lunch restaurants toronto

Look, we’ve all been there. The clock is getting closer and closer to lunchtime and your stomach is howling. But the age old question always comes up: where should I go and what should I eat? Here in Toronto, we’re definitely not starved for options but what about those places you never knew served lunch? Yeah, they exist and we have to admit – they are kind of awesome. Here are our top twelve lunch spots that you may want to check out:

Best for Business

627 King St W, Toronto, On
With a rooftop pool and gorgeous views of the city, Lavelle is the perfect place to impress any potential client or boss. Chef Romain Avril has created approachable dishes that will satisfy stomachs and leave people aching for the next bite. Our recommendations are the Tuna Tartare ($24) or the Cobb Salad with Chicken ($22) and just a tip: save room for dessert!

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Jackpot Chicken Rice
318 Spadina Ave, Toronto, On
Need a spot that is a bit low-key but high-end in flavour? Hop on over to Craig Wong’s latest venture, Jackpot Chicken Rice in Chinatown.  Focusing on flavours from South-East Asia, no visit would be complete without an order of their signature Hainanese-style chicken called the Jackpot Chicken Rice ($13.75) and if you’re feeling a little saucy, grab one of their cocktails. Our recommendation is the Black Currant Lemonade ($10).

Portland Variety
587 King St W, Toronto, ON
Located on King Street West, this place oozes with charm that is simply irresistible. In the front is a cafe and bake shoppe, which is perfect for on-the-go snacking. But in the dining room, large windows light up and create a beautiful setting for the seasonally inspired menu.  Try out the Smashed Avocado Toast ($16) or the Chicken Piri Piri sandwich ($16), they are hearty!

Brothers Food + Wine
1240 Bay St, Toronto, ON
Need something right on the subway line that will impress? Located right outside the Bay subway station is an unassuming bistro called Brothers. The small restaurant has a Mediterranean influence but has plenty of great dishes to pair alongside their epic wine list including Beef Short Ribs ($19) and Housemade Sausages ($21). Also, try the coffee here, it rivals any independent cafe.

lunch restaurants in toronto
Brothers Food & Wine (Image: Instagram/@missoben)

Cheap and Cheerful

Boxcar Social
235 Queens Quay W
Need a place to get some work done and grab some great eats? Then head down to Boxcar Social’s Harbourfront location for some surprisingly good bites. Chef Nico Aldea (formerly of Porzia) has created a menu of sandwiches that are anything but simple. Our favourites include the Cubano and the Smoked Salmon. Best part: you can grab a beer or wine to pair along with your food.

Greenhouse Juice
Multiple locations across Toronto
Going for your weekly juice fix? Well now you can go and grab hot drinks and soup there as well. The brand recently introduced Greenhouse Soups worked in conjunction with Feast and are plant-based, sustainable, local and organic. Currently on rotation at their Macpherson, Forest Hill, and Queen West shops are Thai Butternut Squash Curry Soup with Wild Rice, Ontario Mushroom, Almond + Tamari Soup with Toasted Almonds and Cauliflower, Jerusalem Artichoke, Tahini + Quinoa Soup with Dukkah. Each bowl sells for $8.

Flock Rotisserie + Greens
Multiple locations across Toronto 
While it doesn’t live up to the infamous Harbour Room burger, chef Cory Vitiello has placed his signature on rotisserie chicken. We have to say, it’s pretty freaking good. The chicken is always juicy and very flavourful, which is a huge bonus. If you’re not feeling a full roast chicken, we would recommend one of the salads that Flock has to offer. Our personal fave is the Power Flock ($12.50) consisting of all the vegetables you could ask for alongside heaps of chicken.

When The Pig Came Home
3035 Dundas St W, Toronto, On
Trust me when I say this: it’s worth the visit to the Junction neighbourhood to visit When The Pig Came Home. Cooking up some undeniably delicious smoked meat treats including their signature peameal bacon sandwich ($6.50), they also sell housemade sausages and jerky. Pro tip: want a smoked meat sandwich ($13) that will rival Schwartz’s in Montreal? This is the place to get it.

lunch restaurants in toronto
The Original (Image: Instagram/@When_the_pig_came_home)

Keep it Vegetarian

Basil Box
351 Yonge St. and 441 Queen St. West, Toronto, On 
We have to admit, we were pleasantly surprised with just how good Basil Box was. The concept is simple: create your own Southeast Asian-style bowl ($9.45) by choosing a base, protein, two vegetables, unlimited toppings and a sauce. The creations you can make are endless with a variety of selections that are fresh and taste delicious. Each time I’ve been, I’ve always been pleasantly surprised with the generous portion piled onto my customized box. Pro tip: get the Pineapple Rose Soda ($3.75) and thank me later.

40 King Street W, Toronto, On 
When you’re sick of the salad train, head on over to Hopscotch. Located in Scotia Plaza, the brand-new concept restaurant offers locally sourced and sustainable ingredients in their bowls and salads. My personal favourite is the Sweet Potato Zen ($11) packed with organic quinoa, tofu, avocado, edamame, celery, shredded kale, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potato and more!

iQ Food
Multiple locations across Toronto
If you are looking for a healthy lunch option, iQ Food is the place to go. With a strong commitment to the 100 kilometres rule, almost everything in the shop is local and fresh.  If a quick snack you’re looking for or a heavier meal, iQ Food has you covered.  With the menu changing seasonally, get your hands on either their Winter Beet box (with oven roasted chicken, mariposa dairy goat cheese, maple roasted beets, red apple, cucumber, pickled onions, maple roasted pecans, spinach, organic quinoa, balsamic vinaigrette) selling for $10.  Not bad!

King’s Cafe
192 Augusta Ave, Toronto, On
This has been one of my secrets for years and now I’m sharing it with you. In the heart of Kensington Market, King’s Cafe offers the very best in vegan and vegetarian food served in large quantities for an affordable price. It’s almost unheard of in Toronto, but trust me – it’s here! They offer everything from soy fritters ($6.99) to crispy ‘duck’ seitan ($11.99).  Also, they have a fairly extensive dim sum menu too.

lunch restaurants in toronto
All veg everything at King’s Cafe (Image: Instagram/@lovewildlivefree)

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Are there any other hidden lunch spots in Toronto that should be included on this list? Let Vv Magazine know in the comment section or tweet us at @ViewtheVibe