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Very cheap eats in Toronto

Melissamarie329 Jul 8, 2012 07:12 PM

Hello! My friend and I our backpacking our way through Canada. We are on a very cheap budget therefore we need to eat very cheap but good. Any recommendations? This is our very first time in Toronto.

  1. f
    fryerlover Jul 10, 2012 08:16 AM

    Pastizzi for $1 and it's a good sized snack/small meal. Joes' Pastizzi on Dundas, near Kipling. It will come up on google maps.

    Also, most chinese/vietnamese bakeris will have buns with meat inside them for about $1. Curry beef, pork and other flavours.

    Most roti shops also have doubles which are a $1 or so and usually fill you for a bit. It's a fried batter with a chickpea filling inside.

    Kensington Market (Spadina/Dundas) has a lot of little food places and most have appetizers for good prices if you want to try different things. Beef patties, curry, pizza, mexican and much more.

    Sadly, if all else fails and you see nothing around (won't need this in Toronto), McDonalds has a value menu here and some items for $1.39. I'd take this as a last resort when inbetween small towns if you cannot find anything else. This is only for dire emergency situations...lol.

    1 Reply
    1. re: fryerlover
      downtownfoodie Jul 10, 2012 08:26 AM

      all great suggestions so far...should keep you off the value menu at McD's :)

      definitely second all the places mentioned in chinatown and kensington, as well as some of the bloor ones. if you are staying downtown cheaply then it will probably be at the global backpackers on the corner of king and spadina or canadian backpackers between adelaide and richmond on widmer. many of the other suggestions are great as well but some are a hike.

    2. j
      JennaBean Jul 10, 2012 07:58 AM

      I would add the following for consideration:

      A peameal (Canadian bacon) sandwich at St. Lawrence Market.

      For cheap and cheerful I like King Noodles on Spadina for duck and noddles.

      Porcchetta and Co on Dundas does a mean sandwich and sometimes runs specials of softshell crab.

      1. mariecollins Jul 10, 2012 07:46 AM

        Good Trinidadian / Guyanese food in Parkdale at the Roti Lady (269 Dunn Ave) or Ali's (1446 Queen St W). The Ali Baba's on Queen also has good 2-for-1 Falafels on Tuesdays I believe.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mariecollins
          JennaBean Jul 10, 2012 07:58 AM

          If you go to Ali's I like the doubles and the aloo pie.

        2. aser Jul 9, 2012 10:09 AM

          get around downtown on a bixi bike, it's relatively flat.

          my cheap eat favs (under $10) downtown are....

          thien thanh (ossington & queen) - best pho downtown.
          sunrise house (manning & bloor) - best korean banchan (free side dishes) downtown.
          lim ga ne (clinton & bloor) - another korean option.
          pam's roti (ossington & bloor) - curry goat roti
          swatow (spadina & dundas) - wonton mein w/ beef brisket.
          nazareth (dovercourt & bloor) - ethiopian, you will not be able to finish a platter.
          rebozos (kensington market) - thurs-sun they open their offshoot stall on augusta in the kensington foodcourt/hut, great tacos.

          1 Reply
          1. re: aser
            Melissamarie329 Jul 9, 2012 08:54 PM

            Great! Thank you!

          2. GoodGravy Jul 9, 2012 08:49 AM

            Banh mi from any of the banh mi shops along Spadina & Dundas. Last I checked they were $1.75, but that was over a year ago. Chinese bakeries (plenty in Chinatown around Spadina & Dundas) discount stuff as closing time approaches so wait around til an hour before they close, then get 2 buns for $1 or something. T&T out on Cherry St. puts prepared food on sale after 5 pm and it gets progressively cheaper the closer to closing time it gets. Roast pork < $5 can easily feed 2. If you wanna make your own, grocery stores w/ deli counters throw all their cutting scraps into bags and mark them 50% off. Same w/ bread that's about to reach its sell by date.

            5 Replies
            1. re: GoodGravy
              sumdumgoy Jul 9, 2012 09:29 AM

              Don't forget Folia Grill 1032 Pape.

              1. re: GoodGravy
                1sweetpea Jul 9, 2012 09:38 AM

                I'd head to Bloor Street, between Bathurst and Christie Streets for some pork bone soup, bibimbap or soon dubu, served with numerous banchan (side dishes). Other options would be Tien Thanh for pho (57 Ossington Ave.), Dukem (950 Danforth Ave.) for an Ethiopian platter that will fill you up for the entire day, or Folia Grill (1032 Pape Ave.).

                1. re: 1sweetpea
                  JennaBean Jul 9, 2012 09:47 AM

                  All great suggestions.

                2. re: GoodGravy
                  Melissamarie329 Jul 9, 2012 08:54 PM


                  1. re: GoodGravy
                    EverymanJack Jul 10, 2012 04:22 PM

                    They are $2 now. Banh Le on Dundas is $2.60.

                  2. v
                    Vinnie Vidimangi Jul 9, 2012 07:07 AM

                    Backpacking means no car, right?
                    Where will you be staying?
                    Where ar eyou from?
                    What cuisines do you like and NOT like

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                      Melissamarie329 Jul 9, 2012 08:53 PM

                      Yup no car. We are backpacking through Canada. Not exactly sure where we are staying. Some where in the middle of Toronto. I'm from california. I live in an area where I can get some authentic Vietnamese, Chinese, Mexican, Korean, Thai and Japanese food. So I'm extremely picky about those cuisines.

                    2. atomeyes Jul 9, 2012 05:28 AM

                      Chinese buns at Phoenix (2 for $1) and then subs at Rose's Cafe ($2.50 each)

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: atomeyes
                        stv Jul 9, 2012 06:28 AM

                        Come on ppl, This is their very first time in Toronto.

                        A web addy, or street address will help them a long way.

                        IE: Rose's Cafe in Google maps is in Ottawa.

                        1. re: stv
                          Melissamarie329 Jul 9, 2012 08:50 PM

                          Haha thanks! I really appreciate it

                      2. n
                        Nevy Jul 9, 2012 04:19 AM

                        There are a lot of great options but some of the best cheap and tasty eats are in the outskirts of Toronto (GTA) that are not easily accessed by the TTC. Do you have a car?

                        Here are some of my favourite cheap eats
                        Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu
                        Goody's Diner http://www.goodysdiner.com/
                        Khao San Road http://www.khaosanroad.ca/
                        Banh mi Boys http://www.banhmiboys.com/
                        Mother's Dumpling http://www.mothersdumplings.com
                        Tacos el Asador

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Nevy
                          LTL Jul 9, 2012 10:42 AM

                          I love Khao San Road but I wouldn't classify it as cheap. I think their pad thai with shrimp goes for $16 now. Yes, I know they use quality ingredients, but still. I guess cheap is subjective :)

                          1. re: Nevy
                            Melissamarie329 Jul 9, 2012 08:49 PM

                            Sadly I will not have a car. Using public transportation through the whole trip.

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