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Very cheap eats in Toronto

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.

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  1. 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

      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

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

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

        2 Replies
        1. re: atomeyes

          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

            Haha thanks! I really appreciate it

        2. 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

            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. 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

              Don't forget Folia Grill 1032 Pape.

              1. re: GoodGravy

                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: GoodGravy

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

                  2. 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. 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

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

                      2. 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. 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

                            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.