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Looking for some good Vietnamese food. What's out there? Anything in the east end of the city?

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  1. I suggest Vietnam Noodle Star. Its a mix of Cantonese and Vietnamese there, run by Cantoneses. Great pho though, very hearty. Other than pho, they have bun, rice, and snacks (like grilled REALLY big prawns). At Midland and Finch.

    There's also Pho 88 at Alton Towers which serves nice Vietnamese dishes (pho, rice, bun, ..), run by Vietnameses. But I find Vietnam Noodle House has much more variety, quality in ingredients is also better.

    There's also a little restaurant at Sheppard and Brimley. Its in a little (VERY VERY LITTLE) plaza that only consists of 3 shops, and one of them being this restaurant and another being Harveys, and the other shop is like a Caribbean music store. The restaurant is also Cantonese-run, but their barbeque grilled items are excellent. I used to always go and get grilled pork chops with lemongrass on pho or on rice. I can't remember their name off the top, unfortunately, but its right at the south-west corner of Brimley and Sheppard.

    There's an east Asian buffet down the road from there called Rex Saigon, on Sheppard, just east of Brimley. They have made to order pho (also very hearty, by far the best pho I've had is from there), lots of different types of curries (curry fish, curry crab), and other east Asian stuff that I cant remember. I didnt quite like it though, as all buffets, their food is kinda sub par. I remember having a stomach ache afterwards too, so be careful. I cant remember whether the proprietor was Cantonese or Vietnamese.

    4 Replies
    1. re: jennjen18

      The place on the southwest corner of Brimley/Shepperd is V&H, but i didn't really like the pho there.

      1. re: jennjen18

        jennjen18, is the above Rex Saigon affiliated with the Rex Saigon on Eglinton E just over from Yonge?

        1. re: kerwintoronto

          yes but the one on eglinton E is not a buffet while the one sheppard is

        2. re: jennjen18

          I LOVE VIETNAM NOODLE STAR. the noodles there are very thick. great service - very fast, and the soup is very good.

        3. Mimi on Gerrard, East of Broadview. They have great Vietnamese food, and it's cheap. Although I have to say their portion sizes seem to be getting smaller, but they're still generous.

          2 Replies
          1. re: thenurse

            mimi's is great. when you go there you can really see how the owner builds a rapport with her customers. she's very friendly and speaks 5 different languages. the pho there is excellent, as well as their red bean ice drink.
            recently it's been getting pretty packed leading to long waittimes, but every time the bill came the owner apologized profusely. which showed her graciousness and appreciation of our business.
            this is the place i always go to when i want pho and in that area.

            1. re: chalenegirl

              I loved Mimi's for years, despite their pho not being top notch, because they did, indeed, make me feel part of the family. Perhaps it has been bad timing, but I've found the welcome less warm lately, and the pho is still not among the best (though it IS decent). They are one of the few places on Gerrard east that is busy these days, and I don't begrudge their success, but it's not worth lining up with equal or better alternatives on the block

          2. Try Pho Hung on Spadina (excellent pho oxtail/tripe soups, curry beef/or chicken with rice, Vietnamese crepes, etc etc).

            Pho Mi Asia on Wilson/Keele in the plaza is also good. Their Iced coffee is a bit too thick and over done with condense milk though.

            There are a couple of places on Ossington near Queen that has good Vietnamese food too.

            I know cuz I'm Viet and grew up with the home cooked stuff and can tell you whats authentic and what is not.

            1. Located in the east end of the city at Sheppard and Brimely, Rex Saigon which opened not too long ago serves what appears to be authentic Vietnamese and Thai food. You could tell by the long line ups on the weekends that the food is good. Quite a number of variety including rice in plantain leaves. Besides the red and green curries they also have delicious crab curries with pancakes. Their dessert casava cakes is pretty yummy. Heard good reviews from people who've been there.

              1. Besides Pho Hung on Spadina my other fave place is Green Bamboo in a plaza on the southeast corner of Midland/Sheppard, best quality pho and vermicelli i've had.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Little T

                  I second Green Bamboo. Menu is vietnamese and thai mostly, but I really enjoy everything I've had there, especially the grilled meat wraps.

                2. If it's pho specifically you are after though, the best pho I've had in Toronto is actually at Que Ling (248 Bolton St). It's a shack (don't be put off!) in Chinatown East on Bolton just south of Gerard at the side of the school. Bolton is the first residential street east of Broadview. They also make great bun bo Hue, and banh cuon. Aside from the food, the shack experience (and the clientele) makes it the closest thing to authentic pho joint feel to anywhere in Toronto. I feel like I'm back in VN. Problem is it's only open for lunch.

                  The other MUST is Pho Linh (1156 College West) but that's definitely not east end. It specializes in two dishes: banh cuon and bun bo Hue (same as Que Linh). Also great mia da (sugarcane juice).

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Riverdaleto

                    I'm with you on Que Ling---a good alternative to Mimi if it's packed.

                    1. re: Wiley

                      Well it's only an alternative if it's lunch since Que Ling is not open for dinner. Also depends on what you want to eat. I think the strengths of the two restaurants are different. Mimi's strengths are bbq meats (on rice or on bun) and its canh chua (hot and sour fish/shrimp soup). Que Ling strengths are its pho, bun bo Hue, and banh cuon.

                      1. re: Riverdaleto

                        Good advice--I'll try the canh chua today at lunch.

                    2. re: Riverdaleto

                      my two fave pho joints! nice choices! the preserved lemon and soda drink at pho linh is outstanding. the hue style noodles are amazing and if you're getting regular pho, make sure to ask for 'fresh' noodles...makes all the difference.

                      que ling (when it's open) is a cheap, cheerful hole-in-the-wall with tasty, uber-garlicky springrolls and their broth is one of the most complex tasting and satisfying i've ever had.

                    3. Pho Saigon at Warden and Eglinton should also be added to this list. I've only had the Pho a couple of times but it was very flavourful thanks to a richer broth than most. The pho came with plentiful amounts of lime and herbs -- as I like it. As good as Pho Hung -- just not as convenient for me (or as attractive a location for street ambience).

                      1. I think Pho Saigon is one that we've visited. If it's the place I'm thinking of, I like to time my trips to Winners with lunch at the Pho Saigon.

                        1. I may live to regret this if the place gets too busy in the future, but in true Chowish fashion, I'll mention the name of the Vietnamese spot I had lunch (Special pho) when I realized that,after sitting down at MiMi,I didn't have the time on the meter or my lunch break to wait for all the customers in there before me to get served.A block or so East, at 738 Gerrard E. is Pho Bo Tay, a clean place open just 2 months,closed Tuesdays. I found the pho delicious. (And today I was one of 3 guests and got my pho in 2 minutes.)

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Wiley

                            Is it as good as MiMi's though????

                            1. re: Wiley

                              I've been to Pho Bo Tay twice now. It's quite competent in the pho department (although next time I will ask for it without the fat on top, even though the "nuoc beo" as they call it is pretty authentic). The bun (vermicelli) is okay too. Everything there so far has been pretty tasty, though nothing to really distinguish itself from the pack. I just wish it had a few dishes beyond the standard pho, bun and com offerings. There are so many Vietnamese restaurants in town and it always boils down to the same couple offerings in most places. Still I think it will do well since it is clean, bright and very friendly, and is close enough that it will start taking the overflow from Mimi. (Que Ling is still easily the best pho I've had almost anywhere in TO.)

                            2. A definite YES on the pho, but I haven't tried the bun or other dishes yet.I liked what I had at Pho Bo Tay as well as that at Que Ling, too.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Wiley

                                I finally got a chane to visit Pho Bo Tay, and I was a little disappointed. The upside was that I thought the ingredients in my pho special where very fresh, the raw beef quite tasty, and the noodles nice and chewy, the broth was SO salty that I could barely eat it. there was no subtlety at all.

                                My wife liked the bun she had, and the presentation was beautiful with all the ingredients arranged around the bowl, instead of stacked like they sometimes are (e.g. vegetables, spring rolls, pork), but she found the spring rolls a little strange: the skin had a mottled cloudy appearance, rather than the usual crisp brown appearance it usually has. She surmised it was made from a wheat rather than a rice wrapper, but really we have no idea.

                                So comparing it to Mimi's. which seems to be the benchmark for the neighbourhood: Mimi's wins on springrolls and Pho broth, but Pho Bo Tay wins on everything else. However, those are two key issues so its likely we will return to Mimi's before Pho Bo Tay. If they would only fix that salty broth.

                                1. re: bluedog

                                  FYI I went to Pho Bo Tay today for the first time. It has since changed ownership and is called Pho 95. It was 8:00 on Monday and it was totally empty. I had take-out order of beef pho; the soup was not too salty but neither was it especially tasty. The scallions were rather old; they had that slight aftertaste they get after being around in your fridge for a couple of weeks; attribute that to the low number of customers probably... Probably won't be going back, but neither do I know any really good places in TO for pho...

                              2. The BEST vietnamese pho in Toronto, hands down, is PHO DAU BO at 2437 Finch Ave. West. It's in a plaza strip behind a gas station. I make the trip all the way from Markham for their pho! If you're looking for some good rice dishes, in the same plaza is COM TAM DAO VIEN. Their "five colored rice", number 28 I think, is really good.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: gtafoodie

                                  COM TAM DAO VIEN (aka Peach Garden) has a location in the east end -- on Gerrard St., one block east of Pape (and Gerrard Square). I've been here several times but found the food inconsistent and the service terrible because the waitstaff barely speak English and even no Vietnamese. How is this possible for a so called Vietnamese restaurant?

                                2. You MUST try Mini Viet in Markham, on Apple Creek Blvd.

                                  Great pho, mango chicken, fish dishes, vermicelli dishes.... yum! Wonderful service too.

                                  1. Avoid Com Tam Dao Vien on Spadina Ave. This restaurant is run by chinese owners and none of their waiters actually speak vietnamese. The food, as a result is not authentic. In fact, its atrocious (i wish i took a picture of my plate).

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: metrognome

                                      do you know the address of this place? ^

                                      I know another more authentic Vietnamese restaurant on the west side of Spadina (north of Dundas near the tropical fruit stands and such) that is run by real Vietnamese people and Ethnic Chinese FROM Vietnam. And yes they speak both Vietnamese and Chinese.

                                      They have very good stews, curried chicken, springrolls, fish, white rice, noodles, veggies,

                                      pastries + sweets, desserts like che, and beverages like cafe sua da/sugarcane juice/soy drink/bubble tea/mango nector/etc

                                      They also have good banh mi sandwiches w/cha lua sausage and stuff.

                                      not sure what the name of the place is but, the sign out front is dark green or olive green and has Vietnamese writing.

                                      *Oh btw----> you can get a decent 3 item combo with rice for $4 here!!! and it taste soooooo goood. mmmmmm closest to mama/dadda's home cooking I ever tasted in Toronto. And that says a lot hehe.

                                      1. re: Mike Tyson

                                        I believe the restaurant you're referring to is Banh Mi Che Cali at 318 Spadina.

                                        1. re: gtafoodie

                                          think so.. very mom and pop diner type setting... there are seats/tables in the back area for dine in.


                                      2. re: metrognome

                                        Actually, Banh Mi Che Cali reminds me more of a cafeteria than a diner.

                                        1. re: metrognome

                                          Oh, I didn't see your comments about Com Tam Dao Vien (Peach Garden) before writing similar criticisms (above). Is this a franchise? If so, the problems you cite seem to occur at more than one location.

                                        2. Golden Turtle on Ossington south of dundas is great, inexpensive and really fresh ingredients.

                                          1. We really like Vic Hong - it's on Steeles, just east of Silver Star. If you go, try the central Vietnamese noodle in soup (I think it's #54 on the menu); a really tasty broth (a little heat but nothing scary), rare beef, and lots of vegetables. We usually order some combo plates of BBQ beef/chicken/pork, grilled shrimp, and their fabulous spring rolls. It's all very tasty, not too expensive, and my kids love it. We go about once a month.