Technically, none of these restaurants are in “Toronto” but if you’re looking for authentic xiao long bao, north is the way to go. Xiao long bao, or soup dumplings is a native street food from Shanghai and one of my favourite foods in the world. I binge eat trays of the steamed baos filled with savoury soup whenever I’m in China. In Toronto, while more and more restaurants are offering the dish, some do use pre-made, cooked from frozen baos. To get the handmade, fresh baos head to any one of these restaurants.

1. Yu Garden

Rating/Price: 4.0 / $
Why? Amazing xiao long baos, thin, chewy texture, plenty of soup
Must Order: Shrimp and minced pork xiao long bao
Good For? Families, lunch, quick meals

2. Shanghai Dim Sum

Rating/Price: 4.5 / $$
Why? Thin wrappers, juicy filling and perfectly steamed
Must Order: Xiao Long Bao original filling and with crab
Good For? Families, lunch, quick meals, big groups

3. Ding Tai Fung

Rating/Price: 3.5 / $
Why? Central Markham location, fresh made baos, great filling
Must Order: Xiao Long Bao, Egg white with seafood
Good For? Families, dinner, dim sum

4. Xiao Long Bao

Rating/Price: 4.0 / $$
Why? New restaurant, less busy than Ding Tai Fung with great XLB
Must Order: Xiao long bao with crab, Beef brisket noodle
Good For? Dim sum, families, quick meals, large groups

Honorable Mentions:

  • N/A

Still TBE (To be Eaten):

  • Mother’s Dumplings
  • Chinese Traditional Buns
  • Asian Legend
  • A La Kitchen
  • 369 Shanghai Dim Sum
  • Dumpling House
  • Lee Chen

Did I miss your favourite restaurant? Let me know in the comments.

Last Updated: 01/06/2016


My favourite gift to receive is a splurge meal. Be it a birthday, anniversary or any celebration, a good meal with wine, shared with family and friends is how I love to spend my evening. These Toronto restaurants are currently my favourite spots for a special meal.

1. Jacobs & Co Steakhouse

Rating/Price: 4.0 / $$$$
Why? Intimate, impeccable service, beautiful aged steaks and a wide selection of wine
Must Order: Jacobs Caesar Salad made table side
Good For? Romantic dates, couples, anniversaries

2. JaBistro

Rating/Price: 5.0 / $$$$
Why? Best sashimi in the city, hidden entrance, great patio
Must Order: Fresh Sashimi Platter, Aburicious
Good For? Small groups, couples, birthdays

3. Bar Isabel

Rating/Price: 5.0 / $$$
Why? Delicious food, complicated cocktails and perfect for sharing
Must Order: Whole Sea Bream Ceviche, Bone Marrow
Good For? Small groups, couples, special dates

4. Yasu

Rating/Price: 4.0 / $$$$
Why? Fantastic sushi, intimate atmosphere, unique dining experience
Must Order: Omakase
Good For? Adventurous date, special event, small groups
Honourable Mentions:

Still TBE (To be Eaten):

  • Le Cafe Michi
  • Lai Wah Heen
  • Hiro Sushi
  • Los Colibris
  • The Carbon Bar

Did I miss your favourite restaurant? Let me know in the comments. Last Updated: 04/28/2015  


Summerlicious is upon us again. One of my favourite food events in Toronto, it is a perfect opportunity to try a new restaurant, indulge for a great price and overall, eat some great food. This year’s event runs from July 4th to 20th. Participating restaurants will be offering set lunch ($15, $20 or $25) and dinner ($30, $35, $40) menus. Personally, I find reservations are easier to make today with many restaurants using online systems but if you’re aiming for a popular venue (ie. Canoe, Auberge de Pommier), calling on the day reservations open is still a must. Every year, I aim to eat at one “fancy” restaurant to add to my list of restaurants for special occasions, one casual “dinner” for a night out with friends and one restaurant that caters to large groups. So far this year, I have 3 dinners set and one lunch still to be planned.

Where I’ll Be:

  1. Cafe Boulud – $45 Dinner / French / The “fancy” dinner
  2. Ganzi Osteria – $25 Dinner / Italian / The “casual” dinner
  3. Jump – $35 Dinner / Italian / The “group” dinner


  • Lunch – I’m looking for tantalizing menus that are similar or even more appealing relative to the dinner menu
    1. Weslodge – $20 Lunch / Canadian / I would order Scotch Egg, Seared Sea Bass and Instant Cake
    2. Bosk (Past Review) – $25 Lunch / Canadian / I would order Seared Albacore Tuna, Roasted Flat Iron Steak and Citrus Cake
    3. Quince (Past Review) – $20 Lunch / Mediterranean / I would order Gazpacho Soup, Capunti Bianco and Warm Chocolate Brownie
Summerlicious 2014 Top Picks
  • Dinner – I’m looking for great atmosphere, interesting menu items and best value
    1. Auberge du Pommier – $45 Dinner / French / I would order Watermelon Gazpacho, Salmon & Peas and Ice Cream Sandwich
    2. Bent (Past Review) – $35 Dinner / Asian / I would order Gazpacho, Asian Marinated Stirploin and the Dessert Trio
    3. Luma (Past Review) – $35 Dinner / Canadian / I would order Tossed Octopus Salad, Broiled Pickerel and Chocolate Parfait Sundae
Summerlicious 2014 Top Picks
  • Good for Groups – I’m looking for a variety of choices, easy parking/access and a spacious dining area
    1. Parts & Labour (Past Review) – $35 Dinner only / Canadian / I would order Steak Tartare, Pappardelle and Lemon Pie
    2. Destingo (Past Review) – $15 Lunch, $25 Dinner / Italian / For dinner I would order the Grilled Calamari, Rack of Lamb and Tiramisu
    3. Paese (Past Review) – $20 Lunch, $35 Dinner / Italian / For dinner I would order the Chilled Soup, Ravioli and Lobster and Cioccolato
Summerlicious 2014 Top Picks

Check out all of my past Licious event reviews for more ideas and recommendations.