Growing up in Toronto, I’ve had an opportunity to eat in many different places in-and-around the city. As such, my friends and colleagues tend to ask me for advice on where to eat and where to avoid. Many of them told me that I should start a blog to this effect. Let’s just call it my New Year’s resolution to do just that.
So, for my first post, here are 20 great places to eat (on the cheap) at Yonge & Bloor…
1. Suksi Biryani House (5 Hayden Street) has a great lunch. Their thali plate features the curry of the day (changes Mon – Fri) or the house curry (butter chicken, beef vindaloo or lamb curry) with rice, daal and 2 sides for $5.99
2. Xtreme Taste (6 Cumberland Ave) has a terrible name, but it’s the best deal around. For $5 you get a chicken and beef kebab on rice, with 3 or 4 salads. Bang-for-the-buck, this is a far-better alternative to the more popular place in the mall across the street.
3. Bibim-Q (597 Yonge Street) is the best Korean joint in the hood, far better than the AYCE BBQ place closer to Bloor. They have Bibim-Bap and Kumjatang; all the favorites you would get in Koreantown. 4. Olympic 76 Pizza (8 Gloucester Street) is a workplace favorite. They bring whole pizzas to the table and have great selection. It’s sit-down pizza at its best.
6. Aji Sai Sushi (813 Yonge Street) is just north of the Reference Library, on the east side. Best AYCE lunch in the city, as their menu is quite extensive (100+ items).
7. Sushi Inn (120 Cumberland) If you are not in the mood for AYCE sushi, Sushi Inn is your best bet. Their combos are great, and it’s probably the only cheap place to eat in Yorkville. There’s a reason it’s always packed.
9. King’s Palace (820 Church Street) is where all the cabbies eat. They literally have about a hundred dishes on a buffet display, and it’s a great feed. They microwave their food, but for $10 you get a lot of it.
10. Rabba (Various locations) believe it or not, makes huge sandwiches, to-order, for about $4. You pick you bread, your meat and cheese, and they slice it from the deli, then stack the toppings on. Favorite Rabba location is 40 Asquith Avenue, but there are 5 other stores within walking distance.
11. The Bishop & The Belcher (175 Bloor St East – 1 block south of Church and Bloor) has the best pub food in the area, and has a huge menu. They also have drink specials daily, with $4 Creemore pints on Wednesday.
12. Mullins Pub (1033 Bay Street) has lots of imported beers and surprisingly good wings. It’s actually a great pub for a date…with its secluded booths, decent daily specials, and intimate front patio.
13. Caz’s Great Fish (287 Davenport Road) is the one-and-only fish and chips spot in the hood. Though a bit of a trek from Yonge & Bloor, their homemade coleslaw, optional jerk batter and large pieces of halibut make it well-worth the trip.
14. Black Camel (4 Crescent Road) is a place you’ve all probably been. Most people go for the pulled-pork, but their beef brisket is just as good. Gourmet toppings at $1 compliment these well-packed sandwiches.
15. Esther’s Soup Kitchen (2 Bloor St West in the back of the Cumberland Mall) has 8 homemade soups every day, a couple of them vegan, all dairy free. They also have recently offered-up soup/sandwich/salad combos… so you get a chance to try a bit of everything. 16. Camros Organic Eatery (25 Hayden Street) is an extremely popular vegan restaurant and takeout joint… if you’re into that kind of thing.17. The Bay Cafeteria (44 Bloor St East – Top Floor) has the best beef patties around.18. Ginger (695 Yonge Street) has 50 menu items under $7, along with great Pho and $3.50 subs.
20. Mr. Jerk (209 Wellesley St East) has the best Jerk pork anywhere downtown… bar none. They serve it up as a dinner or a sandwich. They also have daily lunch specials for $5 that include a main with dirty rice and a pop.