Chinatown at Dundas and Spadina, and the Baldwin Village[Toronto]

Favourite restaurants, dishes, updates.

Has anyone tried Rua de Macao? I’m interested in the Macanese dishes.

This Taiwanese tea shop Chicha San Chen has a little patio with heaters, unusual in Chinatown.
Chicha San Chen IG

I tried the Hainanese chicken at a little Mandarin restaurant called Soya Kitchen on Baldwin in the Baldwin Village.



Has anyone tried Dahu Hotpot at 47 Baldwin ?

HanBingo, Korean Desserts at 397 Spadina

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I love Baldwin Village! Two spots I have photos of:

Carbonic Coffee is a fantastic little cafe that does Hatch & Angry Roaster bean coffees by day, wine and cocktails by night - lots of seating and an overall warm vibe.

Koh Lipe Thai is a classic in Baldwin, especially popular for those on the keto/low-carb diet as they do konjac noodle versions of their dishes. (Sorry my photo’s not the best staged, was enjoying!)

Would pass on: Smoque n’ Bones BBQ, had 2 very subpar BBQ experiences there, and DZO Viet Eatery around the corner across from AGO is more style/Instagram/social media over food quality.

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Thanks!

I like Omai on Baldwin, which has a nice little patio in the summer months. The patio is not open yet.

On Baldwin, Kinton remains a favourite for ramen. I also like the cream buns at Hattendo.

In the Spadina-Dundas area, I’ve gone to Swatow since the late 80s. King’s Noodle is also pretty good, but we prefer Swatow overall. We also remain fans of Mother’s Dumplings.

We haven’t tried the Yi Jin Chang Fen location on Spadina, but really liked the one at Warden and Steeles - it specializes in chang fen, those rolled supple ribbons of rice noodle served at dim sum.

We haven’t been to Anh Dao in several years, but always enjoyed it. The Vietnamese crepe is a dish we enjoyed there that we haven’t seen anywhere else.

Sky Dragon is decent for dim sum.

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Swatow
Rol San
Krispy Kreme

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What’s good at New Ho King?

Despite it being a restaurant, it’s not really known for the food itself. It’s popular for “cold tea” after the bars close (wink wink nudge nudge) and being open until 4:30 AM on Fri and Sat nights, hence the mention in the rap song.

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Ah okay. lol.

See, my age is showing. Hahaha

Out of the current places in business on Spadina, I’ve only dined at Swatow, Sky Dragon, New Sky, Rol San and Anh Dao.

I have also been to Wok Theory on Dundas twice. The last time was awful. My friend let the owner and chefs know about some bad experiences and apparently it’s improved since I complained to him.

The only place I’ve dined more than 5 times are Swatow and Rol San. I’ve probably dined at Rol San 20 time over the past 20 years, which puts it in my top 10 most frequented restaurants in Toronto.

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Banh Mi Nguyen Huong is worth checking out if you like bahn mi and have cash - though I usually ask for extra toppings for an extra $1-2, still way under $10 but more satisfying than ordering as-is.

Another Viet spot I think is worth checking out (despite 4.1 star Google review) is Pho Xe Lua - 2nd floor spot (walk up) that my partner and I love going to to share 4-5 “appies” which are all $5-8 each, and split between two people is so much variety/flavour/cheap eats.

I recognize neither of these are Chinese reccos for Chinatown though, so definitely need to get back to Rol San soon given your recommendation + I’ve only gone once!

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Interestingly, I started going to Rol San with a friend who was a restaurant inspector, back in 2004. It’s always been a very clean restaurant, and a favourite with Toronto restaurant inspectors for years.

Most of my dim sum has come from Rol San or Pearl Harbourfront the past 4 years. Rol San is more basic than Pearl.

The last time I went to Sky Dragon, in Aug 2019, they had an minor infraction the day after my visit :rofl:

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We’ve been visiting Swatow for decades. A lesser known dish char Cheung noodle soup is a favourite - interesting flavour and texture. Otherwise it’s the satay beef with noodles and I add Chinese broccoli, the shrimp and eggplant on rice, and their lovely lemon chicken. We also go again and again to House of Gourmet which excels in wonton noodle soup and congee. Chinese doughnut imperative. We don’t bother with anything else there except the braised tofu which is at front of house in a pan and costs very little. I also prefer their crispy roast pork over most others (to take out).

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Ohhhh … the satay beef with rice noodles brings back memories to my uni days … sooooo good. That and the shrimp wonton noodle soup. Gosh that was about 40 years ago :rofl:

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Shrimp dumpling noodle soup is a favourite at Swatow, as is 4 kinds of balls noodle soup.

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believe it or not, i’ve never had the shrimp dumpling soup at swatow. have you had house of gourmet to compare them? on my list to try the swatow version soon.

I only went to House of Gourmet once. Someone on Chowhound has recommended the won ton soup. It was pretty average for me. I have lived my dozens of meals at Rol San and at Swatow more than that one meal at House of Gourmet.

I have been meaning to give New Sky another try. I only went once, around 18 years ago.

OK, I’ve had lots of wonton noodle soups in Chinatown, having lived there and back to visit a couple of times a week and HOG makes the best wonton of them all, perhaps the best stock although it went through a bad spell for some reason a few years back. The owner once sat down with my guy and me and wrote out the whole recipe in Chinese. That was a golden moment. Originally I liked King’s Noodle, thatn switched to HOG. Goldstone had the best doughnut then too, but now fetch it in readymade to deep fry - not as nice. Each to their own!

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Speaking of Baldwin Village, I went to Mexhico at #26. Two friends chose the spot. I didn’t have a good experience but that was mainly because of the lack of choice available to me - I can’t eat any bell peppers and was told there were only three menu items without them. One was a salad - I was hungrier than that - the others were a carne asada taco (I make those myself too often to have them while out) and tortilla soup. I opted for the soup, and felt bereft about the mole. The soup was a touch too spicy for my grown-sensitive stomach (something I am sooo sad about) and there were some cubes of a squeaky cheese and avocado. It was OK but I kept thinking back to the amazing versions I’d had while living in L.A. I also had a margarita, which is pretty good - I needed it! The noise level was evil, the service was very attentive. We asked to move to a slightly quieter spot with no protest from the servier, who filled the free tortilla chip bowl twice.


You can see the edge of my friend’s chicken enchiladas with mole at the top (I tasted it - very good, very spicy) - warning, there were four small enchiladas on the plate with the sauce and nothing else (no rice, beans or salad).

(Do I need to post this elsewhere?)

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I’ll have to try House of Gourmet sometime to compare. I’ve tried Goldstone and King’s long ago and thought they were fine too. But I am more attached to Swatow overall.

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