chow mein toronto

The top 10 Cantonese chow mein in Toronto

The top Cantonese chow mein in Toronto are all about perfect balance. This should come as no surprise, as a dish that features a smorgasbord of ingredients - deep-fried egg noodles, pea pods, broccoli, roast pork, and chicken slices, to start - covered in thick sauce should have just the right amount of each. It's the perfect comfort food as the temperature drops, and it's like getting a warm hug from your Chinese grandma (admit it, you've always wanted one).

Here are my picks for where to fill up on Cantonese chow mein in Toronto.

See also: 8 places to eat Cantonese Chinese food in the GTA

Swatow
Despite the number of arguments regarding how to pronounce its name, most patrons will agree that there's almost no better place to get your Cantonese chow mein fix at 1am. The ingredients may not be of the highest quality at times, but the large portions and the so-bad-it's-good greasy sauce will make you crave it for days on end. Loud noises, crappy ambience, good food. Win.

Lee Garden
At $14.50 a plate, this is one of the more expensive chow meins on the list. One look at the finished dish, though, and it becomes clear why. With large and copious amounts of pork and seafood on top of an equally huge pile of noodles, it's enough to make a grown man cry. (And I'm not ashamed to admit that I once may have.)

King's Noodle
With an assortment of noodle dishes fit for a king, it's no surprise that the Cantonese chow mein here is also a winner. I've found that the sauce here is a bit thicker and stronger-tasting than most other restaurants - which translates to full marks on my books - though the portion sizes can be a bit inconsistent.

Not Just Noodles
They may serve more than "just noodles", but this dingy corner establishment still serves up an excellent Cantonese chow mein. You get a pretty diverse assortment of meat (chicken, beef, pork, AND assorted seafood) all crammed into a steaming noodle dish, with super speedy service, for just $8.95. It's almost enough to make me forget how awkward and grimy-looking the whole place is (yes, even by downtown Chinatown standards).

New Ho King
I still haven't figured out where "Old" Ho King was, but until I do, this late-night establishment's Cantonese chow mein will do just fine. The sauce is a bit heavier, while the ingredients can be a little hit or miss at times, but the overall dish is so satisfying - plus, they deliver until 5am on weekends.

Phoenix
With three locations in the 'burbs, Phoenix is quickly becoming a staple for many cheap Chinese food enthusiasts north of the 401. Their menu is almost as thick as a textbook, but I'll save you the trouble and just tell you to go order the Cantonese chow mein (only $8.95!). It's large, with generous amounts of sauce, and the meat cuts are excellent (if sometimes a little skint on the seafood). Make sure to bring a friend, have them order the Hainanese chicken rice, and together you can enjoy the two finest dishes the restaurant has to offer in one meal.

Yueh Tung
There's more to this place than chilli chicken! While the aforementioned dish is the place's big draw, the Cantonese chow mein here is not to be scoffed at. True to the place's Hakka roots, the noodle here has a more pronounced taste than most of the others on this list, and the sauce is a bit on the heavier side. If I ever feel like a heartier version of Cantonese chow mein, my tongue votes for Yueh Tung (get it?).

Asian Legend
By far the biggest chain restaurant on this list, Asian Legend serves up an excellent Cantonese chow mein for $12.95. While the price may be a bit high, I've personally found that the ingredients used here are of a finer quality than most, with fresh, large prawns and scallops crowning the top of your glistening saucy noodles. They also probably have the best ambience compared to all the other places on this list, if that's high on your list. Plus they offer online ordering,

Congee Wong
Quick fact: one in two Chinese households in Scarborough/Markham has Congee Wong's number on speed dial. It's true. Famous for its congee (duh), this restaurant's Cantonese chow mein is also extremely satisfying. At just north of $10, this humongously delicious dish can easily feed three to four, making it an absolute bargain. Oh, and they're open until way past midnight, so you can get your noodle fix at (almost) any time of the day.

Noodle Star
Serving up delicious, jumbo-sized chow meins for more than a dozen years, Noodle Star is a staple for anyone in the Markham/Richmond Hill area looking for excellent noodles - without the jam-packed atmosphere of Congee Wong. The sauce is a bit lighter and the vegetables are usually much more plentiful than in most of the other places on this list, so I guess you can chalk this one up as a "healthy choice" option, if you can even classify this dish as such.

What did I miss? Add your favourite spots for Cantonese chow mein to the comments.

Photo by Tanja-Tiziana from King's Noodle. Writing by Darren "DKLo" Susilo. He hangs out on the twitter and his own mansion.


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