Although North York probably won't be named the GTA's mecca for fine dining anytime soon, there are definitely a bunch of spots you can head to in the area for an inexpensive meal that's easy on your wallet yet still incredibly mouthwatering (and possibly more than you can manage to scarf down in one sitting!) North York offers a variety of Vietnamese, Japanese, Lebanese, Persian cuisines, and you can check 'em out below!
1. Orly Grill // 660 Sheppard Ave W
Sure, the interior isn’t fancy, but what Orly Grill lacks in visual presentation, it makes up for in great taste and large portions! If you’re after falafel and pita sandwiches, they’ll run you about $5-8 while you can order a shawarma or kebab dish for $10-15.
2. Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu // 5445 Yonge Street
Granted, if you’re a fan of quick and easy Korean hot pot, you’ve likely heard of this place, but nevertheless, Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu deserves a mention for flavourful soon tofu, bibimbap, and bulgogi soup you can enjoy on a budget of $10 or less.
3. Sushi Bong // 5 Northtown Way
This spot caters more for take-out, but there is still a small seated area if you just absolutely feel the need to scarf down on some sashimi or maki. The dynamite roll is enormous and seems to be the most popular item on the menu at nearly $8 a pop.
4. Angus Pho House // 5443 Yonge Street
Located right next to Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu, this Vietnamese joint should be your go-to for pho in North York if it isn’t already. It has a small but brightly decorated dining area that can get quite busy on a Friday night - but then again, if a restaurant is packed, that’s pretty solid proof that it’s got a good thing going. The pho bowls are relatively large and the protein portions are generous. Try the roti with curry for approximately $7 or enjoy any of the deliciously savoury broths for $8-10.
5. The Dumpling Shop // 184 Willowdale Ave
Definitely a hole-in-the-wall spot, The Dumpling Shop has a tiny seated area but caters mainly to take-out. They generally sell their dumplings frozen, BUT hear me out: if you’re always too lazy to ever make your own dumplings and want an extremely inexpensive option that you can have on hand whenever your dumpling-cravings hit you, then The Dumpling Shop is for you - 20 dumplings for $6, 30 for $8-10, or 50 for $13-17.
6. Artisan Noodle // 5421 Yonge Street
Another tiny shop with a lot to offer, this would be a cozy spot for a casual rendezvous. The noodles are handmade and the portions are large enough that you may not even be able to finish it! Try the Bon Bon Chicken, a boneless dish in a spicy peanut sauce for $6, or the Biang Biang Mian, noodles in a tomato sauce with beef, fried egg, and mixed veggies for just $9.
7. Haida Sandwich // 15 Northtown Way
Again, big portions and a bang for your buck - if you just want somewhere lowkey to grab a nice filling sandwich, skip Subway for once and try out Haida Sandwich. Try the 12” Haida Special or their Pizza Sandwich with their own yummy “special sauce” - alternatively, they also offer a veggie pizza version which is just as filled to the brim with melted cheese deliciousness.
8. Tah Deeg Restaurant // 5525 Yonge Street
In the mood for some hearty Persian/Iranian food? Watch your order made in front of you on the grill at Tah Deeg, and don’t forget to order the tea and baklava after for a $3 dessert. Mmmm, baklava.
9. Soban Cafe // 5600 Yonge Street
This is such a cute little Japanese-style dessert cafe that you can sit down for a study session as a welcome alternative to your typical Starbucks. Enjoy a crepe, fruit waffle, or a matcha latte while you hit the books (or, y’know, wander onto the weird side of YouTube by accident… and stay there for 2 hours… whatever).
10. Teta's Mediterranean Kitchen // 4610 Dufferin Street
This bakery/restaurant might be a bit out of the way, but honestly, if you just loooove Lebanese cuisine you should give this place a shot. The owner, Sami, takes pride in his food and can happily give you recommendations if it’s your first time. Hummus and tabouli, chicken kafta, and all the shawarma you could ever desire for $10 or less.
Do you have any more recommendations? Leave a comment below and let us know!
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