Deep bowls of broth, slippery rice noodles, fragrant herbs–Pho is an all-time favourite cheap eat in every corner of the GTA.
North of Toronto, in Markham or Richmond Hill, it’s hard to drive for more than ten minutes without finding a small Vietnamese restaurant tucked away in a strip plaza–local faves that may or may not posses Facebook pages let alone websites.
To help navigate noodle houses in and around Toronto, here are 10 of our favourite destinations for pho in the GTA.
Pho Metro has three locations in and around Toronto (Markham, Scarborough, and Ajax). Its Markham location is on the intersection of Bur Oak Avenue and Kennedy Road. While the Pho here is great, must-tries are the macerated fish vermicelli, shrimp vermicelli, and Vietnamese pancakes.
Address 50 Bur Oak Avenue, Unit 7, Markham
Address 2057 Lawrence Avenue East, Scarborough
Address 1995 Salem Road North, Ajax
This spot in Richmond Hill is one of the many Vietnamese gems along Yonge street. Before starting Pho Tai Bac, the owner had worked in the Toronto restaurants industry for 15 years. Visit and enjoy the aromas of various herbs and anise in a chicken broth filled with fresh rice noodles.
Address: 9555 Yonge Street, Richmond Hill
Little Saigon is small spot on the intersection Yonge Street and Weldrick Road East—another Yonge Street gem. The broth tastes “clean”—without the oily texture many Viet dishes have.
Address: 9625 Yonge Street, Unit J, Richmond Hill
Situated in a small mall primarily filled with restaurants, the unique atmosphere at this noodle spot makes the place look like a cute grotto (if that’s possible). The Viet iced coffee comes right away and is an ideal balance between bitter, creamy, and sweet. The pho doesn’t disappoint either.
Address: 9425 Leslie Street, Unit 8, Richmond Hill
VIP is a classic spot for pho in Markham. The place still fills up fast during prime dining hours. Chicken is the way to go here; you won’t go wrong with the lemon grass chicken, the chicken wings, or the chicken pho.
Address: 3229 Highway 7 East, Unit 11-12, Markham
First Markham Place has one of the best, if not the best, food courts in Markham. Just because Pho Ling is a small shack among a half-dozen other noodles joints in the food court doesn’t mean you should underestimate how delicious their food is. It’s a great lunch choice for the office employees in the area or as a weekend treat.
Address: 3225 Highway 7 East, Unit 232, Markham
In addition to Vietnamese favourites, Pho Pad Thai also has a great selection of Thai dishes. Soup noodles can range from wholesome Vietnamese pho broths to energetic Thai broths filled with different spices and peppers. Although the focus extends beyond Vietnamese cuisine, the Vietnamese dishes still bring the same magic as any of its competitors.
Address: 20 Apple Creek Boulevard, Unit 2, Markham
Started 40 years ago when the Kim Po family fled from Vietnam to Toronto due to the war, this business has expanded to four locations across the GTA. The restaurant focuses on premium quality, ensuring that “each spring roll is individually wrapped by hand” and that “each batch of broth is set to boil for 24 hours before serving.”
Address: 550 Highway 7 East, Unit 61, Richmond Hill
Address: 7354 Woodbine Avenue, Markham
Address:58 Redlea Avenue, Scarborough
Address: 546 Dundas Street West, Toronto
If there was a top ten list for the cutest Vietnamese restaurants, Nam would take top prize. The décor is fantastic and is filled with many details – chalkboard menus, adorable wall murals, baby blue chairs, etc. The smoothies are a lovely treat and are a great addition to any food blogger’s Instagram gallery.
Address: 9206 Leslie Street, Richmond Hill
XeLua, or better known as Pho Train, is one of the most prolific names in Toronto-Vietnamese cuisine. Pho train dominates the GTA pho scene with dishes like their beef sauté, lemon grass pork chops and rice, and, of course, beef pho.
Address: 10060 Bayview Avenue, Unit 9 & 10, Richmond Hill + locations in Toronto