Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Jul 26, 2013 09:56 AM

7days in Toronto. 1 long list of restaurants to try. Please help me sort it out. =)

Hello Toronto,
This is my second trip to Toronto. First time was New Years Eve of 2011.
It was very cold and most of the restaurants were closed so me and my husband decided to return to Toronto in this summer.
I was going through other postings and gather up some of the places to try but we only have 7days in Toronto (7/27-8/2). So please help me choose the must try places. Or new recommendations are welcome. Also we are staying 3days in down town and 3days in Markham. We don't mine driving out to other neighborhoods.

Dim sum
1.Rol San
2.Asian Legend
3.Crown Princess
4.Dragon Boat
5.Spring Villa
8.Casa Victoria
9.Casa Imperial

soup dumpling
1.Ding Tai Fung
2.Mother's dumpling
3.Northern Dumpling Kitchen

2.O Mei
3.Wonton Hut


1.Black Hoof
5.Frank's Kitchen

Additionally any recommendation for good Foie gras dish restaurant and unique Canadian dishes that we must try?
Thank you very very much in advance. =)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I can only comment on Lee for Chinese which I absolutely LOVE! You will need to make reservations here as it gets very busy, especially on weekends.

    Also, Congee Queen at Don Mills and Lawrence is pretty good for Chinese, but I like Lee more.

    For other Canadian restaurants, you may want to consider Acadia, Richmond Station, Woodlot, or Chantecler.

    Scaramouche is supposed to be amazing, and my brother and sister-in-law absolutely love it, but I have not tried it yet.

    Have a great trip!

    7 Replies
    1. re: TeacherFoodie

      Just to clarify - I am referring to Lee Gardens for Chinese.

      1. re: TeacherFoodie

        oh I was referring to Lee by Sursur.
        Not a good place?

        1. re: work4food

          I haven't been so I can't comment. Someone commented below though.

      2. re: TeacherFoodie

        Thank you TeacherFoodie!
        I was little hesitant about Lee since I read some bad reviews on Yelp but I will def. try them now. =)
        Other restos I will check it out.
        Thanks again.

        1. re: work4food

          If you happen to be downtown by the water Against The Grain has a wonderful patio. I was there yesterday for drinks - very relaxing and great view of the lake!

          1. re: work4food

            Note, again, I was referring to Lee Gardens.

        2. I'd highly recommend Canoe for the view but I think you'll find better meals elsewhere. Why not stop in at Canoe for drinks in the bar area and then you can dine elsewhere. If you do go for drinks, it's worth knowing that Canoe is popular with the business crowd as it is situated in the heart of the financial services district. Mid afternoon would be less busy or, if you are going in the evening, the earlier in the week you go the less likely it is that the bar will be jammed.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Breadcrumbs

            Hello Breadcrumbs,
            I'm currently 6months pregnant so drinking is not recommended. =)
            I will take Canoe off the list tho.
            Thanks for the suggestion!

          2. Soooo:

            Dim sum - I'd choose maybe 2-3. Crown Princess if you want to stay downtown, but I don't see why if you're in Markham. That being the case, Yang's would be my top choice. I haven't been to either Casa recently, but they were historically good. Consistency is a hard one for Chinese restaurants.

            photos, possibly menus of:
            Crown Princess -
            Yang's -

            soup dumpling
            Ding Tai Fung for XLB only. Go to Northern Dumpling Kitchen for everything else. For some reason, I have photos of nothing from either. Must rectify that.

            I don't know Lee unless you mean the one downtown by Susur. That's not what I'd call Chinese as much as fusion. If you want great Chinese-influenced modern cooking, see if you can book a last-minute tasting menu at Chantecler (likely not, but worth a shot).


            O Mei's lobster 4-ways is quite delicious, but even if you're only two, it's worth getting at least the maggi preparation of a small lobster. If available, try the fried milk donuts for dessert.

            O'mei - (from this chowmeet dinner:


            For izakaya, Guu is fine. I would counter with Kingyo though. I would also throw in some yakkitori (around the corner from Kingyo) at Zakkushi.

            Kingyo -
            Zakkushi -

            Always a favourite: Black Hoof. I would totally go.
            Canoe is fancy pants. Open only on the weekdays for lunch/dinner, fyi.
            Sidecar - great drinks. If you go on a Sunday night and express some interest in cocktails, they may let you upstairs to the Toronto Temperance Society (if it's not busy up there - usually members only).
            People love Scaramouche. Me, not so much, but that's just me.
            Frank's Kitchen - never been.

            Other suggestions:
            - Sabai Sabai (Thai) - Get the fish. Get the wings. Really fantastic food here.
            - Edulis (Spanish) - Make sure you end off with the baba au rhum if they have it.
            - Bar Isabel (late night, Spanish influenced) - Grant Van Gameran is awesome.
            - 416 Snack Bar (late night, mixed) Love their KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) and their doubles here. Cheap, packed, bar.
            - One2 Snacks (Malaysian) Laksa, kuih (desserts only on Sat), and take out. It's a tiny space. In Scarborough.
            - Speaking of Korean Fried Chicken, go to Galleria Supermarket at York Mills and Leslie. Once you walk in, hang a left and head to the far end of the store. There, you will find steam tables and a huge island with things being made. Line up at the cash by the steam tables and order Mom's Fried Chicken. Wander store for 30m until your beeper goes off. Weekdays before 7:30 is best - they run out fast.

            6 Replies
            1. re: jlunar

              Λ Λ Λ Λ Λ Λ Λ Λ
              This post. 100%.

              1. re: TorontoJo

                Yeah, visitors searching our site in the coming months need to reference this post.

              2. re: jlunar

                Nice job! jlunar!!
                You didn't mention the 'karoke' machine in O'Mei!! Ha!! :D

                1. re: jlunar

                  First of all WOW.
                  Amazing photos. I would have loved to join O'mei chowmeet dinner!.
                  Chantecler, Zakkushi and 416 Snack Bar looks amazing as well. I better hurry up and trying to get reservation.
                  I recently did Korean chicken tour of my own in NY so I'm little chickened out at the moment. Thank you for the suggestion tho. =)
                  Thank you so much for detailed recommendation.

                  1. re: jlunar

                    +1 for everything JLunar said.
                    Here are some pix of the dumplings (both soup, fried and steamed), shredded pork with cilantro & chili and the pancake with smoked pork from Northern Dumpling Kitchen.

                    1. re: fickle

                      hi fickle,
                      Thank you very much for the photo.
                      They all look delicious!

                  2. Yes definitely to Scaramouche. It is my favourite place. Service and food is always bang on.

                    Have you seen both menus on the website? One side of the restaurant is the more casual Pasta Bar and Grill and the other, Scaramouche is a little more upscale.

                    Ask for a window seat!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: millygirl

                      Hello Millygirl,
                      Yes I did see both of their menu and can't help but to salivate. Just got a reservation at Scaramouche for Monday and requested for window seat. =)
                      Thank you for your recommendation!

                    2. Save your dim sum experience up north!! If you must eat them down town, go to Crown Princess. For up town, I'll choose Spring Villa, Yang's and Casa Imperial.

                      For Soup dumpling, personally, I prefer Northern Dumplong Kitchen. They also offer more superior 'other dishes'. I ate at Ding Tai Fung a few weeks back. Very disappointed! Apart from the Xiao Lung Bao, the rest of the food were rough with an edge! Was not impressed at all!

                      Lee?! Apart from the 'Singapore Slaw', why bother, when there are so many other choices!! Don't be taken in by the Susur Lee name! Way over-rated!

                      I'm not sure which part of the world are you coming from? Irrespective, the O Mei's Giant Lobster 4-5 ways are 'not to be missed'!! You won't get that sort of preparation in one single meal!

                      As for Won-Ton Hut, IMO, best 'total package'( broth, noodles, won-ton and condiments ) Won-Ton noodle offering in town. You would need to go to Vancouver for better products!

                      Guu was 'interesting' for the experience ( if you like that sort of noisy ambiance?! ) Food was acceptable but I prefer Zakkushi or Kingyo's better. For really great Japanese, I would grab a cab and head over to 'Sushi Kaji'! ( although the price point is totally different! ). For sushi, head over to 'Zen' when you are up north.

                      Except from Sidecar, which I haven't been, the rest of your Canadian/French/Western list looks great. Amongst Canoe, Scaramouche and Frank's kitchen, there's quite a bit of over-lapping in cooking style though! May be diversify a bit into Spanish or Portugese? Chiado, Patria,Torito's or Bar Isabel all good choices.

                      Lastly, you should find good FoieGras dishes offer in Canoe or Scaramouche! Pastis Express still offers both Touchon and seared version on their menu!

                      Have fun!!

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: Charles Yu

                        Hello Charles,
                        Yes I was very overwhelmed by such a long list of dim sum choices. Thanks for clear things out!
                        I think I had XLB, small dumplings in spicy broth, Dan Dan mien and egg dessert two years ago. Only thing that was memorable was XLB. Maybe I will have more luck with northern dumpling kitchen. What other dishes do you recommend from Northern dumpling kitchen?

                        I will totally skip Lee.

                        We are driving up from NY. NYC have big Chinese population as well. But I don't think we have O Mei style of lobster prep. So can I pick which preparation I want the lobster in or they just have set menu? If I can pick them which preparation do you recommend the most?

                        I've been to Hong Kong and Guang Zhou. Every morning I would have fabulous wonton mie from small stores all around the city. I have not found any compatible place in NYC so far so I am pretty excited to try Wonton Hut.

                        I would love to try some nice sushi places however I'm currently pregnant so good izakaya will have to suffice. Zakkushi looks very promising for yakitori.

                        I already made reservation for Scaramouche. I will check out the other places.

                        Thank you sooooo much for your recommendations. I really appreciated!

                        1. re: work4food

                          With the huge population of Taiwanese across the bridge from Manhattan, I'm surprise you still want to try Northern style dumplings in Toronto?!

                          Anyways, I love Northern Dumpling Kitchen's version of Dan Dan Mien. However, you have to give the award winning 'Sliced leg of pork in garlic chili oil soya sauce' 蒜泥白肉. So addictive and good! Their dumplings, pot stickers and their double smoked pork with Chinese crepe wrapping are all pretty fine too!

                          O'mei's Giant lobster 4-5 ways are fixed in their 'steamed, sauteed and fried' preparation options. For the fourth or fifth dishes, depending on the size of the beast and amount of the tamale, one can request either fried rice or braised noodle with the tamale as well as steamed egg custard with tamale ( charamushi ). Save room for the 3-4 complimentary desserts!!


                          Be warned! Though WonTon Hut's won ton noodles are pretty good by Toronto standard. However, when compared to some of Hong Kong's best, they still have ways to go yet!! So, please don't raise your hope too high even though I'm sure you'll enjoy the noodles over any NYC has to offer!

                          Again, Zakkushi, by Toronto standard is pretty darn good. However, since you are from the Big Apple, I hope you won't try to make comparison with the likes of Yakitori Totto or Tori Shin?!! Otherwise you might be a bit disappointed!

                          Ref: Scaramouche. Did you by chance try asking for a window table with a view of downtown whilst making your reservation?? Worth giving them another call!!

                          Have fun!!

                          1. re: Charles Yu

                            Thank u for the advise. We are finally in Toronto. Just got back from guu since it was pretty close to where we were staying. Food was ok. Very young and loud scene. Most of all I was glad that we didn't have to wait for the table.
                            Yes I am used to joe Shanghai and Shanghai diner in nyc but Joe Shanghai's skin on xlb have been getting thick every time I visit. Very disappointing.
                            Wonton hut and zakkushi I will take your advice.
                            I did requst window seat for scramouche. Really hope I get it tho.
                            Is there any other market place worth a visit besides Kensington and st. Lawrence? I also been to Pacific mall...
                            Thanks again Charles! =)

                            1. re: work4food

                              we have a few interesting little markets worth checking out:

                              galleria korean market
                              arz persian market
                              j-town japanese market (taros might be worth a stop as well)
                              distillery for soma and beer

                              - khao san road

                              1. re: KhaoSanRoad

                                Thank you! Going to Kensington Market today. I will check out the other places as well!

                                1. re: work4food

                                  Stop by FIKA in Kensington. It's a cafe from one of the best restaurants in the city, Splendido. Their ice coffee is delicious, and they have some good pastries and sandwiches as well. The patio out back is really nice as well. It's south of Baldwin, but I can't remember the street name.

                                  There's a churros stand that you'll see as well. If you get one, don't get the chocolate syrup - the churros are quite good but the syrup is horrible.