Chi­na­town

Where Toronto - - CONTENTS -

De­li­cious aro­mas from au­then­tic Chi­nese, Thai, Ja­panese and Viet­namese restau­rants waft through the air as you nav­i­gate your way through crowded side­walks full of ven­dors sell­ing ev­ery­thing from durian fruit to dis­count tex­tiles and elec­tron­ics.

CHI­NESE COM­FORT FOOD

The name­sake made-from­scratch de­lights at Mother’s Dumplings come boiled, steamed or pan fried, and stuffed with your choice of pork, tofu and melon, among other op­tions. If you still have room, don’t hold back from dig­ging into a plate of the spicy mapo tofu or crunchy Gen­eral Tso’s chicken. 421 Spad­ina Ave., moth­ers­dumplings.com

FOOD TOUR

Want to max­i­mize your abil­ity to sam­ple as many foods as pos­si­ble? Join one of Savour Toronto’s Taste of Chi­na­town tours. Learn about the his­tory and cul­ture of the area’s Chi­nese com­mu­nity as you chow down on dim sum, north­ern-style dumplings, hand-pulled noo­dles, or sweet and savoury pas­tries. savour­toronto.com

COF­FEE BREAK

The Chi­na­town out­post of Dark Horse Espresso Bar is the per­fect respite from the hus­tle and bus­tle of Spad­ina Av­enue. Sip a latte made with aro­matic De­tour and 49th Par­al­lel espresso beans, a flavour­ful Dark Horse cold brew or an or­ganic cold-pressed juice. The chain brings in its own baked goods (think scones, brown­ies and muffins) daily from its Geary Av­enue lo­ca­tion. 215 Spad­ina Ave., dark­horseespresso.com

NEW TUNES

Sonic Boom, Canada’s largest in­de­pen­dent record store, stocks thou­sands of new and used vinyl records, as well as CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays. The two-floor shop

also sells trendy books, T-shirts, turnta­bles and vinyl ac­ces­sories. If you’re lucky, your visit will co­in­cide with one of the in­ti­mate in-store con­certs, which have fea­tured guests like Do Make Say Think, The Weak­erthans and Ty Se­gall. 215 Spad­ina Ave., son­ic­boom­mu­sic.com

IN­DOOR SHOP­PING

If you’re in town on Fe­bru­ary 17 and 18, head over to Dragon City Mall for lu­nar year cel­e­bra­tions. A fes­tive at­mos­phere en­com­passes the in­door cen­tre as the Chi­nese com­mu­nity rings in the year of the dog.

Take part in tra­di­tional games and ac­tiv­i­ties and watch colour­ful lion dances, which are per­formed at aus­pi­cious oc­ca­sions. Year-round, shop for im­ported items, hag­gle over prices and dis­cover your new favourite flavour of bub­ble tea, all un­der one roof.

280 Spad­ina Ave.

BUN-TIFUL OF­FER­INGS

In the mood for a snack or some dessert? Head to Hong Kong Is­land Bak­ery for an as­sort­ment of tra­di­tional Chi­nese pas­tries, such as pineap­ple, co­conut or bar­be­cue pork buns, egg tarts, al­mond cook­ies and red bean se­same balls. 336 Spad­ina Ave.

SAVOURY EATS

At Jackpot Chicken Rice, ev­ery­thing on the menu, from the kaf­fir broc­coli tem­pura to the Hainanese chicken to the rich, Sch­maltzy rice, is full of ex­cit­ing East Asian flavours, both tra­di­tional and new. 318 Spad­ina Ave., jack­potchick­en­rice.com

Sonic Boom

Jackpot Chicken Rice

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