Toronto’s Chinatown ranks as one of the largest Chinatowns in North America. First settled in 1870, the neighborhood would undergo several phases of growth and face numerous threats of demolition due to its high property value. The place is now renowned for its numerous stores and restaurants. Those unaccustomed to an authentic Chinese experience would find it worthwhile to embark in some adventuring here.
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This elegant restaurant in Toronto is the place to go for baos and Chinese crepes Bao Toronto
Bao is the Chinatown outpost of a legendary Chinese restaurant serving baozi and immaculately-plated dishes from Tianjin.
Though it doesn’t carry the same name, Bao is an offshoot of Goubuli, one of China’s oldest brands dating back to 1858. It’s known for its baozi: steamed buns with signature crowns sporting exactly 18 wrinkle each.
Goubuli translates to “dog ignores” in mandarin, a reference to its historic owner’s name, Gouzi, and his tendency to ignore small talk during busy hours.
Owner Hongke Zheng, who runs this franchise along with the first location in Richmond Hill, says he changed the name to Bao to make it easier for non-mandarin speakers to pronounce.
Chinatown’s 21st century rendition of Bao, located on the ground floor of Spadina’s Dragon Condo, doesn’t seem to quite match the bustle of Goubuli’s past.
The restaurant is a beautiful mix of modern and traditional accents with tons of natural lighting. It’s elegant, but it’s not excessively fancy, and when we arrive, it’s quiet.
Don’t let the sophisticated interior fool you: Bao is, for the most part, no more expensive than many of the casual sit-down Cantonese restaurants on the strip.
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