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Best of Toronto

The Best Vietnamese Restaurants in Toronto

Posted by Guest Contributor / August 22, 2012

Vietnamese Restaurant TorontoThe best Vietnamese restaurants in Toronto go beyond a bowl of pho and tempt customers into straying away from the usual brothy goodness and toward the unknown and unusual. From cheap and filling banh mi (sandwiches) to beef balls, tendon and spring rolls served more ways that you'd ever imagine, Vietnamese food may not always look the prettiest but does the trick when flavour or comfort food is what the doctor orders.

Here are the best Vietnamese restaurants in Toronto.

See also:

The best pho in Toronto
The best Thai restaurants in Toronto

Writing by Cynthia Nguyen. Top photo by Not Peppermint in the blogTO Flickr pool.

Banh Mi Boys

Banh Mi Boys

Found at Queen and Spadina, this small, Vietnamese sandwich shop puts a twist on your traditional Banh Mi. The Five Spice Pork Belly sandwich offers a nice break from your typical, humdrum ham/mustard/mayo sandwich and are a step up in quality from what's found just north in Chinatown. The Kim Chi fries on the side perfect this fast lunchtime meal, but be prepared for a line-up as this small spot fills up quickly. More »

Golden Turtle

Golden Turtle

Golden Turtle is an Ossington staple that has developed something of a cult following over the years. Taking top spot on our best pho list, the casual (but recently renovated) corner restaurant also serves up cheap and delicious spring rolls. In the summer, the side patio fills up quickly with locals washing down a plate of vermicelli with a cheap bottle of Tiger beer. More »

Pho Vietnam

Pho Vietnam

This Scarborough eatery is always buzzing with servers weaving large crowds to deliver their cheap and tasty food. Popular non-pho dishes include pork chops with eggs and rice and vermicelli dishes with either grilled pork or chicken), all sized quite generously. Be sure to end your meal with a fresh coconut shake. More »

Pho Hung

Pho Hung

Pho Hung has been a cornerstone for pho lovers in the heart of Chinatown for many years and the establishment can be found bustling with activity at all hours of the day. They have an extensive vegetarian menu which ranges from pho, to vermicelli dishes, to spring rolls. A must-order are the banhxeo (Vietnamese pancakes) which come large and filled with shrimp, pork, beans, and a handful of bean sprouts. More »

Hanoi 3 Seasons

Hanoi 3 Seasons

This North Vietnamese restaurant has two locations east of the DVP (in Leslieville and East Chinatown). While the menu prices at the newer Leslieville one are oddly slightly higher, there's no denying these guys know how to make a mean Bun Bo Hue. The Goi cuon (fresh shrimp rolls) are also an excellent choice and provide bang for your buck. More »

Kim Po Vietnamese Restaurants

Kim Po Vietnamese Restaurants

Kim Po has multiple locations in the GTA including this one in Don Mills. Their specialty menu item is Bo 7 mon (literally "seven courses of beef") which as it sounds is served as seven different dishes each incorporating beef in different and unique ways (such as beef wrapped around a Lalot leaf, inside rice paper or beef congee). Non carnivores need not apply. More »

Saigon Star

Saigon Star

A popular spot in Richmond Hill, Saigon Star wins points for modern yet cozy decor for those looking from a step up from formica tables. Their signature Dungeness crab dish easily puts a spell on any seafood lover, and the Vietnamese crushed ice drink (Da Dau) is a nice complement to some of the spicy flavours that come out of the kitchen. Reservations are recommended as the restaurant can get crowded at peak dinner hours and on weekends. More »

Pho Linh

Pho Linh

Hue Style Pho is certainly a favourite at this long standing establishment on College. To the unknowing passerby, this restaurant might easily be overlooked but those who venture in will be rewarded with the best crispy veggie spring rolls this side of Ho Chi Minh City. More »

Pho Huong

Pho Huong

This Junction spot is a local favourite. Those in the mood for something different should try the Banh Uot (literally "wet cakes") which are basically rice noodle sheets with dry shrimp, nuoc mam (fish sauce) and cha lua (Vietnamese pork sausage). It's a refreshingly different combination of tastes. More »

Nguyen Huong

Nguyen Huong

This family-owned Vietnamese sandwich shop started its first location on Spadina back in the mid 80s and has since added three more north of the 401 including this one next to the T&T near Middlefield and Steeles Avenue. Go here for a cheap and filling Vietnamese sandwich (banh mi). My favourite is the xui mai (Vietnamese meat ball) which, of course, comes with a choice of vegetable toppings. They also sell several cold dishes in small portions such as vermicelli and fresh spring rolls. Almost everything is under $5. More »

Mi Mi Restaurant

Mi Mi Restaurant

You'll find lots of grilled goodness at this East Chinatown mainstay. The "Do it yourself" combos are a specialty, as they allow you to get creative. They arrive with your chosen meat (beef, pork, or shrimp), rice papers (which you can dip into water), and many fine herbs. The grilled meat with banh hoi is almost orgasmic and worth all the work you'll put into making the fresh rolls. More »

Pho Tien Thanh

Pho Tien Thanh

This small, family-owned restaurant on Lower Ossington is perhaps best known as Susur Lee's favourite pho joint and the chief rival to Golden Turtle up the street. Beyond their fragrant pho bowls, the kitchen impresses with spicy lemon grass pork chops with rice. With food this good who needs ambiance? More »

Discussion

47 Comments

Rich / August 22, 2012 at 02:14 pm
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BMB as #1? Hardly!
Will Lam / August 22, 2012 at 02:28 pm
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Whoa, what? Banh Mi Boys as best restaurant...??
JGB / August 22, 2012 at 02:28 pm
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Wow, BMB #1? I love the place, and the food is awesome, but this is ridiculous.

The main attraction at BMB is a mash-up of various culinary influences from across Asia (notably Vietnamese and Korean) prepared in the Bahn Mi style, and from there the menu just jumps all over the place.

I doubt the BMB guys would even put themselves as #1 on this list.
Chris / August 22, 2012 at 02:38 pm
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Banh Mi Boys? LOL - you guys really need to make some changes if you expect people to take your reviews seriously.
Dianne / August 22, 2012 at 02:43 pm
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Banh Mi Boys? Really?
If I'm looking for the best Vietnamese restaurants in Toronto, I want authentic Viet food.

But I do agree with Pho Linh, and Nguyen Huong. Been going to both since I was a child.
AR / August 22, 2012 at 02:54 pm
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Ha Long Bay on Eglinton (just west of Avenue Rd) is amazing.
Dan / August 22, 2012 at 02:55 pm
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As already stated, BMB is good - but hardly a vietnamese resto. it's fusion. You guys should know the difference by now.


Pho Linh belongs much closer to the top. For those who don't know, they opened up another location @ Steels & Keele - and it's as good.

chau / August 22, 2012 at 02:58 pm
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Banh Mi Boys? Try Banh Mi Ba Le
Dan / August 22, 2012 at 02:59 pm
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also, after trying the Broth from a more authentica place like Pho Linh , Golden Turtle or Tien Tranh - you'll never look to the light flavorless dishwater of pho hung the same.
wtfskies / August 22, 2012 at 03:04 pm
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banh mi boys is a fucking joke.

banh mi ba le on dundas west of spadina is the jams you should swap the two.
Warren / August 22, 2012 at 03:18 pm
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Pho Hung is #1. There is nothing subjective about it. It is a universal truth.
Matt replying to a comment from Chris / August 22, 2012 at 03:24 pm
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Shut up.
gorf / August 22, 2012 at 03:27 pm
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I'm all about the Pho Tien Thanh. Hands down.
Steph / August 22, 2012 at 03:34 pm
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Pho 88 at Spadina and Dundas has amazing food and the people there go out of their way to make your meal great, especially if you're a regular.
Grahame replying to a comment from Chris / August 22, 2012 at 03:41 pm
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Once again noone seems to remember that these are voted on by readers.
di di mao / August 22, 2012 at 03:47 pm
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This list is an utter Pho Pas.
Rick Roars / August 22, 2012 at 03:54 pm
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Big ups to Pho Linh! That place is just amazing. And on Tuesdays they have a cute server.
TwoJakes / August 22, 2012 at 03:57 pm
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MiMi's on Gerrard deserves a better standing. Golden turtle on Ossington is hipster garbage. I don't care you claim to have seen Susur Lee scratching his nuts there.
johnsonstarfish / August 22, 2012 at 04:09 pm
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I used to think Golden Turtle was good. Not great, but good. Definitely way better than the junk down the road. But after going to Pho My Duyen up on Bloor, just west of Dufferin, I don't think I can step foot into Golden Turtle again. Pho My Duyen has a much, much nicer interior, nicer wait staff, and the food is way more fresh. On top of this, the portions are much bigger here and the prices are cheaper.

Man, I'm getting hungry just typing this...
geg / August 22, 2012 at 04:15 pm
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Personally my goto restaurant for Pho and curry soup is Xe Lua ("train place") just south of dundas on spadina. Pho Hung is where I go when I want the 4-color dish (pork chop, fried egg, shredded pork, omelette)
hpo / August 22, 2012 at 04:34 pm
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So happy to see my favourite pho place NOT included on this list. The worst thing that can happen to a pho joint is have it overrun by condescending urbanites, who only seem to bring prices up and flavour low.

Thu / August 22, 2012 at 04:35 pm
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As much as I love Banh Mi (yup I wrote a book about it), I do agree with the other comments - BMB is NOT the #1 Vietnamese restaurant in Toronto. This list contains a few good gems but the top 5 is where you won't find any Vietnamese people dining there.
Dundas West / August 22, 2012 at 04:51 pm
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What about Kimbo on Bathurst, just north of Dundas? Glaring omission.
McGee / August 22, 2012 at 04:51 pm
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MiMi's is absolutely amazing! Everyone should give them a try. Very friendly staff and the food is delish
Paul / August 22, 2012 at 05:50 pm
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Phoenix Restaurant (Phò' Phúóng Hoàng) near Pho Linh in my comfort spot.
Jay / August 22, 2012 at 06:13 pm
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Pho Vietnam is great! It's worth the drive if you're not in the area. Also echo the recommendations on MiMi's. They've been very good and have kept up their quality for some time now.
Adam Man Handler / August 22, 2012 at 07:43 pm
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Talk about being a sell out
Danny F. Santos / August 22, 2012 at 08:56 pm
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Seriously, the fact that Pho Bo To didn't make this list is crazy! It's a bit out of the way up by Lawrence and Black Creek but the food there is epic!
Shawn / August 22, 2012 at 09:40 pm
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Pho Tien Thanh is the only place that makes Pho where I don't put Sriracha sauce in it; it tastes too good to have it changed by hoisin or hot sauce.

Jaime aka The Tomato Snob / August 22, 2012 at 10:04 pm
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Pho Hung is filled with MSG #disgusting. Pho Tien Thanh shoudl be higher on the list! BMB is def not #1 but on the list pho sho! Check out my list for where to Pho in TO http://tomatosnob.blogspot.ca/2012/03/eating-pho-makes-people-happy-where-to.html
lol / August 22, 2012 at 10:08 pm
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i guess thai express should be number one for thai food right at the rate blogto is going
Kaya / August 23, 2012 at 01:07 am
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i don't think this person know everything about Vietnamese best restaurants in GTA!!! BMB (is good but i would never put down number #1), Pho Tien Thanh (as #12? wooow, have you tried their pho yet? everyone go there always said PTH is the best, for me i would put down as best pho for sure)..... Pho Hung is #4? are you fucking serious? everything is cheap but not that good, how can you go to a restaurant and they serve you not good and 1 napkin for a customer? and even Kim Po... i go to almost all the restaurants in Toronto and that kind of # is unbelievable..........
Darrin / August 23, 2012 at 01:17 am
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ummm, when a place serves up Kimchi Tacos, it can hardly be the best vietnamese restaurant in the city. I just came back from Vietnam, and I don't recall anything served at BMB remotely close to what they eat in Vietnam. Hell, even their BanhMi isn't very Vietnamese. This list loses all credibility just by having BMB in there.

Also, Where's Pho Dau Bo? and Pho Hung is number 4? who's voting on this list???
Ἀντισθένης / August 23, 2012 at 03:12 am
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Mimi rules. Tastes good and friendly. The young woman who worked there even gave us baby clothing (we are repeat customers).
Anon / August 23, 2012 at 09:55 am
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I've always liked Pho Pasteur for their pho and curry chicken, as pricey as it was. Didn't care for their bun though. For bun, I liked Anh Dao. Looking forward to trying some of the places on this list (except Pho Hung - tried that place before and found the food really bland and loaded with way too much MSG).
Jibbly / August 23, 2012 at 11:17 am
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Get the #19A at Pho Hung. It's unreal!
ashleigh / August 24, 2012 at 12:04 am
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Having been to many on this list and a few commenter's favourites, I will say that mid to cheap Vietnamese food, especially the popular pho and vermicelli dishes, are universally the same and all pretty good regardless of where you go, with occasionally a restaurant serving up a standout dish, or personal preference coloured by individual anecdotal experience (very hungry, easy / hard to get a table, excellent / bad service, hipsters with crying babies).

Now that blogto has recovered from RealJerk withdrawal, congratulations on covering a few non-Ossington eateries.
evan / August 24, 2012 at 01:53 am
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Always funny to see how many folks think blogTO do these lists. This is public opinion. That of blogTO readers. Like the ones commenting. This literally is a popularity contest, but at least it has more objectivity than a list created by one person. No matter how much you think you're opinion is right.
Reality / August 25, 2012 at 04:22 pm
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Bahn Mi Boys the best viet restaurant!? Is the guest contributor white or something? Make a viet friend and try their mom's home cooking. DISAPPOINTMENT.
jane / August 26, 2012 at 12:41 pm
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what about asia 21 on king and dufferin?
Tran / September 3, 2012 at 11:27 am
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How is pho tien thanh located at the bottom of the list at 12? They should be atleast in the top 3. Seems like BlogTO writers are starting to smoke crack.
VOtron replying to a comment from Thu / September 11, 2012 at 04:43 pm
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Thu knows what she's talking about.

Pho Linh is my go-to spot. I'm okay with it being low on the list because it's already hard enough to get a table!
f / September 16, 2012 at 05:15 pm
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LOL BMB as #1... they are good but #1?

guest contributor please don't ever contribute another review
COSPLAY / September 26, 2012 at 11:54 pm
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Banh Mi Boys? LOL - you guys really need to make some changes if you expect people to take your reviews seriously.
Ping / September 27, 2012 at 07:34 pm
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lol, bmb???

Pho Hung??

Please give your taste buds a slap.

Please do a review on Chicken balls instead, I think we can take that more seriously then this garbage.

Dynamo / October 13, 2012 at 10:20 am
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Hanoi.

I think he named it after Hanoi because he misses his home.

As this was the worst Vietnamese experience I've ever had, I think he should go back to remind him what it's supposed to be like.

BMB- LOL BlogTO- you do put SOME thought into this stuff before you post it, no?
Anon / March 23, 2014 at 03:40 pm
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Have had only bad meals at Pho Hung. I've had good ones at Anh Dao and Bach Yen though.

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