Flavours of Toronto: Cheap and addicting pho, bao, banh mi and vermicelli at some of Toronto’s best Vietnamese restaurants

For a Toronto winter, there’s sometimes nothing better than a hot bowl of soup overflowing with filling ingredients, and the masters of great soup are the Vietnamese. Serving up pho that becomes the new addiction of almost anyone who tries it, plus delectably affordably banh mi, crispy spring rolls and salty satay, these Toronto Vietnamese restaurants have it all dialled in.

 

Pho Tien Thanh

With broth that blows some other Toronto pho joints out of the water with fresh, aromatic flavours, Pho Tien Thanh on Ossington near West Queen West is among one of Toronto’s best Vietnamese restaurants. It’s busy and poorly decorated, but this place is about the food.

MiMi

MiMi Restaurant on Gerrard is a fan favourite for lovers of Vietnamese food in Toronto. Their menu is huge, but some of the best dishes are phos, while the vermicelli bowls are delicious, and anything with their surgarcane shrimp. The prices are really reasonable as well.

Pho Linh

By far, Pho Linh in Brockton Village is one of Toronto’s best pho places, made evident by how busy it is through the day. The flavours in their broths are rich and bright at the same time, and the ingredients are fresh. Low prices and authentic dishes are in full supply. Cash only.

Nguyen Huong

The parents of the Banh Mi Boys started their Vietnamese sub empire nearly two decades ago and is still popular, food good reason. With buns for as little as $2.50, plus freshly baked goods and great Vietnamese ingredients, as well as extras like salad rolls, steam rolls, sausages and egg rolls. They have four locations, in Chinatown, Scarborough, Vaughan Mills and Jane and Wilson.

Banh Mi Boys

The most famous banh bi and bao, or Vietnamese sub, chain in Toronto is Banh Mi Boys, with two locations (Queen W and Yonge) that serve up absolutely delectable subs served on fresh baguettes that are perfectly crust on the outside, and incredibly pillowy inside. Friendly staff and a huge variety are just plusses. Try the five spice pork belly, duck confit, shrimp and the kimchi fries.

Bach Yen

Bach Yen in Chinatown on Gerrard is great for pho, but they also have several menu items that are harder to find in Toronto, such as the bun bo hue, satay, the marinated grilled beef with rice paper wraps and bacon, and Vietnamese crepes.

Hanoi 3 Seasons

Like MiMi, Hanoi 3 Seasons in Leslieville has nailed the art of pho, with tons of fresh toppings and great broth, plus great service. Their prices are reasonable, aka average for Vietnamese in Toronto.

Bun Saigon

Chinatown’s Bun Saigon has delicious soups, and it’s not just about the pho. Try any soup on their menu. The flavours are fresh and authentic.

Erin Cardone

Born on the Prairies, Erin Cardone grew up knowing there was more to life than canola fields and AAA Alberta Angus. So she escaped, living in Europe and Australia, white-knuckling it through plates of calf brains and raw horse meat, and learning languages she can't remember anymore. After a stint as a jaded, skeptical journalist, she changed tack and began writing rather awesome blogs and showing businesses that advertising is dead, so long live social media, with her businesses Legendary Social Media. She now splits her time between various Canadian cities, Costa Rica and wherever else the wind blows.

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