When I first started this blog, writing a post on the best cheap eats in Toronto was very high on my list of ideas. Unfortunately when I started to write the post I didn’t think I had tried enough places to put together a really good post. So, over the last year and a bit I have tried to get out and try many places known for having great cheap food in Toronto. As I began to research I started to realize that there are probably 100’s if not 1000’s of places in Toronto that do something really well for a great price. To write a post with them all could take forever to finish as there are constantly new places popping up all the time. So instead of trying to cover everything, I have decided to put together a list of my favourite cheap eats in Toronto along with some other places that come highly recommended by others.

Cheap Eats Toronto for 2013

Cheap Eats Under $5

Nguyen Banh MiNguyen Huong Food – Banh Mi (Vietnamese Sandwiches) – Chinatown – At the corner of Spadina & Dundas you will find several banh mi shops selling some tasty Vietnamese sandwiches for about $2 each. The ingredients are somewhat suspicious, but the sandwiches have some good flavour. Don’t get me wrong, these are nowhere as tasty as the ones from Banh Mi Boys down the street, but at a fraction of the cost if you need a quick fill up there isn’t really a better deal out there!

Randy’s Takeout – Beef Patties – Eglinton Ave. West – This one has been recommended to me by several people but I still haven’t got around to try Randy’s beef patties. They are regarded as the best patty in the city and at just $1.35 each ($13 for a dozen) the price is definitely right!

Drupatis – Doubles – Etobicoke/Brampton/Scarborough – Doubles are one of my favourite snack foods! If you have never heard of them, doubles are a curried chickpea dish that comes in a deep fried breading (bake) and originated in Trinidad. You can get them without spice, slight (a little pepper sauce), or plenty pepper if you like spice! Also try their pholourie which are just $2 for a dozen fried dough balls with a tamarind dipping sauce.

Salad House – Salads – Yorkville – When I used to have an office in Yorkville this was my go-to lunch spot. Located inside the Cumberland Terrace shopping center you can get a salad for under $4 to as much as about $8 (loaded with everything!). They aren’t cheap with your toppings and will load you up leaving you full. My favourite salad was a mixed green with tuna, beets and avocado (around $6).

Negril Jerk Food – Jerk Pork Sandwich – Scarborough – Many years ago I used to work in Markham and this was one of my regular go-to’s. Though a bit of a drive from my work, their jerk pork sandwich (approx $4 back then though price may have changed) was one of the tastiest things around! The pork was always super juicy, topped with coleslaw and served on a delicious coco bread bun.

Kom Jug Yuen – BBQ Pork on Rice – Chinatown – Though I have had much better BBQ pork, at $4 you can’t really go wrong if you are looking for something cheap and tasty. The place looks like a dump, but they’ve been around forever and are a favourite for many for BBQ Pork in Toronto (probably because of the price).

Messini – Gyros – Greektown / Danforth – I’ve still yet to make it here, but have heard many recommendations for this place. Many of their gyro sandwiches are listed for just $4 and I’ve heard the portion is great too!

Mystic Muffin – Apple Cake – Jarvis – I don’t really like dessert much, but if you are looking for a cheap place for lunch near St. Lawrence Market they have lots of options for around $5. Even if you aren’t hungry, drop in and try their Apple Cake! It is so delicious!

Cheap Eats Under $10

Cheap Eats - Belly Busters Turkey BaconBelly Busters Submarines – Turkey Bacon Sub – Uptown / North York – Growing up in the Yonge/Eglinton area, Belly Busters subs was known as one of the best spots for late night munchies. Whenever I am north of Bloor I try to make it up here for their delicious turkey bacon sub. I don’t know if it is the microwaved giant stack of bacon or the outdated look of this place, but they sure do make great submarine sandwiches four around $6!

Porchetta & Co. – Porchetta Sandwich – Dundas West – What I love about Porchetta & Co. is they do one thing really well. Their menu typically consists of a porchetta sandwich or dinner option as well as an occassional special and soup. The sandwich can lack in consistency at times, but even when it doesn’t come out as best as they can do it, you still get a delicious sandwich for about $6!

Black Camel – Beef Brisket Sandwich – Rosedale – Black Camel gets a lot of hype for having great sandwiches but in my opinion they are just good. I’ve been here a few times and I find they lacked consistency on each of my visits but I did like their beef brisket sandwich. Sandwiches start at $7 but can get quite expensive if you add a lot of toppings.

Barton Snacks – Various – Queen West – If you are looking for late night munchies after a night out on the Ossington strip or Queen West, Barton Snacks is probably my favourite for cheap eats! The menu consists mainly of tacos, hot dogs and their jerk pork sandwich along with many other random munchies like a bacon cookie. The flavours are great and the prices of most things are between $4-$7.

Lin Garden – Chili Chicken – Scarborough – There is a constant debate back and forth whether Lin Garden or Frederick’s has the best chili chicken in the city. Since I have still yet to make it to Frederick’s I am going to add Lin Garden to this post. Lin Garden is my favourite Hakka Chinese food restaurants in Toronto. The chili chicken is the star item at this place but they have many other tasty items as well (I love the chicken pakora).  You can order just chili chicken on rice (not on the menu but it seemed to always work) for around $6. You will get a giant portion which should be sufficient for 2 meals though it is heavy on the rice. WARNING: The chili chicken can range in heat from nice heat to HOLY SHIT, so if you aren’t a fan of spicy food this dish isn’t for you.

Mexican Salsas – Tacos – Kensington Market – $5.99 gets you 3 tacos of your choice with options that include mole, spicy chicken, beef and various pork options. They aren’t the best tacos in the city, but for this price you can’t go wrong!

Liberty Shawarma / Quick Pita – Shawarma Sandwich – Various – I used to be partial to Quick Pita until a Liberty Shawarma opened about 6 floors below my condo unit. Now Liberty gets my business moreso for proximity but both of these places make a tasty shawarma sandwich!

Schnitzel Queen – Schnitzel Anything – Queen St. East – If you love schnitzel this place is great for a good sized portion for under $10! You can get either a sandwich or dinner in several different ways. I’m pretty sure they are only open for lunches, so don’t show up too late! The sauerkraut is delicious also.

HoSu – Kam Pong Gi – Multiple Locations – I am not a huge fan of many menu items at HoSu, but their Kam Pong Gi is amazing! $8.95 will get you a small portion though it is occassionally cheaper when available on the lunch menu. I would best describe this dish as a Korean take on sweet and sour chicken, so if you like some sweetness and spice to your food, you’ll probably like this.

Carousel Bakery – Peameal Bacon Sandwich – St. Lawrence Market – The Carousel Bakery is probably one of the most famous cheap eats spots in Toronto and has been featured on many TV shows! The peameal bacon sandwich is delicious and the mustard, horseradish sauces on the side for you to put on are great too! With a drink a sandwich will cost about $7.

King Palace – Biryani – Midtown – It’s hard to find good biryani in Toronto. King Palace does one of the better ones I have had for just $6.99 (with Chicken). If you can get past the cafeteria style and use of microwaves the food has some good taste comparable to some of the better places just out of the city.

Dumpling House – Dumplings – Chinatown – This place is great for a cheap meal on the go. At $6 for a dozen dumplings you will be sure to leave full and you can even watch them make the dumplings in the window!

Artisano – Chicken, Goat Cheese & Grilled Veggies on Cheese Focaccia Sandwich – Multiple Locations – Artisano has been one of my favourite sandwich places in the city for years. I used to drive to their Etobicoke location just to have one, but fortunately they have now opened a restaurant downtown! The sandwiches are mostly under $10 after tax but I personally like to do a half sandwich with caesar salad for $9.89. You will be more than stuffed!

Seor Ak San – Bibimbap – Chinatown – Known for their pork bone soup and bibimbap dishes you can eat well here for around $10 per person.

Buster’s Sea Cove – Salmon Sandwich – St. Lawrence Market – At $8.95 their salmon sandwich is very tasty and a great lunch option if you are near the market.

Pho Tien Thanh – Pho – Ossington – If you are a fan of Vietnamese noodle soups, Pho Tien Thanh is a great option for getting a bowl of delicious soup for cheap! Most bowls will cost just under $10 with a drink.

New York Subway – Indian Style Burrito – Queen St. West – It’s hard to find cheaper places near King West, but New York Subway is one of the long-standing gems where you can get a tasty meal without having to spend over $10. For about $8 you will get a very tasty burrito and a drink. Though it seems like a fast food place, expect to wait about 10 minutes for your food.

San Francesco Foods – Veal Sandwich – Little Italy – This post needed a veal sandwich somewhere and I feel the one at San Francesco is much better than the one at California Sandwiches. The sandwich starts at $6.50 and goes up based on toppings.

Cheap Eats Under $15

Curried Lamb wrap & Curried Apricot & Lentil Soup

Ravi Soups – ANYTHING – Multiple Locations – This is one of my favourite places to grab lunch or dinner for under $15. I’ve tried just about every wrap and soup on the menu, but my favourite combo is the curried lamb wrap with the curried lentil and apricot soup. Everyone who I have taken there has been very happy with their meal so if you like very flavourful dishes, try them out!

Safari Bar & Grill – Chicken Wrap – Uptown / North York – The chicken wrap at Safari used to be one of my favourite things to eat in the city! For $10.99 you get a chicken wrap with cheddar cheese, guacamole and a side of smoked jalapeño mayo plus a choice of salad or fries (I love the salad because the dressing is awesome!).

Pat’s Homestyle Jamaican Restaurant – Jerk Chicken – Queen West – Pat’s is my go-to spot for jerk chicken since I live in the area. A medium jerk with a drink will cost about $12 which is pretty standard. I also love adding one of their Jamaican style soups to my order if I am really hungry. If you don’t live downtown try looking for a Sunrise Caribbean Restaurant (multiple locations) as they also serve up some tasty jerk chicken (stew chicken gravy makes it even better!).

Ghandi Cuisine – Butter Chicken Roti – Queen West – At about $14 after tax, the roti from Ghandi is sure to leave you STUFFED! The butter chicken has a delicious flavour and can easily be split between two people with normal appetites.

Burrito Bandidos / Burrito Boyz – Halibut Burrito – Multiple Locations – Though these two restaurants go under different names, I have yet to discover a difference in the taste (probably because the owners of each were originally partners). My burrito of choice here is the large halibut burrito which comes to just over $10 with tax. The other burritos are great also and if you want a delicious burrito in Toronto, these are the only two places to go!

Fusaros Kitchen – Various – Spadina Ave. / Entertainment District – If you are looking for a cheap Italian meal in the downtown core, this is a good spot to check out. Their sandwiches are delicious, but they also offer many hot dishes like pasta, lasagna, meatballs and more! You can get an entire meal with drink for just over $10 and the portions are great too.

Holy Chuck Burger / Burgers Priest / Five Guys Burgers – Cheeseburger – Various – If you are looking for a tasty burger these are probably the top 3 choices for a cheap burger in Toronto. These are the closest we can get to the perfection that comes out of shake shack in the US. All of them will run you about $15 for a burger with fries and a drink. My order of preference is Holy Chuck, Five Guys then Burgers Priest but Burgers Priest usually is the most popular of them.

Fabarnak – Square Peg – Church Street – Fabarnak runs out of the 519 Community Center and is a social enterprise designed to raise money for the LGBTQ community. The best deal on their menu is the square peg which is kind of like a bento box but this place is not Japanese. You get a good portion of delicious food that would rival many high end restaurants for just $10 (w/ desert)!

Salad King – Thai Food – Downtown (Near Eaton Center) – I had heard about the Salad King for almost 2 years before I finally made it in for a visit and I am glad I did! Here you can get very tasty thai food for a very reasonable price. Most dishes are around $8 so if you add a drink you should be able to have a great meal for around $13 with tax and tip. Portions are quite big also so you can probably get away with sharing a plate with a friend.

Asteria Souvlaki – Souvlaki Dinner – Greektown / Danforth – If you are looking for a tasty souvlaki dinner takeout on the Danforth this is a great option! It is always highly recommended and though I thought it was great, I am not sure if there is much difference than many of the other places. They might be a bit cheaper though than their competitors, so you can walk out the door with a drink for around $12.

I hope you enjoy this list and if you try any of my cheap food recommendations or have a cheap eats suggestion of your own, let me know in the comments below. Thanks!