Walking through Chinatown presents you with a dizzying array of sights, smells and foot traffic. As you weave through the crowds it might dawn on you… you’re hungry. With restaurants everywhere you turn, how are you ever supposed to settle on one place? As your stomach’s rumbling grows louder and louder, don’t worry — that’s where we come in. Check out these recommendations for the top Chinatown Toronto restaurants.
Looking for a more comprehensive guide to the neighbourhood? Check out these Top Tips and Recommendations for Your Next Visit to Chinatown to learn more about the area, its history and what to do there!
Alternatively, dive into another culture, or several, at these spots to eat at in neighbouring Kensington Market. We also have recommendations for the Best Restaurants in Downtown Toronto, as well as several favourite Places to Eat at Along the Ossington Strip.
The Kensington Market and Chinatown Food Tour
Why settle for trying food at just one restaurant? The Kensington Market and Chinatown Food Tour takes you to several of the best spots in Chinatown, including a couple on this list, and also dives in to the food and culture of neighbouring Kensington Market for a total of 7 food tastings. The tour is led by an expert local guide who infuses the whole 3 hour experience with fascinating tales from the area’s history, current residents and some personal anecdotes, too. This insider look at two distinct neighbourhoods will leave Toronto residents and visitors alike with a full stomach and happy heart.
1. Mother’s Dumplings
A dumpling institution at the northern entrance of Chinatown, Mother’s Dumplings will treat you to comforting home-style cooking from northeastern China made from recipes passed down through generations. Come by to try their selection of hand-rolled dumplings, and watch the chefs hard at work cutting and shaping dough to make these perfect pockets of flavour fresh daily!
421 Spadina Ave | website
2. Dim Sum King
Walk up to the third floor of this little Dundas Street ‘mall’ and you’ll reach what is perhaps the largest Dim Sum restaurant in Toronto. With an extensive selection of dishes on offer at all hours of the day, weekday mornings are the best time to go for reduced prices. Alternatively, head there on Friday evening for some post-Dim Sum ballroom dancing – an activity sorely missing from other restaurants serving the same fare.
421 Dundas St W | website
3. Little Sheep
On the first floor of the same mall-esque structure as Dim Sum King, you’ll find Little Sheep. Specializing in All-You-Can-Eat Mongolian Hotpot, this do it yourself eatery is perfect for the hungry diners among you! You’ll have the chance to fill your pot with all of the sauces, meats and vegetables your heart desires.
421 Dundas St W | facebook page
4. Chinese Traditional Buns
Specializing in North-Eastern Chinese food, Chinese Traditional Buns more than makes up for it’s questionable decor with some of the best food in Chinatown. The quaint storefront might just be one of the area’s best-kept secrets. Head down the stairs to try their famed Dan Dan Noodles and Soup Dumplings, these unique specialties are not to be missed!
536 Dundas St W | website
5. Red Room
For those looking to have a couple drinks on a budget, Red Room is the place to go – just look out for the sign with water lilies on it. This Thai restaurant/bar is an exotic yet cozy spot with eclectic decor, unique lighting, affordable prices and great food (including some American selections), perfect for simply hanging out and chatting. Enjoy the spring and summer air on their patio, a rarity among Toronto’s Chinatown restaurants, with a $15 pitcher and some Pad Thai.
444 Spadina Ave
6. Canton Chilli
Looking for a starchy meal to soak up the alcohol after a night of drinking? Not many Chinatown restaurants are open after 4am, but with its hundreds of hand-drawn pictures by satisfied regulars decorating the walls and plastic tablecloths on the tables, it’s clear Canton Chilli is a favourite late night destination. If you’re not a night owl, their unique fusion of Southern Hakka style fare and Indian influences is delicious at any time in the evening.
418 Spadina Ave | website
7. Pho Xe Lua
If you’re looking for an alternative to Chinese food, why not come to Pho Xe Lua for a delicious bowl of late night Pho! This Vietnamese spot is another casual eatery that’s perfect for hanging out with friends and enjoying each other’s company over a hearty meal, open until midnight any day of the week.
254 Spadina Ave
8. King’s Noodle Restaurant
If you’ve been to the area before, you may have noticed the full barbecued ducks and pigs that have been hanging in the window of this Chinatown institution for decades. The meat isn’t just for show, King’s Noodle House serves the best Cantonese barbecue in the city! Try their barbecue roast duck congee with Chinese Churros on the side!
296 Spadina Ave
9. Buddha’s Restaurant
Roasted animal carcasses not your thing? Come down to Buddha’s Vegetarian Restaurant to savour some Hong Kong style vegan and vegetarian food. This place has been serving up regional specialities like imitation duck since 1991, and they’re every bit as satisfying and delicious as the meat-filled counterparts.
666 Dundas St W | website
10. Chop Chop
Though technically not in Chinatown, this new family-run spot is less than a 5 minute walk from Buddha’s and serves up high quality Taiwanese food, freshly cooked. For authentic flavours in a contemporary, sun-filled setting, Chop Chop is definitely worth making the trip. It’s the most Instagram-worthy of these Chinatown restaurants, and a spacious corner patio is just the cherry on top.
771 Dundas St W | website
11. Furama Cake & Desserts Garden
Finally, somewhere for those of you looking to satisfy your sweet tooth. Furama Cake & Dessert Garden is the place for you! This bakery at the southern edge of Chinatown makes fresh Chinese and European pastries daily. Grab a couple buns and a coffee for breakfast, or simply stop by for milk tea, too.
248 Spadina Ave
12. Bahn Mi Nguyen Huong
This family-run restaurant, in operation since the 80’s, is Toronto’s original Bahn Mi institution. Their sandwich prices are unbeatable, ranging from $3 to $5 tax included, but, fun fact: the owner’s children went on to start their own business, Toronto’s newest Bahn Mi institution – Bahn Mi Boys. Bahn Mi Nguyen Huong is Toronto’s go-to, though, for generous sizes, delicious Vietnamese baguettes, and that special something that makes the Banh Mi flavour unique.
322 Spadina Ave | nguyenhuong.ca
For even more inspiration, these Chinatown restaurants also have our stamp of approval: