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Aug 19, 2010 09:35 PM

cheap eats for LA Chowhounds?

we will be in toronto for two nights.

any amazing "cheap eats," any ethnic food is great with us.

we will be staying downtown so easy-accessibility to public transit would be a bonus.

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  1. Kenzo Ramen (Japanese noodles)

    Swatow (regional Chinese)

    Trimurti (north Indian buffet/lunch only)

    Sukhothai (Thai in a dodgy neighbourhood after dark)

    New Bilan (Somali in an even dodgier neighbourhood)

    Hanoi 3 Seasons (north Vietnamese)

    Hanoi 3 Seasons
    588 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M1Y3, CA

    Kenzo Ramen
    6180 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M2M, CA

    309 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2E6, CA

    274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

    New Bilan Restaurant
    183 Dundas St E, Toronto, ON M5A1Z4, CA

    5 Replies
    1. re: Herb

      Note that Toronto's definition of "dodgy" is fairly different from LA's definition of "dodgy". :)

      Also recommend an afternoon of wandering through Chinatown and Kensington Market (two very different neighbourhoods right next to each other) and grazing your way through the cheap and cheerful options there. Kim Moon bakery for Chinese baked goods and cheap dim sum, some of the Vietnamese places for bahn mi or pho, Perola's or Emporio Latino for pupusas, etc.

      247 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T, CA

      1. re: TorontoJo

        Emphasis: There is NO comparison betweeen LA and Toronto's definition of "dodgy".

        1. re: T Long

          Messini on the Danforth, great Authentic Gyros, delicious!

          Follow that up with some Athens Pastries just down the street, get some Tiropita and some Loukamades!

          Bankok Paradise for Thai food on Queen St West

          Grab a sausage from a street vendor, they are very good, cheap, and they are all over the place!

          445 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P1, CA

          Athens Pastries
          509 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K, CA

          1. re: jmarcroyal

            And I'll add Jumbo Empanada in Kensington market for baked empanadas and Hodo Kwaja in Koreatown (Bloor & Christie) for walnut cakes.

            Jumbo Empanadas
            245 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L8, CA

            Hodo Kwaja
            656 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G, CA

          2. re: T Long

            He ain't dodgy, he's my neighbourhood.

      2. I would second Sukhothai, which is both cheap and in the top three Thai places in Toronto. This area is not dodgy by the standards of any large American city. Not at all. I go there by myself in the middle of the night.

        For Indian, another great but cheap place is Biryani House on Hayden Street (a few steps from Yonge and Bloor - but be careful, there is another Biryani House on Wellesley Street which is not as good, IMHO).

        For Ethiopian, there is Ethiopia House on Irwin Street (just off Yonge between Bloor and Wellesley). Dinner for two (without alcohol) would be about $25. There is a great lunch special - two people could get out for $18 or so total.

        -Definitely do some searches on this board for Chinese food. You may have to search more specifically (dim sum, Peking duck, etc) as there are lots of discussions.

        -A back bacon sandwich from the St. Lawrence Market is a great, cheap, Canadian signature dish. For another Canadian dish, do a search on this board for poutine, which is also cheap.

        Enjoy Toronto!

        St. Lawrence Market
        92 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E, CA

        Biryani House
        25 Wellesley St E, Toronto, ON M4Y2S9, CA

        274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

        2 Replies
        1. re: markdsgraham

          Oh, and since you have good timing, go to the CNE(Canadian National Exhibition, or The Ex). It runs the last 2 weeks in August, today being opening day. There are rides and games, but the best thing is to go to the food building and check out all the options. Try Beaver Tails!

          1. re: markdsgraham

            What do you like the most at the Biryani House on Hayden, markdsgraham?

            Third Sukhothai.

            If you like south Indian food, Udupi Palace (on Gerrard in TO's little India) or Saravanaa Bhavan (in the burbs, so you'd need a car) are economical places to get great dosas.

            Churrasco chicken followed by pasteis de natas (custard tarts) from a nearby Portuguese bakery is another economical meal that TO does well. There's a little Portugal on Dundas West that you could wander through (Brasilia Bakery is on Dundas w of Dufferin- not sure which churrasquerria would be closest or best), but there are also churrasqueirrias and bakeries on College St, St. Clair, Oakwood and other parts of the city).

            2 other cheap meals that I like in TO are roti and shawarma. You could check Ali's for roti in West Queen W (Parkdale). Not sure of the best shawarma downtown right now. Milo's (Dundas & Yonge, in the food court on the 3rd floor of the building on the NE corner) has great reviews for their shawarma, but they are closed on Sundays, and not open late, so I haven't tried it yet.

            Gandhi's roti, located on Queen near Bathurst (filled with East Indian curry instead of WI curry) is a roti that is unique to Toronto.

            Biryani House
            25 Wellesley St E, Toronto, ON M4Y2S9, CA

            Udupi Palace
            1460 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4L2A3, CA

            Saravanaa Bhavan
            1571 Sandhurst Cir, Toronto, ON M1V1V2, CA

            274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

          2. pho: Golden Turtle on Ossington
            poutine (classic quebecois fries and gravy): poutini's on queen west.
            drinking: the Rhino (queen and Brock?) has a good selection of local brews
            St Laurence market for bacon sammies, as previously noted!

            1. Salsas on Augusta Avenue is my new favourite cheap place.

              Dim sum at Kim Moon Bakery on Dundas, East of Spadina. Very very cheap and cozy.

              Kim Moon Bakery
              438 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T, CA