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Best of Toronto

The Best Hakka Restaurants in Toronto

Posted by Darren "DKLo" Susilo / December 3, 2014

hakka restaurants torontoThe best Hakka restaurants in Toronto provide heaping amounts of hot and heavy dishes. For those unfamiliar, the name "Hakka" actually refers to an ethnic group within China spread all around the world but in Toronto, the term has been used almost exclusively (and somewhat erroneously) in reference to Chinese people who settled in India, blending Chinese ingredients with garam masala and other Indian herbs.

The cuisine may feel a bit coarse, the restaurants may look mostly underwhelming, and the overall presentation may be unimpressive, but for my money it's hard to beat Hakka when your stomach starts whining for delicious and satisfying comfort food.

Here are the best Hakka restaurants in Toronto.

See also:

The Best Chinese Restaurants in Toronto
The Best Indian Restaurants in Toronto
The Best Late Night Chinese Food in Toronto

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

Federick Restaurant

Federick Restaurant

Now with two locations (one of them located, rather appropriately, in a street named New Delhi Road) this long-standing Scarborough institution serves up yummy favourites like Manchurian chicken and the interestingly red-coloured Hakka noodles. Newly renovated, the prettiness of the restaurant finally matches the deliciousness of the food. More »

Lotus Garden

Lotus Garden

In this modest but clean restaurant, crispy beef is king. Many Hakka places serve excellent versions of this dish, but Lotus Garden does some of the best, as the crispness is just about right without any hint of sogginess. Awesome daily specials and friendly staff make this place a winner. More »

Lucky's

Lucky's

Home to one of the best chili chicken dishes in town, Lucky is one of the few places in Toronto where the chicken brings the flavour along with the gear. While the place is very simple, it is very clean and welcoming. Bonus points for the multiple TVs playing Bollywood movies and shows. Indian shows in a Chinese spot? Only in a Hakka restaurant. More »

Lin Garden

Lin Garden

Tucked unimpressively into the side of a frankly sad-looking plaza (which also hosts the surprisingly excellent Le Café Michi), the modest-looking Lin Garden was my first introduction to Hakka/Indian Chinese cuisine. Crazily cheap lunch specials for under $6, excellent pakoras, and the ever-aromatic crispy beef Kam Bien always draw me back, even if the service can be hit-or-miss. More »

Hakka Garden

Hakka Garden

Hakka Garden reels you in with its aromatic dishes amongst the rumble of the lunch/dinnertime crowd. Its $7.50 lunch specials are super popular with the regulars, and one bite of their famous garlic chicken will make you one too. More »

Yeuh Tung

Yeuh Tung

Yeuh Tung is a culinary wonder. The long-standing restaurant can comfortably be categorized into any category you care to place it in, and many of its excellent dishes (including the lunch specials) are uber-cheap as well. Two words for you on what Hakka dish to get here - chili chicken. End of story. More »

Everest Hakka House

Everest Hakka House

For a taste of Hakka on the Lakeshore, give this modest but warm and inviting place a try. Reach the peak of culinary excellence by ordering their brightly coloured Hakka noodles alongside their spicy chili fish. The best part? Their lunch specials are served until 4pm daily. More »

Hakka Masala

Hakka Masala

Contender for the best lunch special in town, Hakka Masala will feed you a selection of their lovely specialties such as chili chicken/fish on rice for $4.99, even past 3pm on weekdays. The place is a bit odd-looking (it's got those weird angular glass walls/ceilings that practically scream '80s) but the service is friendly and the food comes out fast. More »

China Cottage

China Cottage

This two-location restaurant proudly proclaims that they are the only Hakka restaurant listed in the Top 100 Chinese restaurants in Canada. According to which poll? Who cares, just eat your delicious Chicken 88 (their house specialty). In addition, its Steeles and Markham Road location has probably one of the most upscale settings of any spot on this list. More »

Royal Chinese Seafood

Royal Chinese Seafood

In this hidden restaurant located off McNicol St., delicious morsels abound. Thoughts of their fried shrimp balls cause a positively Pavlovian response in my tastebuds. Complement your meal with the super spicy and delicious ROYAL pepper fish. And yes, the menu lists the dish in all caps - how could it NOT be good? More »

Tangerine Asian Cuisine

Tangerine Asian Cuisine

This is probably the closest you're going to get to a modern chain restaurant in the Hakka culinary scene. They have locations as far as Whitby and Mississauga, a clear testament to the popularity of their offerings. My personal favourites are the chicken lollipop, an awesome and unique appetizer which perfectly precedes the mouthwateringly flavourful Manchurian fish (or beef). More »

Super Hakka

Super Hakka

Unfortunately, this isn't referring to the most multicultural superhero the world (or at least Toronto) has never heard of, but their Manchurian Chicken is pretty damn superb. Pair it up with their deliciously spicy veggie pakoras and you've got yourself one heck of a meal. Their lunch specials start at $6.50 - that's another awesome deal, despite the rather insalubrious looking neighbourhood. More »

Discussion

49 Comments

Anna / December 3, 2014 at 07:37 am
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HOW IS KIM KIM NOT ON THIS LIST?! HOW?! PLEASE SOMEONE EXPLAIN THIS TO ME.
Xavier / December 3, 2014 at 08:10 am
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What about Hakka No 1?
I mean its in the name
Its the number one Hakka restaurant
Michael Jagdeo / December 3, 2014 at 09:48 am
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Kim Kim is, hands down, the best hakka restaurant in Toronto.

Their thai soup, masala fried rice...unmatched. Their chili chicken might not be the best (China Cottage and Wah Too's spin take's the cake), but the overall meal at Kim Kim reigns supreme.
Alpesh / December 3, 2014 at 09:50 am
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Frederick's IS #1 on this list for a reason. Chili chicken 4EVA.
Duckie Duckington / December 3, 2014 at 09:54 am
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Danforth Dragon deserves to be mentioned on this list.
Joe Q. / December 3, 2014 at 10:03 am
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I know almost nothing about Hakka food. Is it typically "vegetarian-friendly" (like Indian food is) or does it tend to be meat-focused?
CH / December 3, 2014 at 10:38 am
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Glad to see Federick and Yeuh Tung on this list!
DKLo replying to a comment from Joe Q. / December 3, 2014 at 10:41 am
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They are definitely a bit meat-oriented, but there are definitely good non-meat options as many Indians are vegetarians (like Manchurian fish, shrimp pakoras, and pretty much anyt other meat dish which you can substitute into paneer - which i believe are cottage cheese).
Ryan replying to a comment from Duckie Duckington / December 3, 2014 at 10:52 am
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No it doesn't
not daniel / December 3, 2014 at 11:12 am
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No Burger's Priest?
Don Lands replying to a comment from Duckie Duckington / December 3, 2014 at 11:13 am
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Danforth Dragon is over priced boring food. Every time I order I am reminded why I swore I will never order again. Due to the dearth of alternatives for this cuisine along the Danny when one craves a Hakka, this is all that is available.

Too bad.
Bruces Wild / December 3, 2014 at 12:57 pm
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Danforth Dragon deserves a spot on this list. While Lotus Garden earned a spot, Danforth Dragon's ingredients are more fresh, crisp and just more "I could literally eat this everyday without any adverse effect on my health) taste. I do have to admit though, Danforth Dragon prices are a bit steep. That must have been the determining factor on why they didn't make the list.

I've never been to Federick Restaurant, so I cannot comment on their number one title. Will be giving them a go though
Julie / December 3, 2014 at 01:04 pm
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Anyone who knows anything about Hakka would put Kim Kim as their #1 spot. No competition here whatsoever! I bet most people who voted probably haven't eaten at more than 1 or 2 spots.
Sean / December 3, 2014 at 01:07 pm
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BlogTO should make a list of Hakka restaurants specific in the downtown area.
Lucho Luis Vides / December 3, 2014 at 01:29 pm
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How about Wok of Asia in Etobicoke! All the Humber College know and love this place.
NoDragonsonDanforth replying to a comment from Bruces Wild / December 3, 2014 at 01:36 pm
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I've eaten at quite a few Hakka places and Danforth Dragon does not cut it, that's why they are not on the lsit.
Richard replying to a comment from not daniel / December 3, 2014 at 01:37 pm
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lol
Vik / December 3, 2014 at 01:37 pm
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How did nothing in Malton make it? Because it's 2 mins West of the Toronto border? To do a piece on Toronto Hakka restaurants and not include Malton is just....junk...
Vik replying to a comment from Vik / December 3, 2014 at 01:39 pm
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There should also be a listing of restaurants they ate at but didn't make the top 12 list. Or else how do we know they tried more than the 12 listed? If every restaurant is a winner, then there's something fishy.
steve / December 3, 2014 at 01:40 pm
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No KIM KIM's?!?!?! List is incomplete
Julie replying to a comment from Sean / December 3, 2014 at 02:07 pm
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If you want good hakka, ya gotta travel for it. All hakka spots downtown that claim to be legitimate are garbage!
Shox replying to a comment from Duckie Duckington / December 3, 2014 at 02:08 pm
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Danforth Dragon is l-e-g-i-t and closest to downtown, that's is when you take into consideration that Yeuh Tung shouldn't even make this list. Yeuh Tung makes the WORST Pakoras and Chili Chicken.

Dragon should be top 5 easily, the writer's likely never been.
james / December 3, 2014 at 02:08 pm
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Guys in the comments, stop complaining about Kim Kim not being on the list. If all the white hipsters in the city find out about it, it's going to get too busy and ruined. Let's just keep it our secret for now.
Chong Singh / December 3, 2014 at 02:17 pm
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HAKKAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!
farah / December 3, 2014 at 02:43 pm
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How is Schezuan Gourmet not on this list!?!?! should be #1
hakkacono11 / December 3, 2014 at 02:48 pm
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Danforth garden and china cottage both microwave their food.
S / December 3, 2014 at 04:18 pm
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Lin Garden is great and comes clutch when you're actually broke and not "hipster" broke. Scarborough is food paradise 4real
A.S. / December 3, 2014 at 06:30 pm
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I can't believe that Lin Garden is on the list and they failed to mention Golden China! Golden China is so great that I will always bring back a ton of food whenever I or someone I know is flying to Calgary. It is the number one spot in Toronto! It is the first place I head to for dinner when I'm back in town!
amsterdam / December 3, 2014 at 07:35 pm
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We order takeout from everest hakka on lakeshore often. We have never been dissapointed...ever, and that folks is rare. The food is excellent and plentiful and the place seats about 15 to 20 in its non spectacular surroundings. Clean and efficient. Biryani and crispy chicken *rock*
Mimi / December 3, 2014 at 07:55 pm
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Faleys is also great too!
Pg / December 3, 2014 at 08:03 pm
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I have tried 8 out of 12 resturant from the list. The best Hakka food in GTA is GOLDEN CHINA,
zaza / December 3, 2014 at 09:56 pm
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Hot Wok is number 1. Progress ave in Scarb. Frederick's used to be good but no more, way over rated.
Uzair / December 3, 2014 at 11:01 pm
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Chopsticks Szechuan Chinese Restaurant at 1163 Ellesmere Road (Midland and Ellesmere) is by far the best Hakka I have had personally. Federick used to be a go-to for me and my friends when we went to UTSC but since we discovered Chopsticks Szechuan, there was no going back. I have tried some of these restaurants already (Federick, Lucky's, Lin Garden, Yeuh Tung, Tangerine) but to be honest Chopsticks blows all of them out of the water. I was surprised that no one mentioned it in the comments so it was only my civic duty to share this hidden gem with my fellow Torontonians. Give it a shot and you will not be disappointed.
Guy / December 3, 2014 at 11:18 pm
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I would take Lin Garden [with its terrible service] over Frederick hands down. Lin has great food!
Lotus Garden, I must try.
Stacey / December 4, 2014 at 12:43 am
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Not sure what it is, but looks good in the pictures. Looks tasty
zeeks / December 4, 2014 at 09:10 am
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The best and oldest hakka place is spadina garden... hands down better than fredricks
Miss / December 4, 2014 at 10:40 am
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Hakka no 1 is by far the best Hakka ever.
Mark / December 4, 2014 at 10:55 am
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Tried Lotus Garden last night. Crispy beef, fried rice, springrolls and soup for about 20 bucks. Excellent. Beef was actually crispy, and of decent quality. Rice was tasty, ungreasy and could have fed 5 people. Small crispy springrolls. If you can get past the partially abandoned stripmallfeel, it's worth the trip.
Al / December 4, 2014 at 11:35 am
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I despise that you call Indian Hakka food simply Hakka food. I have a Hakka Chinese background and calling this food Hakka is insulting. For anyone who knows anything about Indian Hakka and Hakka knows they are not the same. Clearly, the author of this article has been misinformed.

Personally, I really don't like Indian Hakka food. Some of the dishes are bland and salty, dull looking, heavy, and overall, underwhelming. Maybe I ate at the wrong places.
GTPB / December 4, 2014 at 12:19 pm
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In every other part of the world that is not toronto this is simply called "Chinese Style Indian food" - Even in India!

Chinese-style Indian food is NOT Hakka cuisine. Very different things.
Rando / December 4, 2014 at 03:17 pm
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I'm with everyone asking where the hell is Kim Kims. Was this written 6 years ago because that would explain why Lin Garden is on the list.
sam marji / December 5, 2014 at 08:45 am
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Hakka food is the bomb. Love hakka garden as well. Work is great but the aftermath is a disaster...
roncesvaller / December 5, 2014 at 01:01 pm
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The most accurate name for this kind of cuisine is probably Tangra cuisine, which is the name for the cuisine created by Hakka migrants to Kolkata.

I don't know if all of these places serve Tangra or other kinds of Hakka cuisine, but that's really what the author is referring to.
Dr Mantis replying to a comment from Sean / December 5, 2014 at 01:37 pm
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That'll be tomorrow in "The Best Hakka Restaurants in Toronto specific in the downtown area" list.
justinisthebest / December 5, 2014 at 05:57 pm
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I live around the corner from danforth dragon, eat there about once a quarter. its pretty good but is definitely priced on the higher side - but take into consideration that it's priced on par for the neighborhood. looking forward to trying these on the list. I used to work at kipling and rexdale and loved Golden Asian...best value lunch in the city imho. Dry chili chicken MMMMMM
justinisthebest replying to a comment from not daniel / December 5, 2014 at 05:58 pm
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phucken hilarious
DKLo replying to a comment from Al / December 7, 2014 at 12:29 am
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Mate, I know precisely what you're saying. I'M Hakka. And I don't come from India. That's why I wrote "For those unfamiliar, the name "Hakka" actually refers to an ethnic group within China spread all around the world but in Toronto, the term has been used almost exclusively (and somewhat erroneously) in reference to Chinese people who settled in India, blending Chinese ingredients with garam masala and other Indian herbs" Did you read this part?

I'm simply acknowledging in the article the fact that people here associate Hakka = Indian Chinese. But I know Hakka people from Mauritius, Jamaica, Guyana, and like myself, across Southeast Asia.

Believe me. I KNOW what Hakka is. I am ONE.
Andre / December 8, 2014 at 11:40 am
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Some of these are "good" not best IPO... Fredericks & Lin Garden (King Chi) was the best in the day when my ma use order back in the 90's. Good list though Check out Faley's Hakka - that's Hakka
Rob / December 9, 2014 at 11:12 am
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Where is CHUNG MOI??? Highly recommend checking the place out. It's on Eglinton at Kennedy.

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