Best Bang for Your Buck Restaurants

Fill your belly without emptying your wallet.

Toronto is most definitely a food town. Tucked into every neighbourhood, you’ll find a cheap ’n cheerful spot serving up plates of goodness that will make your ’hood feel like home. Check out this list of places where you can eat well without risking your next month’s rent.

LOCAL PUBLIC EATERY
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The Liberty Village outpost of this western Canadian chain is chock full of starters and share plates for less than $10. Their bar menu offers craft beers coming in at less than $6 a pint, or $14 for a pitcher.

EL FURNITURE WAREHOUSE
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Born in Whistler, B.C., this chain considers itself a “premium dive-bar”. Since their Annex location opened in 2014, they’ve made a splash serving $4.95-for-everything eats. Less than a year later, they’ve opened a second location on Queen St. West.

THE THREE SPEED


A cozy, inviting décor, excellent micro brews on tap, and a small, focused menu rotated with seasonal ingredients. This is the recipe that keeps people coming back to Three Speed. Also, their back patio is a gem in the summer.

THE OSSINGTON STOP
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Actually located on Dundas, The Ossington Stop is a no-nonsense respite from the trendy restaurants lining the strip between Queen and Dundas. All food items but one are less than $10 and served without fuss. Draught beer and bar rail goes for $4, wine for $5, and the kitchen is open till 4 AM Fridays and Saturdays.

BIVY
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Bivy serves delicious, rustic cuisine with prices that allow for frequent visits. Their menu features decadent omelettes, smoked-meat, and house-cured salmon sandwiches, and some of the best potato salad in the city. Their pulled-pork may as well be slow-roasted in magic.

THE ATLANTIC
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Working without a menu, chef Nathan Isberg improvises dishes based on whichever ingredients he can gather on any given day – which may or may not include crickets and snails. Afterwards you can pay whatever you feel the meal is worth, although international critics have suggested that’s top-dollar.

HOSU
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(Photo by: Alexa Clark via Flickr)

Need a cheap date? Two people can have tea, soup, salad, a trio of pickled appetizers, and an entrée of Korean or Japanese cuisine for about $20. Their locations at Yonge and Eglinton, and Queen and John St make dinner and a movie easy and very affordable.

JAVA HOUSE/POUR BOY/NIRVANA/RED ROOM/GREEN ROOM
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The owners of this collection of downtown pubs have built an empire on student budgets. Pint specials ring in at $4.50 and entrees hover around $8. That means you can eat, drink, and tip with a $20 bill and still walk out with change.

NAZARETH
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(Photo by: XiaoEats via Urbanspoon)

People are crazy about Nazareth and there’s almost always a line-up. They’ve built a loyal following by serving gratuitous portions of delicious Ethiopian food. When the bill comes, you’re usually surprised in the best possible way.

GRAZIE
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(Photo by: PJMixer via Flickr)

Grazie is an institution at Yonge and Eglinton. They’ve been serving top-quality, traditional Italian cuisine for over 15 years. Although they may not be considered a “budget” restaurant, the value and dining experience has kept their customers coming back.