hot star toronto

Famous Taiwanese chicken chain permanently closes flagship location in Toronto

Toronto's first location of the fried chicken chain Hot-Star has shuttered permanently.

After five years of serving massive pieces of fried chicken at the corner of Yonge and Gerrard, the Taiwanese-based brand closed up shop at 374A Yonge Street, its inaugural location in North America. 

The downtown store first opened in 2015, marking Hot-Star's first foray outside of Asia and its seventh franchise ever.

According to one staff member, Hot-Star's lease was up, and COVID-19 was a factor for the restaurant not to renew. The brand may reopen somewhere in downtown Toronto in the future. 

hot star toronto

There were massive lineups at Hot-Star's downtown location when it opened in 2015. Photo by Hector Vasquez.

Hot-Star's first week of opening in 2015 (back when life was normal) saw hungry crowds form massive lineups at the 16-seater.

It gained popularity in Toronto for its outrageous 30-cm-long fried chicken cutlets, which were invented in Taipei in 1992 and took the Shi-Lin Night Market by storm in 1999. 

By 2017, Hot-Star launched a second location in North York. That location, along with a stall in Pacific Mall, reopened during lockdown last summer for delivery.

But Hot-Star downtown has remained close, and the 1,300-square-foot unit on Yonge has been listed on since. 

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Eat & Drink

This is the love story behind one of Toronto's favourite Portuguese bakeries

Tim Hortons shuts down their flagship Innovation Cafe in Toronto

Toronto neighbourhood outraged over vandalism at popular shop

Popular location of chain for late night pizza closing after more than a decade in Toronto

Chicken restaurant in Toronto embroiled in battle with landlord has officially closed

Toronto barber starts delivery-only restaurant after not being able to work during lockdowns

The top 5 Mexican grocery stores in Toronto

The history of the Steak N' Burger restaurants in Toronto