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The 10 Best Cheap Eats in Toronto

The 10 Best Cheap Eats in Toronto

Eating shouldn’t have to empty your wallet, especially nowadays when restaurant prices are so high that eating out feels like you need deep pockets. So, we did the legwork and explored Toronto far and wide to find the best cheap eats!

With our list of the most affordable restaurants, you can find a delicious meal for under $20. Don’t let your tummy rumble, and check them out below!

Jumbo Empanadas

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Address: 245 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 1M5, Canada

Contact Details: 

Opening Hours: 

  • Monday – Saturday: 10 am – 7 pm
  • Sunday: 11 am – 6 pm

Price Range: $2.50 – $12

Bestseller/s: Jumbo empanada, corn pie

Tucked in a little spot on Augusta Ave, Jumbo Empanadas offers huge servings of authentic Chilean food that’s packed full of ingredients—they don’t skimp out on food and flavours here.

The best part, they have options for meat lovers and vegetarians. Their affordable Jumbo empanada has beef, chicken, and veggie options and is only $6.50.

If you don’t have a big appetite or you have kids with you, try their $2.50 mini empanada. It has the same fillings you’ll find in the jumbo version, it’ll just come in a smaller turnover.

Pro Tip:

If you’re driving, it’s best to start looking for a parking spot near Kensington Market and walk from there. Finding a place to park your car on Augusta Avenue is going to be a pain because there aren’t a lot.

Messini Authentic Gyros

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Address: 445 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K 1P2, Canada

Contact Details: (416) 778-4861

Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday: 12 pm – 10 pm

Price Range: $9 – $20

Bestsellers: Gyros, souvlaki

At The Danforth, you’ll find a tonne of Greek restaurants, and Messini Authentic Gyros is one of our favourite cheap eats. For $10 and under, you can get a filling meal that’s full of flavours.

Their delicious souvlaki (grilled pieces of meat) ranges from $6 to $10. A bestseller is their souvlaki pita, which will make you full because it’s packed with ingredients such as chicken or beef, tomatoes, onion, french fries, and tzatziki. 

The portions here are pretty big, and there are plenty of tables inside for groups. We also love the vibe of the place because it’s casual and perfect for a quick lunch with the fam bam.

Pro Tip:

The lunch menu is a good deal because you don’t have to spend over $20. For $14, you can buy a gyros pita, served with a drink, and you can choose a side of rice, roasted potatoes, or fries.

J San Sushi Bar

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Contact Details:

  • Jarvis – (647) 339-1933
  • Steeles – (905) 453-0116 

Opening Hours: 

  • Jarvis – Monday – Sunday: 11 am – 9 pm
  • Steeles – Tuesday – Sunday: 11:30 am – 9 pm

Price Range: $2.95 – $20.45

Bestsellers: Sashimi, nigiri sushi, signature rolls

With two locations in Toronto, J San Sushi Bar has become one of our favourite hang-outs, not only because of the price but also the friendly staff every time we order. 

Now, this is exclusively a takeout restaurant, which means sushi party in the office!

Despite the affordable prices, they don’t skimp out on high-quality ingredients. With their $13.95 8-piece signature rolls, you can get your sushi fix without breaking the bank.

Our must-try dishes include the J San Roll, which comprises breaded fried salmon and crab roll, and the Ultimate Dragon Roll, which has tempura shrimp, crab meat, and avocado with spicy mayo for that extra kick.

Pro Tip:

If you’re willing to fork out some extra loonies, the 151 Chirashidon is a filling and budget-friendly option for lunch, as it has 12 pieces of assorted sashimi on top of sushi rice.

Gold Standard

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Contact Details: [email protected]

Opening Hours: 

  • Roncesvalles – Monday – Sunday: 8 am – 3 pm
  • Queen – Monday – Sunday: 9 am – 9 pm

Price Range: $8.50 – $10.50

Bestsellers: Gold Standard sandwich, Telway burger, Four Guys burger, The Alternative (vegan option)

True to their name, Gold Standard certainly sets the bar in sandwiches. This hole-in-the-wall spot makes some of the best grab-and-go burgers in Toronto, and not to mention it’s cheap!

Their smash patties are juicy, which is exactly what a burger should be. Their servings are pretty consistent, so you get the same flavours each time you visit.

We highly recommend trying out the Gold Standard Breakfast Sandwich with bacon and hot sauce at $8.50 because adding that spice gives it a nice balance. The eggs on it are decently portioned and come out slightly with every bite.

Pro Tips:

Better visit on weekdays because they don’t do burger modifications on weekends

Don’t make the same mistake as us and look for the Bulldog Butty at their Roncesvalles branch. Currently, it’s only exclusive to their Queen Street location.

Juicy Dumpling

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Address: 280 Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 0A1, Canada

Contact Details: (647) 352-5678

Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday: 11 am – 12 am

Price Range: $2.99 – $8.99

Bestsellers: Pan-fried dumplings, chicken dumplings, shrimp wonton soup

One of our favourite cheap spots for Asian cuisine is Juicy Dumplings, located at Dragon City Mall. A plus is their quick service, which isn’t surprising as it has a fast-food vibe.

You can visit them to get to taste one of the best Shanghainese food in Toronto, whether you’re looking for fried or steamed dishes. For less than $15, you can order a full meal that doesn’t skimp out on taste!

One of their popular dishes is the 6-piece pan-fried mini soup dumplings, which works really well dipped in soy sauce and chilli oil. The shrimp wonton soup is also a good option for the cold weather, and we suggest the one with spicy sauce!

Pro Tips:

The seats are limited inside, so expect to order a takeout during peak hours. 
Parking is also limited, but it’s commuter-friendly because there are many tram stops nearby.

Banh Mi Boys

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Contact Details: (416) 977-0303

Opening Hours: 

  • Monday – Saturday: 11 am – 10 pm
  • Sunday: 11 am – 8 pm

Price Range: $6 – $12

Bestsellers: Grilled chicken banh mi, fried chicken steamed bao, kimchi fries

Banh Mi Boys has become a popular spot in Toronto, offering a modern twist to the popular Vietnamese dish. Expect grilled, fried, and braised meat on your banh mi instead of the traditional cold cuts.

They have three branches in the 6ix, and since they don’t have a large space, we found them ideal for takeouts or for a quick meal. It’s delicious and affordable—what more could you ask for?

Their grilled chicken banh mi is a bestseller, composed of chicken marinated in garlic soy, cucumbers, carrots, and cilantro, finished with sauce and mayo. The fried chicken steamed bao is an affordable option if you don’t have a large appetite.

Pro Tip:

It’s best to order online during peak hours if you want to avoid long lines. Since there aren’t a lot of tables available for dine-in, expect to see many customers ordering a take-out.

Paddington’s Pump

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Address: 91 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3, Canada

Contact Details: 

Opening Hours: 

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday – Friday: 9 am – 7 pm
  • Saturday: 7 am – 5 pm
  • Sunday: 9 am – 5 pm

Price Range: $10.95 – $19.95

Bestsellers: Eggs Benedict, lumberjack sandwich

At the lively St. Lawrence Market, you’ll find Paddington’s Pump, where you can get satisfying all-day breakfast meals. You’ll find your hearty Canadian breakfast for less than $20, like bagels, pancakes, eggs, and bacon.

They’re famous for their peameal bacon sandwiches, which they have a lot of options for. A bestselling dish is their lumberjack sandwich, where you get peameal bacon, egg, cheese and fries.

We also love the buttermilk pancakes with peameal bacon covered in maple syrup. The best part about this restaurant is you’ll hear their name every time you ask someone where to get peameal sandwiches in Toronto—they’re just THAT good!

Pro Tip:

You can sit down and eat a meal at St. Lawrence Market because this is the only restaurant with seating! Get a table on the patio for a cocktail if you’re looking to relax and unwind.

Leslieville Pumps General Store & Kitchen

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Address: 913 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1J4, Canada

Contact Details:

Opening Hours: 

  • Sunday – Thursday: 9:30 am – 9:30 pm
  • Friday – Saturday: 8:30 am – 10 pm
  • Sunday: 9:30 am – 9:30 pm

Price Range: $5.99 – $15

Bestsellers: Poutine, Southern beef brisket, breakfast sandwiches

Leslieville Pumps General Store & Kitchen offers meals that’ll give you a bang for you buck in a chill space. Step in and you’ll find a variety of breakfast meals that will keep the hunger at bay.

The Super BLT is our go-to, which has delicious smoked and maple-glazed peameal bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, and mayo between soft toasted buns. For a simple meal, they have grilled maple smoked peameal bacon with honey mustard on a bun.

Their breakfast sandwiches are affordable at under $10. Their southern BBQ burgers are also pretty cheap for the portion you get—most are $15 and under.

Pro Tip:

Ask the staff to add hot sauce to your burger for that spicy boost. It will level up your burger!

Java House

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Address: 537 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2B6, Canada

Contact Details: (416) 504-3025

Opening Hours:

  • Monday – Friday: 10:30 am – 3 am
  • Saturday – Sunday: 10 am – 3 am

Price Range: $8 – $15.50

Bestsellers: Chicken pad thai, nachos, crispy chow mein

Java House is a must-try if you’re looking for affordable late-night cravings, as they’re open ‘til the wee hours of the morning. 

It’s easy to spot, too, right on the corner of Queen Street with a graffiti logo—but the vibe inside is a different story because it’s more laid-back.

The variety of the menu here is a surprise because there’s Thai cuisine, but there are burgers, too. It’s kind of like an all-in-one restaurant as they have their famous pad thai, chicken wings, sandwiches, pasta, and noodles. 

A popular dish is their pad Thai, which is deliciously spicy—and we love adding in beef from the many choices of protein. But before that, start your order with nachos, which are loaded with salsa, olives, sour cream, and cheese.

Pro Tip:

To get the most bang for your buck, check their daily specials, which usually come with drinks and are less than $20.

Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu

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Address: 691 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G 1L3, Canada

Contact Details: (416) 537-0972

Opening Hours: 

  • Monday – Saturday: 11 am – 10:30 pm
  • Sunday: 11 am – 10 pm

Price Range: $7.50 – $17.95

Bestsellers: Hot stone pot rice meals, vegetable fried dumplings

For an affordable K-food fix, Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu is just a call away! It’s the perfect spot to get your meals for your K-drama binge-watching session.

They serve authentic Korean food that will transport you to Seoul. A famous meal is the Combination Soon Tofu, which is a hot stone pot rice with beef, shrimp, and mussels.

A simple meal that’s probably also a favourite of many Korean stars is the kimchi fried rice with chicken, a solid meal best paired with a cold beer.

Pro Tip:

Instead of ordering via third-party delivery platforms, you can call the restaurant for pickup. It’ll save you money since there are no additional fees.

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