Pho is the Vietnamese Noodle Soup that has Fed Newly Arrived Refugees in Canada for Years

“Feels like home.”

For Asian refugees coming to Canada, it’s a whole new experience that many aren’t fully prepared for. 

The winters are cold. The jobs are different. The culture is new. For many, adapting to this new environment can take time.

Coming to Canada, most refugees don’t come with a lot of money or much of anything. Everything one can carry, their culture, their family, and their commitment are their only possessions.

Immigrating to Canada, we come for many different reasons. What’s common between every refugee or immigrant is we come looking for a better life. What we couldn’t achieve or find in countries abroad, we come to Canada for because the opportunity to be free exists here.

Throughout the days that pass and in getting to know Canada, it doesn’t hurt to have a few reminders of what used to be our home.

As Toronto’s best Vietnamese restaurant, it’s our pleasure to serve hot, fresh pho to newly welcomed Canadians from abroad.


A Hot Bowl of Pho to Get You Through Another Day

To us, pho is home. Canada is home. Vietnam is home. Pho to us encapsulates everything in between, bringing together past and current culture in a bowl of healthy eats.

We often don’t realize how important a home-cooked meal like pho is. 

On a particularly harsh cold Canadian winter day, a bowl of pho keeps you warm like a hug. There’s enough in a bowl to carry you through unfavorable temperatures and the unshoveled sidewalks to get you home.

After a terrible day at work and when you just want to crawl into bed and forget about what’s going on in your life, pull up a chair and get some pho in your belly first. It’ll fill you with the vegetables, herbs, and nutrition you need to sleep easy and make tomorrow a better day.

When something in your life is creating anxiety and has you overwhelmed, please stop by TorontoPHO. Put in an order for a bowl of pho. We’ve got beef, chicken, vegetarian pho, and more. Pho will gently ease you, calm the nerves, and give you a chance to catch your breath.

Life isn’t easy for anyone. Sometimes, we need a home-cooked meal to soothe our worries. Vietnamese pho hits the spot.

What Do You Put in Vietnamese Noodle Soup?

Pho is a soup. It is made from broth. The usual components in pho are rice noodles, herbs, and protein. Considered the unofficial natural dish in Vietnam, the most popular type by far is beef pho.

Pho can be customized in many ways. Browsing pho in Toronto at TorontoPHO, you will find vegetarian pho as an example. There are all sorts of ways to create different tasting soups, depending on what herbs, spices, meats, and broth used.

The customizations behind pho is a large part of the reason why it’s so popular. A family can prepare pho broth and provide it to every member of the family, personalizing each bowl according to what they wish to include.

Even in Vietnam, there are major differences in how pho is made in the northern, central, and southern regions. There are also influences in Canadian-style pho from Thai, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and South Asian cuisines.

In Canada, there are more than 250,000 people of Vietnamese origin. Now, add onto that the over 1.7 million Canadians from China. This doesn’t even mention the other Asian populations living here. All of these Canadians have their family cultures celebrated and featured in Vietnamese pho.

Where Does Pho Come From?

Pho has been around – in some variety – for centuries. As a soup, it’s gone through various adaptations. What’s known today as pho dates as far back as the early 1900s. Unfortunately, pho’s origins don’t have a lot of documentation.

Today’s pho originated in northern Vietnam at a time when the country was a French colony. The availability of beef and the influence of French cuisine helped to form the tastes of pho. A favourite of the working-class, pho was sold for years at dawn and dusk by street vendors.

Like today, then the most popular pho was beef pho. By the World War II-era, chicken pho was introduced.

In 1954, Vietnam was partitioned and the north and south became separated. With that, thousands of families fled the north for the south. Much like what would happen in with Vietnamese families immigrating to Canada in the 1970s, these families took with them pho recipes.

As pho spread across Vietnam in the 1950s and 1960s, this is where many variations were popularized. Meats were changed. New broth recipes were invented. Garnishes such as lime, mung bean sprouts, cilantro, hot chili sauce, cinnamon basil, and Hoisin sauce became commonplace.

In northern Vietnam, at the same time of this explosion in popularity, private pho restaurants became nationalized. Food shortages soon became the norm, resulting in all sorts of modifications.

Through immigration to North America and the rest of the world, pho only began to catch on beginning in the early 2000s. By the decade’s end, pho restaurants in Canada were selling approximately $50 million of pho every year.

Today, pho is considered one of the world’s most delicious foods and Vietnamese cuisine is regularly voted as the world’s healthiest cuisine.

The Culture of Food As A Way to Welcome Canadians of Every Background

Living in a multicultural society such as Canada, everyone is encouraged to celebrate their culture, respect others’ cultures, and to ultimately help in forming a mosaic of identities from all over the world.

Culture can come in many forms. It’s in language, habits, music, art, literature, and family traditions. Cooking food in Vietnam is a family tradition and something passed down from generation to generation.

We cook for the people we care about. Despite whatever’s going on in the world, in Vietnam, there’s always a bowl of pho waiting at local restaurants, by street vendors, and prepared at home.

In Canada, the cooking culture is obviously very different in the content of what’s cooked. Fortunately, there are a lot of similarities in the culture of Canadian food compared to Vietnamese.

The best Vietnamese pho in Toronto from TorontoPHO we make for everyone and anyone. We welcome all at our front door. Regardless of where someone’s from or what they believe in, you always have a seat at our table.

This is the Vietnamese way and, from what we’ve seen, also the Canadian way. We treat customers like family and we feed them accordingly. From a giant pot to a warm bowl, enjoy Toronto pho the way you want it.

A Little Pho For You, A Little Pho For Me

Pho is a star of a dish. A unique concoction from Vietnam to your bowl in Toronto, the fresh ingredients are everything. Fine-tuning every detail, the exact taste to a bowl is achieved only through experience and the careful addition of balancing herbs and spices.

Whether you’re eating with family or are looking for a quick bite to eat on your own, pho in Toronto’s not hard to find. It’s always cooking on our stovetop. Fill your bellies with something delightfully tasty.

Pho is also incredibly healthy, although this depends on portion size and how it is modified. The average bowl of Vietnamese pho is high-nutrition, high-protein, anti-inflammation, low-calorie, and low-fat.

If you haven’t ever had it before, try it. That’s the best advice we can give. Come and stop in. Choose the variety that best resonates with your lifestyle and diet. See all sorts of rich flavors, proteins, and more.

Visit TorontoPHO for pho and more. There’s no better place to find simple Asian soups that taste great and to give you comfort no matter what’s going on in your day. Vietnamese and Asian dishes prepared as authentically as possible with farm-fresh ingredients.