The Best Pho in Toronto
The best pho in Toronto will fill you up and warm you from the inside out. Whether topped with rosy, paper-thin sliced meats, luscious tripe and tendons, or floating meatballs, these steaming bowls of Vietnamese noodle soup can incite divisive allegiances and fierce debates amongst pho enthusiasts.
For me, what sets one bowl apart from another comes down to the quality of the broth. It should be almost clear - not murky - and imparted with complex flavours developed through hours-long simmering, then perked up with a little fish sauce at the end. The finishing touch: A selection of DIY additions including vibrant herbs, sprouts and chilis.
Here are the best bowls of pho in Toronto.
Slippery rice noodles in delicate broths, including a plethora of vegetarian-friendly options, stand out on the menu of this divey Vietnamese restaurant on Ossington. Its popularity has been fueled in part by celebrity chef sightings (Susur Lee eats here), but the consistently-packed dining room, filled with locals and destination diners alike, is a truer sign of its tastiness.
Commonly referred to as “the other pho place on Ossington,” this rival restaurant boasts its own fiercely allegiant following who will happily debate the superiority of its signature beefy broth. Expect to find droves of diners crowding in at peak hours to slurp up vermicelli from deep bowls of broth. Just be sure to note that this is a cash-only operation.
Ultra-satisfying Vietnamese noodle soups are the main attraction at Pho Huong's locations in Little Italy and the Junction. While vegetarians can avail themselves of a meat-free option, it's the signature beef broth (a family recipe) that's especially worthwhile, thanks to intense flavours achieved by a potpourri of spices, ginger and onions. The thing to try here is the special combo featuring all of the meats at once (rare beef, tendon, beef balls, tripe and brisket).
This noodle house on College West of Dufferin is a mainstay among pho aficionados. Here you’ll find finely sliced meat and noodles, generously served in deep bowls of pale broth laced with notes of anise and cinnamon, and ready to be dressed with fresh herbs, sprouts and a squirt of hoisin and sriracha.
This bustling Chinatown institution (along with a second Mississauga location) offers over two dozen variations of hearty noodle soups. The house specialty, pho hung dac biet, sees rare and well-done beef mingling with tripe and tender tendon, though my personal fave here is the bo vien with beef balls.
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