Saturday, November 22, 2014Light Rain Shower 5°C
Best of Toronto

The Best Pho in Toronto

Posted by Liora Ipsum / October 17, 2014

Pho TorontoThe 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.

See also:

The Best Vietnamese Restaurants in Toronto
The Best Banh Mi in Toronto

Golden Turtle

Golden Turtle

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. More »

Pho Tien Thanh

Pho Tien Thanh

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. More »

Pho Huong

Pho Huong

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). More »

Pho Linh

Pho Linh

This noodle house on College West of Dundas 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. More »

Pho Vietnam

Pho Vietnam

Representing Scarborough, this solid Viet joint offers a sleek contemporary setting. The pho nam gan sach is a standout, featuring a medley of brisket, tendon and tripe, garnished with green onions, and accompanied by sides of fresh herbs and sprouts. More »

Hanoi 3 Seasons

Hanoi 3 Seasons

Two east-side locations distinguish themselves from the fray with a concise selection of northern-style pho. Here the fragrant, clear broth is best had with finely sliced rare beef, though vegetarians will find themselves looked after too. More »

Pho Hung

Pho Hung

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. More »

Pho Con Bo

Pho Con Bo

This Vietnamese eatery, found in a nondescript strip mall on Wilson in North York, attracts brisk business at lunch. The menu of noodle soups is extensive, covering not only the classic beefy staples but also pho ga, a restorative bowl of chicken noodle soup. More »

Pho Metro

Pho Metro

Locations in Scarborough and Ajax are popular for friendly, efficient service and a menu featuring 15 varieties of clear beef broth soup swimming with rice noodles and topped with heaping portions of meat. Not to be missed is the pho chin with tender chunks of brisket. More »

Discussion

64 Comments

Guest / October 17, 2014 at 03:03 pm
user-pic
Pretty good list although I didn't care for Pho Hung's pho. I also like the pho at Pho Pasteur and Pho Ga Banh Cuon.
Alex Alder / October 17, 2014 at 03:17 pm
user-pic
Pho hung on Spadina is closed. Good riddance!! The service there was horrible. The pho was bland and expensive!
Pho Pasteur (525 Dundas St. W) is great, good service, and OPEN 24 hours!
Can't believe that with so many good Pho places in Toronto, you had to resort to putting restaurants in Scarborough, North York, Mississauga and Ajax in this list!!!!
Kip / October 17, 2014 at 03:29 pm
user-pic
Great list Liora

Glad to see Golden Turtle #1
Hoison Sauce / October 17, 2014 at 03:30 pm
user-pic
PHO SHO!
Patrick / October 17, 2014 at 03:56 pm
user-pic
Pho Linh! So good, best Pho i've had yet.
No VC / October 17, 2014 at 04:08 pm
user-pic
Pho Hung on Dundas in Mississauga = amazing
Pho Hung on Spadina = meh (probably why they closed)

Pho Dau Bo is also great (many locations across GTA and southern Ontario)
Joe / October 17, 2014 at 04:12 pm
user-pic
Golden Turtle?
This website has lost all credibility.

Golden Turtle has to have some of the worst Pho I have ever had in this city.

Just proves that this site is run by annoying Queen West hipsters.

YUK
Dan replying to a comment from Joe / October 17, 2014 at 04:18 pm
user-pic
The lists are based on votes from readers. Just proves there's always a bunch of ignorant haters in the comments like yourself. YUK.
Pho / October 17, 2014 at 04:42 pm
user-pic
Pho Linh is on College just west of Dufferin, not Dundas. Also...west doesn't have to be capitalized.
Vince / October 17, 2014 at 05:37 pm
user-pic
This list is as fake as the author's name ! Mimi's on Gerrard East is lights out and amazing and always packed. How is it nowhere on this list, or the best Vietnamese list ?
Mayor McCokehoover / October 17, 2014 at 05:45 pm
user-pic
Tien Thanh is the best, Turtle second. Huong is not bad, I like their BBQ'd pork. Pho Hung was dog food, but once was king.

The best used to be on Spadina (where P.A.M is now), but they hightailed it for Warden/Eglinton ages ago.
Joe Shmoe / October 17, 2014 at 05:46 pm
user-pic

i too am a pho ho'


kaykat / October 17, 2014 at 05:57 pm
user-pic
Bach Yen on Gerrard, definitedy! Don't overlook this gem. It's on a different level from most. They even have a marinated duck pho and a really interesting unique menu of other plates. Serious cooking going on here...unusual herbs and fine attention to detail. So inexpensive too....and really nice folks run the place. Super clean, much nicer inside than you'd expect from the outside. Have livd in nieghbourhood for yrs and somehow overlooked it.
Brandon / October 17, 2014 at 06:24 pm
user-pic
Which one of these stores sell floating meatballs with their pho?
aDawg / October 17, 2014 at 06:26 pm
user-pic
Golden Turtle?! This just proves to me how skewed the voter demographic is when it comes to compiling BlogTO Best Of lists... Obviously, the majority of people providing their input live in and around Trinity Bellwoods Park. Golden Turtle does NOT, in a long shot, make the best Pho in Toronto. My vote is for Pho Mi Asia, on Blundell Road, near Dixie and Dundas. I don't know if the average BlogTO reader/hipster will allow this, as it isn't in Metropolitan Toronto, but rather in the GTA, but regardless, it is the most consistent and flavorful Pho I've had in the GTA (and I've had a lot!). I can't vouch for their other location(s?), though... Go, try them! You won't be disappointed, I promise!!
Sam replying to a comment from aDawg / October 17, 2014 at 06:42 pm
user-pic
Your vote is skewed Dixie and Dundas is in Mississauga NOT Toronto.
aDawg replying to a comment from Sam / October 17, 2014 at 06:48 pm
user-pic
Hi, stupid, did you read my comments? Mississauga is in the GTA, which stands for GREATER TORONTO AREA. So, I guess it is in Toronto. Go back to fornicating with the Trinity Bellwoods albino squirrel, please. Your useless comments are not welcome here.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Toronto_Area#mediaviewer/File:Greater_toronto_area_map.svg
dee cee replying to a comment from Alex Alder / October 17, 2014 at 07:33 pm
user-pic
is it actually closed for good? what happened??
Sam replying to a comment from aDawg / October 17, 2014 at 07:34 pm
user-pic
But YOU'RE stupid so there. Nyah nyah nyah.
Ferdinand81 replying to a comment from aDawg / October 17, 2014 at 07:53 pm
user-pic
Thanks for the lesson on what counts as GTA, but there are actually restaurants from Scarborough, Ajax, North York and Mississauga on this list, and your shitty place still didn't make the cut.
Liora Ipsum replying to a comment from Alex Alder / October 17, 2014 at 07:55 pm
user-pic
FYI: Pho Hung on Spadina is not closed and is as bustling as ever.
Nick / October 17, 2014 at 08:32 pm
user-pic
Hands down Pho Linh is the best.

Sasquatch / October 17, 2014 at 08:38 pm
user-pic
aDawg who are Missasasquach's voting for in the Toronto election? Ohh thats right its not part of Toronto!

Blogto? Or BlogGTHA?
Rob Pho-rd / October 17, 2014 at 09:35 pm
user-pic
Great crack infused pho-ney!
Richard / October 17, 2014 at 09:41 pm
user-pic
Pho Hung on Spadina is not closed idiots.......
packed every day
Learn what GTA is already!! / October 17, 2014 at 09:43 pm
user-pic
how are people so stupid. Toronto is not just downtown, and it does not extend to mississauga or ajax. Its Scarborough, North York, East York, Etobicoke and the Toronto core. The GTA consists of all those cities or municipalities north of Steeles, West of Etobicoke and East of Scarborough.

andanampersand replying to a comment from Alex Alder / October 17, 2014 at 09:51 pm
user-pic
They weren't closed when I had lunch there today...
Kate / October 17, 2014 at 09:58 pm
user-pic
Don't forget the old City of York while you're busy listing muncipalities....btw, there used to be a great Pho place at Warden and Eglinton (SW side). Anyone know if it's still there?
Alex Alder replying to a comment from andanampersand / October 17, 2014 at 10:38 pm
user-pic
hmmm....they were all boarded up 2 days ago....Hope you had a good lunch!
Alex Alder replying to a comment from Learn what GTA is already!! / October 17, 2014 at 10:39 pm
user-pic
...we of the REAL Toronto, would DE-amalgamate in a heartbeat!!!!
Duckers / October 17, 2014 at 10:46 pm
user-pic
Pho Tien Thanh is the best spot in the city, hands down.

As for Gorlden Turtle, it's mainly the foodie sheep crowd that pack this place and they're the ones who would vote most often on here.. hence the #1 spot every time. Don't get me wrong, they make decent pho, but anybody who knows what they're talking about is a block down.. pho real!
Jason / October 18, 2014 at 12:08 am
user-pic
I love the map going to check out number 6 real soon. Surprised anything on Gerrard wasn't mentioned east china town.
Todd / October 18, 2014 at 01:09 am
user-pic
Why weren't any god damn Hamilton restaurants mentioned in the article?!?

GHTA (Greater Hamilton and Toronto area) is well known.
Pork Bone / October 18, 2014 at 02:17 am
user-pic
It all comes down to the broth and the Meat that you order. Its a two choice meeting, it will be great if you get it right and if its tasty to you, go for it.
Ck / October 18, 2014 at 08:23 am
user-pic
Susar Lee has long supported Pho Tien Thanh, not golden turtle. In fact, your own review of Pho Tien Thanh says so.
Geoff replying to a comment from Ck / October 18, 2014 at 09:49 am
user-pic
Now I just need to know what Drake has long supported and the list is complete.
mama lo / October 18, 2014 at 10:50 am
user-pic
Pho88 at Bamburgh is missing!
jamal / October 18, 2014 at 02:05 pm
user-pic
So pho is in and ramen is out? kewl man we are on it, I have my minimalistic contoured beard, nose ring, ear loops, neck and arm tattoo and I am going to eat a fragrant pho? Am I in and kewl now? yes? yes???
stonerjoe replying to a comment from aDawg / October 18, 2014 at 04:18 pm
user-pic
this blog is called "blogto" not "bloggta"
905 is not Toronto, and the term "Greater Toronto Area" actually means a large geographic region that has Toronto in the middle, but the whole thing isn't Toronto

kinder surprise has a toy in it, but the whole thing is not a toy, get it buddy?
jameson / October 18, 2014 at 06:37 pm
user-pic
pho lihn!!!

so great

don't go, there's never a line
Ryan replying to a comment from aDawg / October 19, 2014 at 03:31 am
user-pic
I'll vouch for the Pho Mi Asia location at Keele and Wilson. Not quite as good as their Mississauga location (which my friend from Ho Chi Mihn swears is the best she's had outside of Vietnam) but it is the best you'll get without venturing outside of Toronto.
Jackson's Pollock / October 19, 2014 at 04:07 am
user-pic
Pho Mi Asia on Wilson. Y'all knoww.
nc / October 19, 2014 at 01:40 pm
user-pic
Pho Saigon, around Eg and Warden is by far the best.

Also, Little Coxwell is a close 2nd.

Golden Turtle is just bad.
aDawg replying to a comment from stonerjoe / October 19, 2014 at 08:18 pm
user-pic
It all depends on what you do with the chocolate.
aDawg replying to a comment from Ryan / October 19, 2014 at 08:19 pm
user-pic
Good to hear! Pho Mi Asia truly is the best!
WN / October 19, 2014 at 10:03 pm
user-pic
I think it's a city bylaw that any mention of Golden Turtle has to include mentioning Susur.
Anny / October 19, 2014 at 11:35 pm
user-pic
If anyone is in the Chinatown area and Pho Hung is packed ... I LOVE and only go to to Pho Ai My right at Sullivan (next light north of Queen) and Spadina.

Closest broth to how my Mama makes it!
Phan / October 20, 2014 at 09:15 am
user-pic
I've been going to Pho Con Bo my whole life with my entire family. It's awesome that it's on this list because it's honestly one of those super good hidden spots the general public doesn't know about. It's nowhere near down town Toronto... Don't expect to be blown away by the neighborhood sights or restaurant interior. Expect have great pho though.
K / October 20, 2014 at 12:45 pm
user-pic
Pho House on Gerrard is straight up the best. It should be on this list. Please go and get the #124 Beef Satay. SOOO good!
H replying to a comment from aDawg / October 20, 2014 at 04:02 pm
user-pic
I've grown up eating downtown, Scarborough, Mississauga, and even used to drive to the Weston/Finch area just to get my fix of great Pho. After I found Pho Mi Asia ..... its the only place I go.

Golden Turtle, Ossignton, Chinatown .... whatever. People need to jump off their bikes, jump on the ttc or get in their car and go to the real deal.
oss / October 20, 2014 at 04:28 pm
user-pic
I've been going to Golden Turtle for years because it's close to where I live, but their pho's are mediocre at best. The quality there has also gone downhill in recent years (my guess is that they finally realized that it didn't really matter how good their food was--their popularity was never based on quality, but on their location, the patio, and maybe the fried tofu). Anh Dao at 383 Spadina serves one of the best pho's in the city, in my view, and their wide range of other soups are also amazing.
AA / October 21, 2014 at 11:02 am
user-pic
This list is silly

MiMi's is great on Gerrard E
AC / October 21, 2014 at 12:26 pm
user-pic
Can't believe the Rob Ford imposter's restaurant didn't make the list . . .
Faux RoFo Pho
vy / October 21, 2014 at 11:44 pm
user-pic
Pho hung has one of the WORST soup broths, it is nothing close to authentic vietnamese pho soup. If any of you guys are in china town, i would recommend Anh Dao. One of the best and most authentic pho broth you can get! and pho thien thanh is good too!
vy replying to a comment from oss / October 21, 2014 at 11:45 pm
user-pic
I definitely agree with you, Anh Dao's pho is so good! tastes very authentic
Frank replying to a comment from Vince / October 22, 2014 at 11:57 am
user-pic
Mi Mi's is good but Que Ling (when it's actually open) is the best in the area hands down.
MeMe / October 22, 2014 at 05:11 pm
user-pic
Cloverdale Mall is still Toronto right? I would not expect something so yummy from a mall location, believe me. But Green Mango Boys is my fave!
dee / October 23, 2014 at 07:35 am
user-pic
Wait a second Pho Huong at Spadina is closed??? When did this happen?
Elias / October 24, 2014 at 10:31 pm
user-pic
Pho Tien, Golden Turtle, Pho Linh, Pho Pasteur...Everything else is garbage, starting with Pho Hung, they used to ule the Pho Industry, now , they nearly come close to it.
Jeannie / October 28, 2014 at 06:04 pm
user-pic
Que Ling in east china town is hands down the most authentic pho in toronto!!
KellySam / October 30, 2014 at 01:54 am
user-pic
The new Pho ai my "P.A.M"; has the most authentic pho after the new owner took over. You all should try your supposedly fav pho place then go check pho ai my on the same or next day then you'll know how superior P.A.M's soup is. Second choice would be pho thien thanh.
Gina / October 31, 2014 at 09:28 pm
user-pic
Vietnam star is by far the best I've tried in Scarborough. The noodles are the fresh thicker kind that doesn't come dry, ingredients come in large proportions and fresh, meat is super tender with just the right amount of fat (I've tried some that are dry and thick), and soup is rich and flavourful. Not to mention price is reasonable compared to others.
Carmine / November 12, 2014 at 04:30 pm
user-pic
A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment. I do
think that you should publish more about this issue, it might not be a taboo subject
but typically folks don't discuss these subjects. To the next!

Kind regards!!
Ducklily / November 13, 2014 at 01:36 am
user-pic
Pho Linh is my usual-- their crispy spring rolls are insane!

Add a Comment

Other Cities: Montreal