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The Best Cheap Eats in Scarborough

Posted by Liora Ipsum / October 16, 2013

cheap eats scarboroughThe best cheap eats in Scarborough can generally be bought in generous helpings for under $10, and come in an exciting variety of cuisines, including but not limited to Caribbean, South Asian, Latin, American, and Greek. Hidden behind a few rows of parking, many of these storefront eateries and takeaway shops have thrived in unassuming strip malls for decades - a testament not just to great value, but also to serious deliciousness.

Here are the best cheap eats in Scarborough.

See also:

The Best New Cheap Eats in Toronto 2012
The Best New Cheap Eats in Toronto 2011
The Best New Cheap Eats in Toronto 2010
The top 5 bakeries in Scarborough

Roti Hut

Roti Hut

This 30 plus year old Caribbean eatery just off McCowan south of Sheppard is well loved for roti, curries and doubles. The menu features hearty stews and curries offered in generously packed roti or with rice for typically $10 or less. More »

Shawarma Empire

Shawarma Empire

Located at Lawrence at Pharmacy Road, this is a fresh source for Middle Eastern specialties and street foods. The takeaway spot offers combos for $7 as well as two-for-one Shawarma or Falafel specials that come dressed with veggies, pickles and garlic sauce. More »

Johnny's Hamburger

Johnny's Hamburger

This old school charbroiled hamburger pit at Victoria Park and Sheppard is easily recognized by its glaring pink and orange exterior. The menu is locally renowned for deliciously cheap cheeseburgers ($3.50), fries ($2), and shakes ($2.65). More »

Big Moe's Burgers

Big Moe's Burgers

Just south of Pacific Mall, this Kennedy and Steeles joint does griddle cooked burgers, fries and funnel cakes. The most expensive thing on the menu is the signature Juicy Lucy, a cheese stuffed hamburger oozing with melted cheddar cheese that comes in at less than $7. More »

Hopper Hut

Hopper Hut

This Ellesmere and Kennedy curry house serves up Indian dosai and South Asian hoppers, curries, roti and lampries (banana leaf wrapped bundles of rice and curry). Order family style dishes or hearty generous combos for typically $10 or less. More »

Mona's Roti

Mona's Roti

This cozy Caribbean take-out counter has been in business since 1983, serving up snack foods and hearty comfort foods. Combos feature a choice of veggies or stewed meats with rice or house-made flat breads and range from $5 to $10. More »

ACR Hot Roti

ACR Hot Roti

It's hard to beat the great value offered at this West Indian takeout spot located on Lawrence at Midland. Here, Trinidadian specialties like doubles sell for $1.25, roti starts at $2, and lampries and parathas for a mere $3. More »

El Pulgarcito

El Pulgarcito

Now at Sheppard and Birchmount, this vibrant restaurant does cheap Latin favourites including Mexican and Salvadoran specialties. The menu lists tamales, burritos and quesadillas, but the real draw is the the steaming hot pupusas sold for $2.25 each. More »

Babu Catering

Babu Catering

This take out destination for Sri Lankan, Tamil and Indian eats has been well loved for over 20 years for its menu featuring 3/$1 samosa specials and $5 lunches, complete with a choice of curried meat and vegetable selections over a base of rice. More »

Allan's Pastry Shop

Allan's Pastry Shop

Situated on Kennedy Road, this bakery offers an array of breads and cakes but is best known by locals for freshly baked patties that come in a choice of curried chicken, beef, goat or veggie fillings, sold individually for $1.09 or by the dozen for $11. For on the go eating, it's hard to beat the $2.67 special that includes a patty, coco bread and bottled Jamaican pop. More »

Hunter's Pizza

Hunter's Pizza

This plaza pizzeria and souvlaki house is a hidden gem, known for offering big portions at great value for dine-in or takeaway. The menu features pastas, pizza and Greek specialties like souvlaki combos with salad and a choice of pita or rice for $8.50. The burgers are half decent, too. More »

The Real McCoy

The Real McCoy

This tiny, wood panelled takeout shop has been in business since 1969 serving up pizzas and charcoal broiled burgers. Basic hamburgers go for $3.80 apiece, but the place is best known for its 8oz. MOJO burger that comes all dressed for $8.80. More »

Discussion

63 Comments

Rick / October 16, 2013 at 12:12 pm
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In Scar... what?
Toni / October 16, 2013 at 12:26 pm
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Allan's Pastry Shop is actually in the Peanut Plaza, on Don Mills.
awesome / October 16, 2013 at 12:29 pm
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cant wait to take the subway to all these great locations.
Vijaya / October 16, 2013 at 12:36 pm
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Dumpling Restaurant at Brimley/Sheppard is pretty epic too. 12 dumplings for $4.99. You really can't go wrong!
Mike / October 16, 2013 at 12:59 pm
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Big Moe's is also at Lawrence and Pharmacy, not south of Pacific Mall (except in a very general sense).

Shawarma Empire? There are 17 shawarma places on that block, and they are all identical. How did you pick that one? Most indiscreet?
Cornish / October 16, 2013 at 01:00 pm
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That burger looks like its going "Awwwwwwww." None of these places require a Scarborough dinner jacket I assume.
Tiffany / October 16, 2013 at 01:00 pm
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Look at all those great mini mall locations! Look at all those places to park!
S / October 16, 2013 at 01:01 pm
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My Father's Place on Warden just north of Ellesmere, $4.99 for a full combo, everyday. Or across the street there's a Sri Lankan joint that also offers 4.99 specials (not lunch specials, legit all day specials)

In Scarborough 5 dollar meals are CLUTCH.
James replying to a comment from Mike / October 16, 2013 at 01:06 pm
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Shawarma Empire rules that block. The other places don't even come close.
Jeff / October 16, 2013 at 01:13 pm
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For a downtown-centric bog, you actually nailed the best cheap eats places in scarborough. Though I would probably add amazing teds diner on old Kingston rd. too
TJ / October 16, 2013 at 01:26 pm
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The hamburger looks raw/rare and kind of gross.
Otherwise, the list is pretty interesting. Most of the places on this list are holes in the wall or in Scarborough's case, holes in a strip mall (old and kinda dirty or gross looking). But hey, these are usually the best places for good cheap eats!
NotMoe replying to a comment from Mike / October 16, 2013 at 01:36 pm
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Mike, there are two Big Moes locations. The original location is at Kennedy/Steeles.
Ed / October 16, 2013 at 01:44 pm
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I would also add Federick Restaurant (Bellamy Ellesmere), Samosa King (Finch and Middlefield), Pho Vietnam (Kennedy and Lawrence).

In terms of shawarma's, I got to give the edge to Nasib's, about 100 meters east of Shawarma Empire.
Westender / October 16, 2013 at 01:45 pm
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So so glad that Mona's made this list! I will travel many kilometres for the food there. Their doubles are unparalleled in all of Toronto.
George / October 16, 2013 at 01:45 pm
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Hunter's bar none the best souvlaki and tzatziki!!!!
horizoncarrie / October 16, 2013 at 02:09 pm
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The Real McCoy is awesome! Lovely owners. Best food in Scarborough for a greasy spoon! Went there weekly during high school!
MrPotato / October 16, 2013 at 02:26 pm
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Scarborough is the ugly retarded cousin in the GTA family!
Easy / October 16, 2013 at 02:34 pm
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It's Scarborough, isn't everything cheap out there?
WRONG / October 16, 2013 at 03:16 pm
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Uhh do your research Allan's is in the Peanut Plaza on Don Mills. Firmly in North York.

Reporter fail.
WRONG replying to a comment from MrPotato / October 16, 2013 at 03:17 pm
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I guess you haven't been able to walk with your tight hipster jeans out of Royal York and actually see Scarborough.

Agincourt, Thompson Park, Bluffers Park = All awesome, all Scarborough.

You = All bullshit.
Hungry Reader replying to a comment from TJ / October 16, 2013 at 03:17 pm
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TJ if you think that is gross I feel sorry for you. Probably think that a burger has to be cooked to well-done by law.

Anthony Bourdain said it best anywhere that tells you can't you have burger cooked medium rare is unamerican. Yes we are talking about Scarbourgh, but eating an American food.
Mikey P replying to a comment from Toni / October 16, 2013 at 03:46 pm
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There's actually an Allans also on Kennedy which is the one they were talking about, between Sheppard and Passmore. Probably the same owners.
Mikey P replying to a comment from WRONG / October 16, 2013 at 03:48 pm
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There's two Allans...One is also in Scarborough ffs
MrPotato replying to a comment from WRONG / October 16, 2013 at 03:49 pm
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Oh my God, you have parks in Scarborough! That must make it awesome, I never see parks in any other part of the GTA!
Kate replying to a comment from Toni / October 16, 2013 at 04:21 pm
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Allan's has more than one location.

Amazing Ted's should be on this list.
DG / October 16, 2013 at 04:39 pm
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Recommend Tangerine Asian Cuisine over Federicks. Food is awesome and cheap lunch specials under $7! :)
Ray / October 16, 2013 at 04:55 pm
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Monas!!!! Love it!
CW / October 16, 2013 at 05:58 pm
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Chinese food must be expensive out there. Not a place on the list.
Jose replying to a comment from Toni / October 16, 2013 at 06:28 pm
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Allan's bakery also has a location on Kennedy (south of Steeles)
CC / October 16, 2013 at 06:56 pm
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The list here is NOT bad food, but are they the hidden gems of Scarborough? Not at all.

If you want cheap Chinese food, go to Dynasty Centre by Midland and Sheppard you will not be disappointed! I am Chinese by the way. It is a Chinese food court inside the plaza. I believe it is called Great Fountain but once you enter you will know exactly which one it is. Food is great!!! Greatest selection of dishes you will find in ANY Chinese take out. And it is CHEAP!!! About 5 dollars maybe $5.50 now for a cold drink, styrofoam take out box stuffed to the max, and soup! CANNOT be beat trust me! I recommend this to all my friends and they love it.

In the food court as well is a BBQ pork place which is not SUPER cheap but has moderately priced BBQ pork rice. Flavor for this place cannot be beat.

BUT if you want CHEAP. Outside in the plaza is a small BBQ pork place that used to be $3.50 for bbq pork rice, soya milk, and soup. Flavor doesn't compare to the one inside the plaza, but if you want cheap...

ALSO in the plaza is an amazing fresh fruit bubble tea place called Food Jungle. No powder here, just fresh fruit slushes! Give it a try, about 3.50 for a small size.


NUMBER 1 on the list, Roti Hut at McCowan and Pitfield is not cheap at all...about 10 dollars for a roti. Flavor is good but not a CHEAP eat. In the same plaza however is a Carribean place. Jerk chicken is out of this world. Not super cheap either, but worth the try!!

LAST ONE..... If you like Indian food, Silverspoon at 4800 Sheppard Ave by McCowan and sheppard is AMAZING! Super cheap (I think about 5 dollars as well for a styrofoam take out box) and you get briyani with your choice of curry. Selection is endless!

I am sure there are places that MAY be better than the ones listed, but if you are by the Agincourt area in Scarborough (High Indian and Chinese population) I HIGHLY recommend giving these places a try. All of these places are cheap and good food, also mostly all take out places for the most part. Although I have never had a bad experience at any of these places, I wouldn't go into these places with high expectations of service. With that said, please visit these places...they are great! Enjoy!!!

Andreas replying to a comment from Mike / October 16, 2013 at 07:29 pm
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Actually, there are 2 big moe's. One is, in fact, just south of the pacific mall on Kennedy (next to active green and ross)
jenny / October 16, 2013 at 08:35 pm
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Vietnam Noodle Star at Finch and Midland is really great, especially their Chicken Laksa and steamed baby bok choi in garlic broth.
seanm replying to a comment from MrPotato / October 16, 2013 at 09:37 pm
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There's nothing like the Bluffs in the rest of Toronto.

Seconding Ed with regards to Nasib's, one of the best shawarmas in all of Toronto. For more good and decently priced food, Pho Saigon at Warden/Eglinton is great too. Most of their bowls are good for two meals, further adding to the value.
Toni / October 16, 2013 at 10:55 pm
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For me Mona's Roti is #1. Love it, they'll make it nice and hot if you ask.
Carl / October 16, 2013 at 10:59 pm
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AGREED. Mona's Curry Chicken Dahpuri Roti is not to be missed. Doesn't get any better.
shandubs / October 16, 2013 at 11:16 pm
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Shamrock Burgers.
abdulaziz_mohammed / October 17, 2013 at 01:01 am
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Why you don't list some cheap Halal places in Scarborough where we can eat great Halal burgers with vegetarian bacon? Just like the vegetarian meat that looks like real meat that the vegetarians eat. I tried real bacon once by accident and it tasted very good.
Scarberia / October 17, 2013 at 02:36 am
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Isn't all food in scarberia cheap? Kudos to the folks who rights novels to these random unimportant posts to some app among hundreds, in a city, a small dot, on the globe. ~ the world is listening ~
Tom / October 17, 2013 at 08:07 am
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Hunter's is awesome!!!! awesome chihcken souvlaki dinner!!!! love the poutine!!! awesome salad and garlic bread. amazing pizza!!
scarb / October 17, 2013 at 08:19 am
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Scarborough gets a bad rap, what with its retarded citizenry and crappy strip malls, but those strip malls are goldmines for great, cheap food from a variety of countries. Lower rents means the owners can pass on the savings to customers, without any of the downtown pretension.

If only i could ride an LRT around Scarborough, I'd be able to spot these joints from the window and go and try them out. ah well.
lisa / October 17, 2013 at 09:39 am
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Roti hut makes good enough curry...the roti is horrible! Mona makes the roti! Mona's curry not too exciting!
lisa / October 17, 2013 at 09:42 am
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Johnny's Hamburger is historic...great food, hell no...when you drink you can't tell what tastes good or bad. Cheap, I guess...not good food.
lisa / October 17, 2013 at 09:46 am
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Hopper Hut...it's ok, but I can't get past the dinginess of the place...seem like a greasy film every where. Turn my stomach. Babu's not up to par anymore. Seems like a lot of places don't like to keep the temperature up under the warming dishes any more. The inspector's need to up the surprise visits!
AA / October 17, 2013 at 11:40 am
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This appears to simply be a list of already-reviewed BlogTO posts.
Jeff / October 17, 2013 at 01:41 pm
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Love Shawarma Empire.

Another good Trinidadian Roti place - Danforth Roti. Vic Park and Danforth (so edge of Scarborough).
Billy replying to a comment from WRONG / October 17, 2013 at 02:10 pm
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there's an Allen's on Kennedy just south of Steeles as well. Don't you look dumb now
Hassan replying to a comment from abdulaziz_mohammed / October 17, 2013 at 09:47 pm
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Big Moes burger is halal
k / October 17, 2013 at 10:12 pm
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For those who think Scarborough is crap seriously needs to get out more often. Toronto core has more ppl pissing and crapping on the sidewalk than anywhere else I've seen in the GTA
CScooterGo replying to a comment from Mike / October 18, 2013 at 09:28 am
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Ibrahim's a couple of blocks east of Empire has the closest to Ottawa quality shawarma. Best in Toronto.
amanda / October 18, 2013 at 10:13 am
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Where is the burger in the picture from?
Vern replying to a comment from CScooterGo / October 18, 2013 at 10:36 am
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Ibrahim is great. Wish they would understand the concept of 2 for 1
CScooterGo replying to a comment from Vern / October 18, 2013 at 10:48 am
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I know what you mean... Their version of "2 for 1" is "2 shawarma for somewhere more than the price of 1 shawarma but not quite as much as you would pay for 2". Still, if you can eat 2 of their shawarma in one sitting, you've got to have a REALLY BIG appetite.
Amanda replying to a comment from WRONG / October 20, 2013 at 12:17 pm
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Actually, you're wrong. There are 2 locations of Allans.
Amanda replying to a comment from Amanda / October 20, 2013 at 12:18 pm
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And that's me replying to WRONG and Toni
Andreyas / October 26, 2013 at 12:37 pm
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I'd doubt any of the bigots on this blog would knock scarborough if they stood front of me!...mr. Potato, funny how those immigrant kids from scarborough become contributing members of society eh? You probably took vegetarian studies...and sound very bitter and not so brave!
Drea / October 28, 2013 at 10:36 pm
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Andreyas don't waste time on Mr. potato. Probably a small child. I grew up downtown, lived at Eglinton and Oakwood and I must say I live Scarborough. My corner store sells all the good ingredients for Roti, stir fry, or anything else my heart desires. Now, M&S on Bellamy is a real treat. Not that cheap, but wow you get two meals at least for $10! And, to people who hate on Scarborough, I have a front and back yard, parking space and fresh air. Go back to your condo and maintenance fees.
DG / October 31, 2013 at 02:59 pm
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If you love Schnitzel, try Vienna Meats on Birchmount. Great hot table. Fresh and cheap!
Thread / November 1, 2013 at 01:46 pm
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I am a lover of Moe's Burgers, yea!
junctionist replying to a comment from awesome / November 2, 2013 at 10:09 pm
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You'll be waiting a while for that subway. It won't even pass within easy walking distance of most of these places.

Also, while Scarborough has a lot of great restaurants and tasty cheap eats, you can find many awful places too. I'd even say that bad restaurants are more common in Scarborough than in downtown--you can find some really bland food that you'll regret getting. I've had some of the worst pizza, shawarma and fish and chips in Scarborough mom and pops. The bad places survive longer in Scarborough with cheaper rents and less competition in each neighbourhood. It's good to have a guide and some recommendations.
joe / November 11, 2013 at 04:52 pm
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Real Mccoys is THE TRUTH!! One of the best late night spots in scarborough hands down
Boro Boss / November 14, 2013 at 11:57 am
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U guys are missing fahmee at brimley jus north of finch. Best jerk chicken or pork sandwhices in the boro
itsokjo replying to a comment from Mike / January 10, 2014 at 06:09 pm
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actually, big moe's has two locations. there is one close to pmall, and there is one on lawrence.
dun know / February 27, 2014 at 04:22 pm
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Mona's >>> Roti Hut

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