The shops and markets of Toronto's Chinatown on Spadina Avenue

Chinatown Toronto

Established in 1878, Chinatown is one of Toronto’s oldest and most dynamic neighbourhoods. You’ll find bustling produce markets that spill out onto the street, numerous shops and food stalls, neon signs and a plethora of cuisines (not only Chinese— here’s a strong Vietnamese contingent too, for example).

Things to do in Chinatown Toronto

When you stroll through Chinatown Toronto, you’ll discover delightful Asian cuisine and captivating street art that transforms the downtown neighbourhood into a marvellous outdoor gallery. 

Spadina Avenue, a main street in Toronto, is always abuzz with locals and travellers eagerly hopping from one fruit market and street stall to the next. If you’d like to get creative in the kitchen, visit Tap Phong Trading, your one-stop shop for kitchen essentials. Be prepared to get lost in the shelves filled to the brim with kitchenware and gadgets that’ll level up your cooking know-how.

Also situated in Spadina Chinatown, Sonic Boom has a sprawling collection of music, movies and pop culture swag. From the moment you walk into the record store, the standout neon signs make you feel like you’re in a music museum, while the in-store concerts keep your toes tapping. You’ll also find wall-to-wall vinyl, old-school Walkmans and limited-edition albums to add to your collection. 

Chinatown restaurants in Toronto

Mother’s Dumplings

Mother’s Dumplings is one of the most iconic landmark eateries along Spadina Avenue and is known for its fluffy, freshly handmade dumplings. Choose to have your dumplings pan-fried, steamed or boiled, and enjoy the immersive, live experience of watching them take form.  

Red Room

Red Room, also on Spadina and conveniently across from Mother’s Dumplings, offers a cozy ambiance and serves casual eats at fair prices. Regulars love its wide array of savoury, sharable bar snacks, including nachos supreme, spring rolls and tantalizing Thai wings. If you want to share drinks, go for the sangria; they don’t skimp on the wine.

King’s Noodle Toronto

With more than 200 dishes on the menu, King’s Noodle Toronto is a favourite Spadina Chinatown spot among noodle lovers and a fantastic choice for those seeking other delicious options. The skin of their roast pork is thin and crispy, while the meat is perfectly seasoned and moist. Dishes like the beef egg drop soup are never without a generous amount of beef, eggs and mushrooms and always have that unforgettable umami flavour.

Saigon Lotus

Saigon Lotus, hidden just off the beaten path of Spadina on St. Andrew Street, stands out for its exclusive vegan menu of Vietnamese dishes. Don’t think that because their menu is meatless, the flavour won’t hit the mark. Lotus’ rich broth, vegan crispy fish and tasty house-made steamed rolls made with faux crab are worth the hype.

Dim Sum King Toronto

Head east on Dundas Street West, where Dim Sum King Toronto is always ready to fill your belly with generous portions of delicious, authentic Cantonese delicacies. With beef so tender and juicy it melts in your mouth and steamed dumplings that burst with flavour, each bite leaves you wanting more.

Those are just a few of the many Chinatown restaurants in downtown Toronto.

Chinatown festivals & events

Chinatown is a perpetual hub of energy, but it truly comes alive during its major events and festivals.

  • Lunar New Year Celebrations: The neighbourhood hosts Lunar New Year Celebrations at the start of the year. You won’t want to miss out on this annual tradition, including cooking workshops, calligraphy classes, a thrilling Mahjong tournament and mesmerizing Chinese folk dancing.

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  • Toronto Chinatown Festival: If you’re visiting in the summer, check out the Toronto Chinatown Festival–a guaranteed hit with its delectable street eats, lively stage performances, thrilling scavenger hunts and a mural walking tour. The highlight of each year is the beloved dragon dance, the colourful story of a dragon on the hunt for the pearl of wisdom.

Chinatown Toronto has put itself on the map as being one of the largest in North America and a must-visit destination in downtown Toronto. Whether you love to wander the streets and visit the markets, grab some traditional Chinese cuisine or celebrate Chinese culture with a street festival, it’s always a day of wonderful discoveries. Want to explore more? We’ve got you covered.

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