Affordable Eats for Toronto’s Starving Artists

Grab some grub for your grumbling stomach

Between the crazy cost of Toronto rent and constantly tapping your Presto card, what’s a starving artist to do but scramble for change under the couch cushions? If you feel like treating yourself but only have about $5 to your name, check out some of these restaurants that are both cheap and delicious.

Note: prices are subject to change, as well do not include tax or tip. Please tip your server.
 

Mean Bao

Mean Bao has become synonymous with Toronto cheap food. With four locations now, Mean Bao offers an awesome selection Chinese delicacies from bao to dim sum for under $5. With five bao on the daily menu and rotating specials, the food here is so cheap you could try something new every day of the week.
 

Tacos El Asador

Tacos El Asador is a Latin American hot spot located in the heart of Koreatown. If you head to this family-run Salvadoran restaurant you’ll find cheap eats from enchiladas for $3.95 to cheesy pupusas for only $3.40. To top it all off everything is made from scratch.
 

Jumbo Empanadas

Try an authentic taste of Chilean food at this Kensington establishment. You’ll even get change back with a $5 bill, for any of Jumbo Empanadas’ chicken, beef and veggie Empanadas. They also have mini-empanadas for only $1.50.
 

Gale’s Snack Bar

Gale’s Snack Bar is a starving artist’s haven at the edges of Leslieville, and is worth trecking to the isolated strip beside empty warehouses where you’ll find this delicious restaurant. When you get a chance to glance at the menu, you’ll see that the most expensive thing on there is $3.00. In fact, you can get a Western sandwich for less than a loonie.
 

Rose’s Vietnamese Sandwiches

The sandwiches at Rose’s Vietnamese Sandwiches are so under priced it’s criminal. Grab a Bao sandwich for a buck 75, or if you’re feel especially hungry, skip out on Subway and grab a couple of deli sandwiches at $2.50 a piece.
 

P.G. Clucks

What’s a list of delicious affordable food without P.G. Clucks? The Allan Gardens fast food joint is known for it’s crispy and spice-filled fried chicken. A piece of the crunchy, lemony meat goes into the classic sammy, which rings in at just $6.50.
 

Rasta Pasta

In Kensington, treat your mouth to a fusion of Jamaican and Italian at the cleverly named Rasta Pasta. Fill your belly (and I mean, really fill) with their signature “Jamaican Mi crazy Chicken” that comes with jerk chicken, rice and coleslaw / veggies at an unreasonably reasonable priced $6.
 

The Bagel House

Head to this buzzing 24 hour cafe that specializes in classic Montreal-style bagels to grab a meal for under $5, or a 1/2 dozen of mixed bagels for $5.75. With five locations now in Toronto, the bagel lover in you can get their cheap fix in almost any part of the city. If you’ve never tried the distinctive taste and texture of Montreal-style bagels, this is the place to get them.
 

El Furniture Warehouse

El Furniture Warehouse is a Toronto staple for starving artists by now and for good reason. Nothing on the menu of this chain dive bar is more than $5. We’re not talking sliders or apps — we’re talking full on meals.
 

Sultan of Samosas


At Sultan of Samosas, you’ll find unique pastry dough, top quality meats, and fresh produce wrapped into a perfect little square. Not only is the food out of this world, but you can get a veggie samosa for only $1.10.