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Cheap eats on Bloor/St. George?

leftover_salmon May 21, 2008 05:17 PM


I'm working on Bay Street this summer and living by myself on St. George a block north of Bloor. Right now, I don't know anyone in Toronto, so I need some places I can safely go alone (i.e. no restaurants where eating along would make me look weird). Please keep the recs pretty close to where I'm living -- I don't like eating downtown after work as I just want to get home and take my suit off. And given that the days are 13 hours long, I don't want to walk too far when I get home, either.

A good Thai/Chinese/Shwarma/Sushi place would be great.

Thanks so much.

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  1. littlegreenpea RE: leftover_salmon May 21, 2008 05:54 PM

    I quite like By The Way Cafe (Bloor Street, West of Spadina). It's a little cozy inside, but I'm not sure eating alone there would make you look 'weird'. I absolutely love eating alone though (and with ppl too!), so I'm not sure I'm really qualified to judge.

    Sarah's across the street used to be good for a falafel, though I haven't been in ages. Can anyone verify?

    1 Reply
    1. re: littlegreenpea
      Minnow RE: littlegreenpea May 23, 2008 08:11 AM

      Along the same strip as others are mentioning (Bloor/Spadina) you have Real Thailand and Thai Basil, both decent Thai places. I like Nataraj for Indian at Bloor and Brunswick, but Mount Everest is good too. Futures at Bloor and Brunswick has some decent homestyle specials, but nothing too fancy. If you want pizza/Italian, Bar Mercurio has a casual sister place at the bottom at one of the residences right at Bloor and St. George. At Bloor and Avenue (below Pho Hung) is China Garden for Canadian-Chinese. I quite like it, although that's not always universal, but if you're a law summer student, you can play spot the criminal lawyer at lunch. I've eaten at all of these places alone, no problem. (Can you tell where I used to live?)

      There's the pubs on Prince Arthur, like the Academy, which is pretty good for food, that's Bedford, just north of Bloor. That might be a little iffy eating alone, but probably okay during the week.

    2. t
      torontofoodiegirl RE: leftover_salmon May 21, 2008 07:01 PM

      Sushi on Bloor and New Generation Sushi are both a relatively short walk from you (Bloor a few blocks east of Spadina) and are both cheap and cheerful, and I don't think you'd feel weird eating alone.

      4 Replies
      1. re: torontofoodiegirl
        sushtopia RE: torontofoodiegirl May 21, 2008 07:16 PM

        I second the sushi recommendations.

        If you like vietnamese food, Pho Hung is pretty popular and inexpensive. Nothing weird about eating alone there.

        Pho Hung
        350 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, ON , CA

        1. re: sushtopia
          jennjen18 RE: sushtopia Aug 2, 2008 09:28 PM

          how does this pho hung compare to the other one(s)? there's one in chinatown, right? on spadina?

        2. re: torontofoodiegirl
          jtamin RE: torontofoodiegirl May 21, 2008 09:31 PM

          I think both those sushi places are west of Spadina, halfway to Bathurst

          1. re: jtamin
            torontofoodiegirl RE: jtamin May 22, 2008 07:12 AM

            Oops - I was thinking west, but east popped out (sorry, leftover salmon). They are definitely west of Spadina, but shouldn't be more than about a 10-15 minute walk from St. George, I wouldn't think.

        3. p
          philly cheeze RE: leftover_salmon May 22, 2008 10:28 PM

          great shwarma @ bloor/spadina southwest corner.

          1. k
            KevinB RE: leftover_salmon May 24, 2008 12:44 AM

            Living in a frat house? I used to..

            If the Blue Cellar room is still open (Bloor, a couple of doors down from the Brunswick), you can cheerfully dine alone on schnitzel or sausages, or other middle European fare.

            Can't believe anyone would recommend "China Garden" (just w. of Bloor/Avenue, 2nd floor). I ate there with my daughter a year ago, and actually chipped a crown on a chicken ball that should have been labeled "chicken rock". Worst chinese I've ever had.

            Walk up north a bit, and try out "People's Foods" on Dupont - as much for the passing parade as the food. And, I have to assume you have a Metropass - go a stop west, and take the Spadina street car south - lots of great Chinese/Thai/Viet places south of College, and no one will ever look at you twice for eating alone.

            Next, Baldwin Avenue, a couple of blocks south of College on St. George, has a whole bunch of great cheap 'n cheerful spots.

            Finally, check out the Madison pub on - guess what? - Madison, two streets west. Go there Monday through Wednesday straight, sit at the bar, and unless you're a complete jerk, you'll have friends in no time.

            1. Otonabee RE: leftover_salmon May 24, 2008 03:19 PM

              If you don't feel like eating in a proper restaurant, Whole Foods is just at Avenue Road and Bloor. Lots of take out options (and even a few tables for eating in). I think they close around 10 most nights.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Otonabee
                torontofoodiegirl RE: Otonabee May 25, 2008 07:59 AM

                That's a great idea. You can get a pretty substantial and tasty take out-meal with a meat, a veg and a starch (eg. beef bourguinon, mashed potato, and green beans) for $7.99. They also have a really nice salad bar.

                1. re: torontofoodiegirl
                  thora RE: torontofoodiegirl May 26, 2008 06:27 AM

                  You said you were looking for a shawarma place...
                  Try Sarah's Falafel on Bloor at Brunswick Avenue. Although I've never had their shawarma (I'm a veggie), I know they have it and a lot of people go for it. If it's anything like their falafel or eggplant sandwich, you're set! Definitely a cheap eat and I've comfortably eaten there by myself quite a few times.

              2. s
                sanity_clause RE: leftover_salmon May 26, 2008 08:10 AM

                I work on St. George just south of Bloor, and often eat alone in the area - it's a great place to find what you're looking for! New Gen is great for cheap and cheerful sushi and hot food, I've been really enjoying Crystal Rolls for Thai (the Panang curry is particularly good) and they also do credible Pan-Asian, Daddyo's is a hidden gem of affordable and delicious made-to-order pasta, and Pizzaiolo does a huge slice and italian pop for $5.75 - very tasty with tonnes of variety.

                New Generation
                493 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S1Y2, CA

                Crystal Rolls
                372 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S1X2, CA

                Daddyo's Pasta & Salads
                673 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5S2H9, CA

                454 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S1X8, CA

                1. l
                  LJS RE: leftover_salmon May 26, 2008 08:36 AM

                  Welcome to the 'hood! I would add a couple of things...yes to By the Way, New Gen, Bar Expresso ( the Mercurio offspring), the Madison and Crystal Rol, no to China Garden and I don't believe I have seen Fresh mentioned: it is on Bloor, between Huron and Spadina.

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