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simple Chinese or Vietnamese options downtown

We will be visiting Toronto from New York. Looking for recommendations of simple Taiwanese and Cantonese (other than dim sum) fair downtown, @Spadina or East.

Would enjoy good noodle soup, roast pork, jook, HK-style cafe items, maybe dumplings. Any decent bo zai fan in the area? Does any place offer gua baos or crispy-fried stinky doufu (believe it or not, it is not stinky at all in NYC).

Although price isn't really an issue, we are not interested in anything upscale and decor is absolutely irrelevant:: would settle for a food stall. There is no need for an English menu.

Also, would be great if someone could please recommend a decent Vietnamese spot. As we don't speak Vietnamese some bare minimum English or Canto is required.

Any other recommendations for travelers from Flushing, NYC? Thanks in advance

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  1. Pho Pasteur on Dundas just east of Spadina is good. Gold Stone on Spadina south of Dundas is fast, good Chinese with noodle soups, rice toppings, etc.

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    Pho Pasteur
    525 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T1H4, CA

    10 Replies
    1. re: ctl98

      I would second both these recs.....
      BTW all Vietnamese places in Toronto have menus in english and the wait staff speak good english as well....so that would not be a problem...

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      Pho Pasteur
      525 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T1H4, CA

      1. re: warlock

        Even though I love Pho Pasteur (a weekly haunt post work for me, 24 hrs operation), I would recommend Tien Thanh over them if you are shooting strictly for one Viet meal, or rather specifically a bowl of Pho.

        Downtown wise, Lai Wah Heen is what you won't find in Flushing. However it is expensive, so it fails that criteria. It's worth it, it's not something you will find anywhere else in N. America. You are on vacation afterall, so why settle? Get the best....

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        Lai Wah Heen
        108 Chestnut St, Toronto, ON M5G 1R3, CA

        Pho Pasteur
        525 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T1H4, CA

        1. re: aser

          Thanks! Incidentally, we are staying at the Metropolitan

          1. re: diprey11

            One street over from your hotel, there's a very popular place called Yueh Tung on the 2nd floor with luncheon specials during the work week Suggest getting there by 11:30 to avoid waiting for a table.

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            Yueh Tung
            126 Elizabeth St, Toronto, ON M5G, CA

            1. re: diprey11

              If you're staying at the Metropolitan Hotel, you're just a block and a short walk away from my favorite downtown Chinese joint, Yueh Tung, on Elizabeth Street, the site of Toronto's original Chinatown. On the second floor a few doors south of Dundas Street, Yueh Tung has been around more than 30 years, so it must be doing something right. A mainly Cantonese menu, insanely popular at lunch when nearby office, Law Courts and City Hall workers crowd in for its good, reasonable lunch specials. But it shows its stuff best at night, when it's less crowded, and the regular menu prevails. No decor to speak of - like most downtown Chinese spots - but clean, and with good service. And most everything I've had there over the years, mostly at lunch but sometimes dinner, is well-prepared and tasty.

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              Yueh Tung
              126 Elizabeth St, Toronto, ON M5G, CA

              1. re: juno

                Yueh Tung also serves what is known as "Hakka" cuisine, which is actually Chinese cooking with Indian influences, with dishes like chicken pakoras, Manchurian Beef etc.

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                Yueh Tung
                126 Elizabeth St, Toronto, ON M5G, CA

              2. re: diprey11

                Besides the frequently recommended Chili Chicken, which dishes would you recommend the most at Yueh Tung, T Long, juno & Teep?

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                Yueh Tung
                126 Elizabeth St, Toronto, ON M5G, CA

                1. re: phoenikia

                  I'm a fan of their tofu (bean curd) and meat/veggie stir frys on rice dishes....but tempted by most items on their menu.

                  1. re: phoenikia

                    re: Yueh Tung's Chili Chicken: http://www.healthzone.ca/health/dietf...

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                    Yueh Tung
                    126 Elizabeth St, Toronto, ON M5G, CA

          2. A visit to Toronto would not be complete without either Chinese Traditional Buns (536 Dundas West, at Kensington north side) or, Mothers Dumplings (421 Spadina Avenue, just south of college east side)
            Not exactly what you asked for... because diprey11 has given you the destinations where you will find allllll that you have asked for and more--a walk down Spadina from college to just past Dundas, plus a little east or west of spadina on Dundas, will find you everything you have asked for and more.

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            Chinese Traditional Buns
            536 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T, CA

            4 Replies
            1. re: NoraBlenderbee

              Yep, exactly what I asked for. Thanks so much everyone for a great advice!

              I know it would've been much easier if there were fewer choices. ;-) There are so many restaurants that one can't possibly try them all, nor even count the people lining up. In NYC, I would've asked a friend or a family member. For example, there's much more than a dozen places serving the BBQ pork in the Manhattan C-town, of which I can personally recommend two.

              I am sure we'll enjoy the thrill of discovery in Toronto! Thanks so much!

              1. re: diprey11

                For HK style cafe, there is Hong Kong Bistro Cafe on Dundas east of Spadina. Their milk tea is so-so, the food is not bad.

                There are no Taiwan eateries downtown.

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                Hong Kong Bistro Cafe
                472 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T1G9, CA

                1. re: Teep

                  Teep: Is the Hong Kong Bistro Cafe the new name of Hong Kong Harbour Restaurant or is it a completely new place under new management. Hong Kong Bistro is on the 2nd floor, right?

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                  Hong Kong Bistro Cafe
                  472 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T1G9, CA

                  1. re: T Long

                    Right, on the second floor, used to be Hong Kong Harbour. Changed owners and the menu is a little different.

            2. I love both Tien Thanh and Yueh Tung.

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              Yueh Tung
              126 Elizabeth St, Toronto, ON M5G, CA

              Pho Tien Thanh
              57 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J2Y9, CA

              1. We like New Sky on Spadina for Cantonese food, done quite well. You are not far from Baldwin Street, which has a bunch of great spots, and is an interesting walk.

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                New Sky
                353 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2G3, CA