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Toronto is one of the most expensive cities in the country. The downtown core boasts a variety of food options from hipster bars to glitzy lounges.
The thing with a lot of these places though, is that it pays to stay. Do cheap Toronto restaurants truly exist? Finding a cheap meal on a dime is not an easy feat in this bustling city of smoke, but it’s not impossible.
There are a few staples I return to time and time again whenever I visit. Mostly because these cheap Toronto restaurants are convenient, inexpensive, and delicious.
It will be hard to go wrong (or broke) with one of the options below.
Best Cheap Toronto Restaurants
I discovered this restaurant when they first opened up a shop on the outskirts of the city. From day one I was hooked. This is now one of my favourite cheap Toronto restaurants to visit. (It’s kind of one of the only reasons I visit).
Chipotle has nothing on these burritos jam-packed with tasty fillings of your choice. I used to enjoy their chicken burritos, but now that I’ve switched to pescetarian living, their soy and halibut burritos are my new fave.
If you’re really hungry, your stomach will surely be filled with a regular sized burrito, but the quesadillas are a real treat. Get the burrito sauce, a creamy accompaniment to their options and you’ll be in heaven.
Many of their options fall under the $10 mark, and the last time I checked, Burrito Boyz has deals like half-priced burritos on weekdays.
This isn’t a full-service restaurant, and some of their locations don’t even have a dining room. This no-frills spot is perfect for a lazy Friday night in, or a bite after work with some friends.
Banh Mi Boys
Not to be affiliated with Burrito Boyz, Bahn Mi Boys has a different specialty: Vietnamese. Their flavourful Bahn mi sandwiches are a must for travellers on a budget who crave exotic flavours.
Their menu has a variety of options under $10 including their famous sandwiches and steamed bao. They also have kimchi fries that will basically make your taste buds dance.
When I visited their shop for the first time, they had two locations in the downtown core. Their delicious snacks have become so popular that these guys now have two additional locations in the Greater Toronto Area.
On trend with Burrito Boyz, Banh Mi Boys offers delivery, take-out and a very laid-back dining room.
Orders are placed and picked up at their counter, so this is another casual cheap Toronto restaurant to stop into if you’re looking for a cheap and delicious bite.
Banh Mi Boys’ attention to flavour has even got them spotted on national television. Here’s a clip!
A spot usually visited in the wee hours after the clubs have closed for the night, Ali Babas is pretty much a no-fail.
Sandwiches are cheap, filling, and flavourful and include classics like chicken shawarma and falafel pitas.
This is not the restaurant you want to bring a first date to. While Burrito Boyz and Banh Mi Boys offer a trendy dining room to kick back in, Ali Babas is best for grabbing and going.
With a ton of locations scattered around Toronto and the GTA, this restaurant tends to stay pretty consistent with their product. That being said, some would argue there are better locations than others.
You’ll know you’ve found an Ali Babas once you see that infamous green and yellow sign probably designed in the 90s.
Paramount Middle Eastern Kitchen
I was first introduced to this homestyle middle-eastern restaurant by a friend and have been hooked to this cheap Toronto restaurant ever since.
The location I’m used to is located in Mississauga but this small chain now has a number of locations in the GTA, as well as other provinces and the USA.
Contrasting with Ali Babas, Paramount has much more comfortable dining rooms that are even date appropriate! The prices don’t match the venue though, as a shawarma sandwich will still cost about $10.
While their shawarma sandwiches will have you addicted, they also have an array of middle-eastern favourites on their menu.
Appetizers like tabouleh and falafel are readily available, and there’s even a dessert counter on-site. Pro tip: don’t skip out on the baklava.
El Furniture Warehouse
If you’re looking for the fun atmosphere of a bar without the $20 nachos, look no further than El Furniture Warehouse.
First thing’s first, everything on the menu is under $6. With prices that low you’d think you wouldn’t be getting a real meal. I was proven wrong after ordering two entrees that I couldn’t finish.
Their serving sizes are full restaurant sizes without the typical restaurant price. If you’re hanging out with friends, this leaves you more cash to take advantage of their drink menu!
I’ve mentioned this restaurant before in Montreal, and thankfully they’ve extended the chain to Toronto so the GTA can take advantage.
I haven’t tried the Toronto location personally, but if it’s anything like the one in Montreal, you can certainly rely on their food quality.
Their menu is on par with other chain restaurants serving up typical Canadian and American fare so you’re sure to find something on the menu for everyone, including vegetarians.
Go Forth and Eat on a Budget
There you have it! These are my favourite go-to cheap Toronto restaurants whenever I’m back in the city that are inexpensive, satisfying, and delicious.
Did I miss anything?
What are your favourite cheap eats in Toronto?