The Best New Cheap Eats in Toronto, 2011
The best new cheap eats in Toronto in 2011 were all across the board. While in previous years we've see trends sway in favour of the gourmet burger, the burrito, or the hot pile of poutine, this year it was a healthy (well, I'm not sure if that's the right word) mix of a little bit of everything. Whether it speaks to the diversification of our communal taste or simply the fact that we've grown tired of gourmet burgers at every block, I'm not sure, but the variety of quality cheap eat options has certainly diversified for the better.
This list reflects the best of Middle Eastern, Turkish, Mexican and more than can be had without breaking the bank, with a vegan option, fish n' chips, and meatball-focused option tossed in too. And yes, there is one gourmet burger spot--this is Toronto, after all. Here is the list of the best new cheap eats in Toronto that opened in 2011.
There are few better cheap eats than falafel and shawarma sandwiches, and Dr. Laffa near Dufferin and Steeles does them amazingly well. While the business jumped from a loading-dock-turned-restaurant to an actual restaurant in the fall, the recipe for success stayed the same. Fresh ingredients, laffa made on the spot, and single orders big enough for two. More »
Fish and chips is typically a pretty reliable bang-for-your-buck lunch option, but Off the Hook amped it up in 2011 with its generous portions and delicious platters. The Broadview restaurant uses organic or gluten-free flour to batter its fish, offers plenty of signature sauce options, and will even deep-fry a Mars bar for you for dessert. In short, cholesterol levels skyrocketed in the area in 2011. More »
A haven for meatball lovers as well as “meat”ball lovers. Hey Meatball went, uh, balls-out with its summer 2011 opening, rolling out veal, beef, pork, and veggie balls to hungry patrons not afraid to order at the counter. There’s salad too, but as they say, you don’t make friends with salad. More »
A tender, juicy burger is made even more wonderful when it is given a punny name. Holy Chuck Burgers understands this principle. Opened in the former home of Retro Burger at Yonge and St. Clair, Holy Chuck slings fries, patties, and shakes for typical customers, and a the odd behemoth six-patty, bacon grilled cheese burger for the adventurous. It’s not exactly cheap ($20), but boy, you’ll eat. More »
Hot Beans brought a menu of excessive quotation marks to Kensington early in the year. The Mexican vegan restaurant quickly attracted area herbivores with its burritos, tacos, slaw, and rice and beans, all of which would inevitably be followed by a homemade lime and coconut donut. Cheap, delicious, and nagging conscience-free. More »
No, that is not “pizza” with a typo. This is Pidza, a Turkish takeout spot that emerged in Bloordale in 2011, serving fresh lahmacun, which (okay) is sort of like pizza. The thin, round flatbreads are probably large enough for two, smothered with toppings including feta cheese, ground beef, spinach, Turkish sausage, and beef pepperoni. More »