Not too sophisticated but good under $10
Years ago, the Toronto Sun use to run a column on the $3 lunch, then $5, then $7. It quit running the column after $7. Being a true and blue Toronto type, I find it hard to believe you can't get a decent lunch or dinner for under $10. Now, I'm not talking meeting all food groups, and having all the essentials such as fries with that etc. I'm talking honest to goodness food. Some of the one's I would classify would be California's on Clinton St. for their Veal sandwiches, Pho Saigon at Eglinton and Warden for any of their pho, and a little Chinese place at Victoria Park and Lawrence called Golden Formosa for anything freshly made in front of you.
Do you know anywhere else?
I wouldn't have survived grad school at U of T without the Nepalese lunch buffet at Mount Everest (on Bloor St. West, between Spadina and Bathurst). It was the perfect, economical yet tasty place to treat myself to a hearty meal. I went by there in December and the lunch buffet is still $8.95.
Try MYSTIC MUFFIN. The food is fresh, healthy, and inexpensive. Muffins are only $1. Most sandwiches are $3.50. You can also get coffee, banana bread, bagels, and soup. the menu is written on a chalkboard with saying crammed between the items and prices are little messages (like "It's good -- trust me").
My fave serving here is the Potatoe chicken wrap. Delish!! It's very filling. they have relaly good falafels as well. they also have combos, like Better Life Combo. You'll receive a plate piled high with green salad, chickpea salad, cabbage salad, hummus, spicy potatoes, two falafel balls, lentils and pita for only $6.25. The Mystic Muffin is also known for the apple cake. First-time visitors get a piece for free!
The Mystic Muffin is on the corner of Jarvis and Richmond. It's open Monday to Friday from 6:30 am to 5:00 pm. Saturdays from 8:00 am to 3:00. Closed Sundays.
Fish and Chips will usually be under $10, and I can recommend the Highland, on Elllesmere east of Morningside, for cod and chips, take out, at $5.50.
Pho Mi Asia has a huge bowl for about $7.50, with good broth.
Collegiate lunch has a splendid home made burger platter for $6.
Chick 'n Joy has a $2.50 special early in the week.
Highland Fish & Chips
3357 Ellesmere Rd, Toronto, ON M1C1H1, CA
1483 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L1E2, CA
Pho Mi Asia
1008 Wilson Ave, Toronto, ON M3K1G6, CA
1024 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M1Z5, CA
A superb lunch at Bistro Camino, Danforth just west of Dawes across from Canadian Tire. Good enough for me to drive from past Bathurstand Wilson.
Soup and a plate $8.50 to $10, salmon is $11. I have the salmon, baby beef liver, yak ....something or other, minced lamb, chili, breaded sole. Wanda had the coq au vin with home made bacon. The soups keep changing, usually choice from 2 to 4 kinds, range from good to superb. I often have two lunches and make it the meal for the day, nothwithstanding that one is more than adequate for lunch.
Chef/owner is trained as a French chef in Japan and here is ex- Upper Canada Law Society dining room , York Club, etc. Its seems impssible for him to lower his standard. Tuesday to Sunday.
Okay, let's see here...under $10 you say?
Banh Mi from Spadina
Doubles from the Jamaican bakery in Kensington
Fresh bun from My Market Bakery, fresh cold cuts from European Meats, fresh cheese from Cheese Magic, fresh tomato from any place in the market...
Masala Dosa from South Indian Dosa Mahal
The lunch special at Lucky Dragon
Samosas from Bombay Trading, especially on Friday when the super fresh ones come in
Big Fat Burrito
Whopper Wednesdays (I know I know but hey, it's a guilty pleasure that's occasionally indulged)
The UFO diner
i am the champ of good, cheap toronto eats..
-vietnamese subs (banh mi) in chinatown and beyond
-chinatown meal specials (many go for $5-7 for a lunch special)
-roti (i like bacchus, ali's, island foods, roti palace.. but there are tons of others)
everything at ghazales (middle eastern sandwiches or combos)
-new york subway
-doubles in kensington market ($1.25 each?! you can have 3 or 4 and call that lunch)
-kensington market eats in general - just snack your way around (doubles, empanadas at the place across from jumbo empanadas.. i don't like the latter, mexican food from the little cantinas in the back of latino grocery stores on the weekend, big fat burrito, more..)
-chinese food truck on st. george st. outside of sid smith has some okay stuff, and dirt cheap (the one outside of robarts library sucks)
-tacos el asador
-korean soon tofu place across from there (with tax and tip, usually comes to $9-10 and you are stuffed after)
-lots of those korean home style restaurants on bloor have bibimbap for something like $7
-flip, toss & thai kitchen on harbord
-ginger (my fave one is at parliament/carleton.. one of the ones on yonge is ok too)
-pho hung in chinatown
-indian food joints along gerrard are very cheap (like moti mahal.. i think that's the name)
-yung sing pastry on baldwin (i like their tofu buns!)
these are just a few off the top of my head for now..
Tokyo Grill (homestyle Japanese food) on the west side of Yonge just north of Wellesley. The food is good and the prices are amazing.
I know a bunch of people don't like it, but also Seabreeze Chinese on Queen E near Greenwood. For crappy highly Canadianized Chinese food, you can't beat their prices, and if you know what's good on their menu, you get a fantastic meal. My husband and I are regulars there, and they treat us really well. Generously portioned lunch specials, tax included, for $5.75.
You can get a four veggie combo from Ghazale, next to the Bloor Street Cinema, for about $7. The eggplant stew is fantastic.
Best Roti, just south of Bloor on Bathurst, offers any two veg in a roti for about $5.50 (I dig their spinach and chick pea).
Yung Sing Pastry, 22 Baldwin, has Chinese buns for about $1.10 each
Lots of places have bahn mi for $3 or less (Ginger, Rose Cafe, Co Yen, Nguyen Huong, etc.)
There's a Jamaican take-out place on the southwest corner of Pape and Fulton Ave (across from the TONKA gas station) with a $3.99 lunch special which includes a drink. You get rice and peas plus a choice of meat, such as curried goat, plus a small salad. I ordered this a few weeks ago and it's a great deal. They also have a few seats inside. I can't remember the name of the place but it's easy to find.
Don't you recall that column being the $2 lunch by Percy Rowe? I was thinking of it last year when I could walk into the Vietnamese sandwich place near the T&T at Steeles and Middlefield and get a lunch for $2 if I just wanted a small sandwich. or still under $4.50 for a larger portion.
Heras a link mentioing Percy Rowe and his column. http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/MediaNews...
Hey! That is right, the $2 lunch. Don't know why one of the major local rags don't make a column like that again. The falafel at Nasib's on Lawrence was great when Nasib owned the place. But since he sold it it has been not the cleanest and best. The original location was at the south west corner of Lawrence and Kennedy. He sold that one, and a couple of years later opened one in a strip mall a little east on Lawrence. Had it for a little while and then sold it again. Too bad. Is he anywhere to be found?
Burrito Boyz! Try the halibut. And you can get decent falafel all over the city for under $4. At Ali Baba's (multiple locations including College & Parliament) you can get 2 falafels for the price of 1 on Tuesdays (I think around $3).
218 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5H1W7, CA
Thai Plate, 3434 Bathurst at Ranee for teh Friday lunch buffet.a $25 meal for less thahn $10. The regular lunch special is good too, but the Friday buffet is a steal.
Lunch special at Asahi, north-west corner of Bathurst and Steeles, next to Me-va-me. $6.
Shawarma at Ibrahim, Lawrence East across from Nasr.
Kefta Kebob at Sofra, Dufferin above Hwy 7 in the plaza on the east side. MUST ask not to overcook, don't be shy about directing the server to load up with salad. Order at the counter and stick around to directthe salads.
Combo plate only at Aladdin's Palace, Victoria Park at Tempo, underneath Genesis. Veg with labaneh, or chicken or beef shawarma or half an d half if you ask. very nice people. .Includes pita and pickling. about $6. Open to the wee hours, LCBO licenced- Christian Arab , almost all workers are family, from Lod, Israel.
All day Lunch Box take away at Yummy Market, Dufferin southof Finch in the plaza with Canadian Tire, $6.
They are Russian beware of the excessive salt problem. Get something safe, like a chicken leg. ( note : only a few of teh things that you see come for the Lunch Box). Lunch Box comes with a starch and salad. If you don't say anything you will get enough for a family. So I ask for a bit of kasha, a bit of rice and two small potatoes. You will be amazed by how much" a bit" is. Ibid for the salad, the second side. I ask for a bit of beets, tomato cucumber, coleslaw.
The house made poppy seed roll (pastry) is good, $1.49, good for two.
The frozen soups are good but again beware the salt problem. I get the fish (salmon) soup. It has gone from superb (but for) to being only good. $3.99 a litre, recently raised $1. When they first opened, they used a combination of halibut (skeleton), trout and salmon. And too much salt, to kill a beautiful soup. Oh yeah and caveat- I am Polish and I do like dill.
Konnichiwa, Baldwin east of Beverly. Donnburri and barley tea. I really like their cooking. Owners are Japanese and ex-Prince Hotel.