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Food Around UofT

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I'm rounding out my fourth year at UofT and one of my biggest problems has always been a lack of places to eat. I got sick of the usual fast food places in high school (McDonald's, subway, pizza pizza, harvey's etc) so it has always been a chore to find decent food around campus.

I'd just like to post a few items about some of the places that I have discovered in my four years at UT.

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  1. I think there might have been a previous thread about this down there somewhere, but I just wanted to post some opinions of my own.

    Red Chinese Food Truck (Wokking on Wheels)
    This is the truck outside of Robart's library, and in my opinion, the food quality has declined in the past year or two. I believe they switched owners about 2 years ago. Recently, the menu features many many things with the same generic sauce on top. I've tried the new items about 4 times and I have been disappointed each time. My friend swears by the beef and egg on rice, however.

    White Truck ("Mandarin Catering")
    This truck is parked outside of the Ramsey Wright building, just south Harbord and St. George. This truck has a much better selection of items in it's menu. Pretty much everything here is decent. The "daily specials," haven't changed in the four years I have been here. They are all pretty good value however, at under $4. The curry fish balls are good value at $1 and yummy.

    Ken Ho's Truck
    This truck is parked outside the UofT Bookstore, on St. George across from the main engineering building. It hasn't been there for the past 2 weeks or so, but maybe he's on vacation. The meal combos here are really good. About $4.00 or so, they contain an assortment of meat (chicken, beef, bbq pork etc) on rice. The funniest item is the vegetarian chicken balls. Basically it's just the coating. Ken is the only guy who is in the truck usually, so he is usually very busy making 5 orders at once.

    Various coffee trucks on St. George

    These guys have smokes, and candy as their main products, but they also have small containers of fried rice, noodles, and other Chinese food avaliable for around $3. Not spectacular, but good for a light lunch.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sekibun

      Thanks for the report, sekibun. I'm sad to hear about the ownership change for Wokking on Wheels. They seemed to be doing great business while I was at U of T, so maybe they retired? (They sure worked long hours...) I would've starved if it weren't for that red truck.

    2. Not sure how many students know about these places:

      Flip, toss and Thai
      141 Harbord, at Brunswick
      This place has been written up elsewhere, so I don't want to take up too much space about it. Ex-salad king chef makes decent thai here, but it might be a bit pricy for students.

      Harbord Fish and Chips
      right next door to the above. Again, this place is a bit pricy, $6 or so for fish and chips, but I like hte batter here and the fries are freshly cut and yummy. They use newspaper to wrap fish, and it's nice and greasy.

      River Tai Chinese
      This is just west of Spadina on Harbord.
      I was not impressed with their Curry Chicken. I went in because it was 3.99, but it was the worst curry I've ever had. Bright Yellow tasteless sauce and untasty chicken meat. But then again, I usually go to Chinatown where it's cheaper and better.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sekibun

        haha...River Tai..like some sibling that was kicked out of the house by his family.

        still...provided me with fuel the 1 year I lived near there while going to UofT.

      2. Hey - you've got to mention Cora's pizza. A slice of garlic pizza and orangeade is the perfect cheap/student summer meal!

        2 Replies
        1. re: sharkleberry

          Garlic pizza....my favorite...but not so good when trying to attract the ladies....ewwww

          1. re: Goober

            I just shorted out my keyboard drooling about the garlic pizza at Cora's. I went through a learning phase when I first moved in on the pizza front, ordering faithfully from a number of places. Cora became "it" the first time I sunk into a garlic pizza. Heavenly. And I never really found the garlic to be overpowering (though I never had an out-of-body experience, so who really knows?).

        2. Eating Garden at 41 Baldwin Street is one of those places that I'm kind of embarrassed that I like to visit. It's pretty inexpensive Chinese-Canadian food, but their Singapore Noodles and the Pea Shoots dish are soooo good. At lunch it is full of UofT students & profs.

          1. I still like to eat at Hart House. It serves good food at reasonble prices at one of the most beautiful historic buildings in the city.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Serene

              Yes...excellent creme brulee! Reasonable prices for the food their serving.

            2. I spent two years on the south side of campus, and ate out almost every day. I'm procrastinating, so, a list:

              - Wokking on Wheels at Robarts - Singapore rice noodles, extra hot sauce, great on cold days. Walk up the St George wind tunnel then duck into the library. Yum. I'm sorry to hear about food quality going south.

              - A grill-type place that used to pull up in the same place had a pretty decent grilled chicken sandwich. When you weren't in the mood for Chinese, it was a saving grace. I was once there on a November day, crisp but not really cold, laughing quietly at the poor sap from Alabama who was dying of frostbite.

              - O'Grady's is an OK pub - not great, just OK - on College and King's College Rd. Their Tennessee Chicken on foccacia bread was worth it for the lime jalapeno mayo. My friend's was almost completely raw once though, which kind of turned us off the place.

              - Baldwin - I never went wrong there. The Italian place (that used to be a Jewish baakery - Hebrew still on the windows) did great sandwiches. And who can forget the BBQ pork buns at the Chinese bakery across the street? There was one Chinese place, don't remember the name, on the south side of the street on the west end of the restaurant strip. My friend and I went there for ridiculously cheap lunch specials which always included some manner of westernized dayglo sauce. Margarita's was decent Mexican,too.

              - Hot dogs - the guy on the south side of College at University was the best, with a $3 hot dog and drink deal. And of the three carts that set up outside Sid Smith, the one in the middle - they have the warm grilled onions, even in the dead of winter - always gave you a sausage and a little bit extra.

              - Best for last - hands down - Sai Gon Palace on Spadina, just south of College. Order ready in three minutes or less, excellent, fresh, and cheap. My friend and I lived on those noodle dishes. Incredible.

              Now that I spend my time at Northwestern, I fervently miss the food scene around U of T. This place, pardon my french, *blows* when it comes to quick and cheap lunch specials.

              1. if you have a lot of classes on the north end of campus, you might want to check out Ned's Cafe. They have yummy soup for those winter days and good sandwiches and salads. Their pastas can be good some days, just stay away from their moussaka. and yes, u can never go wrong with a vendor hotdog

                1. Ah, "Cora's Pizza" ... *sigh*

                  It was almost ritualistic to grab a garlic slice before every calculus exam (well, until I dropped the course).
                  I still went there, however, don't get me wrong. Actually, it was the only place I could, after an unfortuante incident at the neighbouring "Papa Ceo's Pizza" (Is that still there?)

                  First, it's too bad about "Wokking on Wheels", I too bought many a styro-carton full of food from them.

                  A couple of places I'll add, from my time, include:

                  • Rower's Pub (Actually that was only in my first year, they changed management and the wings were NEVER the same!)

                  • Harbord Bakery (I fell in love with there large twisted bagels!)

                  • Cafe 338 (i think that's waht it was called? It was a tiny vietmenese? deli with a dark green sign, located behind Robarts library... now that i think of it, 338 may have been the address not the name of the place.)

                  • Greg's Ice Cream (It's not St. George, but it's still counts as in the U of T area -- just walk over to Varsity Arena and look north. Ah! There was nearly nothing better to soothe your emotions than a double scoop of Greg's Fugee-O ice cream right after bombed a Calculus test!)

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: juniorcruz

                    Cafe 338 closed a long time ago as the building was torn down to make room for a student centre. I remember going there for cheapeats and good talks with friends. Don't know if the owners ever got back into the biz again.

                    Greg's is now located at Spadina and Bloor where the JCC is. And I don't get there as much because of this. I used to make Greg's a destination after a movie at the Cumberland.

                    Of course, the Cumberland might be toast soon too since the building has been sold to developers.

                    1. re: Zengarden

                      Thanks for the Greg's update!
                      If I visit the ROM this summer with the kids, I can still meander westward a bit for a double scoop o'heaven.