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Toronto - Couple Cheap Recs?

Coming into Tdot for 4-5 days this weekend and I am looking for a couple cheap but good eats. I am also going to Montreal afterwards for a few days (and used to live there) so am looking to try foods that I can't have in Montreal/that Toronto do better.

Places that I used to eat at in Montreal (to name a few) are: Kazu, Romados, Qing Hua Dumplings, Bottega, Bombay Mahal, Rumi.

Places that I want to try while I'm in Toronto:
- Sansotei
- Bahn Mi Boys
- Enoteca Sociale
- Banjara Indian Cuisine

Is there a good place for dumplings/XLB's? Same question for Korean BBQ? Middle eastern?

I also am debating where to go for Mexican? Last time I was in Toronto, I went to El Trompo and really liked it. Looking for something similar.

Staying in the Liberty Village area but will have access to metro/bixi so I am more than willing to travel for good food.

Thanks!

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  1. Mother's Dumplings in Chinatown

    http://www.mothersdumplings.com/

    Seven Lives in Kensington for what they describe on their website as "SoCal and Tijuana style seafood and Tacos"

    +1 for Bahn Mi Boys!

    5 Replies
    1. re: midtowngirl

      The pork and dill at Mother's dumplings are great.

      For Mexican you might like Tenoch on St. Clair west (take St. Clair streetcar to Oakwood Avenue). Pozole (Fridays only) is excellent. Wide variety of pretty authentic Mex offerings with Mex City regional focus.

      1. re: midtowngirl

        Absolutely make a point of having at least one meal at seven lives

        1. re: disgusti

          Thanks you three, I will hopefully have enough time to check out both!

          Disgusti and midtowngirl, what do you recommend trying at Seven Lives?

          1. re: jonny8

            The octopus taco is retardedly good and anyone who visits Toronto without trying it is making a big mistake. Worth inquiring about the catch of the day (rotating seafood taco) and the ceviche has never disappointed. The agua frescas are likewise delicious. In case you can't tell I love it there

            1. re: jonny8

              First timers at Seven Lives also have to try the Gobernador taco.

        2. Since you're checking out Sansotei, sounds like you're interested in ramen. If you can fit another bowl of ramen into your schedule, Santouka is highly recommended (if you haven't already tried it here or elsewhere).

          9 Replies
          1. re: lsk

            I haven't had Santouka but I'll definitely check them out! Ramen is one of my favourite foods.

            I also recommend Kintaro Ramen on Baldwin, who has (IMO) better ramen than Momofuko Noodle Bar.

            1. re: serpah

              Thanks lsk for the rec, I have had Santouka (which is awesome) in Vancouver hence why I am going to Sansotei. Just want to try their take on ramen.

              1. re: serpah

                Kinton Ramen on Baldwin.

                1. re: MissBingBing

                  Kinton is guu, so he can probably get that in Van too. I think santouka is a good option or a-ok for non Vancouver ramen. :)

                  1. re: LexiFirefly

                    my understanding is kinton is not guu. the licensee of guu toronto also operates kinton and jabistro. but they are not guu.

                    - khao san road

                    1. re: KhaoSanRoad

                      My bad. All the articles I saw said guu so I assumed. :)

                      1. re: LexiFirefly

                        my info in not official either. but i also checked the websites and they do not link to each other as well.

                        - khao san road

                        1. re: KhaoSanRoad

                          Yeah, your version of it is how I understand it too

                  2. re: MissBingBing

                    Kinton is fun. Their recently reimagined chicken ramen is kinda badass

              2. Grand Electric for tacos! Cheap and cheerful and by cheerful I mean loud!

                7 Replies
                1. re: JennaBean

                  Thanks JennaBean. My cous recommended that one, just not sure how busy they are to get into?

                  1. re: jonny8

                    If you don't want to wait at all lunch is usually a good time to go or right when they open for dinner. If you're flexible go whenever, get your name on the list and go across to the Rhino for a pint while you wait.

                    1. re: JennaBean

                      Grand electric has been consistently disappointing in past months, not worth the wait, if you want tacos go to seven lives and if you want the GE atmosphere go to electric mud.

                      1. re: disgusti

                        I've only eaten outside, is Mud really like GE inside?

                        1. re: disgusti

                          I disagree but to each his own. I personally dislike the lack of seating at seven lives.

                          1. re: JennaBean

                            I like GE a lot! But for me, never has a taco been as awesome as those often had at 7 lives. But yea, don't go to 7 if you want to sit down in a restaurant....it doesn't exist.

                            1. re: justsayn

                              I like seven lives but I also like a chair, table and bourbon with my taco. :-)

                  2. Middle Eastern - if you have a car, Al Tanoor in Scarborough is some of the best food of its kind I've had. (And I used to live in the Middle East.)

                    Indian - Moti Mahal (Gerrard, between Greenwood and Coxwell) won't win any prizes for ambience or decor, but the food is fast, cheap, and deliciously, explosively flavourful. A favourite.

                    Thai - Khao San Road is good, accessible, and not particularly expensive (mains c. $14). Sukhothai is also felt to be amazing - I've never been, so I can't say anything about it.

                    Sandwiches - Porchetta and Co. Everything you're looking for - tasty, not something I remember having in Montréal (although I left five or six years ago), cheap, fast, distinctive.

                    Regional American - Stockyards Larder and Diner. (Christie and St. Clair) Been many times, and have never had a bad meal there.

                    AVOID - anything "Montréal". Many of these exist here, but they seemingly exist only to separate people from their money. None of the Montréal/Québec specialties are worth eating here, IMO. (Which is okay, since many other things are better here.)

                    (Edit - I do occasionally weaken and have a poutine at Poutini's, though. The curds aren't as good, but the gravy is better (IMO) than many in Québec. The fries are also generally good.)