Cheap eats on Bloor/St. George?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
493 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S1Y2, CA
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