Banh Mi Boys, at 392 Queen St. West (Queen and Spadina) and 399 Yonge Street (Yonge and Gerrard), has fantastic French- and Vietnamese-influenced sandwiches for as little as $3.49. The bread is fresh and crispy, and the unique combination of flavours is delightful. One sandwich will give you energy for a whole afternoon of papers or, if you’re not facing quite as much heavy work, eat half and share or keep the other half. It’s definitely enough to split. There are also bao sandwiches, which are smaller and made with steamed bread, if you’re looking for something lighter. For those who don’t want the bread, BMB also has entree salads for under $10. The bright and fun decor is bound to inspire writing, and when you’re snowed under with marking, you can call for delivery.
Pizza Pide is a little farther away, at Gerrard and Pape (949 Gerrard Street East), but is worth the travel time. The highest price on their menu is $9.99, and the pides are freshly baked and big enough for two people. You may not want to share, though. The left-overs taste great when popped into a toaster oven the next day. With a variety of topping combinations, any palate will be pleased. The combination pide, in which every slice is different, will make the most insatiably curious customer happy. All are served with a large helping of onion, tomato, pickled peppers, parsley, and lemon. You may also want to try their Sour Cherry juice!
Drop by El Gordo Latin American Food Court in Kensington Market (214 Augusta Ave.) for a variety of Latin American foods, all affordable. For $10, choose three giant empanadas from a wide selection, served warm or cold. Mexican food enthusiasts can enjoy $5 tacos, $9 ceviche, and $2 aguas frescas, while the Jamaican pasta-and-jerk counter usually serves a lunch special for under $5. The court also houses an arepa counter and a pupusa counter. If you’re having trouble deciding between all these great options, or you have a sweet tooth to satisfy, enjoy the chocolate and churros, freshly made. The only drawbacks to the Court are its small space, which means limited seating, and its vulnerability to frozen pipes in the winter, which means no chocolate or other hot drinks when it’s really cold.
Schnitzel Queen at 237 Queen St. East (Queen and Sherbourne) is, I’m told, a schnitzel-lover’s delicious dream. Schnitzel sandwiches and dinners are all under $10 and are served in a variety of combinations. The crispy schnitzels can be topped with the more traditional sauerkraut, potato salad, and roasted onion, or, for the more adventurous, sweet and sour chilli sauce. The green storefront stands out from the brick building around it, so it’s not too hard to find, and the interior has a homey atmosphere that will make Robarts and the seminar room seem far, far away.
Lastly, Nazareth Bar at Ossington and Bloor (969 Bloor Street West) is known as one of the best Ethiopian restaurants in Toronto. The huge servings will satisfy two people for under $12 and are worth the wait at this small, family-run business. The assortment of different dishes, all served on injera, are fun to try, both with and without meat, and, although I’ve not tried them, I’ve heard the tibs are delicious. The negatives are that it’s cash-only, there are long line-ups, and the service is quite poor. The earlier you come, the better, and don’t plan for a quick dash in-and-out between reading articles. This is more of a just-finished-something-and-want-to-relax place.
Please add more great, cheap places to eat in the comments section!