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Best places around Ryerson University!

I'm a Ryerson student and would love to know what everyone thinks are the best places to eat near that area. There are obviously a lot of options, but which ones are consistently delicious and affordable? Here's a map!


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  1. Salad King...the name's a bit strange, but they serve some pretty tasty Thai in a funky atmosphere with prices that are student friendly (On Gould St. just steps east of Yonge).

    There's Ali Babbas Shawarma at the corner of Dundas and Church

    1. don't know if it's still there, but we used to call it "hooker Harvey's" when i was still going to school there... so if you're craving it, it's on the corner of Jarvis and Gerrard.

      further up on yonge st, is also cheap kinda cafeteria style viet food - Ginger.

      I agree with Finnegan - Salad King, don't let the new swanky decor throw you off, it's still pretty cheap. One of the few restos I know of that closed for renos and still kept their prices the same!! on a hungry day you can get a huge heaping take out box full of fried rice for less than $10!!

      The big slice if you want pizza - not sure if it's still there but its on Yonge st just a little north of Gould.. closer to Gerrard I think...

      Ernie's hotdogs!! however I believe the original Ernie passed away a few years ago (but his kin may still be running the stand) - he used to donate a days worth of sales back to the school... its the hot dog stand right out in front of the building where the library is (sorry it's been over 5 yrs can't remember the building names)

      if you're feeling generous to yourself and want the best steak you'll ever sink your teeth into is Barbarians on Elm just west of Yonge...

      I'm not sure if it's still there but Indian Flavor for decent buffet - Bay and Dundas (shoppes on Bay), main floor.... if you like chinese pastries (buns) go downstairs of the shoppes on Bay and there's a chinese pastry shop next to Kitchen table (sorry forget what it's called)

      that's all i can remember for now.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jeannieh20

        Indian Flavour isn't in the Atrium on Bay anymore. They moved further west on dundas on the south side. It's where the old Garden restaurant used to be. It's up a long flight of stairs.

        The bakery is called Bakery 18.

      2. Thanks!

        Finnegan: Coincidentally I went to Salad King last night. I had the Pattaya Chicken which was good, except their rice seemed like it wasn't cooked that well. Maybe I should get fried rice next time. & I've never gone to Ali Babba's but I shall make a trip there.

        jeannieh20: Hooker Harvey's is still there, ahaha. It's too bad about Indian Flavour closing, my friend went there once and said it was good too. & I've been to Ginger a couple times, cheap and yummy!

        1 Reply
        1. re: lily.violet

          Ahh memories of Rye High...

          Sadly, Indian Flavour is now a St. Louis <sigh>

          Salad King is where we would go and get veggies as well as a serious chile pepper fix when we were under the weather or needed a pick me up.

          Memories of dodging the prostitutes and drug dealers at Hooker Harveys....

          The other place we used to go to was Mermaid's Fish and Chips on Church St. they had a great gyros special with fries or salad.

        2. I concur with the recommendation for Bakery 18 on the lower floor of the Atrium. Really tasty and non-greasy Chinese buns, both savoury and sweet, which make for a good cheap snack.

          In that monstrous Toronto Life building with the AMC theatre next to Dundas Square there is a really good falafel place called Milo's Pita. Watch for garlic overload if you have class afterwards, though! There's also another Harvey's in there if you don't feel like braving the hooker location.

          Expanding the geographic zone a bit, if you walk west on Dundas about 10 minutes to McCaul, and then south a bit, right across from the crazy OCAD building there's a food court. Most of it is fairly unremarkable except for a little Japanese place called Manpuku. It has sit-down table service and beer, with a small but excellent menu of fairly authentic non-sushi dishes. Fun for the adventurous.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Gary

            Manpuku is fantastic, easily one of the more unique finds in the area at a great price but that's quite a bit out of the way.

            We would always call it Whorvey's. I guess different years?

            1. re: artificialard

              Thanks Gary & artificialard!

              I didn't even know there was a food court across from OCAD. I love Japanese food, so I will definitely check out Manpuku when I have time!

              I've gone to Bakery18 before, I got their tuna bun which was quite enjoyable since it was long instead of the usual round shape.

              I've never heard it called "Whorvey's" before, I think I'll bring that back, ahaha. I was just there today. Cheeseburger combo! I got gravy for my fries, it's not nearly as tasty when it's not accompanied with the cheese.

              1. re: lily.violet

                FYI Manpuku is in the style of a 'noodle house' so they just serve bowls of (good) noodles in soup and rice, they have nice bar seating that's comfortable for eating alone.

                Also in the Grange food court is 'Helena's Magic Kitchen' which is a place I really enjoy - they serve 'homestyle' kind of food like quiche, sheppard's pie, meatloaf, etc. It looks a little improvised but it's all very good, healthy, and fresh. They also serve big portions!

              2. re: artificialard

                True, it's a bit more of a walk but I do that and more all the time. If you have a few hours between classes it's worth a wander.

                Glad to hear ye olde Hooker Harvey's is still there, I had way too many quick dinners there when I was at Ryerson, dodging the hookers and drug dealers along the way. Every University needs its traditions.

            2. Fellow Rye student here.

              For breakfast, take a walk to Daybreak at Church and Carleton. Huge portions and you'll get out for less than $10-15 a person.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Sagesse

                Does Daybreak have some sort of buffet area or am I thinking of somewhere else? If it does, have you tried it and what do you think of it? I've definitely gone there before though. My friend ordered pancakes and they looked amazing. I got a crepe with fruit and it was okay, but looked a bit sad compared to the pancake stack.

              2. www.bespressobar.com for good coffee, biscotti and the odd panino. Great decor too!

                7 Replies
                1. re: currycue

                  Mmm good call! It's a little further off at Queen and Church but certainly within walking distance. I'm not sure it's a 'value' place but more a more eloquent place than most to hang between classes.

                  1. re: currycue

                    Thanks currycue, I didn't know about this place, looks promising!

                    1. re: lily.violet

                      No sweat, I take night courses at Ryerson too, so I'll be watching this thread. Went last night to the "Fat Olive" on Dundas on the way to class, but the lady in there said she didn't know how to work the espresso machine, her son usually does it, etc. I'd be curious to know if they make a good latte.

                      1. re: currycue

                        Coincidentally I just noticed that place for the first time last week. Didn't go in though. I heard Bulldog Coffee on Church St. (& Granby) has good lattes but I've never gone. They're known for their latte art.

                        Here are some of my favourite places:

                        Pita Land (formerly LaZeez) @ Jarvis/Gerrard
                        The best chicken shawarmas I've ever had and converted me to loving falaffels! Slightly pricier than most shawarma places, but well worth the money! ($5 falaffel, $6 chicken shawarma)

                        Mariko Japanese Restaurant on Yonge St, little bit north of Gould St
                        Yummy bento lunch specials for $5.49, even comes with ice cream! I usually get the tempura one and find it pretty satisfying.

                        The blue truck in front of Nathan Phillip Square (sometimes there are two, it's the one closer to Eaton Centre)
                        Really good fries! I would eat the poutine once a week if it was at Yonge/Dundas. Plus free gravy ;)

                        Golden Mint Coffee + Tea Co. on Yonge, South of College (across from College Park)
                        Best place to get tea and sit around with friends. Their shelves are stocked with bountiful varieties of loose leaf teas to choose from. I had a white chocolate one that was quite good. They also have sandwiches, caramel apples and some other things. I really like this place. It might sound snobby/pricey but it's not at all.

                        Grill Time, Korean BBQ restaurant @ Yonge/College
                        So good! Lunch is only $7.99 for the all you eat K.BBQ with rice/panchan (the endless side dishes) of course. Their panchan potatoes are so yummy, I always get so many orders of it.

                        A new place I've been trying is Carribean Queen in the Toronto Life Square foodcourt. Pretty yummy stuff with good portions. I usually get the one meat/one veg/rice or noodle combo which is 6$.

                        That's all for now, I guess!

                        1. re: lily.violet

                          Bulldog cafe was on Restaurant makeover...which should mean it'll be out of business soon

                          1. re: Finnegan

                            Really? Did they get a personality makeover? Perhaps the 'tude comes from too much caffeine.

                          2. re: lily.violet

                            Thanks for the Bulldog tip. Went by last night before class. Coffee was good, but they put way more milk than they should for only 2 shots of espresso. I'll see if they have a smaller one next time or give the Olive another shot (pardon the pun)

                    2. When I went to Ryerson, I had a few lunches at Mutual Street Deli. I think the roast chicken dinner was $6. Pretty good for a quarter bbq chicken, salad and fries. Their chicken salad is also decent.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: foxymoron

                        George's just east of Jarvis is great. It's the original and the best. The belly-busting BBQ chicken sandwich with fries and a drink is $6!
                        I also can't agree more about Salad King! It's fantastic!

                        1. re: foxymoron

                          Love at First Bite at Gerrard and Church serves decent Italian fare, good pizza, pasta and salads for a reasonable price. Their take-out window is great, too. Cheap toasted sandwiches with real ingredients (not thin-cut deli sliced meats, but big pieces of chicken and turkey and giant homemade meatballs) are generously garnished with fresh veggies and cheeses.

                        2. Has anyone tried Xteca at Church and Gerrard? I received a menu but I am skeptical that it will be as good as Burrito Boyz...

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: LovelyAsia

                            I've been a couple times. It's nowhere near as good as the Boyz - their burrito just doesn't flow as well, but they have geography on their side. I do like that fact that you can get whole wheat tortillas.

                          2. I second Gary on Milo's Pita (in Dundas Square food court) Great falafel!!

                            And Chipotle! It's relatively new. On Yonge, just north of Dundas. Delish burritos, tacos, nachos etc... Hugh servings. Check it out: http://www.chipotle.com/#flash/food_menu

                            1. Tried a new place today. I can't remember what it's called at all but it's this cafe lunch place on Queen, east of Yonge. It's right across from Booster Juice. They have a lot of delectable sandwiches, wraps and pitas, salads, soups and quiche. I got chicken & spinach panini with two salads. It was a combo and was around 8$. The salads can also be replaced by a soup. My friend and I both really enjoyed our food. The seating area is quite small and there was a consistent long line up which moved really quick. I would definitely return. It's bot exactly cheap, but I think it's worth it. Anyone know the name of this place?

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: lily.violet

                                That's Cafe Supreme. It is a chain, but I like the version near me in the financial district - a good alternative to food court food, and the sandwiches are definitely a step above the Druxy's/Pumpernickel standard.

                                1. re: Minnow

                                  Little House Of Kabobs at Yonge and Elm, (E>S> Yonge) has long been a favourite, though their prices are getting a little high. Outstanding Persian grilled options. If you're feeling rich, go for a skewer of spicy lamb chops. It's worth it to go with a friend and get the $20 combo platter. The rice with barberries & the rice with dill & lima beans are good enough for a meal even without a skewer on the side.

                                  Also, Doner Kabob (Yonge/Gerrard E.) has a nice hot sauce to go with their above average shawarmas (go for the veal!).

                                  Finally Ritz @ Yonge and College is my favourite Caribbean place in the downtown core.

                                  1. re: dacks

                                    I've noticed the Ritz a couple times, it seems like a good bang for you buck place. I have yet to go. It just seemed so inexpensive I was questioning if it was good..they have some type of $3-4 lunch special right?

                                    I've never been to either of the places you've mentioned actually. House of Kabobs sounds yummy. For some reason though, I just can't eat at Doner Kabob. Every time I walk by, I think the smell is unbearable like something I shouldn't be eating. I think it's a personal thing though, most people would probably think nothing of it.

                                    Something I've been liking a lot lately is Bagel Stop. I know that's a chain but they have good morning specials, I usually get the egg and cheese w/ lettuce & tomato on a bagel with a tea or coffee for $4 + tax. They have loose leaf tea that they scoop into a little tea bag for you which I think is nice too.

                                    1. re: lily.violet

                                      There's a place called Red and White on Yonge (at Gould, I think) that has a very good chicken shwarma plate. It's about 6.99 and it's ginormous, with very nicely done chicken, rice, hummus, and some in-house pickled cabbage and turnips that are quite refreshing. I find the food there to have a higher quality of ingredients and consistency than most fast-food places.

                              2. Had lunch at the New Bilan at Jarvis and Dundas. Delicious Somalian curry stew, heavy on the cardomen, and the goat soup they serve to start is absolutely wonderful. $6 buys you soup, a big plate of food, a jug of mango (?) juice, friendly service and zero ambiance.
                                Cheap and cheerful.

                                1. I tried going to the Fat Olive on Dundas (near Bond St.) recently and really enjoyed it. I ordered their schnitzel and it was delicious. The service there was also really nice. My friends both got coffees there and said they were really good too. The prices are pretty decent I think.

                                  I also went to the Sandwich Shoppe which is on Gerrard near Church. I've been there a couple times, the owner is really nice. I quite like their burritos and their grilled veggie sandwich. Their prices are slightly higher than average for a sandwich place, but since it's a mom n' pop place it's understandable.

                                  1. Finally tried Manpuku in the Grange today. LOVED IT! That place is so cute and the service is amazing. I wasn't aware it was almost like a separate little restaurant since it's in the Grange foodcourt. The noodles were so flavourful and had the perfect amount of chew. I got the Curry Beef Udon ($5.99 + tax). The serving is huge but if it's not enough can get a noodle refill for only $1.10. I also wanted to try their pudding which is like a custard, but they were sold out. Apparently it's so popular they always sell out super quick. Here's the website: http://www.manpuku.ca/

                                    1. Swore I would never go back to Salad King. However, I took a chance on Linda's and it paid off. I would recommend Linda's restaurant on top of Salad King. Great value for really nice curries made from scratch. Clean flavours and generous portions.

                                      1. Big vote for Milo's Pita in the Toronto Life Centre on the 2nd Floor. Excellent Lebanese, from Shish Tawook (Chicken Breast Kabob) to Falafels to Kafta Kabob (Ground Beef with Herbs - Awesome). Fast and friendly. Big portions and great value. Amazingly, every item (even the humus and sauces) are homemade from scratch. Mmmmilo's!

                                        Milo's Pita
                                        10 Dundas St E, Toronto, ON M5B, CA

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: JonasBrand

                                          I agree on Milo's. In fact, I think the food court in the Toronto Life Centre is underrated. I've had food from Milo's, Beijing Express and the Korean BBQ place there and 4/5 times it was very good. The not-so-good time was when I ordered barbecue duck noodle soup from Beijing Express. I don't recommend that at the end of the day, but the rest of the menu is good.

                                        2. Another idea in the Ryerson area is the Trinity Square Cafe. When I was stuck working in a chaotic store on Yonge Street, this was a favourite lunchtime hideout for me. To get there, go through the Eaton Centre to the exit on the west side, near the mall entrance of Sears. Outside a little to the is the Trinity Church, and the cafe entrance is on the side near the mall. They serve home made-ish soups, sandwiches, baked goods etc., and in the summer there are nice little outdoor tables and chairs. It's easy on the wallet and also contributes to a good cause! (the employees are psychiatric survivors being reintegrated into the workforce)

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: klawless

                                            It sounds so simple but I love getting a toasted bagel with cheese, tomatoes, pickles and sprouts on it from the Kitchen Table in the Atrium. It's dirt cheap (if you get the small bagel) and the veggies are always good. The dill pickles have that restaurant/deli taste to them, and you can even get havarti!! It was my go-to lunch when I worked in the area.

                                            1. re: klawless

                                              Trinity Square Cafe is good, wholesome, cheap food. While you're feeling wholesome you can feel virtuous too as it's all for a good cause.

                                              1. re: Googs

                                                I've never heard of the Trinity Square Cafe before, I'm exicited to try it out! Thanks!

                                                I have gone to the Kitchen Table for their sandwiches before though. SO good on their twister bagels. I always get a bunch of grilled veggies and a type of meat. I also like their large soup selection there since most places only have one or two. Here they have more than 12 I think!

                                                1. re: lily.violet

                                                  They also have a very good salad bar.