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Best of Toronto

The Best New Cheap Eats in Toronto, 2013

Posted by Liora Ipsum / January 15, 2014

Cheap Eats TorontoThe best new cheap eats in Toronto from 2013 come from a mix of diners, take-out counters and casual eateries. Fast foods like burgers, smoked meat and things from the fryer are predictably well represented, but no longer is the term cheap eats synonymous with just junk food. New this year are an impressive bunch of fresh, health-conscious alternatives that are as nice to your wallet as they are on your waistline.

Here are the best cheap eats in Toronto for 2013.

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

Dundas Park Kitchen

Dundas Park Kitchen

This lunch counter and bake shop does sandwiches and soup during the day plus an array of freshly baked treats all for $10 or less. In the evenings there are complete take-home dinners like roast chickens or made from scratch stews that'll feed two to four for under $25. More »

Kupfert & Kim

Kupfert & Kim

This take-out lunch spot in First Canadian Place specializes in wheat-free and meat-free breakfast, lunch and dinner bowls. For $11 tax included the menu offers hearty meals with quinoa or rice packed with edamame, tofu, guacamole and other fresh fare. They have juices, coffee and gluten-free desserts too. More »

Brock Sandwich

Brock Sandwich

Sandwiches at this Bloor West shop range between $6.75 to $13 and include breakfasty options layered with peameal or strip bacon. At lunchtime the menu offers selections like crispy fried buttermilk chicken, pulled pork, vegetarian or seared tuna. More »

Bolt Fresh Bar

Bolt Fresh Bar

This West Queen West Juice Bar specializes in fresh pressed juices, smoothies, salads and grain bowls. Nothing on the menu exceeds $10, so the economical lunch options won’t have you turning your pockets out to pay. The choice is there to have multiple servings of fresh fruits, and veggies blended or tossed. More »

Ben & Izzy's Deli

Ben & Izzy's Deli

This classic kosher deli on Bathurst does smoked meat sandwiches piled on soft rye bread and all-beef burgers loaded with fresh toppings on challah buns. Generous portions make this menu ranging between $9 and $12 an especially good value. More »

It's all GRK

It's all GRK

Reviving the genre of old school Greek diners, this quick-service rotisserie near Trinity Bellwoods marinates and then layers pork and chicken gyros from scratch (no mystery meat here) and cooks them on a rotating spit. Gyro or souvlaki pita wraps go for $6.25 to $8 and come loaded with chopped tomatoes, red onions, fries and tzatziki. More »

Boar

Boar

This midtown Italian sandwich shop from the same team behind Black Camel offers deliciously cheesy, saucy options on a bun including veal, chicken, meatball, sausage, or portobello mushrooms. Each sandwich is priced modestly under $8.25. More »

The Rude Boy

The Rude Boy

This new burger shop on Roncesvalles makes its patties from fresh ground beef and loads them with top notch locally sourced ingredients and house-made condiments. Prices on the regular menu range between $7.25 and $17, but weekday combos with fries offered for an even 10 bucks are a steal. More »

Ackroyd's Fish and Chips

Ackroyd's Fish and Chips

This fry shop launched with a typical menu featuring battered and fried selections but proved major devotion to their Beach(es) community by adding a range of fresh-prepared salads and frozen comfort foods from Chef Jenny G. Fish and chip combos range from $8 to $14.50 and can be upgraded to include salad and dessert for a flat $8. More »

Discussion

26 Comments

Troy / January 15, 2014 at 12:37 pm
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i could go to any fast food chain and have a full meal for $5 or less why arent they listed
Dan / January 15, 2014 at 12:40 pm
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Er... Because it says "Best" and "New"? Did you read the title?
Astin / January 15, 2014 at 12:51 pm
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Methinks your concept of "cheap" is different than most. These may all be good value based on the quality of the food or portions, but they aren't cheap.

BillyO / January 15, 2014 at 12:54 pm
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Brock sandwich and Boar are both great, have had both several times.
goldenkiwi / January 15, 2014 at 01:20 pm
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This is a nice list for weekend lunch spots. But as a place to go every day, these prices are not suitable for most people looking to save money, which I would assume is the reason to look for "cheap" eats in the first place.
akswun / January 15, 2014 at 01:28 pm
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'Cheap' has really changed. Back in the day cheap was under $4. Now under $10 is the norm.
But I'd like to add that chicken'esq places that tout Twoonie'esq Tuesdays still win in my books. I think were better off asking Students in the Scarborough area where we can find "Cheap" eats.
As for "New" & "Cheap" is rare, unless they're giving away the food. I've been to a few of the places listed and that rock bottom price of around $6.00 is for bare minimums, bread and meat with zero toppings.
Mike / January 15, 2014 at 01:53 pm
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While Boar is good (my office is down the street near Davisville) I don't consider it cheap eats. After adding one topping and tax, it's easily over $10... for a single sandwich.

If you want cheap lunch eats in Davisville, head to La Salumeria and grab a big deli sandwich with whatever you want on it for $6. You can even pick your own fresh bun.
Lisa @ Je suis alimentageuse / January 15, 2014 at 01:55 pm
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Um, how about the banh mi shops in Chinatown? $2-3 per sandwich? Psht. $11. That could pay for up to 5 sandwiches. (Vegetarian or Meat! The lemongrass tofu is deeelish)
Jessica / January 15, 2014 at 01:58 pm
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I think the issue is people forget that going to a place for take out used to be a treat and not a regular occurrence. When you eat take out on a frequent basis I suppose one would start looking for the cheapest meals possible, but for someone who doesn't often eat out of home $5-$15 is considered a cheap indulgence.
Jeff / January 15, 2014 at 02:24 pm
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It's all GRK is fantastic. I no longer have to make trips to the Danforth. They really care about quality.
maury / January 15, 2014 at 02:46 pm
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there is a place i went to recently that i think should be on the list its called say cheese on bloor and all sandwiches were at 5.50 or under. good value
chester / January 15, 2014 at 03:28 pm
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People have no problem forking over $3-5 for a coffee or latte (which is a basic drink) but a meal over $5 is too expensive??!! Some people really cant grasp the concept of inflation.

I think to be considered good, quality cheap eats it goes in the $8-15 range. But you get what you pay for. You want $5 lunches, you're gonna get $5 quality.
Dan / January 15, 2014 at 04:18 pm
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I agree. People are willing to pay upwards of $5 for a shot of espresso and some milk, but $6-7 for a sandwich is too much? And you're right about inflation (just like how a chocolate bar used to be 25 cents, same argument here).

It's pretty annoying the hipster-bashing people on here as well. I'm no hipster-hugger but seriously who cares how they spend their time or where they spend it. No need to bash them on the internet. Keyboard warriors hard at work.

Kerry / January 15, 2014 at 04:33 pm
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Why do people think that because somethings on Queen Street that it's a "hipster" place...Read the article...It says the owners name and it sounds pretty Greek to me. I've tried a lot of these places, anything other ten bucks is cheap eats nowadays and I think this list has some pretty good choices of places to eat.
jeff / January 15, 2014 at 06:24 pm
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Hey Ray, it is most certainly not a fake review. Although when I read it back, it did sound kinda fake. Please go try it. I recommend pork Gyro and greek fries. Every time I call and place an order for pickup they ask me how long I am going to be in order to have everything fresh when I arrive. They have not failed me yet.
Warren / January 15, 2014 at 06:28 pm
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Best value (real) Chinese:

Asiancourt (Scarborough) strip mall food court @ Midland & Sheppard Aves

A main, a soup, a beverage... $5

The main is a full dinner portion, not a combo#3 whitewashed Chinese fast food outlet.
Stick with the Hot n Sour Soup, not the watery bone soup.
HK tea/coffee, lemon iced tea or Soy milk.
I've taken several people here and all have been amazed by the quality and price.
Kim / January 15, 2014 at 06:30 pm
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What about Fidel Gastro's? And Capitano's? They were on the voting list.. Sad to see these didnt make it
Jason / January 16, 2014 at 01:56 am
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Kupfert & Kim is one of the least cheap food court options in the PATH, though the quality of the food is very good.
Alice / January 16, 2014 at 11:27 pm
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Tried Kupfert & Kim after all the hype and was disappointed. It is not that cheap and not that special.
lj / January 17, 2014 at 12:48 pm
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the header image is from which place? looks amazing
andras / January 21, 2014 at 07:35 pm
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lol people who pay $5 for an expresso dont care how much a mean is ... people how ever looking for cheap the limit is $6 ... i have never in my life paid nor ever will $5 for a cafe :) ... cheap in my eyes is $5 or less.. i would never buy food of any of the places here listed, simply because it aint cheap
tracy replying to a comment from Astin / February 15, 2014 at 07:37 pm
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Astin I was thinking the same thing these prices aren't cheap to me either
Sarah / February 16, 2014 at 04:23 pm
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Dundas Kitchen is AMAZING!! The food is incredible, and the owners are such nice people.
didi / February 16, 2014 at 08:58 pm
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Have you ever had full main cource at Harlem East on Richmond or Harlem Underground on Queen West.... try the fried chicken and waffles and get back to me... blogto sometimes misses the best!!!
JackAttack / February 26, 2014 at 01:15 pm
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These selections are a joke. Serious..... this seems to be a constant theme in Toronto media, arts and food....how do you get away with spinning such sophomoric shit? When writing a list of cheap eats $12 dollars for a sandwich built by some Trustafarian hipster does not count. We want to see that hole in the wall Vietnamese place, that Hungarian 'social club' that offers a beer and meat dish for $6bucks, that burger joint where the late shift go just before going on to work....now those are the places (and they are all over Toronto).
Justin / April 22, 2014 at 07:33 pm
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Ackroyd's is hardly "cheap eats", with a feed of fish and chips coming in at MINIMUM 30 bucks for me and my girlfriend, depending on which species we chose. Not only that, it's not worth the gourmet prices. BlogTO gets more disappointing by the day.

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