The Best New Cheap Eats in Toronto, 2009
The best new cheap eats in Toronto can just about be summed up in one word: sandwiches. Gourmet burger places continue to open all over town, but they're up against some stiff competitors who really know their way around a panini press. That being said, there are a few outliers on the list this year, proving that Torontonians crave a good poutine or bowl of ramen just as much as they love tasty stuff on bread.
There's a notable western hemisphere slant on this year's top spots. Will 2010 see the continuing domination of the sandwich? Will this be the year the gourmet hot dog rises up and takes the crown? Only time will tell. For now, here are the top 15 new restaurants for cheap eats in 2009.
Poutini’s does one thing (uh, poutine), and they do it very well. No tricks, gimmicks, or trendy ingredients here, just homemade gravy, squeaky curds, and fried spuds. They also offer a vegetarian gravy, and baked potatoes for those who enjoy their arteries at least partially unclogged.
One Love Vegetarian has earned itself a devoted following thanks to its creative vegetarian menu and low prices. Caribbean influence rules in dishes like spiced pumpkin roti and their famous corn soup, though the small space means you may have to fight (lovingly, of course) for a table.
Barbeque-loving Torontonians living near St. Clair and Christie had reason to be excited this year with the opening of Stockyards Smokehouse and Larder. Burgers, fried chicken and ribs have drawn rave reviews, but try to go early. Long, slow marinades mean the supply of popular dishes sometimes can’t keep up with demand.
The only thing more inviting than the atmosphere at Arepa Cafe is the delicious Venezuelan food. From arepas (grilled corn flatbreads with assorted fillings) to alfajores (classic South American cookie sandwiches filled with dulce de leche), Chef Carlos Fuenmayor offers some variety and tastiness to Queen St. West.
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