The Best Hot Pot Restaurants in Toronto
The best hot pot restaurants in Toronto aren't easy to find. While there are a growing list of Korean BBQ and AYCE sushi options city-wide, restaurants specializing in traditional Chinese hot pot still number at a relatively minute list. For those unfamiliar, hot pot is essentially a fondue pot, but instead of cheese, chocolate or hot oil, the pot is filled with a savory soup base. And instead of dipping bread, cubed beef or pieces of fruit, Chinese hot pot is all about dipping a wide assortment of raw meat, vegetables, and seafood until the simmering pot cooks it just to your liking.
What distinguishes good hot pot restaurants from the rest usually comes down to the quality and freshness of the ingredients as well as the taste and variety of the dipping sauces that land on your table. The choice of soup base is also a key factor. It can make or break the entire meal. Most hot pot restaurants will give you a big list of vegetables and protein to choose from while the soup bases might range from a simple chicken broth to more complex sweet coconut or hot and spicy varieties.
Prices generally hover in the $18.99-$20 range per person and, yes, it's an all-you-can-eat feast. Fun fact: In Cantonese, hot pot is pronounced Da-Been- Lo.
Here are the best hot pot restaurants in Toronto.
Writing by Austin Miao, with contributions form Amanda Yiu. Top photo by kaeko in the blogTO Flickr pool
With restaurant locations around the world including China, United States, and Canada, Little Sheep is one of the leading hot pot connoisseurs. Serving the highest quality of meats and fresh vegetables, it's no wonder that they're always busy every night of the week. Whatever you decide to cook in it, their hot and spicy broth is sure to deliver a kick. At $18.99 per person for all-you-can-eat, it is definitely a must try for every hot pot fanatic. Located at Warden Avenue south of Finch. More »
For those who don't like to share their food this is the place for you. With a more unique spin on hot pot, I Cook Buffet at Warden Avenue and Steeles allows each diner to choose their own flavorful broth from a wide selection (some free, some for a small additional cost) and have their own pot set right in front of them. With a station allowing you to concoct your own sauce, it makes for a more fun experience for first timers venturing into hot pot. Don't worry about the buffet running out of food. This restaurant gets so busy on weekends and staff are always stocking it with fresh grub. Bonus! There's also a drink fountain so you need not worry about being parched during your meal. More »
A hidden treasure, Kim Tao has been in the business for a while. It's a hotspot for younger diners who like to indulge in late night hot pot adventures (open till 3am). All you need to do is fill out a food order form and delight in fresh meats and seafood while also enjoying the company of comrades and endless amounts of ice cold beer. Do not let the location near the Buttonville Airport fool you. Kim Tao gets super busy on weekends so arrive early and stay late. More »
A recent addition to the GTA's hot pot culinary landscape, Hipot attracts Richmond Hill locals to its clean and comfortable digs. The big selling point? Hipot offers half a lobster for free when you order the seafood pot. Not into seafood? The quality of the meat is excellent here and all the fish and meat balls are hand-made. More »
Also newly opened in Richmond Hill, Lucky Season hot pot has a clean, spacious, and comfortable setting. For all you can eat options, you can choose from beef hot pot ($18.99) or a seafood hot pot ($20.99). This restaurant will only get better with time and experience in the business. More »
There is more to hot pot at this Midland Avenue destination. With cheap breakfast, lunch and teatime specials, Made in China offers a Hong Kong diner feel when indulging in the wide range of Asian offerings. For under $20 a person, you can get all-you-can-eat dinner hot pot and pick from many different types of meats, seafood and veggies. It's also worth going just to check out its spunky interior decor such as their bird cage ventilators. More »
Shaanxi Restaurant near Leslie and Highway 7 serves Sichuan-style Chinese cuisine. Half of their menu is comprised of spicy dishes including chicken in chili pot. A bowl of special hand-made noodles is $4.99 but hot pot aficionados will want to get the all-you-can-eat hot pot for lunch and dinner. The restaurant is nice and clean overall and the waitresses are friendly. More »