Finding the best dim sum restaurants in Toronto may be tricky and overwhelming.
You hear so many contradicting Yelp reviews and it paralyzes you to the point where you don’t know which dim sum spot to hit up.
Frustrating, isn’t it?
Yeah, we get you.
‘Cause we feel the same way too.
But to make life easier for you, we’ve tried most of the best dim sum places in Toronto and we’re here to tell you which ones we love. From Downtown Toronto to Scarborough, North York, Markham, and Richmond Hill – you name it – we’re going to tell you which places are worth visiting.
Finding the perfect dim sum that satisfies our taste buds is not a one-size-fits-all, so we recommend trying as many places as you can until you find your top 5 favourite go-to restaurants in Toronto.
We have to admit though, that our favourite restaurants are the ones in the GTA. Such as Skyview Fusion (乙龍天) in Markham, The One Fusion Cuisine (聚龍軒), and Yu Seafood (漁膳房) in Richmond Hill because they generally offer more authentic and higher quality dim sum. So, if you can venture off into the suburbs, then it’s well worth the travel!
We are going to give you the top 10 dim sum places in Toronto that you must try if you haven’t already done so.
But before we do that, let’s first go through the most asked questions you have about the best dim sum places in Toronto.
And in case you want to find out what’s the best Chinese food in town, we also recommend checking out the best Chinese food and restaurants in Toronto – we sneaked in some true hidden gems you don’t want to miss out on!
What are the most popular dim sum dishes to order?
Before ordering any dim sum, the server will first ask you what tea you want. The most common tea options are Black Tea, Jasmine, Chrysanthemum, Pu-erh (also called “po lei” in Cantonese), and Oolong tea.
Once you decide on which tea to have, you can order and pig out on all the best and most popular dim sum dishes. This list includes:
- Har Gow (Shrimp Dumpling)
- Siu Mai (Pork with Shrimp Dumpling)
- Fung Zao (Chicken Feet)
- Xiao Long Bao (Soup Filled Pork Dumpling)
- Dan Tat (Egg Tart) – you can get the best egg tarts in Toronto at bakeries like Aromaz Cake & Pastry (龍騰閣) and Les Chateaux Bakery.
- Lo Mai Gai (Bamboo Sticky Rice with Chicken)
- Lo Bak Go (Turnip Cake)
- Chang Fen (Rice Noodle Roll available in Shrimp or Beef) – if you’re looking for the best in Toronto, we highly recommend Yin Ji Chang Fen, the “King of Chang Fen”.
- Cha Siu Bao (BBQ Pork Bun) – one of the best BBQ Pork Buns I’ve had in the GTA is Skyview’s version in a pineapple bun (“bolo bao”).
- Lau Sa Bao (Duck Egg Yolk Custard Bun)
- Paaih Gwat (Pork Spared Ribs)
Aside from these best and most popular items, there are SO many more delicious dim sum dishes to order from the restaurant. There are too many to name here, but for starters, the list above is what most Chinese people go for, and we guarantee it won’t disappoint you!
Why is dim sum so popular?
Dim sum is so popular because not only do their classic dishes taste amazing, but the atmosphere of a dim sum restaurant is where you get together with your family and friends to catch up on what’s new in life and share your personal updates.
You could spend hours at the dim sum restaurant chit-chatting while enjoying a nice early morning meal, or brunch, with a variety of delicious foods to sample and taste – that includes the must-haves such as Har Gow, Siu Mai, and Fung Zao. Generally speaking, it’s a common tradition for Chinese people to share dishes and encourage each other to eat more. It’s no surprise to see that a group of people order over 10 different dishes!
This is what makes dim sum so popular and enjoyed by all Asian cultures!
How much should dim sum cost?
The price of dim sum dishes can range from cheap to more expensive depending on the restaurant, location, how much you order, and the quality of ingredients.
Dim sum can cost anywhere from $15 to even as high as $100 per person (yeah, there are fancy high-end places). The average is usually $20 to $25 per person after tax and tips assuming you eat a reasonable amount.
In our top 10 list below, we will mention which ones are cheap, average, and expensive. Just remember that you will get what you pay for.
Where can I buy dim sum in Toronto?
Aside from going to the dim sum restaurants to dine in, another option includes buying frozen dim sum from these Toronto restaurants and wholesalers that are high-quality and restaurant-grade.
However, we know you’re looking for the best dim sum restaurants to eat in!
So, in the remaining section, we’re going to go through the best dim sum restaurants that you must try in Toronto. These top places include the Greater Toronto Area such as Scarborough, North York, Markham, and Richmond Hill. Again, trust us, it’s worth the travel time to the suburb dim sum spots if you’re in the Downtown core of Toronto.
1. Rol San
Photo by Yelp
Address: 323 Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2E9
Located in the heart of Chinatown, Rol San is one of the oldest and most popular go-to dim sum places in Toronto.
If you’re looking for the best dim sim in the downtown Toronto location of Chinatown, then this is the first place to go.
They serve shrimp dumplings, pork and mushroom dumplings (shumai), fried squid, and a lot more variety that will fill your tummies.
Though the food quality isn’t top-notch as you can see in my very honest and non-biased Rol San review here, it’s considered one of the best dim sum places in downtown Toronto especially if you’re looking for the best all day dim sum or to grab a late-night snack with your friend.
The service is pretty quick, and for the price you pay, it’s well worth it!
If you’re a picky eater and you’re looking for more quality dim sum places, then we recommend venturing off into the suburbs like Scarborough or Markham, which we will also mention later.
2. Pearl Harbourfront Chinese Cuisine
Photo by Yelp
Address: 207 Queens Quay W #200, Toronto, ON M5J 1A7
Looking to enjoy some dim sum with a nice lake view in the downtown Toronto location?
Then we recommend visiting Pearl Habourfront Chinese Cuisine!
The price isn’t super expensive, but it is slightly higher than average.
If you’re going to order some dishes from this place, we recommend their fried dumplings, fried tofu, and duck yolk buns.
Their classic dishes like the shrimp and pork dumplings are just like any other dim sum place. Good but nothing to rave about.
Overall, it’s worth the price if you’re looking for a dine-in experience with a beautiful view of Harbourfront.
Again, we always recommend the suburbs in Toronto if you’re looking for more authentic dim sum.
3. Yu Seafood
Address: 270 West Beaver Creek Rd, Richmond Hill, ON L4B 3Y9
Based on the name, you may think it’s just a seafood restaurant, but they are also known for their morning and afternoon dim sum from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM.
Make sure to go before 9:00 AM to avoid the line-up!
If you’ve tried all or most of the dim sum places in Toronto, and you’re still looking for more, then we recommend visiting Yu Seafood.
You won’t go wrong with their classic Har Gow and Siu Mai. Be sure to also try their BBQ Pork Pastry and Bamboo Charcoal and Egg Yolk Bun – SO tasty when it’s just baked fresh out the oven!
4. Skyview Fusion Cuisine
Address: 8261 Woodbine Ave #8, Markham, ON L3R 8Z5
This delicious dim sum is located in Markham and it’s hands down one of the best dim sum places to go to if you’re looking for quality dim sum.
We went to Skyview for dim sum and we were impressed with how fresh (ingredient and temperature-wise) their food was. Their portion sizes are bigger too!
If you don’t believe us, then take it from this reviewer on Yelp who loves Skyview Fusion Cuisine:
“I came to Skyview for lunch with high expectations, which were amazingly surpassed.
Ever since I left Saigon to study and work in Singapore, finding a good Cantonese dim sum place has been challenging. The foods at Skyview bring back a lot of tasty memories from childhood when dim sum was executed simply, but with perfection.
I really love the charsiew at Sky View. It was tender, sweet and still retained a nice chewy texture of the pork shoulder. There were some dry burnt bits near the end of the cuts but quite negligible. What I appreciated was that the flavour deeply penetrated into the meat instead of the charsiew being slathered with sweet sauce. You can order it as part of the set which is really value for money.
Also highly recommended are the dim sums. If you have a small appetite, order on the go :)”
5. New Century Restaurant
Photo by Yelp
Address: 398 Ferrier St, Markham, ON L3R 2Z5
What we love about this dim sum place in Scarborough is the authentic taste of their dim sum dishes. We recommend trying their classic shrimp and pork mushroom dumplings along with their freshly baked egg tarts.
During the wintertime, we also recommend ordering a bowl of their pork and preserved eggs congee – super delicious!
Like other dim sum places, there’s a lot of variety of dim sum plates to choose from and you can’t go wrong with their dishes.
The price is higher than average, but we wouldn’t say it’s expensive. For the quality and taste, it’s worth every penny. Not to mention, if you enjoy Hong Kong dim sum, then you’ll definitely love this restaurant!
Photo by Yelp
Address: 4125 Steeles Ave E, Scarborough, ON M1W 3T4
This high-end fancy dim sum place is in Scarborough – one of the suburbs in Toronto. When you drive by this area, you probably wouldn’t even know that it’s a restaurant inside due to its castle-like structure.
Considered as a fine-dining place, the price is on the expensive end. What we really like about this place is that their dim sum is not as oily or greasy as other restaurants.
This dim sum place in Scarborough also offers nice décor along with some delicious dim sum dishes.
If you’re looking for a fancy and upscale dim sum place to spend with your family over the weekend, then this is the place to go!
7. Ding Tai Fung
Photo by Yelp
Address: 3235 Hwy 7 #18B, Markham, ON L3R 3P9
If you’re looking for Northern-style dim sum, which is totally different from Hong Kong style, then Ding Tai Fung is the place to go!
With two locations, one in Scarborough (Chartwell Shopping Centre), and the other in Markham (First Markham Place), this Shanghainese dim sum place is known for its delicious and fresh soup dumplings, Xiao Long Bao.
If you don’t know what Xiao Long Bao is, nor have you tried it, then boy are you missing out!
A must-try if you want a change from Hong Kong’s Har Gow and Siu Mai dim sum.
8. Asian Legend
Photo by Yelp
Address: 418 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T 1G2
This Northern Chinese cuisine is very popular, and you’ll find it in almost any district in Toronto.
With many dishes from xiao long bao to scallion beef rolls, this dim sum is the place to hit up when you’re looking for some intense flavor in your mouth.
Overall, this franchise has a great atmosphere with a clean and modern décor. You could say it looks almost like a high-end restaurant with a reasonable price tag on your food.
Here’s what a Yelp reviewer has to say about Asian Legend’s dim sum in Toronto:
“Tucked away into the many food places of China town in Toronto is this place, Asian legend. Bruh lemme tell you, this restaurant is legendary, primarily because of the soup dumplings.
I’ve never had them before but was told to go here by a friend. It can be difficult to spot walking down the street so I’m not sure how people would know to go here without being told beforehand. Come here for the xiaolongbao (soup dumplings) trust me. Are you stupid? Are you duuumb? They’re best fresh and with a little bit of the vinegar they provide. Really good flavour, overall A+.”
9. Mother’s Dumplings
Photo by Yelp
Address: 421 Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 2G6
Another great Northern Chinese dim sum place that you should hit up with your family and friends over the weekend!
This dim sum is very popular in Downtown Chinatown, so if you’re nearby, you’ll want to consider making a stop here.
We have to admit that although the food is good, the overall quality is nowhere close to what you’ll get in the Markham or Scarborough dim sum restaurants.
Yeah, we sound like a broken record, but that’s to prove how much we love dim sum in the Scarborough and Markham areas! 🙂
10. Lai Wah Heen
Photo by Yelp
Address: 108 Chestnut St, Toronto, ON M5G 1R3
Located in Downtown Toronto, Lai Wah Heen is known to be a more upscale dim sum restaurant, so expect the bill to be higher.
One of our favourites is the Liu Sha Bao (Lava Custard Bun), which is made with a hot center filled with liquidly mash salted yolk that melts perfectly into your mouth.
If you’re in the downtown area of Toronto and you’re ready to spend a bit on some fancy dim sum, then this place is a must-try!
More Frequently Asked Questions about The Best Dim Sum Restaurants
I decided to add more frequently asked questions in this FAQ section about dim sum and its best restaurants in Toronto since many people are wondering the same things you are. I hope you find this section helpful!
1. What is the best time for dim sum?
The best time for dim sum varies from person to person, some think it is best to go before lunch or dinner (personally I LOVE to have dim sum at 9:00 AM for breakfast), while others believe it is better during brunch, lunch, or a late afternoon.
The truth of the matter is that there are pros and cons to each situation. For many people, like me, dim sum is a favorite morning meal because it gets them energized for the day ahead. They enjoy the light and fresh food options and the social atmosphere of eating with friends or family early in the morning.
However, some people find it difficult to go out for dim sum before noon because they tend to feel lazy or sluggish in the morning.
Alternatively, others like the fact that there are restaurants that offer all-day dim sum because they prefer to eat it later in the day. This ensures that they don’t have to get up early just to indulge in their favorite cuisine. On top of that, some people find that going early in the morning when they have breakfast specials means more competition for getting a table or having to wait in line for their favorite dishes.
Overall, there are pros and cons to eating dim sum at different times of the day. Whether you enjoy an energizing morning meal or a relaxing brunch, or even dinner, is up to your personal preference, and both options have their benefits.
2. Why is dim sum served in 3 and not 4?
When it comes to popular dim sum dishes like har gow and siu mai, it’s usually served in fours as we see here in Toronto.
But traditionally speaking, it’s actually served in three and not four because the number 4 represents the word, “death” or “to die” in Chinese. The number 3 on the other hand represents goodness, happiness, and long life.
3. Do you tip at dim sum restaurants?
Yes, it is a nice gesture to tip at dim sum restaurants.
Tipping is not expected, but it can be a nice gesture to show your appreciation for the great service you received from the server. It’s also helpful because tips contribute towards their income, and many servers are paid very little by their employers.
Of course, if you don’t have any change or don’t feel like tipping, then you don’t have to feel obligated to. However, in Toronto, most people who dine in are generous and show appreciation by tipping anywhere between 10% to 20%.
4. Is dim sum healthy?
The short answer is, no, dim sum is generally not considered healthy especially when you are dining out in the city.
It really depends on what dim sim items you order.
If you go for deep-fried or greasy items, then this is obviously unhealthy. But if you choose steamed or baked dim sims, then they can be healthier. Note that it’s healthier but not necessarily healthy.
For example, those delicious deep-fried octopus or squids are comfort foods but are high in saturated fats, bad carbs from the crispy batter, and quite high cholesterol.
So better choices would be steamed dim sum like har gow shrimp dumpling (蝦餃) or xiao long bao (小笼包) because they are not fried and shrimp is generally a healthy protein. You can stick to steamed, boiled, or baked dishes for a “healthier” option.
Another unhealthy item would be desserts like buttered egg tarts, volcano custard buns, pastries, etc. Not only are they high in fat and carbs, but they are also high in sugar. It is best to consume these in moderation by balancing your dim sum with veggie plates and steamed items. So in short, dim sum items can be lighter if you avoid deep-fried and sweet dishes.
5. Is dim sum gluten-free?
I hate to disappoint you here, but dim sum in general is NOT gluten-free.
Originating from China and being brought over to North America, it is likely that dim sum is not naturally gluten-free. This is especially true with most dumplings that are covered with a thick wheat-based dough. On top of that, traditional dim sum dishes often include things like soy sauce and oyster sauce which are both gluten items.
If you’re looking for a gluten-free diet, then dim sum restaurants are not the place to be.
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