HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >


Lunch around Ryerson/Yonge & Dundas on a student budget?

  • b

New student at Ryerson and I'm looking for some recommendations on where to go for lunch? (other than salad king of course haha) A few criteria though...cheap! remember, poor student here...and close! my schedule doesn't always give me that much time for lunch so walking to chinatown or to kensington is a bit too far most days.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Spices Cafe for cheap Indian food that's actually good AND healthy.

    1. The salad king is pretty good for thai. can get kinda crowded but if you dont mind sharing a table with people its pretty tasy and reasonably priced.

      1. Taking you at your (budget) word, you will want to check out the udnerground Food Court near College Street subway station. There is a very good little sushi place just near the Food Court exit, as well as the supermarket options.

        1 Reply
        1. re: LJS

          There's a place in this food cout called Fit for Life with amazing lentil soup and decent shwarma.

        2. When I was a student there, we always hit up Good View Restaurant for some cheap Chinese food. Pretty tasty, and they can get your order out quickly.

          Good View Restaurant
          126 Dundas St E, Toronto, ON M5B1E2, CA

          1 Reply
          1. re: Tara9000

            I love goodview. I used to do take out from there when I worked in the eaton center. Made a perfect late night dinner. I would rather take out than eat in though.

            Theres a small indian place (as well as a sushi place I havent tried) on church just north of gerrard. The samosas have been good there. I also like quick lunches from kokyo (younge and alexander), they have specials with rolls, soup, and salad for like $7. Ive even taken out and eaten at the ryerson caf, or while in class.

          2. The Sandwiche Shoppe on Gerrard (a few steps east of Church). I always order burritos.

            The Sushi Plaza on Church (a few steps north of Gerrard). $4.99 for a HUGE bowl of U-Dong noodles.

            2 Replies
            1. re: evilalicecorp

              I gave Sushi Plaza another try and they seem to have improved since they first opened. They also have more than just Sushi - noodles, tempura, teriyaki, and Korean food too. For any Ryerson students who end up living in the new building at Church and Gerrard - both the Indian place and Sushi Plaza will be at their doorstep!

              1. re: LovelyAsia

                I forgot to add the link to Sushi Plaza and Mehran.

                Sushi Plaza
                398 Church St, Toronto, ON M5B2A2, CA

                398 Church St, Toronto, ON M5B, CA

            2. Two Chowhound Favorites:
              A bit of a walk in both cases, but still possible and definitely worth it:
              1) Mustachio's in the basement of thre St, Lawrence Market (Jarvis & Front) is open Tues-Sat and does GIANT veal, eggplant, or meatball sandwiches for $5.95, with all the mushrooms, onions and peppers you want.
              2) Burrito Boyz - (Adelaide just West of Simcoe) is open Mon-Sat. and serves HUGE and really good burritos with all the fillings (rice, beans, guac., cheese, etc.) A small still makes a pretty substantial lunch. My two faves are the steak ($5.39) and Halibut ($6.65).

              1. red and white for very good shawarma. they have 2 branches on yonge, one south of wellesley and one near gerrard.

                sushi sky north of college. reasonable lunch specials and very good spider rolls.

                yummy bbq north of college too. korean place with cheap, good food and large servings.

                grill time. ayce type korean grill but better food (i think) that korean grill house.

                phil's. a really small take out place in front of sickkids on elizabeth. they have VERY good prok bbq buns. only 99 cents. 2 buns would be a very cheap but satisfying lunch.

                3 Replies
                1. re: ctl98

                  We used to go to Grill Time (454 Yonge Street) at least once a month when I was going to school. Great food reasonable prices.

                  1. re: ctl98

                    I started another thread about shawarma and two people suggested Red & White but I think one was bought out by the original owners.

                    Can you tell me which location is the one that is now owned by the original owners?

                    1. re: TOchowgal

                      The original one is the one near Wellesley. At least that's the one that's been there longer. Plus I've tried both and everything tastes better there.

                  2. There are a couple of restaurant on Mutual and Dundas,

                    Mutual Deli, their quarter leg lunch special comes with a leg, 2 sides, and a pop for $7-8

                    Kathy's Kitchen, boneless chicken leg on a bun with a pop for $5, 1/2 chicken with side for $8.

                    1. Oh, another thought is to go to the 24-hour Dominion at Church/Gould and get a hot or cold meal from the deli counter.

                      1. Coconut Grove on Dundas near University for roti and other Caribbean fare.

                        1. 1. Coconut Grove near Dundas & University really is worth the walk. Hell, it's even worth spending $5.50 to take the streetcar there and back.
                          2. Planet Crystal is closer at Church & Dundas, also has great Caribbean food, the restaurant is a little more comfortable, but it's pricier.
                          3. For those hangover Mondays, seek out something greasy or a great Gyro from the local diner on the NW corner of Bond & Dundas. I can't recall the name, but the very friendly couple that has run it for years are named George and Kay.
                          4.It's been years since I was there, but the kitchen at the Imperial PUBlic Library on N side of Dundas between Victoria and Bond used to have great deli sandwiches.
                          5.Great cheap pizza on the NE corner of Yonge & Gerrard at The Big Slice
                          6.There's always Tim's at Dundas & Victoria...

                          1 Reply
                          1. When I worked in the area I went to Salad King, Coconut Grove and I really enjoy the sandwiches at Sears (I think it's the 3rd or 5th floor or something). They have really good side salads that come with the sandwich.

                            1. Definitely Coconut Grove - for roti and a few west indian style curries too. Dundas near Chestnut. Also Sushi and Salad which is closer to University. If you have $10 on a special day you can get the fantastic lunch specials at Spadina Garden - Dundas north side just west of Bay.

                              1. I agree with Salad King, Spices, Crystal Palace and I'll add in Spadina Gardens on Dundas just W. of Bay (reasonably inexpensive--good Chinese with good Hakkah) and Yueh Tung Restaurant. 126 Elizabeth Street (definitely cheap, tasty Chinese food). Both SG and YT can have lines just like SK. And both SG & YT are a much more reasonable walk than going all the way to Chinatown.

                                1. B Espresso Bar on Queen just east of Church. The only decent coffee I can find in the area (I go to Ryerson for night classes) They also serve pressed sandwiches, pastries and small pizzas.

                                  1. Donair Kebab House on Yonge South of Gerrard.

                                    It's a narrow place, and seating is limited, but the donair (chicken and/or beef) plates are second to none, served turkish style. Don't go for the sandwiches, they are not as good.

                                    Love the sauces, they make the meal. Enjoy!

                                    1. I currently live right beside Ryerson and have been here for 8 years. I second the "Donair Kebab House", "Good View" and "Mutual Street Deli" recommendations. They are all family run, and really care about the food they serve. If you are in the mood for rotisserie chicken, I second "Kathy's Kitchen". "Little House of Kebabs" on Yonge is also awesome, but pricier than the above.

                                      Other thoughts:

                                      New Bilan Restaurant - it looks seedy, but it's usually busy and the food is great
                                      Rice + Stew on top (Chicken/Beef/Goat)
                                      The very definition of budget. Haven't been there in 2 years due to food allergies.
                                      Let me know if it's still good.

                                      Indian Restaurant (don't know the name) - corner of Church & Gerrard
                                      Opens late and stays open very late. All the Taxis go here.
                                      Food is good. Price is good.

                                      Ethiopian Variety Store (don't know the name) - corner of Dundas & George
                                      It's a bright green building that sells a small amount of groceries AND some cooked food.
                                      I always order vegetarian for takeout and it's great and cheap.
                                      Imagine a large piece of injera with a 3x3 grid of different stuff on top.

                                      Sandwiched (377 Church Street) serves panini style sandwiches with french fries inside. Tastier than Subway and the same price. They also have crepes which are good.

                                      Victoria Street Restaurant (Victoria & Queen
                                      )Classic diner serving classic diner fair.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: jmcginley

                                        New Bilan is awesome, but inconsistent lately. I would pay $8 (the price of an entire meal) just for a bowl of that amazing soup before the meal.

                                        Best strategy is to ask what they have that is good today and get that. I felt like I ordered off the menu a few times and got served food that was not too fresh.

                                        Generally I found the chicken to be nothing special, and the goat to be the best.

                                      2. Get the smoked meat on rye at Mutual Street Deli. Not the real deal but far better than that impostor in the Annex.

                                        1. You might want to try Sushi Xpress on Dundas and Chestnut. They have great prices and good food as well. They don't normally advertise it, but if you show them your Student Card, you can get a 10% student discount.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: tomsychau

                                            I've worked at Ryerson for 10 years and CAN NOT say enough about Salad King - you get so much food that it can be 2 meals so it is very poor student friendly. The blue chip wagon at City Hall (just around the corner @ Bay & Queen) - has a 3.50 lunch special hot dog & french fries (and they are some fine french fries). Oh yeah, the gravy is free! Go nuts poor student and have extra gravy. PD

                                          2. Student Budget in this area?!

                                            Ummm - 6" Sub at Subway is your best bet - under $5.

                                            Slice of pizza - various places.

                                            Remember this is a "student" budget.

                                            1. Try Somethin' 2 Talk About at 78 Gerrard St W (at Bay) for cheap and healthy mostly Middle Eastern food. They have really good soups, falafel, and panini-like sandwiches, and my non-veggie friends like their kabobs and shawarma. Everything seems really fresh. I've also tried one of their desserts which I found a bit sweet for my taste but it was some kind of caramel square so I guess that is to be expected. This isn't a good place to sit because they have two tiny tables (and a couple of tables in the back in nicer weather).
                                              It can get pretty busy at lunchtime with all the hospital employees but the line moves quickly.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: toveggiegirl

                                                One of my fave things in that area... Popeyes!

                                                1. re: toveggiegirl

                                                  Anyone know how this place compares to the nearby Red & White?

                                                2. there is a food court open now in the new AMC Theatre building at Dundas Square building as well as a food specialty places like Mrs. Fields Cookies and Pretzelmaker, Baskin Robbins, Cinnabon, in the lower level (B1) of that building

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: Kikki66

                                                    And gelati too last time I was there!

                                                    1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                                      And a crepe place there that I've been meaning to try.

                                                    2. re: Kikki66

                                                      Caribbean Queen is pretty good.

                                                    3. Yo go to Bakery 18 for some cheap buns in the Atrium =D