$10-$15 dinner around Yonge and Bloor
I've been working around this area lately and have been really hard pressed to find some decent/simple meals in this area in the $10-$15 price range (not the fast food chains). Things start getting expensive walking towards Yorkville. I'll list some places I've tried below but I'm really trying here. I'm still unfamiliar with the area so any recommendations would help tremendously. Thanks!
Hue's Kitchen: Hodge podge of tasteless stuff.
Bonga Buldak: their chicken special tastes more sweet than spicy. And the chicken also tastes off... maybe that's why they overcooked it.
Zyng: Ouch! Super overpriced noodles!
Oja: Substandard Korean food but tolerable.
Spring rolls: Personally I'm not a fan of this chain's food.
Ginger: Not too bad, but give me a normal Pho place any day. And other issues make me want to avoid eating here too much.
Na Siam: tried one of their "signature dishes" and it was a watery mess. And let's not get started on the capsicums thing.
Crepes a Go Go: Okay, this I like but they're usually closed by the time I'm off.
Lee Chen asian diner: Bland tasting version of Asian Legend.
Star Anise: They just need to make something tasty and stop trying to make it fancy and "pan asian" (an excuse to bump up the price I'm sure).
I'm generally in agreement that it's not a stellar food 'hood. But here a few more options to consider...Black Camel (less than a 10 minute walk north), Pho Hung (decent, not great, Vietnamese), Ichi Riki (not sure of the pricing for Soba Tuesdays), Great Big Smoke for burgers. There's also Pusateri's and Whole Foods. Haven't been there in a couple of years but I've also enjoyed the food at Camros in the past.
You could try out Wow Sushi on Charles West but it may be slightly over your budget. I have also heard nothing but good things about Fabarnak by Church and Wellesley but have never been personally. The Salad House at Cumberland Terrace at Bay and Bloor is known to have excellent salads, great value for money, but it could be only open for lunches.
Big Smoke Burgers is excellent for burgers, I would say one of the best places in the city to get burgers.
Biriyani House on Hayden St. has a great Thali dish (meat or veg) for around $6.75. Get there early though if you're eating in.
Wow, that's a good list. Thanks, I'll check them out!
Some others I've tried recently:
Ginza: A la carte AYCE sushi. Yuck.
Okonomi House: Pretty pedestrian okonomiyaki (not the cooked at your table type). Not enough variety of ingredients in the mix but I think they were shooting for a low price point.
Just thought of a few more:
1) Crown and Dragon: Yonge by Davenport. Wings here are good and more importantly, cheap! Excellent wing deals 3 days a week for half price wings. Check out the website for more details
2) Bishop and Belcher: pub on Hayden and Church. Decent pub food with a small south facing patio and daily specials. Wednesday's is 3 lbs of wings for $9.95! Possibly the best wing deal in the city! The wings themselves are big but a bit dry, be sure to ask them to make them extra saucy.
3) Yummy BBQ on Yonge at Wellesley. Good for Korean BBQ and also offer soups and stews but I haven't tried those yet.
Tried it when I had a dining companion the other day. They were offering the "2 for 1" app+main prix fixe that night (regularly $32 so it works out to $16 pp). Good quantity of food and the taste was ok. Lower on salt content (which I prefer) compared to majority of other Italian places. But I probably won't return for regular priced menu items.
I would highly recommend fabarnak by wellesley and church. Depending on what you order, dinner can probably be around $15 before tax. The food is delicious and you can support a social enterprise too. I also like sushi inn in the yorkville area (although I haven't been there for awhile) and okonomi house on charles.
I don't think I've seen New Yorker Deli mentioned. When I'm in this area its generally where I go for dependable food on the cheap. Basic deli fare...
1140 Bay St
There are probably a few threads on this subject... here's one. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/853697
As an addendum, what about...
• that Mexican place on Yonge, across from the library, just north of Bloor. Never tried it, but how bad can Mexican be??
• that shwarma place on Cumberland just west of Yonge
• I'd also explore the CIBC/Cumberland Terrace area ground level and underground mall strip area... sometimes you can find little Mom and Pop gems...
• hey... we all forgot about that BBQ Express hut place that looks like a mini (can fit maybe three people in the ordering area) trailer with the wheels covered beside Harry Rosen on Bellair, just south of Cumberland... they do a decent Greek salad and souvlaki, and serve generous portions of the standard deep fried fare... definitely in the budget...
• Colonade on Bloor used to have a good little deli kind of place on the second floor
• King Palace fer sure, but not sure if it's truly within your zone...The place is spotless... the only thing I don't like (and I hate to complain about this place because I love it) is that they nuke their food in styrofoam....
• Dinah's Cupboard in Cumberland Terrace.... used to be a foodie institution in the 80's... like TO's own Silver Palate.... oh how times have changed...
• the only problem with the Pilot is that the poutine there is soooo good you'll gain a ton of weight frequenting it... although I must say that the last time I had it the cheese was shredded vs. curds... I was kinda disappointed.
• what about that Rawlicious (raw food bar) on Cumberland.. been meaning to go since Kates said the pad thai (or something like that) was incredible, but when I did, the hippy waitresses were talking tofu or something and were taking so long to get to us that we left and went to the Park Hyatt for vino and bar snacks....
• a cafe place on the north side of Scollard just west of Yonge.. on the ground level of a condo. No idea what it's like but just throwing it out
• speaking of the Park Hyatt.. if you want a liquid lunch, you can drink slowly and eat the FREE bar snacks there that are high in protein....
• last one for now... There's a little place (has changed hands many times) on Yorkville, just west of Yonge on the south side, before the Rogers store... I think it's vegetarian right now. Always been a good energy/food spot - no matter what its persuasion. hmmm, maybe closed at night...
Keep us informed!