The World is Finally Walking Up to Anti-Asian Racism.
With the threat of closure looming over nearly every restaurant in the country, this past year has not been easy for the industry. But the pandemic has dealt a specific blow to Asian communities everywhere, as scapegoating has led to a targeted decline in business and an increase in hate crimes. On Tuesday, 8 people were killed in the heinous shootings at three Asian-owned spas in Atlanta, Georgia, 6 of which were Asian women. The reality: this is only one of the many atrocious attacks that have been carried out against the Asian community not only in North America, but around the world.
As Canadians, it’s our responsibility to acknowledge that these prejudices and views do not solely exist south of the border. According to Stats Canada, more than 30% of Chinese-identifying Canadians have experienced an increase in harassment or attacks on the basis of race, ethnicity, or skin colour since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. We as allies must stand strong with the Asian community and support them and their businesses not only through this unjust time, but at all times. Groups such as act2endracism.ca and project1907.org are excellent resources for information, anti-racist campaigns and activities and provide safe spaces for those experiencing this hate.
Apart from educating ourselves, partaking in Anti-Asian racism activities, doing our part to help if you witness hate is essential. But why stop there, it’s also important to bring business back to Asian-owned establishments too. The fact is, nearly half of Toronto’s population are immigrants, the majority of which are Asian. The Asian community has provided the city with rich and diverse culture, including that of their exquisite cuisines. Toronto is home to a multitude of incredibly delicious Asian restaurants that we can be supporting to help show our solidarity.
With that said, here are some of our absolute favourite Asian-owned restaurants in Toronto, that are hugely deserving of our support. But it doesn’t end there. We are working on a full list of all Asian-owned businesses in the GTA, and if you’re aware of any we should know about, please submit them here.
Here are some of our fav’ Asian-owned restaurants in Toronto to Support:
PAI and Sabai Sabai
Chef Nuit Regular and her husband Jeff have brought Northern Thai cuisine to Toronto through their restaurant, PAI located at 18 Duncan St. Native to Thailand, Chef Nuit’s immense talents have allowed the restaurant to be among Toronto’s best for many years now and made choosing her to be a part of our Power 60: Inspiring Women of The 6ix a simple decision. Be sure to check out the authentic Khao Soi at PAI, a delicious golden coconut milk curry.
Located in Chinatown at 262 Spadina Avenue, the Asian-owned Bun Saigon is serving up fast, cheap and delicious Vietnamese-style cuisine. They keep the focus on broths, noodles, stews and authentic Pho. We especially love the Bun Bo Hue, a sweet and spicy vermicelli soup.
Find this 24-hour Korean joint at 700 Bloor St. W. Here they are serving up some of the best Korean soup in the city, and at an affordable price. Try out their signature Gamja-Tang, a spicy, hearty and delicious pork bone soup.
You can’t miss the ‘ALL DAY DIM SUM’ sign in Toronto’s Chinatown, found at 323 Spadina Ave. This popular late-night spot is serving large portions of delicious Chinese food and quick Dim Sum. Their pork dumplings are fan favourites and it will not be hard to see why after you try a bite!
Business partners Cathy Ortega & Gerald Aquintey are providing the city of Toronto with the authentic taste and experience of Filipino food. At 31 Howard St. they are practising the formality of eating with your hands, formally known as Kamayan. Try out the traditional Kamayan Feast that includes mango salad, pork BBQ skewer, squid, shrimp, mussel, okra, eggplant and garlic rice.
The Asian-owned Dumpling House can be found at 328 Spadina Ave. This Chinatown staple is serving up, as you may have already guessed, perfect dumplings! We especially love the Pork and Sour Cabbage Dumplings as well as the Spinach and Black Mushroom option.
Enjoy family-style dishes inspired by China’s many regional flavours at Hong Shing, located at 195 Dundas St. W. If you’re a fan of Chinese BBQ then this is the spot for you. Order a few of their dishes like Honey Spicy Crispy Beef, Hong Shing Fried Rice and the Singapore Noodles for a whole feast!
You have got to check out The Haam in the Entertainment District for a unique blend of Japanese and Mexican cuisine. Here you get the best of both worlds; sushi AND tacos. While they do have more traditional Japanese fare like sashimi and sushi rolls, we love The Haam for their unique tacos. Try out the Gochujang Barbacoa or the Teriyaki Tinga tacos from this Asian-owned treasure!
Know any more? Let us know right here, we can’t wait to hear from you.