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Chinatown - Let's seperate the winners from the losers

I'm looking for great places to eat asian - chinese, vietnamese, korean, japanese, thai - in the chinatown strip from queen up to college on spadina. i am pretty overhwelmed with all the places to eat, any help narrowing down the best of the best would be great!

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  1. My first stop is usually Swatow at 309 Spadina. No decor but simply some of the best prepared Asian on the strip - also open late.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Alpha166

      My family (from Hong Kong) do not find Swatow's main dishes good enough for a second visit. But their noodles can be good.

      1. re: Teep

        I gave Swatow's 3 chances because of a friend who said it was his favourite, and each time the food was progressively worse. 2 were dine in, the last was take out.

        The only dish I found passable was the Shrimp Dumpling Soup.

        I really believe all the positive reviews are done by those who are looking for food after the bars close - and after drinking all night!

        Personally, I like Yueh Tung - but it is not on Spadina.

        1. re: LovelyAsia

          I have been going to Swatow for 20 years or more and still go once in a while.. Agree with both Teep and LA. It's like McD. Open late almost a last resort. Quick meal when hungry late at night. Susur likes the shrimp dumpling there too. I go there mainly for noodles. Sometimes BBQ pork and tofu on rice. or seafood on rice. Word of caution, don't eat noodles in soup cold if take-out. Yuk.
          Vietnamese noodle place on Dundas W of Spadin on the south side was pretty good.. the hot pot place at 357 Spadina is OK. I haven't gone in years but BBQ pork on rice at Kum Jug was good. Does anybody know if anyplace has Hot and Sour soup that Phoenix Garden on W side of Spadina used to have? They closed years ago.

      2. re: Alpha166

        Overpriced...a joint for folks from the suburbs and 905;ers,

      3. Swatow is great, but for slightly higher-end cuisine, go to Lee Garden. You might find a line-up, but it's worth the wait. For many years, this has been the place where about a dozen of us gather on Christmas Eve. I've never had a single bad dish there.

        1. my personal fav is still New Ho King (and no, I'm not a uni student)

          1. Winners:
            Swatow (Chinese)
            Nguyen Huong (banh mi, and other takeout treats)
            Chinese Traditional Buns (Chinese)
            Mother's Dumplings (Chinese)
            Pho 88 (Vietnamese, avoid non-pho items)
            Kim Moon (Chinese bakery)
            Happy Seven (special menu)
            Rol San (Dim sum)

            Losers:
            Happy Seven (regular menu)
            Pho 88 (non-pho items)
            Rol San (Hot & Sour soup)

            2 Replies
            1. re: xtal

              I've often heard of the different menus at Happy Seven, one for regulars and another for the general public. How do you get to see the "special" menu? Or is the special menu the items written on the walls? I think I recall something about a different colour menu for the regulars.

              1. re: jeffs101

                I went to Happy Seven based on all the positive feedback. However, after trying even the special menu, I would say large portion and good prices but not good quality. The pea shoot had a lot of sand in it. The positive is that it has good service and is a good place for those who cannot read or speak Chinese.

            2. I was at King's Noodles back in the summer with a Chinese friend and had an excellend meal for an amazing price. Below is a brief summary of what Joanne Kates had to say,

              "King's Noodle ready to rule Spadina"
              Few have dared challenge the supremacy of Lee Garden on Spadina, and none have succeeded -- till today.
              By JOANNE KATES Saturday, December 2, 2006, Page L6

              King's Noodle - 296 Spadina Ave., Toronto, 416-598-1817.
              Dinner for two with Chinese beer, tax and tip, $75.

              4 Replies
              1. re: smartalex

                My dinner for two at King's Noodle never runs past $30. Usually around $20....but then I just have regular tea instead of gross Chinese beer....

                1. re: smartalex

                  "King's Noodle ready to rule Spadina"
                  Few have dared challenge the supremacy of Lee Garden on Spadina, and none have succeeded -- till today.
                  By JOANNE KATES Saturday, December 2, 2006, Page L6

                  "till today" ???
                  i think that's pretty funny considering King's Noodles has probably been there 20 years . obviously a restaurant doesn't exist until Joanne reviews it . at least this time she was right about the food , it's excellent

                  1. re: smartalex

                    Overpriced!!!
                    Dinner for two in Chinatown should not cost more than $40.00 for two.
                    (Unless you're an idiot!)

                    1. re: sjacobs

                      Welcome to Chowhound!! Where do you normally dine at Spadina Chinatown?...and what do you normally order?