Cheap eats in Toronto aren’t that hard to come by but restaurants that are cheap and also date-worthy aren’t as easy to find. For an affordable date in city, read on for our list of suggested spots.
Maybe you’ve got a Tinder date and commitments are low or you’re short on cash or just plain cheap. Whatever the reason, we’re not judging – in fact, we’re here to help! For those dates where you don’t want to spend a lot of money but still want to make a good impression and enjoy delicious eats, use our handy list of cheap date spots in Toronto – save money and face.
With three locations across Toronto, Fancy Franks is a great go-to for a casual first date. As owner Angelos Economopoulos puts it, “It’s got all the right elements, like the milkshakes and the hotdogs. It’s easy going – there’s no pressure in a place like this.” And he’s exactly right. With hotdogs like Frankie Goes to Buffalo (a panko-fried wiener topped with chicken bacon, carrots, celery, blue cheese dressing and Buffalo wing sauce) and Franks got Seoul (an all-beef dog topped with Korean beef ribs, kimchi, sesame seeds and scallions) conversation is easy and the bill is cheap, with each dog priced between 7 and 10 dollars. Want to go even cheaper? Get a plain hot dog for $4.50 – the toppings are unlimited. And if you really like your date, end it with the mini Nutella topped doughnuts – you won’t regret it.
545 King St. West & 825 Dundas St. West
Tell your date you want to take them for the best sandwich in the city and order them The House Special –do yourself a favour and order the same. The sandwiches, which run for $8.25 each, are on the messy side but just think about all the opportunities you have to wipe truffle sauce off of each other’s cute faces. Porchetta & Co.’s King St. West location has a small seating area for you to devour your sammies, and if you’re willing to up the bill, they’ve got cold brews for order, too. If you’re headed to their Dundas West location, beware of very limited seating. Grab your sandwiches to go and a spot on the green grass at Trinity Bellwoods Park instead.
410 Bloor St. & 232 Queen St. West
If you don’t mind waiting in line or starting your date a little early, El Furniture Warehouse is the spot to go for a cheap date. The pub-style menu has offerings like potato skins, crispy chicken wings, sandwiches, salads and burgers, all for $5.95 each and the portions ain’t small either. With all those savings, you’re sure to have some extra cash for drinks, which are as equally as cheap. Draught beers are only $6. And if you’re feeling extra broke, we suggest heading to either location on a Tuesday when tacos are just 95 cents or a Wednesday when wings are just 25 cents each.
125 Ossington Ave.
Pho-get about hefty bills at this popular Vietnamese joint. Situated on Ossington between Queen and Dundas, Golden Turtle is the pho restaurant of choice for those who live in the ‘hood. A delicious bowl of rice noodles that swim in a beefy broth will run you between $8 (for a small bowl) and $11 (for an XL bowl), and domestic beers are just 4 bucks. The service is speedy and if you head there in the summertime, be sure to grab a seat on the patio – it’s one of our favourites on Ossington!
328 Spadina Ave.
Picking out a restaurant in Chinatown can be daunting but the area is full of cheap eats. If your date loves dumplings, we suggest taking them to Dumpling House. Not only is everything on the menu super affordable (almost everything is under $10 including well-portioned noodle and meat dishes) but their dumplings have been dubbed some of the best in the city! All dumplings are made fresh in house and they’re open until 11pm, for those late night dates. We suggest trying the green onion pancake and any of their pan-fried dumplings, which are their speciality.
If you’re in the mood for Middle Eastern cuisine, we suggest checking out Paramount Fine Foods. The fast-casual restaurant has been rapidly expanding across the city – meaning there’s certainly a location close to you. And if you’ve been into any of their new locations, you know the decor is next level, decked out with shiny chandeliers and leather seating. Sandwiches, which include choices like falafel and grilled lamb, run between $5.49 and $9.49, while heftier dishes will run anywhere between $8.49 for a falafel plate and $23.99 for a whole chicken. Our suggestion? Share a couple of plates, including the Yalla fries: mouth-watering french fries topped with chicken shawarma, garlic sauce and tahini. If your date’s a vegetarian, don’t fret – Paramount has plenty of options for them. Just be wary of garlic breath and tabbouleh in your teeth!
666 Manning Ave. & 583 College St.
No clue what your date likes to eat but wanna keep it cheap? Pour Boy is for you. They’ve got almost everything on their menu, from pastas and burgers to Asian noodles and quesadillas. Almost all of the entrees are under $10 and bottled beers are priced between $4.50 and $6.50. Plus, if you’re in the mood for a patio session, the location on Manning has a pretty wicked one. Pour Boy isn’t fancy but it’s definitely ideal for low-key, casual get-togethers.
1181 Dundas St. W.
Nothing screams, ‘casual cool‘ quite like arcade games, a slice of ‘za and a pint of craft beer. If that’s the vibe you’re going for, you’ll want to head to Get Well for your next date, where North of Brooklyn serves up a mean margarita (and a variety of other kinds of) pizza. A single slice of the good stuff will cost you just under $5, while bottles of beer start at $5.75. The arcade games, however, are completely free! Get Well + North of Brooklyn Pizza = a well-rounded date, indeed.
Where else do you suggest for a cheap date in Toronto? Share them with us in the comments below or tweet us at @ViewtheVibe.