This is my first post, despite having lurked in CH forums for years. I am helping a close friend compose his solo coffee+food trip during his layover in Toronto. His flight arrives at 8pm on a Friday and the next flight leaves at 4:45pm on Saturday. He is not Canadian and has no Nexus status, and thus he has to join the long line for aliens in entering Canada. He is non-Asian American, does not speak or read Chinese, but knows what authentic Chinese food tastes like. He is determined to have some awesome Chinese food + seafood in Toronto, because what we have at home is mediocre. He doesn't want General Tso, Broccoli Beef, Walnut Prawns...etc. He is not afraid of bones (except fish bones) and innards.
He is big on 3rd wave coffee. I mapped out some good cafes for him, but saw that they are located near the coast/islands in Old Toronto, South York, Corktown, West Queen West neighborhoods. I have not been to Toronto for 20+ years and thus am relying on Google Maps to identify these areas. From my research here, it seems that the vast majority of good Chinese restaurants are in Scarborough and Markham (far from the airport?). He will stay at the Westin by the airport and will use Uber to travel around.
1. On his first night, he wants to have non-dimsum Chinese food for dinner. I don't know when he will check-in at the hotel, and just wonder what places are open? What about delivered Chinese food from authentic restaurants--do Chinese customers consider it OK? What are the good options for him that are not too far from the airport?
2. On his second day, he would like to have dimsum for breakfast and visit at least one 3rd wave coffee shop. I am not expecting these two locations to be close to each other but he doesn't want to be stuck in insane traffic and eventually miss his flight.
What are some good dimsum places that (a) clearly indicate the prices of each dish on the bilingual menu, (2) cook their food on-site (no reheating of imported frozen junk), (3) have Chinese chefs (many in the US don't!), and (4) are hygienic? Ambiance and decor aren't important, as we understand that Chinese eateries aren't strong in these two departments.
3. Alternatively, a great seafood restaurant with a seasonal menu would be a substitute for his dinner on the first night. From a basic search using Google Maps, it seems like Honest Weight fits the bill, but it closes at 10pm. He is not a fan of oysters, crabs, or lobsters, but likes other kinds of shellfish, shrimps, and cold-water fish. Special mentions include razor clams (navajas in Spanish) and geoduck, which I believe are Canadian/NE or NW USA specialty seafood species? He doesn’t want the typical American-style, fast-cooked seafood, such as fried battered fish, frozen anything, fish nuggets (yikes!)...etc. For the seafood restaurant option, he will not consider delivery.
Would appreciate your wisdom and be eternally grateful!
Invite a friend to chime in on this discussion.Email a Friend
by Hana Asbrink | My latest haul. Welcome to Chow...
by Dan Koday | You ever notice how a great marinade can instantly elevate what otherwise would end up as a pretty...
by Eric Silverstein | By Eric Silverstein Chef Eric Silverstein is the founder and owner of The Peached Tortilla in Austin...
Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.