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Good Eats at Bay/Bloor

I just started working at bay/bloor and was wondering if anyone knows of any good but cheap eats at bay/bloor.


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  1. Here's a previous thread on this topic that might be helfpful to you -

    1. I'm in the same neck of the woods... it's hard to find affordable AND good, but a few spots deliver.

      My faves:
      Le Gourmand (in the food court below The Bay): great quiche and salad combo for under $10, but show up before 12:30 or else it'll be gone. Their meatloaf is also quite good, though the sauce is a bit sweet - combo with a salad is a wee bit more than $10 after tax.

      Okonomi House (Charles St, between Bay and Yonge): several different types of Japanese pancakes aka okonomi yaki for under $6 - add a miso soup for $2 and you've got yourself a meal. You can also opt for the yummy chicken teriyaki served with a heap of bean sprouts for about $8.

      Ritz (Roy Square) - you can get a small jerk chicken dinner for under $5 at lunchtime or spring for the large for a couple bucks more. Their rotis are usually enough to stretch over 2 meals. Worth waiting in the inevitable lineup.

      Banana Leafs (Roy Square) - Thai food that's made when you order it, rather than sitting on a steam table a-la-Spring-Rolls-Go. It's not all that authentic, but it's well priced and very tasty. Most combos are under $6 if I remember right and include soup, salad and rice to go with your stir-fry.

      As for the remainder of Roy Square, skip the Biryani House as it's had a steep decline in quality over the last year or so, and make sure you've packed some Pepto if you visit the falafel place on the corner.

      Lastly, there's a pretty decent salad bar in the grocery store on the lower level of the Manulife centre. You can also get a few hot dishes to go, like roasted chicken and lasagna and such.

      Okonomi House
      23 Charles St W, Toronto, ON M4Y2R4, CA

      Le Gourmand
      2 Bloor St E, Toronto, ON M4W, CA

      3 Replies
      1. re: tartiflette

        Three cheers for Le Gourmand - love their veggie lasagna. Also in Roy Square is Salad House - fresh, delish and filling - much better value than over-rated Lettuce. It will be a shame when Roy Square is demolished.

        1. re: tartiflette

          Ritz' jerk chicken lunch special is $3.99, but it is quite small

          Banana Leaf which is in the vicinity also has lunch special for $3.99 which is pretty good quite filling. Noodles + shrimps and lots of chicken and veg. They stir fry it for you when you order. So it is not food court kind of food. I recommend this

          Ginger, next to the Strip club is a good Vietnames joint with lots of tasty and flavourful food for a reasonable price

          1. re: tartiflette

            That's a shame about Biryani House. I thought I'd hit it on an off night, but my last meal there was pretty gross. Overly greasy and sketchy meat quality. This place used to be so good and a bargain.

          2. I like the Ginger on Yonge just south of Boor -- the dishes are overall a little less sweet than the Ginger at Wellsley and Church. Frugal fav there is the $5 large hot & sour tofu soup which is huge and lemongrass broth really (not typical chinese hot & sour)

            Occasionally the take out at Dinah's Cupboard on Cumberland is great -- they do okra there that's awesome.

            1. Another recent thread is at http://www.chowhound.com/topics/440861

              I second (third? fourth?) the multiple recs for Saigon Sister in there. They've really let the decor slide over the last few years, but wow, the lunch I had there a few months back was still extremely fresh and tasty, and cheap to boot.

              Camros at Yonge & Hayden gets rave reviews for its veggie organic food. http://www.camroseatery.com

              Avoid the Mexican joint on Yonge north of Bloor.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Gary

                Agree about Camros. It's really great, fresh, clean organic wholesome Persian inspired veggie food - very tasty. Different specials every day. Try it - even if you're not vegetarian it's really worth sampling.

                1. re: KitchenVoodoo

                  I work around there and getting bored with Camros. The salads never change, there are only a few hot dishes that rotate. But yes fresh and good for you.

                2. re: Gary

                  Sorry, I have to disagree about Saigon Sister. Service is beyond awful - I've often been left waiting for upwards of twenty minutes just to place an order with a server nowhere to be found, and have often had to ask repeatedly for the bill.

                  Bad enough when it's after work for drinks or a nibble, but it's a definite deal-breaker when I'm on the clock and need to be back at my desk within an hour.

                  Food is passable, but it's pretty much style over substance - I guess they hope a pretty plating and trendy molded plywood seating will distract you from the fact that you can get a better rendition at half the price down the street at Ginger.

                  I really only go because it's a friend's favourite and she insists on choosing it when we meet up. Even then, I downright refuse when lunch is involved.

                  1. re: Gary

                    Saigon Sister is now closed for a couple months for renos.

                  2. It's hard to get a better deal than what you get at Ginger. Prices are low, portions are big, food is tasty.

                    1. On the north side of Cumberland, just west of Yonge, is a small, hole-in-the-wall, pita place, that does prtty good felafel (freshly deep fried) and chicken shawarma (less freshly cut). They are pretty good, won't blow your socks off, but good. And affordable.

                      For those special lunches, when you're stealing some time, on Cumberland is Dimmi, an Italian resto that is surprisingly good value for money, as is Toni Bulloni (believe me, the food is better than the name). Again, they're not outstanding places, but you won't leave feeling cheated, or having broken the bank, so remarkable for the area.

                      1. Let me tell you where NOT to go. I was around the area yesterday and tried the OJA Noodle House for lunch (East side of Yonge, just south of Spring Rolls). It advertises itself as a Korean restaurant.

                        At the table, we ordered two lunch specials: 1) Bi Bim Beef Rice special, 2) Shanghai Noodle special.

                        The Bi Bim dish was bad. First of all, it didn't come in a cast iron dish (it came in a plastic one) so the rice didn't get crunchy on the bottom. The beef portion was really small - almost non-existent. Worst of all, the meal was cold.

                        The Shanghai Noodle special was worse. The noodles were drowned -- and I mean drowned -- in a sea of soya sauce. The chicken portion was probably the size of a twooney or two schredded up in pieces -- they looked like tiny pieces of mushroom.

                        I will never eat there again. Two thumbs down.

                        689 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4Y, CA

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: pgfuzz

                          Sorry to hear you had a bad experience, I used to frequent that place a couple of years ago. It sounds like it may have gone downhill.

                          1. re: pgfuzz

                            about bibimbap, unless they say 'dol soht bibimbap', they don't need to give it to you in a stone pot. ... in many korean restaurants they actually have two entries:
                            bibimbap, which will come in a regular plastic bowl
                            dol soht bibimbap, which means it will come in the stone bowl

                            1. re: sumashi

                              Thanks for sharing that tidbit of information.

                              1. re: pgfuzz

                                no probs....
                                i will never order bibimbap unless it's in the stone bowl as well :) it just isn't the same without the crunchy rice on the bottom.

                              2. re: sumashi

                                That is correct. :) Sorry, yes, we Koreans can be quite confusing with the Bibimbab. I think most people like the hot pot version, but yes there is also the ones that don;t come with it. :) Most of the ones in Korean town would have both - they'll go out of business if they don't. :)

                            2. one street south bay and bloor on hayden is a tiny little italian place name escapes us but great homemade italian pasta and italian sandwiches for under $6 little italian lady will make anything you like on pasta fresh daily once you get to know her

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: hazzelnuts

                                If it's Hayden, it's south of *Yonge* and Bloor. It's the take-away arm of Focaccia, I believe.