10 under the radar Chinese restaurants in Toronto
Chinese restaurants in Toronto are a dime a dozen, with countless restaurants featuring top-notch cuisine from all regions of the country. But many of the best places for Chinese are overshadowed by their more popular counterparts. In the spirit of rooting for the underdogs, next time you're in the mood for Chinese food, try one of these restaurants you might not already know about.
Here are my picks for under the radar Chinese restaurants in Toronto.
See also: The best Chinese restaurants in Toronto.
Ka Ka Lucky Seafood
Despite its name, this East Chinatown restaurant serves up delicious portions of pork. You read that right. While the seafood here isn't bad, you get the best bang for your buck from the BBQ pork or crispy roast pork lunch specials, which go for about $5 each.
Yueh Tung Restaurant
With its chilli chicken and awesome lunch specials, Yueh Tung is an extremely popular lunch spot for the Dundas and University crowd. But despite the consistent lineups, the restaurant seems little known to many. If you haven't been here already, check it out - I promise you'll be super stuffed with their generous portions.
Lee Chen Asian Diner
This Asian bistro remains an undiscovered gem, despite its Yonge and Bloor location. The cute decor, friendly service, and dumpling soup, which is one of the best I've tasted south of the 401, make this place a winner in my books.
Xam Yu Seafood Restaurant
This restaurant in the heart of Chinatown is a destination spot for fresh seafood. The deep fried crab is wonderful, although a bit greasy, while the steamed snapper is flavourful without being doused in soy sauce. They even serve up some non-seafood dishes - their crispy beef in orange sauce is a crowd favourite.
This restaurant is popular enough to have three constantly busy locations around the GTA, yet it's still relatively unknown. The obscurity of Cynthia's probably has something to do with its locations. All three are in the outskirts of the GTA in Thornhill, Oakville, and Newmarket. Cynthia's specializes in old-school Chinese-Canadian food, which is becoming increasingly harder to find with the influx of authentic Chinese restaurants.
A fantastic place to sample excellent vegetarian Chinese cuisine in downtown Chinatown. The Greens menu is peppered with inventive meat-substitute dishes like mock duck curry and sweet and sour mock chicken.
Moondoo Chinese Garden
Located in a nondescript industrial-looking complex on Weston Rd., it's no wonder that Moondoo is under most people's radar. This cozy restaurant offers a variety of delicious Asian dishes, as well as a very satisfying all-you-can-eat brunch. Their crispy OK beef is more than OK, and the kung pao chicken hits the spot.
Szechuan Gourmet is tucked in a plaza at Bathurst and Steeles, not exactly a location known for good Chinese food. The crispy ginger chicken is an excellent take on what is normally a beef-only dish, while the yummy orange beef will take you back to a time when these dishes were a staple at Chinese restaurants. The house special - Hakka fried noodles - is also a winner.
Lotuspond Vegetarian Restaurant
Another good example of Chinese vegetarian cuisine done right. The dishes at Lotuspond fill you up without breaking the bank. While the food is generally good, it lacks in intensity of flavours. Still, it's a great place to sample food that's not too heavy. Try their popular spicy eggplant with a side of mock chicken fried rice.
Paradise Fine Chinese Dining
Newcomers to the Finch and Leslie plaza may overlook this gem because it's slightly hidden away. But if you make the walk to the back of the building you'll be rewarded with their popular dim sum menu. Just one note, the parking situation is insane in the plaza, particularly on the weekends.
What did I miss? Add your suggestions for under the radar Chinese restaurants in Toronto in the comments.
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