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Cheap Lunches in the West End?

frenchcustard Mar 26, 2010 01:23 PM

I work with a gentleman with an intellectual disability and part of this work is taking him out for lunch on wednesdays and fridays. He is on quite a tight budget so i'm always looking for inexpensive but not junky places to go, the best we've found so far is Buddha's Vegetarian (where the 2 of us get our fill for about $10 - $12 total). We went there for lunch today and they've put a sign on the door that they will be closed for 2 weeks starting next wednesday. Travelling by TTC is fine but he has slightly restricted mobility so no crazy long walks will work for us. Also, we're starting from the College and Dufferin area. Any help is appreciated.

  1. Davedigger Mar 26, 2010 01:32 PM

    Pho Linh on north side of College just little less than a block west of Dufferin would fit the bill. Awesome Vietnamese soup in your $ range.

    -----
    Pho Linh Restaurant
    1156 College St, Toronto, ON M6H1B6, CA

    1. s
      Sarah Cat Mar 26, 2010 02:23 PM

      I'm a pretty big fan of Burro Burrito on College, I think between Manning and Clinton. It's my go-to burrito spot in the area!

      1. b
        Benniep Mar 26, 2010 03:04 PM

        The portuguese chicken place on Dundas just west of Ossington (i should know what its called considering i live like, next to it) is pretty good...a quarter chicken "dinner" (includes rice and potatoes) is $7 for a lot of food or you could split a half "dinner' which is only $10...

        Also the Banh Mi shop on Dundas just west of Spadina, north side is dirt cheap (sandwich $2.25 a piece) but there is very very little seating in there.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Benniep
          m
          Marumari Apr 9, 2010 06:07 PM

          I'll mention that I had a Viet BBQ pork sub sandwich from this shop today (called French Sub Cafe or something like that). It was absolutely delicious, and it cost only $2.25 AND it was made by a cute old lady who was very sweet. Great little place.

          1. re: Marumari
            y
            Yongeman Apr 10, 2010 05:42 AM

            That's the shop called, 'Ba Le 2', isn't it? I have to give it another try. I remember that the bread was super-fresh.

            1. re: Yongeman
              m
              Marumari Apr 10, 2010 08:08 AM

              Could be! North side of Dundas, a few doors west of Spadina.

              1. re: Marumari
                y
                Yongeman Apr 10, 2010 12:23 PM

                Yeah, that must be it. I think I'll drop by this week sometime.

                1. re: Yongeman
                  y
                  Yongeman Apr 12, 2010 11:41 AM

                  I actually went for lunch today. I had the bbq pork banh mi. It was ok. The bun wasn't super-fresh, as I'd remembered, and the pork was just fine. I think I'll stick to Nguyen Hong and Rose Cafe, depending on my location.

        2. v
          Vinnie Vidimangi Mar 26, 2010 03:16 PM

          Cafe Brasilano! Dundas west of Bathurst. A they serve cafeteria. The food is quite alright and$ 7-8 for a loaded plate.

          1. h
            helenhelen Mar 27, 2010 03:13 PM

            i work in the chinatown/kensington market area so i am queen of cheap lunch options!

            there are a lot of cheap lunch deals in chinatown (at several chinese and vietnamese restaurants on dundas and spadina) - you can get a filling meal for $5-6 - sometimes even less!

            thai country kitchen on spadina, just south of college - lunch deals for about $5

            big fat burrito in kensington market (on augusta) - a small yam burrito costs about $6

            those vietnamese sandwich shops on spadina (just north of dundas) have $1.75 sandwiches, and also cheap noodles, summer rolls, rice and other takeout dishes for under $5

            mexican salsas on augusta has $5 burritos, or 3 soft tacos for $6

            ghazales has cheap combos or middle eastern sandwiches - there is one on college st., between bathurst and ossington. no seating though but you can sit outside when the weather is nicer, or go to the one next to the bloor cinema (on bloor, just east of bathurst) where you can sit on a bench.. or the one on wellesley, just east of yonge which has full seating.

            grab a number of snacks to make up a meal in kensington market (beef patties, trinidadian doubles, chilean empanadas and more) and have a meal in the park on augusta, just north of dundas

            jumbo empanadas in kensington market has big empanadas for under $5

            new york subway on queen west (east of bathurst) has very tasty and cheap "burritos" (think roti meets burrito) and "subs"

            california sandwiches on clinton st. (south of college) has cheap and tasty, hot italian sandwiches. (just north of there is san francesco foods which has cheaper sandwiches but no seating)

            TTC it to st. lawrence market and eat at one of the many little stalls/shops there (especially downstairs)

            mother's dumplings on spadina, just south of college - although i noticed their prices went up slightly since they moved from huron. you can get 12 dumplings for $6-7, or a variety of noodle and other dishes (northern chinese fare).

            chinese traditional buns on dundas, just west of spadina - lots of cheap and tasty northern chinese food

            some of the chinese food trucks on st. george, between harbord and college, are not bad (depending on what you order) and full of cheap options. the one outside of sidney smith hall is the one i like best. grab a styrofoam container of food and sit on the steps on a nice day.

            koreatown has some cheap options (along bloor st., between christie and bathurst)

            ginger on bloor in the annex has meals for $5.75

            sushi on bloor on bloor st. in the annex has cheap lunch options

            south indian dosa mahal on bloor near lansdowne has a $6.99 combo

            4 Replies
            1. re: helenhelen
              food face Mar 27, 2010 08:02 PM

              helen. nice review. How are the Thai Country Kitchen's lunch specials for $5?

              1. re: food face
                h
                helenhelen Apr 4, 2010 12:07 AM

                for $5, i really cannot complain much. it's not super amazing tasty but it's good enough for $5, and the portion is just right for lunch (i.e. you won't walk away feeling like you might explode and need a nap). they also give you these fried crispy things dipped in honey for dessert.

              2. re: helenhelen
                s
                Sarah Cat Mar 28, 2010 02:11 PM

                El Asador tacos on Bloor just east of Christie is dirt cheap, delicious, and has loads of character! I love that place. The crispy chorizo tacos are to die for.

                -----
                El Asador
                375 Princess St, Kingston, ON K7L1B9, CA

                1. re: Sarah Cat
                  h
                  helenhelen Apr 4, 2010 12:09 AM

                  i love this place too. i find it ends up costing a lot more though because the portions are small so i always need to spend closer to $10 to fill up. the burritos are good (for under $5) but again, you'd probably need to order more food if you are very hungry.

              3. frenchcustard Mar 28, 2010 06:37 PM

                thank you for all the suggestions, i now have a wealth of options to present and i'm sure we can find a suitable lunch

                4 Replies
                1. re: frenchcustard
                  h
                  helenhelen Apr 9, 2010 08:12 PM

                  where did you end up going?

                  1. re: helenhelen
                    frenchcustard Apr 10, 2010 09:01 AM

                    i haven't actually been able to hit any of the places suggested, this guy likes the familiar so we've been going to a cafeteria style vietnamese place just north of dundas on the west side of spadina, not sure what it's called. i'm trying to convince him to try some new stuff but that may not end up happening, at least not for a while. it can be a challenge to introduce new food into his routine.

                    1. re: frenchcustard
                      y
                      Yongeman Apr 10, 2010 12:25 PM

                      Why don't you get take-out from one of the places you'd like him to try, and let him sample it on his own turf first? Just a thought.

                      1. re: Yongeman
                        frenchcustard Apr 10, 2010 01:48 PM

                        the thing is he can't wait to leave his place, every extra minute we're there adds to the "tension". when the weather warms up i'm going to try take out in a park somewhere using the suggestions from everybody.

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