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Best of Toronto

The Best Congee in Toronto

Posted by Darren "DKLo" Susilo / July 10, 2013

congee torontoThe best congee in Toronto is like getting a warm hug on a cold day. Long-established as the epitome of home-style Chinese cooking, congee is also a particularly popular "mom's remedy" to those who are feeling under the weather. In fact, I know many mothers that would express shock at the notion of eating anything OTHER than congee when I'm unwell.

Congee is also well-known as a comfort food, a term that is clearly viewed very differently than in traditional North American cooking that puts dishes such as grilled cheese or poutine in that same category.

It may not be the most flavourful (or aesthetically appealing) dish out there, but if you're looking for a traditional, humble, yet satisfying Chinese dish, you could do worse than these bowls of what is essentially seasoned watery rice.

Here is the list of the best congee in Toronto.

See also:

The best Chinese restaurants in Toronto
The best late night Chinese food in Toronto
The best dumplings in Toronto
The best dim sum in Toronto
The best dim sum in downtown Toronto
The best Chinese food delivery in Toronto

Posted by Darren "DKLo" Susilo. He hangs out on the twitter and his own mansion.

Congee Queen

Congee Queen

With three locations around the city (the main one being the rather large one at the Shops at Steeles and 404 Mall), Congee Queen is quickly becoming a staple among many who seek good congee, along with other dishes, in a clean and sleek restaurant. The salmon congee is one of my favourites, with the characteristic taste of the fish blending nicely with the relative smoothness of the congee. Have it with a side of their fried turnip cake and you're all set. Come early before mealtimes, unless lining up is your favourite pastime activity. More »

King's Noodle

King's Noodle

King`s Noodle underwent renovations a few years ago, and while I personally have problems navigating around the chaotic table arrangements, I certainly don't have any in downing the deliciously satisfying Fisherman`s Catch Congee (it's amazing how much seafood they manage to cram into that bowl). It fgoes great with some you tiao (fried dough fritters) on the side. More »

Congee Wong

Congee Wong

The secret chef behind many so-called homemade potluck dinners held in Asian households, Congee Wong is such a staple that it's a little known fact that many Chinese families in Scarborough and North York keep its takeout menu right beside the emergency contact numbers. Open late and always jammed with patrons, the star of the show is the amusingly named Super Bowl Congee, which will undoubtedly send NFL execs scrambling for their lawyers, where everything from fish to scallops is included in a large dish. Their popular fried turnip cakes are no slouch either. More »

Congee King

Congee King

No, this place isn't owned by the husband of Congee Queen's owner. In fact, its fame is nowhere near that of its spousal namesake, but it's a nice place to get a change from the more popular names on this list and still have good quality congee. The oyster congee is one of the house specialties, and its flavours are a little stronger than one would expect, but in my opinion that's why it sets itself apart from the others. Their other foods, however, are definitely more of the hit and miss variety. More »

Goldstone Noodle

Goldstone Noodle

Goldstone Noodle is a longtime favourite for many early-morning revelers in downtown Chinatown, and while the service here is not stellar, many of its regulars will swear by its duck congee. I've personally found the congee here to be a bit plainer compared to many of the others on its list, so it's probably more suited to congee purists. Make sure you also get a side of their delicious bbq pork with your meal for a nice contrast in flavours. More »

Congee Star

Congee Star

Located, perhaps a little oddly, in the very un-Chinese area of Don Mills and Eglinton, this restaurant offers up a really good deal. Their House Special Congee is large and chock-full of delicious seafood such as shrimp and salmon for under $6, and that's not all. Their other congee offerings are also similarly wallet-friendly, and the service is usually quite efficient and polite. After you're done, you can even go check out stars of a different variety at the nearby Ontario Science Centre. It's a win-win situation! More »

House of Gourmet

House of Gourmet

If you think that it's odd how House of Gourmet shows up in multiple posts here on this site, it's not. This place, while not fancy, proves that you could be a jack of all-trades but still be excellent in all the things you do. Case in point is their abalone congee. Tenderly chewy (abalone fans would know what I mean) and comfortingly smooth, it truly combines the best of both worlds. If you're looking for something decidedly less exotic, you can't go wrong with their lobster congee. More »

Mr. Congee

Mr. Congee

If the Congee Queen and Congee King names are anything to go by, I'm half-expecting there to be a Mrs. Congee restaurant opening soon. Until then, this small but modern restaurant will do very nicely as a great place to gulp down some congee, as well as a solid reason to visit the rather forlorn-looking Bridlewood Mall in Scarborough. The congee here is a bit plainer than most of the other locations on this list, but makes up for it with fresh toppings, richly evident in the succulent scallop and shrimp congee. The noise level during mealtimes may approach jet engine proportions, mind you. More »

Congee Delight

Congee Delight

This little-known congee place is shoehorned rather awkwardly inside the rather glum-looking Skymark Plaza on Don Mills and Finch. Once inside though, the rather spacious restaurant will surprise you with the quality of many of their offerings. The sliced fish congee here is both delicious and impressive despite its simplicity in presentation, and the large offering of snacks to enjoy on the side make for an enjoyable meal. It does get very crowded during mealtimes, though. More »

Congee Time

Congee Time

The best answer to the question "What time is it?", Congee Time has been satisfying patrons in the Koreatown North area of Yonge and Finch for several years now, and shows no signs of slowing down. The star of the show in this rather small establishment is undoubtedly the superlative-laden Super Supreme Congee Bowl, with oodles of prawn, scallops, surf clam, and fish all hanging out inside your large bowl of delicious congee. They also cater for large parties. More »

Sam's Congee Delight

Sam's Congee Delight

Who is Sam and how is his congee so delightful? This always-crowded joint is located inside the soon-to-be-demolished Market Village, and is definitely a place to visit before time runs out. The tasty pork liver congee, with a side of you tiao fritters wrapped inside rice rolls, is delicious in a simple and understated way. Not the most pleasant of atmospheres though, so perhaps it's a good thing the food comes blazingly fast. More »

Discussion

31 Comments

Brandon / July 10, 2013 at 03:26 pm
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Shredded duck congee at Congee Queen Don Mills/Lawrence - no doubt the best in the city.
sw / July 10, 2013 at 03:44 pm
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I've always wanted to try Congee but I've been nervous to because I never knew which one to order. I actually really appreciate this list, so thank you!

Also, if anyone has any recommendations of their fave congee, I'd love to hear!
Zorbs / July 10, 2013 at 04:15 pm
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@sw the classic: lean pork & 1000 year old egg congee.
koi / July 10, 2013 at 05:07 pm
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This is Toronto, how do you not have a Chinese friend to ask? Do you live online in your mom's basement?
gee / July 10, 2013 at 05:21 pm
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legit list.

However, I would put Sam's at the top. Perfect serving size, consistency, piping hot, and loaded w/toppings. Service is fast - but always friendly.

K / July 10, 2013 at 08:09 pm
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Great roundup!
Domi / July 10, 2013 at 09:13 pm
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Absolutely love this list, especially since I go to many of the places with my family!
Ww / July 10, 2013 at 10:43 pm
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Love congee and love all the restaurant above!
Toni / July 10, 2013 at 11:21 pm
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Great! Thanks - Love it!
v79 / July 10, 2013 at 11:51 pm
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I go to Congee Queen quite often, but can never bring myself to actually order the congee, as there are so many much more appetizing things on the menu. Guess I'll have to try it someday.
Szw / July 11, 2013 at 12:21 am
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No chiu chow congee worth putting on the list?
Mona / July 11, 2013 at 12:45 am
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Congee Wong is my go-to, alhough I must agree, Sam's is the original congee joint you've gotta try. They serve up turnip cake in mashed potato fashion -- just the most original state. It's literally been there since 20 years ago when we first discovered it.
MrsP / July 11, 2013 at 02:18 am
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Oddest write up ever. You don't even actually tell the reader what congee is! What the hell is it!?!
TZ / July 11, 2013 at 03:36 am
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@MrsP Congee is best described as "rice porridge." Its usually made with water or stock (beef, chicken, pork, or duck are all common) and leftover rice from last night's dinner. You can add in a variety of toppings such as thousand year old eggs, ground pork, sliced beef/pork, shredded chicken/duck, green onions, cilantro and even ginger. Its a common breakfast, and the best thing ever to eat when you're feeling sick.
lalac / July 11, 2013 at 10:24 am
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@mrsp Toronto is a multicultural city and not surprising that blog to would write an article about ethnic food. there is a large photo of congee and it's something that can easily be googled.
hop replying to a comment from MrsP / July 11, 2013 at 10:25 am
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http://lmgtfy.com/?q=congee
Rick / July 11, 2013 at 10:32 am
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Congee is vile, plus it looks like horse gizz in a bowl - smells like it could be that too.

sw replying to a comment from koi / July 11, 2013 at 10:48 am
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Why do you have to be so freaking condescending? I was simply asking for recommendations on a forum where I'm bound to get a variety of answers from people I wouldn't normally be able to ask. I think my post was pretty nice and didn't warrant such a dickhead response. Not to mention asking my Chinese friends about their favourite congee dishes isn't at the foreground of my mind, this post just reminded me. Yeesh.

Ohhh the internet and its anonymity...
S / July 11, 2013 at 12:26 pm
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Fish congee. Super savoury. It's more like a ricey porridge-soup. Ask for the garnishes, chopped green onion/ginger and peanuts.
Collin Ng replying to a comment from koi / July 11, 2013 at 04:23 pm
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@koi, i won't be a dick about it.

if you're a meat eater, like most things, try with the basic chicken congee and go from there. it's an easy gateway congee because you know what to expect.
Randy / July 15, 2013 at 06:05 pm
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House of Gormet's wonton congee is an amazing combination of 2 very different delicacies.
Tina / July 15, 2013 at 11:44 pm
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sounds disgusting
mesin absensi / July 16, 2013 at 02:20 am
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Fabulous, what a website it is! This weblog gives valuable facts to us, keep it up.
finger me / July 18, 2013 at 05:23 am
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11II11I!I!I11I / August 29, 2013 at 12:02 am
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Please note that the Sam Woo Seafood restaurant is now out of business. The BBQ restaurant in the same plaza is still open!
Chinese Food Lover replying to a comment from Tina / December 14, 2013 at 08:16 pm
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You're disgusting.
Chinese Food Lover replying to a comment from Chinese Food Lover / December 14, 2013 at 08:17 pm
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My comment is for Tina.
Tina replying to a comment from Chinese Food Lover / December 14, 2013 at 10:06 pm
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And you're an idiot and a fucktard.
Connie / December 14, 2013 at 11:26 pm
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There's a great little one in Richmond Hill called 'My kitchen'. Great congee and the best rice rolls. Check it out! 9021 Leslie st.
Tiffany / December 14, 2013 at 11:43 pm
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Congee Queen is no doubt a great choice!
jen / February 17, 2014 at 10:37 pm
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Obviously the best congee are the ones with the most msg.

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