lunch toronto

The top 10 new lunch restaurants in Toronto

Lunch in Toronto? As if you needed another reason to "forget" your boring brown bag lunch at home, this diverse new crop of luncheonettes includes supremely delicious destinations for that midday meal. Sandwiches are as popular as ever but there's also excellent selection when it comes to hearty Indian curries or Persian stews.

Here are my picks for the top new lunch restaurants in Toronto.

The Food Dudes Pantry
This retail outlet for The Food Dudes catering and food truck operations opened to the public this spring offering an astounding variety of ready-made lunch options including vibrant salads, barbecued meats with sides like pierogi or mashed potatoes, and snack foods like caramel corn and fresh baked goods.

Maha's Restaurant
Doing Egyptian brunches and lunches week-round, this new daytime destination on Greenwood is serving up a big plates at excellent value. Date grilled cheese sandwiches with lentil soup, for example, sell for $12, while the Mind Blowing Chicken Sandwich costs just $7 and comes overflowing with herb-tossed chicken smothered in garlic sauce and tahina.

Intitally launched as a food stand in Kensington Market, the South American sandwich counter found a permanent home in Leslieville this summer and has amassed a loyal following since. Churrasco sandwiches ($9) slathered in avocado and hot sauce are among the signature offerings.

The Tiffin Box
Vegetarians and meat-eaters alike will find hearty lunches like thali ($8.95-$9.95) at this Indian take-out counter on Bathurst north of Bloor. The compartmentalized combos are filled out with a choice of rich meat curries or dhaal with basmati rice, and vegetable sides and raita.

What could be better than a local, artisanal Italian sausage-maker who opens his doors at lunch to walk-ins? Get 'em grilled up on bun for just $5, with optional caramelized onions, rapini, and house-made garlic oil.

TLP Sandwich Co.
Barberian's Steakhouse branched off into the realm of Canadian-centric comfort foods over the summer. The take-out counter specializes in wholesome lunches like meatloaf or peameal bacon on bun, available with a drink or butter tart for around $10.

The Stone Pizza
This pizzeria in The Beaches is a mighty fine source for slices ($3-$3.50) and whole 14-inch pies in fun original flavours like The Apple Jack with cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, apples and arugula.

Sea Witch Fish & Chip
This newly opened chippy is a welcome addition to the lunch options on St. Clair West. Gloriously golden fish fry dinners or sandwiches are the main event on the menu, where lunch for two will set you back less than $30.

The compact Persian eatery caters to lunch crowds with a grab-and-go menu featuring hearty stews or tachin with rice ($12) and hand-held options that include Nan-Opaneer ($7) and tongue sandwiches ($7).

Big Butcher Barbeque
Butchers getting into the lunch game is always a good thing, and this Etobicoke grill, from the same owners as Market Jolly, is no exception. Meaty sandwiches take centre stage on this menu; massive cheese-laced burgers and hoisin-glazed pork belly sandwiches sell for just $8.

What did I miss? Disagree with my selections in the comments.

Photo by Morris Lum.

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