looking for cheap but good eats in the downtown area - I am a huge foodie
Not sure what you mean by "cheap" but St. Lawrence market is a good start. You should also try walking around the Chinatown & Kensington market areas, and maybe Danforth east of Broadview for some Greek food. Avoid the Theatre District on King West and also Yonge & Bloor as well, as these areas are anything buy cheap.
I agree. You'll have better luck if you don't restrict yourself to the downtown core. A day pass on the transit system is just $9, and on weekends it's good for 2 adults (plus up to 4 kids if any).
Just for starters, in Chinatown you have Swatow, Chinese Traditional Buns, Kom Jug Yuen, the Banh Mi shops (can't think of their names), and plenty of good places for pho. Around the corner in Kensington Market you've got Perola, Jumbo Empanada, Emporio Latino, Segovia for great chili and Amadeu's for grilled whole sardines. I think all of these places qualify as cheap, and as excellent value for money.