Kensington-Chinatown is located in downtown Toronto and is known for its eclectic, bustling urban vibe. Along Spadina Avenue and Dundas Street West, Chinatown is home to a multitude of markets, shops and restaurants. Slightly north you’ll find Kensington Market, one of the most unique pockets in Toronto, where you can visit a mix of vintage shops, trendy restaurants, grocers and cafes.
Although this neighbourhood is jammed packed with endless options, here are some spots we recommend checking out.
Restaurants and bars
- Cold Tea (60 Kensington Avenue)
This elusive Toronto bar isn’t easy to find, but once you do you’ll be happy you did. Hidden in the back of a Kensington mall through a secret doorway, Cold Tea is known for cheap drinks, amazing cocktails and Sunday summer barbecues on the back patio.
- Grey Gardens (199 Augusta Avenue)
From Toronto restaurateur Jen Agg of Black Hoof and chef Mitchell Bates of Momofuku Ko and Shoto, comes this unassuming yet visually stunning eclectic restaurant. With international and Asian influences, the menu is diverse and a bit more high-end than everything else in Kensington, but it’s well worth it.
- Rol San (323 Spadina Avenue)
Opened since 1994, Rol San is a no-fuss Chinese restaurant in the heart of Chinatown. Featuring all-day dim sum and a wide variety of authentic Chinese dishes, this is a popular spot. Busy practically all hours of the day it caters to a wide variety of people, especially the after bar crowd on Friday and Saturday nights.
- Fika Cafe (28 Kensington Avenue)
This swedish inspired coffee house’s name fittingly translates to coffee, which is their specialty. Serving a selection of sandwiches, pastries and of course warm and hot beverages, its interior is clean, bright and inviting.
- Casa Coffee (235 Augusta Avenue)
A staple of Kensington Market, Casa Coffee has been in business at this corner of Augusta and Baldwin Streets since 1963. Walk in and go left for the cafe serving up hot and cold coffee and tea beverages, or right to enter their shop with shelves lined with a variety of food, spices, coffee and teas.
- Dragon City Mall (280 Spadina Avenue)
In the heart of Chinatown (at the corner of Spadina Avenue and Dundas Street W), Dragon City Mall is a go-to for locals and visitors alike. Known for bargain shopping, this mall features electronic, clothing and specialty shops, as well as a mixture of restaurants.
- AGO (317 Dundas Street West)
Redesigned by Toronto native Frank Gehry in 2008, the Art Gallery of Ontario is home to over 80,000 pieces of art spanning from the first century to present day. It is home to largest collection of Canadian art and Gehry’s wooden, spiral staircase is a prominent feature.
- Kensington Market (Augusta Avenue, Nassau Street, Baldwin Street and Kensington Avenue)
Named a National Historic Site of Canada in 2006, Kensington Market is a unique collection of vintage shops, restaurants, bars, cafes and grocers. Known as a multicultural hub, the market has various influences from Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and the Middle East.
Whether you’re looking for an exciting vintage find in Kensington Market, exotic foods and spices in Chinatown or a great meal, the neighbourhood of Kensington-Chinatown has you covered.