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Best of Toronto

The Best New Cheap Eats in Toronto, 2012

Posted by Liora Ipsum / January 15, 2013

cheap eats torontoThe best new cheap eats in Toronto in 2012 provide exception to the rule that nothing in life comes good, fast, AND cheap. Fast casual concepts dominated the list with sandwiches, pizzas, and tacos, but unlike past years, not one gourmet burger, fried chicken or hot dog operation managed to crack the top 9, showing that Toronto has a penchant for fresh, customizable options influenced by a gamut of diverse flavours.

Predictably, there were a few new pizza joints on the list, but an array of gourmet sandwich shops proved that you don't need to break the bank to enjoy a quality meal.

Here is the list of the best new cheap eats in Toronto in 2012.

See also:

The Best New Cheap Eats in Toronto, 2011
The Best New Cheap Eats in Toronto, 2010

Banh Mi Boys

Banh Mi Boys

Every item on the Banh Mi Boys menu is habit-forming, and favourites like kimchi fries and pork belly steamed baos come in under ten bucks, together. Line-ups are to be expected and seating is limited, but luckily a second outpost is already in the works for 2013. More »

Seven Lives

Seven Lives

Kensington Market's Seven Lives is the closest thing to a taco stand that this city has ever seen. Run out of a tiny shared stall, there's standing room only (although you can enjoy them on the back patio in warmer months), but that doesn't deter patrons who consistently rave about the excellent value for these generously filled SoCal and Tijuana-inspired tacos. More »

Leslieville Pumps

Leslieville Pumps

This fuel station meets general store is perfectly situated for East-enders to grab quick breakfast options and Southern-style smokehouse sandwiches. Call ahead take-away makes for efficient service that only adds to the convenience of this unique Leslieville destination. More »

North of Brooklyn

North of Brooklyn

Nestled on Palmerston, just north of Queen, the prices here are on par with other pizzerias in the neighbourhood, but it's the exceedingly fresh toppings sourced from top quality ingredients that make these slices and pies stand out. The addition of a new bike delivery service starting January 8th gives extra reason to program their number into your phones. More »

Rashers

Rashers

This take-away sandwich shop is devoted to all things bacon, and at only two-months old, has already drawn steady line-ups of regulars eager to embrace the British-inspired menu. It features staples like the bacon butty and our own local specialty, the hogtown sandwich. More »

FBI Pizza

FBI Pizza

Keeping up with Toronto's insatiable appetite for pizza, this two-location pizzeria services Etobicoke and Woodbridge offering pick-up and delivery options that go beyond the basics. In addition to expectedly delicious pies (it's a sister to Queen Margherita Pizza, after all), there are fresh salads and a nutella mousse available to round out your meal. More »

Discussion

56 Comments

Jeffrey Beaumont / January 15, 2013 at 10:13 am
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Seven lives runs tacos in Toronto. This aint a fancy/hip sit down listen to rap be seen joint, but best quality hands down.
Josh / January 15, 2013 at 10:23 am
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7 LIVES delivers a great simple menu. All the fish tacos are fantastic, but don't skip the beef tongue when it's available. Best in the city.

HOGGBOYZ CO-SIGNED
bobby / January 15, 2013 at 10:24 am
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Every taco spot needs to bow down to Sean at Seven lives, crushes every other place. Can't beat it. Who needs to line up for 2 hours to eat a fish taco like other places, that are easily half as good.
Samichez / January 15, 2013 at 10:43 am
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Sanigan's, son!
Kaitlin / January 15, 2013 at 11:30 am
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I walked by Rasher's the other day, and looking at their menu I'm not sure how they justify being on a cheap eats list.
JW / January 15, 2013 at 11:32 am
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FBI Pizza as a cheap place? You must be joking...
Ben / January 15, 2013 at 11:44 am
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I think "Cheap" should be removed from the title.
Krystine / January 15, 2013 at 11:45 am
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The title of this article is Cheap Eats and North of Brooklyn is expensive, high-end gourmet pizza. There's nothing cheap about the place...am I missing something here?

Maybe take that off and replace it with Barton Snacks. An actual cheap place to grab some good food.
Michael / January 15, 2013 at 11:51 am
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Hello from Restaurants & Hotels Magazine. Thanks so much for this article. Really well written. So many places I want to try.
Rachel / January 15, 2013 at 12:04 pm
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It would be helpful if BlogTO bothered to define what exactly "cheap" implies. It looks like a bite to eat in the $5-7 range.
Graeme Quinn / January 15, 2013 at 12:22 pm
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I agree with this list, although I'd say Seven Lives is better than Banh Mi Boys. Their dishes are more creative, tasty, and better bang for buck. Banh Mi Boys is also very good though.

Glad to see Dr. Augusta's Samitorium on the list. After Seven Lives, it is my favourite place to get takeout in Kensington Market and the surrounding area. However, the place doesn't seem to get enough love for some reason. Given how good the food is in there, it should be busy at all times. The two owners are stand-up guys as well.

If you haven't tried it, please do!
Hey / January 15, 2013 at 12:24 pm
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North of Brooklyn isn't the cheapest slice but it's amazing pizza and the staff are really great. Unlike certain places on Ossington with lines out the door...

$22 for a whole pie is more than promo prices at the chains, but not bad compared to what you end up actually paying at Pizza Pizza etc. Plus it's good pizza, unlike that greasy cardboard.
chomp / January 15, 2013 at 12:44 pm
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If around 10 bucks is the measure, then nothing on this list holds a candle to Sanigan's pulled pork sammy with their spectacular fries. The end.

North of Brooklyn are overpriced cheapskates who really skimp on the toppings.
Gary / January 15, 2013 at 01:20 pm
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The comments about pricing on here suggests a lot of people on BlogTo should wake up to what kind of city Toronto is now, not what it used to be.

It would be nice to one day read a comment thread on here that doesn't have people moaning about the price of something... these places are independent food retailers, not industrial scale conglomerates mass producing tasteless junk.

You want 'cheap' food move to the 905 and hit up Tim Hortons.

evan / January 15, 2013 at 01:48 pm
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I actually didn't like 7 lives when I tried it, but I guess I'll give it another shot. Leslieville pumps was my vote. Those sandwiches are the stuff of picnic dreams.
redpoofballhat / January 15, 2013 at 01:48 pm
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Decent list I guess. BUT...Wow! North of Brooklyn is two things: expensive and awful. What's with the sesame seeds on the crust? Is it a bagel or a pizza? And $4.75 for a tiny slice without a drink? Get real.

And regardless of "what kind of city Toronto is" vs "what it used to be" is a pretty contrived comment. Despite how wealthy or "foodie" the city has become GARY, an article with the title cheap eats, should have just that. Having a list of places that have inexpensive and delicious food doesn't take anything away from your precious Toronto.
Jimmy / January 15, 2013 at 02:09 pm
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North of Brooklyn needs to up it's game. It closes so early - eliminating the late night drunken slice crowd.

It's not a proper sit down, so I'd always choose Libretto over it. Plus, for take out, it's pricier than Libretto. CUT!!
Sadie replying to a comment from Gary / January 15, 2013 at 03:47 pm
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Whether Toronto has become a gourmet, pricy food mecca or not, doesn't change the fact that a few places on this list are by no means "cheap eats." I don't think people are moaning about prices - I think people are complaining about the fact that this is supposed to be a helpful guide to eating cheaply in an otherwise expensive city.

FBI Pizza, for example, as delicious as it may be, is pretty pricy. Toppings, at their cheapest price, range from $2.25 to $3.25 (regular toppings vs. premium toppings); so if you're actually looking to have a three-topping pizza, it could cost you almost $30. Love the place, but it definitely does not belong on this list.

And Gary, attempting to put people in their place with a contrived 905er jab falls flat when there are Tim Hortons locations scattered across downtown Toronto.
Notahipster / January 15, 2013 at 04:23 pm
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So if i want to eat cheap, I have to go all the way down town?
John / January 15, 2013 at 04:49 pm
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How is This End Up not on the list? Best cheap eats on DuWest, imo.
Jimmy replying to a comment from John / January 15, 2013 at 04:52 pm
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Because it's not cheap...
Jimmy replying to a comment from John / January 15, 2013 at 04:53 pm
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And why you insist on calling Little Portugal, "DuWest" is beyond me.
John replying to a comment from Jimmy / January 15, 2013 at 05:13 pm
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Been to Dundas West recently? The BIA has plastered the new DuWest name on banners everywhere. Guess it wasn't me who came up with the name...
johnsonstarfish / January 15, 2013 at 05:38 pm
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I agree with Gary, these prices are cheap for Toronto these days. If you want something mass produced and cheap then go to Wendy's, BK, MacDonald's, Pizza Pizza... I could go on...

In order for a small business to not only be able to pay their overhead, but also pay themselves and their employees and put out quality food (the food that you all want so cheaply), the prices need to be at a certain price point.

Like Gary said, you don't like it, go find a Tim Horton's.
spread / January 15, 2013 at 05:52 pm
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Rashers has been open for 3 weeks and its on the "best of" list?? C'mon you wankers. And its not even that good - for a place that serves only bacon you would expect some kind of variety, or even have them sell uncooked bacon to take home. They have what, 5 sandwiches on the menu? Gimmicky restos seem to be the trend on that block.
Mark replying to a comment from John / January 15, 2013 at 06:08 pm
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It's still stupid though.
Susan / January 15, 2013 at 08:58 pm
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The best cheap eats at Safeten Events Catering
Nate / January 15, 2013 at 09:40 pm
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How are people complaining about $10 per person meals?! Objectively speaking, this IS NOT a list of expensive restaurants. The name of the article is perfectly appropriate. The creators of this list have done an awesome job on this. These aren't $50 per person meals, you don't have to worry about tips, and you get fantastic food - you could easily spend this kind of money at McDonalds. For the price it doesn't get any better. Fantastic value priced real unprocessed food.
Gabe / January 15, 2013 at 09:45 pm
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IS Banh Mi Boys on Yonge St. yet? What gives? Waitin...

Gelato Pizza is good!
Joel / January 15, 2013 at 09:46 pm
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Seven Lives has hands down the best tacos
Colleen / January 15, 2013 at 09:47 pm
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I agree, Seven Lives is amazing. The tacos there are some of the best I've had.
Dev Basu / January 15, 2013 at 10:01 pm
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Damn, I didn't know about Seven Lives. I'm going to swing by there next week. Leslieville Pumps looks pretty amazing too.
JOHN replying to a comment from spread / January 16, 2013 at 01:24 am
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Don't be a wankstain mate and keep the limey slang out of it..
lol / January 16, 2013 at 01:54 am
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toronto has become the douche captial of canada.... overpriced crap, no one in this city has any soul/authenticity next, this city is like a tumblr blog
gr1 replying to a comment from lol / January 16, 2013 at 09:37 am
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an astoundingly compelling argument backed by sound facts and examples. thank you for your contribution.
bobby replying to a comment from lol / January 16, 2013 at 10:39 am
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So by everyone you're including yourself then. What a troll, your life must be so sad.
Jackie Treehorn / January 16, 2013 at 12:28 pm
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Sardinha O Rei Dos Frangos at Bloor and Ossington fo' sho. Freshest chicken this side of the coop.
AA / January 16, 2013 at 02:10 pm
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Rashers is neither cheap nor overly-impressive. The Peameal at Jim's (across the street) blows Rashers out of the water. Don't believe me? Try them both... you'll quickly sees who's pork reigns supreme.
Bruno replying to a comment from Jimmy / January 16, 2013 at 06:43 pm
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Because no one calls it "little Portugal" including the neighbourhood porkchops.
the lemur replying to a comment from Bruno / January 16, 2013 at 07:15 pm
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Portugal Village, wasn't it?
SKRUFz / January 16, 2013 at 08:40 pm
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BOO BOO BOO RAHHH DANG DANG RAHHHH DANG DANG BOO
Tom / January 16, 2013 at 08:55 pm
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When is Banh Mi Boys hittin Yonge st? The location they got is amazing. Don't know if they're ready yet to expand, takes a pretty big investment...
Cash$$ / January 16, 2013 at 10:31 pm
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Skrillaz Dillaz Dolla Billz yall
Didi / January 19, 2013 at 07:19 pm
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Cheap??? Merguez sandwich 7 and the Famous Camel Burger at Casbah 10
Yummmmy
diablo 3 tips / January 22, 2013 at 02:41 am
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That shot takes a different approach inside the actual film, it shows Windu through the front, not the side. Causes it to become harder to find out the sabre.
Darnell Y. replying to a comment from johnsonstarfish / January 24, 2013 at 09:43 am
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They've been open since November, have 12 sandwiches and I bought bacon from them last week to take home.
Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesh / February 3, 2013 at 04:47 am
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Rashers?? Cheap eats?? Seriously?? They charge an arm and a leg and give you next to nothing. Sheeeeesh.
Pat replying to a comment from Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesh / February 14, 2013 at 03:27 pm
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I dunno, $10, taxes in, for a sandwich, wedges and a drink seems like a pretty good deal to me. I was there for lunch today and it filled me up
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NativeTorontonianAl / June 21, 2013 at 09:59 am
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lol and his/her comment is accurate. Toronto needs to calm down and reflect its true level and nature. If something is, then why deny it? It actually helps things to be known, admitting it, and it could start work towards improving things.
Scotty / July 1, 2013 at 07:36 pm
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Baruch Labunski / September 7, 2013 at 03:58 pm
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Wow, I have been here and yeah this place Rocks. If you have not been here its a must.
Optimization Media Toronto SEO Experts / October 10, 2013 at 01:54 am
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We gone to all of them for corporate lunches. Absolutely great!
Toronto Business Listing / October 10, 2013 at 01:58 am
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Add your favorite business today for all the of the cheap places to eat in Toronto.
Abdi Montana / November 19, 2013 at 12:19 pm
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Lol a FBI pizza making this list! I paid over $30 for ONE large 3 topping pizza! Whoever made this list must of got into mayor fords crack supply.

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