I have a petite announcement to make. Don’t get too excited, it’s nothing big or crazy.
I am embarking on a new eating adventure in my wonderfully culturally diverse city of Toronto.
If you’ve been following me for a bit, you know I love eating. Obviously, my name is Happy or Hungry for a reason. I am always happy, unless I am hungry, and then I’m a nightmare. I also very much enjoy trying new kinds of foods. I would love to be able to travel to every country in the world and eat a traditional dish there, but let’s be real here. That’s not going to happen. But what I can do is eat a traditional dish from every country in the world in my own city, or at least the Greater Toronto Area (known to Torontonians as the GTA).
Toronto really is incredibly multicultural and diverse, and without even trying I have already had many types of authentic dishes from various countries. But I want to try as many as I can! And if I can’t do it in Toronto, where can I? No longer will I be eating out just to eat out, I will be eating with a PURPOSE.
There are 196 countries in the world, so I don’t expect this to be an easy or short feat (and that is only the undisputed countries, technically there may be a total of 257 countries). I am not sure yet what I am going to do about countries like, I don’t know, Andorra, which I didn’t even know existed until I started looking into this… but I am going to do as many as I can. And I am going to document it here and on my instagram so you guys can follow along. I mean, if you want. Don’t feel obligated or anything. I am hoping to eat somewhere new at least weekly.
So let’s start with an easy country, a country that has a traditional dish I eat all the time…
Pho! What the pho! All winter I ate beef pho at least once a week (except during the Whole30 in January)
Pho is a soup consisting of broth, rice noodles, herbs and meat. It is a traditional dish in Vietnam, and apparently southern Vietnamese eat it for breakfast and occasionally lunch, and those from northern Vietnam go for it any time of the day (thank you Wikipedia).
Pho originated in northern Vietnam in the early 20th century, and during the Vietnam war was popularized throughout the rest of the world by refugees. I do find that sometimes you have to be careful when ordering pho, because if the menu is in Vietnamese you may accidentally order pho with a floating pig’s hoof on top. Beef pho though, you can’t go wrong.
I also sometimes order the bun cha gio, thit nuong, chao tom.
Or grilled pork, shrimp, spring rolls and vegetables on top of rice noodles.
Pho and Vietnam restaurants in general are very popular in Toronto, they’re everywhere, but my favourite is Pho Com Vietnam right at Jane and Finch (I know, but it’s fine). The prices are great, the quality of the food is amazing, and the staff are quick and super friendly. Truly, I love it there.
I also really like Pho Do Thi in Mississauga at Hurontario and Dundas, which is convenient for me because it’s near my work, but I have always gotten takeout from there, so I can’t comment on their sit down service.
BlogTO also has a feature on the best Vietnamese restaurants in Toronto if you want to check it out! There are some places on there that I am going to have to get to for sure.
So that concludes the first edition of Happy or Hungry Eats the World (in Toronto). I am crossing Vietnam off the list, on to the next!
What’s your favourite Vietnamese restaurant?
If you are in Toronto and have recommendations for traditional restaurants from ANY country, please let me know! I am so open to recommendations!