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Jan 20, 2010 09:35 PM

Good pho in the scarborough or east end...

I want to try pho, never had it before but want a good place to try it... anything in the east end because everything I saw on the forum was mostly toronto.

Thanks !!

Between eat toronto and oshawa area range is fine! markham too.

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  1. My current favorite is Pho Vietnam, on Kennedy north of Lawrence. They have one of the nicest broths I've run across.

    1. I second that, clean, fast and efficient service. Great broth.

      1 Reply
      1. re: spine64

        Pho Vietnam is good, we've been there before and it's very close to our home, but in our opinion, portions were skimpy.

      2. I like the broth at Pho Dau Bo on Lawrence and Markham Rd (in the plaza with the Soon Lee and Shoppers Drug Mart). Establishment is clean, simple. The broth is quite nice and the noodles and beef are very good. Good prices and good quality.

        16 Replies
        1. re: scarberian

          Thanks!! If pho vietnam is the one beside canada computers then I'm familiar with it and have seen it several times. I will definitely check out both these places recommended.

          Pho, here I come!!

          1. re: scarberian

            Hi Scarberian - this is our second meal today from Chow posts! We tried Pho Dau Bo on your recommendation for dinner, great place! As you said, place is clean, broth is very good, beef was tender. My vermicelli noodles were a bit overcooked, but could have been just that one instance. I liked the spring rolls, most places have the other kind of wrapper (not sure the name but it's crinkly), this place has the regular type spring roll wrapper which most Vietnamese places don't have.

            Disappointed they didn't have coriander, but they did have fresh shado beni, which sure made up for it, since it tastes very similar to coriander.

            Service as you said was quick and very friendly (no offense, but not very common for Asian places where the servcie can be abrupt to down right rude imo). The woman thanked us when we left, reminded us to take our candy and I told her we came here from a recommendation. She asked us how we liked it and invited us back again!

            Thanks for the post! This will be our new pho place now. Previously we frequented VIP on Hwy 7/Warden area. BTW, this place does not recycle the bean sprouts, we didn't eat them and the server dumped them in our leftover broth. That was great to see!

            1. re: red dragon

              I went to Pho Dau Bo on Friday and was just slightly disappointed.
              Service was fine, and the Pho came quickly. Broth was somewhat thin, compared to Pho Mi Asia (Keele and Wilson). Slivers of rare beef and tendons were a bit skimpy, but there were sides such as fresh basil and extremely fresh sprouts.
              I really prefer Pho Mi Asia for the broth, the meat (seafood) and the good service by York students. But Pho Dau Bo is worth a second visit, and close to me. And a visit to Soon Lee is always worthwhile for food value and entertainment!

              1. re: jayt90

                Sorry to hear your experience wasn't a good one. We went back again tonight, just got home. We wanted to give it another try after last Saturday, and after reading your review.

                Pleased to find out that our 2nd time was just as good. Portions were plenty (and my husband has a huge appetite), broth was flavourful. Had the spring rolls again and this time I noticed they had taro in the filling, which is rare in a Vietnamese restaurant, and they tasted similar to my mother in-law’s and my own recipe. Wished we had ordered the large instead of small, so we’ll remember that on our next visit.

                We always order extra lime and coriander, in this case, the shado beni, and the server had no problem giving us extra, despite shado beni being a bit pricey.

                We chatted with the owner, Albert, who is very engaging and passionate about his restaurant. He emphasized a great deal about the importance of customer service and quality ingredients. Cleanliness is also key (the washrooms were very clean and I had checked them out last weekend), and Albert goes above and beyond to ensure the Health & Standards are met throughout the restaurant and kitchen.

                We talked about the other locations and he explained how particular they were about new owners coming in, as they don’t accept just anyone and have rules, one being the restaurant has to be family owned and run, and no liquor license.

                I told Albert that we were impressed that on our last visit, we noticed they don’t recycle the bean sprouts and he was shocked, saying how much does a bushel of bean sprouts cost? And to take a risk on losing customers, let alone the Health & Safety standards? I told him that my husband noticed the server put all the unused and un-touched sprouts in his broth, in front of him and Albert explained that the servers do that purposely, to let the customers know they’re going in the garbage.

                Growing up in the restaurant business (my dad still runs the business after over 45 years), I certainly related to the conversation. It was getting late and we had to go but I told Albert we were happy to have found a new place for our fix of Vietnamese food.

                For those who haven’t tried Pho Dau Bo, give it a shot (and no, I’m not a friend of Albert’s, we just met).


                There are several locations, but this one is closer for us.

                Oh, and if you’re a young couple, ask for the couple’s table ...LOL. Albert filled us in on that story.

                1. re: red dragon

                  I think I will try this place! Thanks.

                  1. re: BamiaWruz

                    We must chime in and add our vote for Pho Dau Bo on Markham Rd too! We tried the pho earlier this week and found the broth deliciously beefy and aromatic -- not at all overly salty or MSG-y. The noodles were nice and firm. The generous amounts of beef was a shocker -- more than we have ever had anywhere. As scarberian and red dragon noted above, we were quite satiated after a bowl and we have healthy appetites!

                    Our usual pho place in the neighbourhood had been Pho Saigon which was Ok, a convenient, clean spot but their pho is nowhere as good as Pho Dau Bo. This will become our "Go To" spot -- thanks for the recommendations!

                    Pho Dau Bo Restaurant
                    665 Markham Rd, Toronto, ON M1H2A4, CA

                    1. re: tekkamaki

                      Hi Tekkamaki - we may bump into each other and never know, we consider ourselves regulars as well. We went 3 times in one week recently!


                  2. re: red dragon

                    BTW the last you were there did they show a concert on the big screen tv? My wife and I used to enjoy sitting at the side tables near the entrance and watch some concert they had playing on the big screen. Sort of like a dinner and show =). They played the Bee Gees, Yanni, and Sade.

                    1. re: scarberian

                      I didn't notice, we sat on a different side last week and I need glasses to watch TV ...LOL. How nice that you had entertainment with your meal though. I'll definitely look at the TV on our next trip (should be next week).

                  3. re: jayt90

                    Pho Mi Asia is the more common place I'll head to for Pho, very consistent with good broth. I just wish they had the pho sate that I'm missing.

                    1. re: szw

                      Have to give it a try, if I'm in the area, but that would be quite a trek for pho (for us anyhow).

                      I only posted here as the OP (original poster) asked for locations in Scarborough, Pho Dau Bo actual has several locations across the GTA.

                      Do you find the pho satay a bit greasy in general?

                2. re: scarberian

                  Went there today to try it for the first time, pho in general. I always saw this place but didn't register it until we got there.

                  Pho was interesting, didn't know quite what to order so we got well done beef and flank but both seemed exactly the same and very fatty, is that how it's suppose to be? I always thought the noodles were thicker but they were ok, the broth was very nice with the exception of the onion for my SO, but it was nice in general.

                  We had some concerns because the soup is quite hot and remains hot, that the bowls seem melamine, not sure how healthy that is.
                  Also the tea she brought us tasted like a cleaning agent or bleach, not sure what the cups were rinsed in or if some residue was leftover on the cups but that didn't taste quite right so we didn't drink it. Prices were good, if we ever go back I'll ask for no onions for my SO and probably find out if there is a leaner cut of meat.

                  1. re: BamiaWruz

                    Yes, those cuts do tend to be fatty - next time, try rare beef and/or beef balls. If you're not a fan of rare meat, just leave the slices in the hot broth until it's cooked through - it doesn't take long, and they are lean slices.

                    1. re: Wahooty

                      Thank you for telling me, I will give it another try.

                      Do they have different kinds of noodles or are they always the rice noodles?
                      Just curious, I was thinking they were going to be more like an udon.

                      1. re: BamiaWruz

                        They are always rice noodles, and generally the flat ones. I think I've been to one or two places that have the round rice vermicelli, but that is not the norm. Also, the onions are a pretty standard part of the dish, so if your SO doesn't want them, always specify.

                        1. re: Wahooty

                          Yes, I saw on google how they're part of the dish, and they're delish but will specify next time for SO.
                          I don't mind the rice noodle, I just got he impression that they were more like udon, hehe.

                          Good pho, Thanks!

                3. We love the Pho 88 in the Warden/Steeles area (325 Bamburgh Circle). We have been going there for years...hubby likes the Pho Satay and the owner hooks me up with a vegetarian broth version with bok choy, deep fried tofu and fresh rice noodles...the fresh rice noodles are key!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Sandybandy

                    Quick question for ya ... is the vegetarian pho on the menu or do you have to special request it?


                  2. Not sure exactly what east end means, but if you are close to the broadview/gerrard chinatown, it is mostly made up of vietnamese restaurants now. Mimi's restaurant is always popular.