No trip to Chinatown is complete without a meal!
Get a taste of some traditional Chinese cuisine at one of the many fantastic restaurants within the neighbourhood. They offer the freshest ingredients, ensuring that you leave feeling happy and full for very reasonable prices. And, although the neighbourhood is particularly known for its Chinese food, it also offers a variety of Vietnamese, Thai, Korean and Japanese restaurants where you can find popular authentic dishes like ramen, barbecue pork buns, dumplings, Kimchi and much more.
In Chinatown, Dim Sum is one of the better-known meals to get. In fact, when speaking about the culinary scene in Toronto, the world celebrated celebrity chef, Anthony Bourdain, once said, “Toronto does dim sum very, very well,” “It’s a strength, has been for a long time.”
Not sure what is Dim Sum? To keep it short, the name refers to a large range of small Chinese dishes served in small amounts. (if you’re familiar, picture how the Spanish eat Tapas) Often you’ll find small steamed or savoury fried dumplings containing various fillings, and they’ll be served in traditional bamboo dishes. The meal originating from South China is typically enjoyed as a snack or main course during brunch hours.
While there are so many restaurants to pick from, my favourite spot in Chinatown is the Dumpling House Restaurant. Serving up authentic pan-fried or steamed pork dumplings as well as other dishes you’ll be dreaming about (trust me), the Dumpling House Restaurant is where I find myself consistently returning to and bringing friends.
The restaurant offers a great selection of over 80 dishes—from hot and sour soup to General Tso’s chicken to Shanghai noodles made fresh in front of you as you walk in. My go-to Dumpling House order is a plate of their pan-fried pork dumplings with a side of Shanghai noodles. So much good food with usually lots of leftovers to take home!
And, although it isn’t Chinese, Ramen is also a staple dish that I find myself returning to Chinatown to get. Ajisen Ramen is my go-to choice of location.
Out front, the location is hard to miss with its statue of a girl holding a big bowl of ramen. Indoors, the space is decorated with a large Japanese mural and a display of traditional bowls and as you wait for your order, spot the chef’s hand making the noodles in the back.
Despite the constant flow of customers, the restaurant’s atmosphere is cozy, and it makes for an excellent location for a quick and inexpensive casual meal. While I love eating ramen year-round, the hot soup and noodle dish is especially perfect when the weather is cooler, and you are in need of something to warm you up.
Learn more about Chinatown in our cultural neighbourhood feature!