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Toronto: $15 Dinner around Yonge & Dundas?

My friend and I are visiting Toronto from Calgary. I know I can trust Chowhounders to be thorough, helpful, and trustworthy in taste. We're both students and hoping to save a bit of money by shopping for groceries and cooking our own meals. But we also want to try some of Toronto's good eats!

We're up for almost anything, except Vietnamese, which is abundant and tasty in Calgary, and Chinese. All we ask is that the meal is around $15 per person and delicious. :)

Thank you in advance for your suggestions.

P.S. Is there anything we should try that is special to Toronto or done especially well in Toronto?

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  1. Well simply put, Chinese, to answer your last question. Alas you don't want any of that....There's also peameal bacon sandwich at Carousel bakery in St Lawrence Market. One of the few things culinary that is uniquely Toronto.

    Yonge & Dundas is an area especially devoid of culture, which translates into a lack of good eats. My suggestions, get away from that area as the pickings are slim. (corporate chains, food courts, etc).

    There's Salad King/Linda's around the corner but that's not exactly destination eating. Very popular w/ the ryerson student crowd, so it might appeal to you guys. There's also the Soup Nazi's franchise in the basement of Eaton centre.

    1 Reply
    1. re: aser

      Probably the only Houndish destination would be Bangkok Garden on Elm, but it would be more than $15 per person. Salad King is also a Thai place but they can be very busy downstairs, and Linda upstairs will exceed your budget.

      Also look for the thread on Poutine - which originated in Quebec and not sure if it made it to Calgary yet (cheese curds on fries with gravy).

    2. I say check out Red Charcoal (138 Dundas Street, less than 2 blocks west of Dundas Square) - great comfort food at reasonable prices, good service.

      http://www.dine.to/redcharcoal

      1. Perhaps wander up to the Kensington Market area where you could do some shopping first and enjoy great empanadas for a third of your budget -

        JUMBO EMPANADAS(245 Augusta, 416-977-0056) Once a subterranean take-away, Jumbo's authentic Chilean street food is now served in a modest cafe four doors down from its old location in the heart of Kensington Market. Snacks so sensational, they're sold at many upmarket eateries at much higher prices. Best: huge latin turnovers known as empanadas stuffed with beef or chicken, hard-boiled egg, black olive and red pepper; take-home specialties like killer homemade hot sauce; vegetarian tamale-esque humitas; pastel de choco -- a sweet cornmeal mush upside-down pie rich with beef, chicken, egg, olives and raisins. Complete dinners for $5 per person, including all taxes and tip. Open Monday to Saturday 9 am to 7 pm, Sunday 11 am to 5 pm. Unlicensed. Smoke-free. Cash only. Access: four steps at door, washrooms in basement. Rating: NNNN

        This isn't a fancy place by any means, small picnic tables really, but great cheap street food.

        And after you can spend some of your savings and try a tapas plate or two at one of the new wine bar/tapas spots on the same strip. Torito has a great patio to have a drink and their Tapas plates are in the $6 - $12 range and very good.

        http://www.nowtoronto.com/issues/2006...

        This would be about a 15 minute walk from Yonge & Dundas...

        1. In that area the best option is Salad King (Thai $20-25 for two) as already mentioned.
          And Indian food is excellent here - and can be very cheap (e.g Rashnaa ~20/25 for 2 - take TTC or 30 minute walk) or great value(Trimurti ~$40-50 for two - and a 15 minute walk from Yonge/Dundas).

          1. On Victoria, just south of Dundas and one block E of Yonge is the Senator, a great diner mentioned on this board a number of times. I believe they have two-for-one burgers on weeknights - check it out. They have better food than burgers, too.

            2 Replies
            1. re: thenurse

              Haven't been for the 2-for-1 - but do recall that the Senator was horrendously expensive last time I went. Their daily special was over $30 - I didn't ask the price when it was offered and they didn't volunteer that information.

              1. re: estufarian

                No so anymore. They now keep most of their lunch menu intact for dinner, including mac & cheese and a great Cobb salad. Ditto the burger.