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Cheap in Yorkville ... oxymoron or not?

i know yorkville is full of higher end places like remy's and sassafras. but are there any places that is ok and cheap? not fine dinning, but just quick and casual, for those weekdays you don't feel like cooking. more like chinatown. less than $10.

i suspect more of these may be found south of bloor, like charles st, rather than the north. i will be exploring, since i just moved in to the area, but wondering if chowers could suggest. thanks!

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  1. If you want cheap and good it's not in Yorkville. Sushi Inn is quite cheap and quite terrible.

    In the Cumberland Terrance food court (south of Yorkville and underground) there are a couple of OK choices. I like the turkey place where they have a whole roast turkey everyday and when you order they slice it in front of you. Leftovers go into tomorrow's curry turkey which is served on rice for $5 .

    7 Replies
    1. re: Teep

      "If you want cheap and good it's not in Yorkville". Thats not necessarily true. The Coffee Mill is quite good and comforting, and its really cheap. There are a few threads on this restaurant.

      1. re: Teep

        Where is this turkey place? I've never seen it.

        1. re: merlot143

          It's in the food court level, the first one you see on your right when you are coming from the Bay subway station. They also serve Italian dishes like chicken cacciatore, I think.

        2. re: Teep

          Shogun, on Cumberland across from the theaters, is reasonably priced and pretty damn good. Sushi Inn steals the spotlight, albeit undeservedly, leaving Shogun as a tasty, relatively inexpensive not-so-busy option (dinner for two around $50).

            1. re: hungryabbey

              Japanese. Much better than Sushi Inn.

            2. re: dudebrah

              I had lunch one day at Shogun and have to agree with dudebrah. I haven't been to Sushi Inn so I can't compare the two, but did think that Shogun was tasty and relatively inexpensive.

          1. When we lived at Yonge and Bloor, Ginger was our cheapie go-to... good and economic Viet at Yonge and Charles.

            I also like the New Yorker deli at Bay and Charles (matzo ball soup, and a decent pastrami sami).

            1. Veda on Yonge, just a little north of Cumberland. Good, cheap Indian takeout. <$10 for their lunch combo plus a drink.
              Whole Foods. Decent pastries, good cheese selection, fresh fruit: you can probably get away with less than $20 and picnic in Yorkville.

              1. There are some little shops on Hayden Street, around the corner from Green Mango. Camros is there too (Persian/Vegetarian take out).

                2 Replies
                1. re: Zengarden

                  camros is great, but not yorkville. it's organic and is about $10 for lunch. it's nothing all that filling though but it's healthy, and quite tasty. persian, and everything is vegan except the desserts. they're good vegan though, not too granola at all.

                  1. re: pinkskittles

                    Toronto Life just did a special on Camros

                    The kale looks yummy

                    and don't go to Sushi Inn!

                2. There's Esther's Soup Kitchen also in the Cumberland Terrace, but not in the food court. Esther's is on the street level, facing Cumberland in between Yonge and Bay. Great soups and specials like curry on rice, chili and stews. But this place is only open for lunch during weekdays.

                  On Charles Street, there's Okonomi House which specializes in the namesake Japanese crepes. They also have other cooked fare like noodles.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: num nums

                    I too like Okonomi House. Those "okonomiyaki" are usually described as Japanese pancackes, crepes, or even pizzas. Some don't like the texture and flavour combinations, and there are the usual debates about "authenticity", but I find the ones at this restaurant to be good comfort food. Homey atmosphere, friendly service, and very cheap all round.

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

                  2. Coffee Mill at 99 Yorkville for goulash (about $7), schnitzel, soup, sandwich, salad & dessert. Good value & quality food too.

                    1. I have a friend that lives in Yorkville that swears by Toni Bulloni on Cumberland. He orders their lasagne for take out at least twice a week. Entrees will run you around $10-$15.

                      1. Mela on Yorkville at Yonge in the old Wanda's for inexpensive Italian vegetarian

                        Crepes A Go Go across the street.

                        Pho Hung on Bloor just west of Avenue across from the ROM

                        Focaccia sandwich shop on Hayden, off Yonge just south of Bloor

                        King Palace Pakistani next to the car was across from Canadian Tire just east of Yonge.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Dimbulb

                          King Palace is definitely a good cheap place to eat - the combos are huge and come with a pop and salad, With extra naan, the combo filled my friend and I (two average appetite girls) for about $12.

                          Vege Combo w/ Rice: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ndawg/28...
                          And they have fantastic naan!

                        2. Carole's Cheesecake offers great homemade soups with fresh bread from Ace Bakery for under 10$ on Cumberland.

                          1. Whole Foods has pretty decent take-out dinners (meat, starch and veg - you pick from a munber of options) for only $7.99 (I think $8.99 for the "deluxe" options). They also have a nice salad bar. It's not wildly exciting, but it's quick and cheap if you're tired and don't feel like cooking.

                            1. Cafe Iris makes some great food. It's a believe it or not little gem of a donut store right Bay north of bloor in the "Shopping Mall". It's right next to the Bay Subway station entrance. They make a great non fried seasoned Fillet of sole with fresh steamed veggies and steamed rice for $6.00 tax included. I go there quite a bit as I work in the area. The owners are very sweet and I feel good supporting them.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: food face

                                there's always Hemingways.
                                The food isn't great, but it's a good place for pub grub and a pint.
                                It's next to Remy's but way more laid back. Good patio for lazy summer days. and the prices are reasonable.

                                1. re: meld_la

                                  The food is terrible at Hemingways.

                                  1. re: phoenikia

                                    the food is terrible at hemingways, remy's, sassafraz. ugh. I use my thumb, finger and a little imagination to squish that entire city block out of my consciousness (except Crepes a Go Go). great area to go to goggle at the wannabes and hasbeens in their lucite heels, but I wouldn't ingest anything in that neighbourhood.

                                    1. re: Fizz

                                      Crepes A Go Go is not cheap. I had one of their creations, which consists of a few postage-stamp-size slices of brie, 1 sliced up strawberry (if the slices did add up to a whole strawberry), half a cup of spinach leaves and a dribble of maple syrup. It was delicious but the $8.50 feels like a 850% markup.

                                      1. re: Teep

                                        I know. I don't know what's going on with that place. They have increased the prices as well as significantly decreasing the fillings. A cheap filling crepe it isn't. For a meal I usually want 2.

                              2. Agree with Toni Bulloni's. Have tried it many times. Portions are huge, starters unnecessary.

                                Also, an oldie but a goodie is the Pilot Tavern on Cumberland. Even more so these days, with the roof deck (one of the nicest in the city) open.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Snarf

                                  second the Pilot, haven't been there for years but was often there in "the day". Definitely not fine dining but good beer, nice pubby/bar atmosphere and really interesting characters, both clientele and staff.

                                  1. re: JamieK

                                    You know The Pilot still has the same vibe as it did in 'the day'. That a little slice of bohemia still exists in Yorkville.

                                  2. re: Snarf

                                    I've been drinking at The Pilot since the late 60's, when it was on Yonge just north of Bloor. It was always a great bar but the food ( the Navigators Lounge upstairs) never was great, their "legendary" burgers and patty melts were ok a few other items too especially after too many. I've been there maybe a dozen times in the last 5 years was there yesterday and the burgers were terrible, ever since the newish owners took over they've been coasting on reputation.

                                  3. bbq express is on the southeast corner of bel-air and cumberland

                                    1. I cast another vote for Toni Bulloni. Usually I eat there only during TIFF, but I recommend it, really. Here's a link:

                                      Also, there's an OK shawarma place on the north side of Cumberland just west of Yonge, between Pizza Pizza and Thomas Hinds Tobacconist. The chicken shawarmas are pretty good. Unfortunately, I think that they close at 6pm.

                                      1. This is more of a lunch rec but if you're looking for cheap go to the little deli (japanese run) between hemingways and the green P parking lot (i.e. closer to Avenue than Hemingways). For $5 they'll make you a sandwich and its super fast, fresh and friendly! They also have one hot meal each day like chicken teriyaki but I havent explored those yet. By far the cheapest lunch option in Yorkville and its nice to support small businesses.

                                        Also I just discovered a great starter at Toni Bulloni's.....the crostini is an entire plate covered in a pizza type base and each slice has a different topping. Bruschetta (2), sauteed mushrooms, roasted red peppers, roasted zucchini, tapenade. I think its around $10 and could easily be an entire meal (especially lunch). I feel like i've been missing out with my usual take-out pizza (which is also a good deal at $3.75 for a HUGE slice).

                                        The grilled cheese at Carol's Cheesecake is delicious but not cheap and not particularly filling (around $10 and comes with chips).

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: foodio

                                          10 BUCKS FOR A GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH?!?!?!? Are you freaking kidding me?!?!?!? Oh I see... Chips too... Well then that IS a bargain.

                                          1. re: Googs

                                            Maybe if there's lobster in it or something!

                                            1. re: tjr

                                              Just what I was thinking. For that money it better come with some MEAT. Nope, I still wouldn't do it.

                                              1. re: Googs

                                                Just to clarify, I did say that the grilled cheese was NOT cheap nor particularly filling. It does however fit the ~$10 category. The extravagant prices in Yorkville are why I usually bring my lunch from home when I'm working in in the area!

                                                1. re: Googs

                                                  Hey Googs, is there a private msg function on Chow? I have a question regarding your fave restaurant in Venice that's listed on your profile.

                                                  1. re: Googs

                                                    It would depend on the bread, cheese and other fillings for me. I could imagine a $10 grilled cheese, but probably not at Carol's Cheesecake...

                                            2. The Depot on Bloor in the Colannade (sp?). It is on the upper level. Cafeteria style but good food and very reasonable. Generous salmon piece or chicken breast with nice standard green salad for under $7. Beef stroganoff, chicken curry and other dishes - pasta and lasgna all really good for under $10.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: ksapd

                                                The Depot is really good. I went there for the first time and I was blown away by the low prices and high quality. Thanks!

                                                1. re: ksapd

                                                  Anyone know if The Depot is still there? Had a beef stroganoff craving and stopped in the Colonnade and couldn't find it. It was later in the evening around 5 and most was closed with the exception of Dynasty, but didn't even see an outlet or a listing on the directory.

                                                  1. re: abigllama

                                                    Second level on the east end of the building.....

                                                    1. re: ksapd

                                                      I think The Depot is no longer with us. Colonnade is near my gym so I stopped in again last night. On the second level on west side is Dynasty, then on east side is Gourmet Kitchen which was closed, past that is a large Japan Foundation place. Asked them about The Depot and no one seemed to have any idea what I was talking about. Also it's not listed on the directory. :(

                                                2. When I’m at the Vet Emergency Clinic and need a meal, I go to the Loaf and Ladle. It’s nothing special. Somewhere between high school cafeteria and your home kitchen. Just a diner with normal breakfast and lunch items. The difference is that it’s not a chain and the price of a sandwich is the price of a sandwich. 901 Yonge St between Davenport & Belmont so it’s *just* outside of Yorkville, but you can use the money you saved on cab fare back.


                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Googs

                                                    Thanks, I'll check that out as well! I am impressed with the menu and prices featured on their Website.

                                                  2. I work in the Yorkville area. Here are the places we go for lunch:
                                                    - Pusateri's. If you stick to the sandwiches, not the entrees, it's always less than $10. The sandwiches are quite filling.
                                                    - Okonomi House
                                                    - Ginza - on Bay across from Pusateri's. We used to go to Sushi Inn a lot. But now I go to Ginza and get the lunch special bento boxes. Salad, soup, entree, 6 pieces of california roll, rice, ice cream, all for $10 - $11
                                                    - Avocado - Bay and Charles. Another choice for sushi lunch
                                                    - Focaccia's lunch counter - $8 for pasta, chicken, salad
                                                    - Craft Burger
                                                    - Burrito place on Charles just east of Bay
                                                    - Soup place in Cumberland Terrace (ground level, close to Yonge)
                                                    - Salad place in Cumberland Terrace (ground level, close to Yonge). Almost the same as Freshii but way cheaper.
                                                    - Montreal Bread Company is slightly more expensive but tastes really good.

                                                    1539 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M, CA

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

                                                    Big Smoke Burger
                                                    830 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4W, CA

                                                    Sushi Inn
                                                    120 Cumberland St, Toronto, ON M5R1A6, CA

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: cecilia

                                                      Don't think anyone has mentioned it yet, surprisingy. Cafe Nervosa is a real solid pick. Good fresh (primarily)Italian food, fair prices and a summer patio.Plenty of regulars...hard to believe it's in the land of pretentious posing and tourist hosing that is known (to me) as Yukville. Trust me , it''s a rockin' anomaly ...Cafe Nervosa !.

                                                      Cafe Nervosa
                                                      75 Yorkville Ave, Toronto, ON M5R1B8, CA

                                                      1. re: philehohfish

                                                        Are there any specific dishes you could recommend at Caffe Nervosa? I have not had good luck there. In my experience (once this past summer, and once in 2002) Caffe Nervosa's food was very ordinary and expensive considering its mediocrity- most pastas were close to $20.

                                                        For Italian near Yorkville, I think Bar Mercurio and L'Unita are quite a bit better than Caffe Nervosa for roughly the same price point. And I wouldn't consider any of them to be cheap. Certainly not much on any of their menus costs less than $10, as the OP suggests.

                                                        My favourite deal in Yorkville for less than $10 is the goulash from the Coffee Mill To Go. I also have managed to grab meals for less than $10 by choosing carefully at Whole Foods' prepared foods area.

                                                        134 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5R2H6, CA

                                                        Bar Mercurio
                                                        270 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S1V8, CA

                                                        Coffee Mill (the) Restaurant
                                                        99 Yorkville, Toronto, ON M5R3K5, CA

                                                        1. re: phoenikia

                                                          Goulash soup from the Coffee Mill is best followed by a slice of their chocolate-banana bundt cake with chocolate frosting! Totally old fashioned, moist chocolate cake. The banana is mostly undetectable, but I think it makes the cake moist and dense. Great old school fudgey chocolate frosting. It's my favorite chocolate cake in the city.

                                                          Coffee Mill (the) Restaurant
                                                          99 Yorkville, Toronto, ON M5R3K5, CA