowl and the broth was extemely and packed with salt. It did come with more herbs/sprout on the side than many other places, but I just found the greasy tables a little offputting.

                                        1. re: happycamper
                                          mrbozo RE: happycamper Jul 15, 2008 07:19 PM

                                          I had my one and only experience with breaded chicken knuckles at Saigon Palace.

                                      2. g
                                        Gary RE: silent bob Jul 16, 2008 05:30 AM

                                        I tried Pho Hung near Bloor & Avenue recently, mainly on recommendations from this board (I was in the area and looking for eating options) and I have to say I was very disappointed. Not a very flavourful broth and a glum interior even by my casual-loving standards.

                                        I've had great pho on repeat visits to a place called Pho Saigon, near the southern end of the Spadina Chinatown strip, on the west side. Quite a tasty broth, fresh ingredients, fast friendly service. But it never seems to be mentioned here, maybe others don't like it or I've gotten the name wrong...

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Gary
                                          warlock RE: Gary Jul 16, 2008 08:25 AM

                                          The Pho Hung on Spadina is the better one.....

                                        2. g
                                          Glyceryl RE: silent bob Sep 13, 2009 06:22 PM

                                          I'm look for a very tradition kinda taste of pho, but still haven't seem to be able to find my answer on this page. All the comments are only listed what restaurants do everyone go to for pho, but no details of why they like it. I'm looking for a very simple looking bowl of pho, yet complex. A place with box of tissue, lime and hot spicy chilli oil ready for you on the table. A bowl of pho serve up for you with that shimmer of fat flouding on top. Goodness of meat in thin slices, with a bit of coriander and bean spouse. CHEWY... TENDER... MEATY...

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: Glyceryl
                                            Charles Yu RE: Glyceryl Sep 13, 2009 07:40 PM

                                            Your description reflects almost every place mentioned on this post!!!

                                            1. re: Charles Yu
                                              FrankD RE: Charles Yu Sep 15, 2009 03:31 PM


                                              Have you ever tried Vic Hong at Major Mac and Bayview? I really like their #53 - Centre Vietnamese style. Really great broth!

                                            2. re: Glyceryl
                                              theel RE: Glyceryl Sep 14, 2009 08:53 AM

                                              I frequent Pho Con Bo (Jane and Wilson). Best pho in town that I have found. I added them to another board sometime last week (best chow finds).

                                            3. c
                                              cozzetto RE: silent bob Sep 14, 2009 01:33 PM

                                              Golden Turtle on Ossington my fav for Pho

                                              1. Dr. John RE: silent bob Sep 15, 2009 06:46 PM

                                                The biggest letdowns we experience with pho are broths that lack flavour or are too salty. And we also hate overcooked noodles. With that in mind:

                                                Used to love Golden Turtle on Ossington but haven't been in years so it is certainly possible they have gone downhill.

                                                We live near Gerrard and Broadview so we frequent Mimi's and really like the flavour of the broths and the variety of the different noodle soups. The seafood one with glass noodles is particularly nice - not too salty, seafood lightly cooked. The spicy Hue style one is very tangy and the curry ones are rich but good.

                                                Hanoi 3 Seasons on Gerrard doesn't focus on pho, but the few they have again have nicely flavoured broths. We recently tried Xe Lua and it was also good, again with nice broths.

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