HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >


The new downtown $10 challenge

I'm short of ideas for what to have for dinner tonight. I'm on a tight budget these days so I'm trying to keep the meal at around $10, tax and where applicable, tip included. I know this topic has been covered before but given the fluctuation in the restaurant industry because of the economy, I thought it would be wise to start fresh.
For my purposes, should be either downtown or not far from a subway stop, any kind of cuisine is fine, fast food is excluded, and I don't want something that's just cheap, but otherwise dreck.
So far, my contenders are;

Gandhi Roti (Indian at Queen/Bathurst)

Yummy BBQ (Korean at Bloor/Bathurst)

Leila (Middle Eastern at Bloor/Bathurst)

Bamiyan Kabob (Afghan on Overlea in East York) bit more of a trek but well worth it.

Any other ideas?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. - Pho Hung... I think you could get a bowl of soup for $10-ish.
    - Jumbo Empanads (Kensington)
    - Alexandros (gyro!)... and great people watching on the Danforth

    1. if you're in the neighbourhood for gandhi, you can walk around the corner of bathurst for a burrito at johnny bananas

      1. Collegiate Lunch has a homeburger with bacon and grated cheese, fries, and a drink for $7. Adding an old fashioned shake would keep it under $10.
        An easy trek from the Danforth line.

        Collegiate Lunch
        1024 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M1Z5, CA

        1. the chow factor is still TBD, but a big ol' pulled pork sandwich is only $6 at Lou Dawgs

          1. Excellent fish and chips at Olde Yorke on Laird is about $8 or so (not really near a subway, though).

            1. Eastern Twist at St. Clair and Bathurst has great paratha wraps -- they are delicious and the service has really improved lately. You can definitely eat for under 10 bucks.

              1. - Pho Saigon on Spadina is another good pho option. Heck, you could probably get a beer with your bowl of pho and still come in around $10. Maybe.

                - The Red Room at Spadina and College has a big menu with most meals between $4-6. I've tried a beef sandwich, the pad thai (ketchup free!) and the french toast and all were pretty decent considering the outrageous prices.

                - Patrician Grill diner on King East near Sherbourne. Pretty much everything on the menu will come in around or under $10. The Cheeseburger Deluxe combo is my weakness. Nothing fancy but solid, classic diner food and vibe.

                1. manpuku is on my regular rotation. it's inside village by the grange. very casual cooked Japanese food, like curry rice and udon. the curry rice is $7. and if you're really hungry and/or want to "splurge", you can make it a combo for an extra $2 that will get you a choice of 2 starters like miso soup, salad, or takosen (octopus dumplings). www.manpuku.ca

                  another place i frequent is chinese traditional buns. they're on dundas, just west of spadina. they're a northern chinese place. they have soup filled dumplings, steamed buns, and a lot of other dishes. i like their hand made noodles which they call "ramen". very generous servings. most dishes are in the $5 to $7 range. if you order carefully, you can get a noodle soup plus a little something like their "pulled pork sandwich" for under 10 bucks.

                  1. New York Subway - I think the same ownership as Gandhi - about a block east of Gandhi.
                    Wraps (not subs); good choice of meat or vegetarian options.

                    1. Great post.
                      One of my go-to places at Bloor/Bathurst I get cravings for is Ghazale. I'll have to check out Leila.
                      Square Boy on the Danfoth (Donlands subway) has a good-looking souvlaki dinner.
                      I've been to many of the good places mentioned in this thread but I would not qualify them as sit-down if that is part of your critera.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: neighborguy

                        Leila is just across the street from Ghazale. I've wanted to try that place but the lack of seating has kept me away. I did go to the other (another?) location on College and it was excellent.
                        I ended up taking my dinner at Tandoori Flavour at College/Spadina. Good beef biryani with salad, yogurt sauce and chutney for $8 tax included.

                      2. My usual haunts: College Falafel (College/Ossington), Ka Chi (Bloor/Palmerston), Camros (Yonge/Hayden), Rikishi (Bloor/Shaw)

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: piccola

                          There are many contenders in china town. You can easily get a meal at Kings Noodle for under 10. Vietnamese places have great prices. My favourite menu item is a bahn mi sandwich, but there are many offerings at the hot counter (the place I frequent has a green sign, just north of dundas on the west side of spadina).

                          Burrito's as previously mentioned (halibut from burrito boyz is a good choice).

                        2. I love the Lucille pizza at Amato's Yonge & College location. Its a nice sized slice and with pop, its always less than $10.