I’m just going to come out and say it: Toronto does Chinese food better than anywhere else. Except maybe China. Anywhere I go, the Chinese food does not compare to what I’ve eaten in Toronto. It’s probably due to the amount of selection we have to choose from, which is what has made this list so freakin’ hard to write! In the end I tried to get the best from across the city. So if you live closer to Etobicoke than Chinatown, you can still find yourself some tasty Chinese cuisine.
1. Mother's Dumplings
421 Spadina Avenue
One of Chinatown's gems indeed. All of the recipes served at Mother’s Dumplings come from the recipe book of the owner’s actual mother. Crazy, I know. So their food has a definite home-cooked feel, even though their menu is HUGE. A pro tip is to get anything with chives, because it adds flavour that will rock your world.
2. Mean Bao
275 Dundas Street West
This place is the OCAD students paradise. Hip and tasty is the best way to describe Mean Bao. They started with humble beginnings as a popular food truck and now sell their 21st century take on Chinese in their cool little resto. If you’re going to start with something big, I recommend their hot quinoa box with eggplant, mushroom and tofu.
Photo cred - Mochachocolata Rita
3. Honey Bee
2028 Queen St E,
Do you like lemon chicken? Because I like lemon chicken. And if I am going to go anywhere to get it, it will be Honey Bee for sure. I still long for the simultaneous sweet and spiced crunch. Their cute yellow sign and modest setup work as a beacon to guide me to delicious food. Any of you beach dwellers should check it out if you haven’t already.
Photo cred - G2006
4. The Goof
2379 Queen St E, Toronto
This is my go to comfort food whenever I’m home in Toronto. The Goof is a famous Queen East restaurant. Mostly for its ballin’ food, but a little bit for it’s deteriorating sign, whose story you can read about here. They just got renovated so their interior is now super modern and clean, but luckily, the chicken balls and sweet and sour sauce still tastes the same.
Photo cred - Andrew T.
5. Lotus Garden Hakka Indian Style Chinese
3460 Danforth Avenue
Definitely not your traditional Chinese food, but it is delicious all the same. Imagine taking all the best parts of Indian food, and then all the best part’s of Chinese food, and then jumbling them up in one wonderful succulent creation. That’s Lotus for you. It’s all spice and oil and I love it. All my fellow Scarberians need to try this if you haven’t.
Photo cred -jeannebeanie
6. Swatow Restaurant
309 Spadina Ave
Let me hear y’all say drunk food! We all love it. We all partake in the shameful act, so why not do it well. Swatow is another great Chinatown find. The amount of times I’ve stumbled into this place and ordered and nice steaming bowl of WonTon soup, is a little insane to be honest. But I can’t help myself. The staff are understanding and the food is amazing AND affordable on a student budget. You can’t lose.
Photo cred - Sam L
7. Buddha’s Vegetarian Kitchen
666 Dundas St W
I didn’t forget about the veggie heads this time ‘round! Believe it or not, Buddha’s is one of the West End’s oldest Chinese food restaurants. I know so many veggies and vegans who travel there to get their greasy food fix. Though I’m pretty much a carnivore, I do really enjoy the food at Buddha’s. I always get the divine fried rice with mushrooms.
Photo cred - Asian Legend
8. Asian Legend
4452 Sheppard Avenue E
Whenever I go to Asian Legend I always have a good ol’ time. They just have everything down to a T. The food comes quickly. The staff are so nice. The décor is cute and warm. And then the food is mind blowing. The famous green onion and beef pancakes definitely live up to the hype. And also the Peking duck is to die for.
Photo cred - vxla
9. House Of Gourmet
484 Dundas St W
I’ve come to the conclusion that House of Gourmet is not for everyone. Their food is so flavourful, and cooked in a more traditional, so it will honestly not please everyone. Basically, you either love it or you hate it. However, I am of the opinion that they have fantastic Chinese food, especially when it comes to their meat and noodles. I’m a sucker for a good al dente finish, and they can definitely achieve that, even if it has been sitting in the soup for a while. Their BBQ pork is so good, I have a hard time describing it. It really is one of a kind and tastes very authentic to Chinese cuisine.
Photo cred - sancia
10. Szechuan Garden Restaurant
359 Avenue Spadina
Whatever way you slice it Szechuan Garden is always going to be good. I love spicy Chinese food, so of course I’m going to like this place. Overall, it looks like all the other mediocre Chinese food places you’d see in Chinatown, but the food is what makes it stand out from the crowd. And really, that is the way it should be. The food comes crazy fast, yet they still manage to make the sauce spicy, but not too spicy, which is a harder feat than most would think.