Just a short hour’s drive north on Highway 400 from Toronto, the city of Barrie has rapidly expanded to become a tourist hotspot itself with a wealth of things to see and do, not least its waterfront area on Kempenfelt Bay which continues to draw people in their droves. With such expansion typically comes an influx of new places to eat, and Barrie is no exception in that respect with a raft of restaurants, coffee shops and takeout spots seemingly popping up everywhere, meaning residents and visitors alike are now spoiled for choice.
In terms of that firm favourite, Chinese cuisine, the city can offer multiple eateries from tiny family-owned and run takeaway places to large all-you-can-eat strip mall restaurants. So without further ado, in no particular order, here are our favourite Chinese eateries in the city of Barrie:
- Mandarin – large, welcoming, with seemingly endless amounts of Chinese food mixed with an impressive selection of other cuisines, the Mandarin is the top dog in the city if you’re looking for an award-winning buffet. So popular it has branched out across Ontario, the eatery is famed for its one hundred strong selection of dishes, with choices such as sushi and prime rib, plus a grill counter, soup and salad bars and a raft of desserts, a frozen yoghurt station and even an ice cream sundae bar. A very full stomach is guaranteed here.
- Dragon Wok – with two locations in Barrie, Dragon Wok is doing very nicely indeed and it is easy to see why: they serve tasty, unpretentious Chinese food in generous portions at excellent prices. Dishes are fresh and made to order, with eat-in or take out and home delivery available. People who eat here become very loyal customers, which is always a good sign.
- Sakana House – on the eastern fringe of the city but well worth the trip, Sakana House boasts a lovely interior of contemporary Japanese décor and a comprehensive selection of dishes to ensure diners won’t leave feeling anything less than satisfied. Choose between all-you-can-eat or a la carte options, as well as takeout from an extensive menu that includes everything from sushi rolls to Chinese Chow Mein. Has recently opened a second location in Barrie, underlining how popular the brand is with locals and tourists.
- Yang’s Chinese Restaurant – out in the Barrie ‘burbs of Letitia Heights, Yang’s doesn’t look like much from the outside, tucked as it is in the middle of a small strip mall. Inside, however, is a little gem, with an open kitchen area where you can see food being freshly prepared and an inviting atmosphere in the – admittedly cosy – dining area if you decide to stay and eat. Take out, eat-in, order for delivery – the food is plentiful and the prices superb.
- Asian One – fast, fresh and available for takeout or home delivery – as well as a tiny ‘eat-in’ area if you want to devour your food on-site – Asian One is another precious entry in Barrie’s list of best Asian food outlets. Located in the southwestern suburb of Holly, its menu boasts a huge selection of Chinese favourites along with a smattering of Thai dishes, ‘family dinners’ and party specials.
- Lee’s Kitchen Chinese & Thai Cuisine – another Chinese/Thai hybrid eatery, Lee’s Kitchen can be found near Bayfield Mall just north of downtown Barrie. An unassuming redbrick exterior hides a neat, compact restaurant and takeaway with friendly service, great value meals and an impressively large menu, featuring everything from Combo Dinners to Cantonese specialities and even bubble tea. Always busy, which is a good sign for a food outlet.
- C K Chinese Food – nestled among a whole host of takeaway places and restaurants on Bayfield Street, a short drive north of Kempenfelt Bay, C K Chinese Food has been part of the Barrie Asian food scene for many years. Not the biggest or flashiest – it’s housed in a squat stretch of businesses opposite a Pizza Hut – but what it does is provide tasty Asian food that is generous in its portions and easy on the wallet. C K does delivery, takeout and offers a (quite tiny) eating area, as well as catering, offering something close to four successful decades of experience serving Asian cuisine to the city.
- Chef Chan Barrie – found just south of the bay off Minet’s Point, Chef Chan is a family-owned and run Barrie staple and known for its fresh, flavoursome dishes. Their food is described as ‘Asian Fusion’, with a menu that includes Pad Thai, wing choices and the usual Chinese favourites such as Chop Suey, along with Family Dinner choices, Lunch Combos and group specials. Delivery and takeout are available, with both described as speedy and efficient.
- Qing’s Cuisine – sitting out on the southern edge of Barrie, Qing’s is definitely worth making the trip down Huron Road for its simple yet elegant interior and the quality Asian food it serves to hungry customers. Opened in 2014, the restaurant offers eat-in, takeout and delivery, and has twice won Certificates of Excellence from TripAdvisor. The menu is crammed with favourite and specials and leans heavily towards Chinese and Thai dishes such as Tom Yum soup, Pad Thai, Mongolian Beef and an impressive list of seafood and veggie options.
- Asia Wok – simple, tasty dishes eaten diner-style is the order of the day at Asia Wok, an eatery and takeout place situated just off Highway 400 north of downtown Barrie. There are no airs and graces here, but what you will find is classic Chinese cuisine served with a warm smile in this family-run restaurant. Freshly made, MSG-free, and open for close to fifteen years, Asia Wok is a great little place to fill up on Asian food.
- Mei’s Daily Food – another restaurant situated in a small commercial plaza, this time off Barrie’s Bell Farm Road, Mei’s Daily Food offers authentic Chinese cuisine to eat in or take away. The interior is simple yet casual and welcoming, while the food ranges from tasty portions of chicken balls to the more exotic spicy lobster. And if you’re looking for something earlier in the morning, they also offer a selection of Canadian breakfasts!
- Dragon Restaurant – The Dragon has been serving Barrie’s finest since 1985 and is still going strong today. An unmissable grey-and-redbrick low slung slab at the junction of Essa Road and Burton Avenue if offers a good-sized restaurant area packed with tables and banquettes if you choose to eat at one of the one hundred available seats, and its menu is bursting at the seams with Asian goodness. Everything from Szechuan, Cantonese and Chinese favourites can be found on the huge a la carte menu, while the famed all-you-can-eat buffet is on offer as both an eat-in or take out option. Normal menu takeout and delivery service are also available, making the Dragon Restaurant an ever-popular choice.
- Sizzling Wok – a no-frills addition to this list, Sizzling Wok is a tiny restaurant offering a huge choice of Chinese food from its location south of Kempenfelt Bay. Welcoming staff and freshly made food compensate for a very small eating area, and the Sizzling Wok offers takeout and delivery services, with a whole host of choices for hungry patrons: party specials, combos, family dinners and chef’s specialities complement the usual list of traditional Chinese favourites available to Barrie residents.
Hopefully, these will give you some ideas next time you are looking for Chinese food in Barrie.