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Best of Toronto

The Best New Cheap Eats in Toronto, 2010

Posted by Tim / January 4, 2011

Cheap Eats TorontoThe best new cheap eats in Toronto are a representation of the major food trends we've seen hit the city in the past few years. Gourmet burgers. Check. Poutine. Check. Ramen. Check. The sheer growth in numbers of these types of offerings is both an indication of demand as well as a reflection of how few options we had for these types of foods as recently as five years ago. In fact, if savvy restaurateurs have one thing to worry about it's not that there won't be customers but instead whether their name of choice will already be taken.

With any cheap eats list the inevitable question arises what exactly is "cheap". In this case, we consider any place you can get a meal for less than $10. True, there are no $2 banh mis on this list but, still, none of these options are going to break the bank.

Here are the 9 best cheap eats restaurants in Toronto that arrived on the scene in 2010.

See also:

The Best New Cheap Eats in Toronto 2009
The Best New Cheap Eats in Toronto 2008

Burger's Priest

Burger's Priest

The gourmet burger wars may have finally crowned their king with the arrival of this Queen and Coxwell destination that takes inspiration from In-N-Out plus other famous burger joints from around the world. Order from their secret menu or just go for the dependable Double Double or veggie friendly The Option featuring two large Portobello mushrooms filled with cheese, tossed in flour and deep fried. Either burger can be had for $7.99. More »

The One that Got Away

The One that Got Away

FIsh and chips in the city got a major upgrade this year from this self-proclaimed World Famous Fish House. It's well on its way. Fresh haddock, artic char and other fish varieties come breaded and deep fried or, for a healthier option, grilled in a salad or a sandwich. Most of the menu is priced between $8 and $10. More »

Great Burger Kitchen

Great Burger Kitchen

A pioneer on the rapidly gentrifying stretch of pavement east of Gerrard Square, Great Burger Kitchen serves nothing but naturally raised, locally sourced, free range patties. They even serve them on organic buns or - if you prefer - carb free lettuce wraps. A student burger is budget priced at $4.95 and they offer seven! different types of poutine. More »

Niwatei

Niwatei

Markham makes an appearance on this list with one of Toronto's best new ramen houses. While Kenzo woos the downtown set, Niwatei gives one more reason to hit up the J-Town complex at Steeles and the 404. The noodles, broth and condiments are all made in house. Choose from variety of broths including miso ($7.80) or pork bone ($8.80). Don't forget to save room for some mochi for dessert. More »

Fusaro's (Richmond East)

Fusaro's (Richmond East)

Long a favourite of the Fashion District lunch crowd, Fusaro's has seamlessly doubled its success with this slick Richmond East edition. Choose from a long list of panini ($7.50 - $8), all made with some of the freshest ingredients this side of the Mediterranean. There's also a selection of salad, pasta and breakfast options. More »

Porchetta and Co.

Porchetta and Co.

This tiny take-out spot only opened in December but already it has pork fiends venturing east of the Hoof cabal on Dundas West. Vegetarians need not apply. There are only two items on the menu - porchetta ($5.95 for the sandwich or $8.95 for the plate) and a daily soup. Six condiments like truffle sauce are all less than a buck. More »

Folia Grill

Folia Grill

Forget the Danforth. The new destination for authentic chicken and pork souvlaki now resides at Pape and Cosburn. Operated by a husband and wife team, Folia Grill churns out cheap and tasty Greek eats (a chicken gyro plate is $7). Don't leave without ordering some of their thick-cut and lightly battered zucchini fries. More »

Discussion

24 Comments

DOVERCOURT / January 4, 2011 at 10:17 am
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Where the hell is Pape and Cosburn?
alex / January 4, 2011 at 10:25 am
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what are the secret items at burgers priest? can i please get animal fries!! :D
Avenue / January 4, 2011 at 11:22 am
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Markham? I didn't realize this was "blog GTA for people who have a car or want to spend 4 hours in transit"
Ryan L. replying to a comment from Avenue / January 4, 2011 at 11:30 am
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Not everyone lives in your neighbourhood. So you won't be going there, who cares? A lot of people will and will appreciate seeing some places on the list that are closer to where THEY live.
B / January 4, 2011 at 11:45 am
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Personally, I love Java House on Queen West. Two meals with coffee for under $15! My favourite restaurant.
Ryan L. replying to a comment from Avenue / January 4, 2011 at 11:53 am
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And for the record, this: (http://img87.imageshack.us/img87/4521/mapwh.jpg) is where the place is located. Blue is Toronto, Green is York. You could stand in Toronto and throw a ball and hit this restaurant. Hardly knee deep in the suburbs.

I assure you that people living in the blue area are still going to appreciate this information despite it technically being in York.
qwerty replying to a comment from B / January 4, 2011 at 11:58 am
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Java House is not new.
qwerty replying to a comment from Avenue / January 4, 2011 at 12:00 pm
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There actually is a bloggta.com
Green Room Red Room / January 4, 2011 at 12:15 pm
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Pour Boy is new and has a similar menu and prices to Java.
Mike W replying to a comment from Avenue / January 4, 2011 at 12:37 pm
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You should demand an apology from blogto editors for polluting your personal neighbourhood blog.

Get over yourself.
Soren / January 4, 2011 at 12:47 pm
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I wanted to love Goed Eten but their waffle pressed sandwiches taste like plastic because they're pre-made and refrigerated in plastic wrap. Not only is it ridiculous that these simple sandwiches aren't made fresh, I can't imagine how long they sit for the plastic to pervade. Cheap yet unappetizing.
Sam / January 4, 2011 at 02:09 pm
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How did Murrays make it into this list? I mean it's decent food, but it's expensive for what you get.
APOW / January 4, 2011 at 02:21 pm
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I'M WITH YOU SAM ^

ALL HAIL BURGER PRIEST
dolce / January 4, 2011 at 02:23 pm
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None of these are particularly inexpensive. $8 for grilled cheese? No thanks.

Ugggh, I'll still with my $5.65 swiss + bacon burger, salad and homefries combo from Sunset Grill.
bob / January 4, 2011 at 02:51 pm
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If you think it's expensive, just think that in 2004 the minimum wage was $6.85 and now it's $10.25. So you may think $8 for a burger now is expensive when back in 2004 it was probably just $5. Restaurants need to jack the price in order to pay off employees.
$8, even for a tiny burger, is not a lot. If you're so concerned about money perhaps you shouldn't be eating out in the first place.
Aydin replying to a comment from DOVERCOURT / January 4, 2011 at 03:41 pm
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Just a 10-minute walk north of Greektown (or a 5-minute bus ride from Pape station).

REALLY worth checking out, as Folia Grill is very good. The Gyros is REAL gyros - not mystery-meatloaf like you find all too often in North America. It's made of tender, moist, REAL, whole pieces of chicken, a la Messini.
The pork chops are very good too - made from pork belly.
No matter what, we always get at least one order of the zucchini fries - the best thing on the menu.

And the best part, it's only a few doors away from the foodie-destination, Danish Pastry Shop (http://www.blogto.com/bakery/hansens-danish-pastry-shop), as well as Pape International Market - which has some of the lowest-priced imported Feta that I've seen in this city, and Victoria Deli, which makes and imports great, old-world Eastern European deli products.

I read a lot of complaints about this site being too west-end centric, so for anyone looking for a fun area to get lunch and shop for food on the east side of Yonge, Pape and Cosburn is worth a visit!
CM / January 4, 2011 at 04:52 pm
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mmmm food! can't wait to check out some of these places, and try out some grub.
Cottoneyed Joe / January 4, 2011 at 10:33 pm
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Expensive Burgers? McDonalds is still the best choice for a good priced combo.

Problem is each new generation is willing to pay more for something we used to pay way less for. Gourmet burgers? Come on!!! Adding Blue Cheese to the cheapest kind of meat - ground beef - doesnt make it gourmet. Well I guess it does for some of you....whatever.
dolce / January 5, 2011 at 02:47 pm
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Sorry, bob, that you're so naive to think that the price of food has anything to do with the workers, when it truth it goes to the owners. Whatever, life goes on, but I can get cheaper food in the city where the employees are treated just as fairly.

And I'm sorry you have some sort of elitist, classist view that only the privileged should be able to eat out. Take your head out of your ass, we don't live in a vacuum.
Nina / January 6, 2011 at 10:33 am
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PORCHETTA!!!
JR replying to a comment from dolce / January 6, 2011 at 07:55 pm
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Oh man, so much fail.

For an independent business, labour costs do actually represent a good deal of the expense. There's no way you can deny that paying higher wages means that expenses (hence prices) will go up. Treat that as a positive or negative. There's a choice there.

And it costs more to go to a restaurant than to buy groceries at eat at home. There's nothing even a little elitist or classist about that. (it isn't really a "view" per se, more of a mathematical thing)

Sounds like someone has been reading up on the conflict theory a bit too heavily.
JT / January 11, 2011 at 02:16 pm
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Best New "Cheap eats" is always ANY "new" Chinese/Asian restaurant. Pho is $7ish all in. Noodle soup is $6-7ish all in. None of these diner/fast food types of places where food is $8-10 plus tax and tip making it more like $11-13 all in.
Mae replying to a comment from JT / February 6, 2011 at 06:30 am
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That's really cheap. My family would love to be there.
COSPLAY / September 26, 2012 at 10:09 pm
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I wanted to love Goed Eten but their waffle pressed sandwiches taste like plastic because they're pre-made and refrigerated in plastic wrap. Not only is it ridiculous that these simple sandwiches aren't made fresh, I can't imagine how long they sit for the plastic to pervade. Cheap yet unappetizing.

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