Toronto, $15 bucks and under

Food costs are going up, might as well have a Bang for the Buck thread.

While Emmer’s pastries and loaves are on the expensive side, the sandwiches mostly cost around $12. I recommend the breakfast sandwiches, the butty, the patty melt.
Potatoes or salad cost extra.

Grabbed a doner wrap on its own today, at German Doner Kebab. $12.79 before tax, bringing it to around $14.50 including tax.

I will visit Zaad soon to check the current prices of a shawarma , falafel or shish tawook wrap. It was around $8 or $9 last fall.

Mary Brown’s 2 piece chicken dinner, at around $12.79 before tax, including a pop, might be one of the better deals in town/across Canada right now. A 10 piece McNugget combo at McD’s was costing $13.99 plus tax last time I visited (Nov 2022). Mary Brown’s is so much better.


I will list just the first few that come to mind:

Eh Bae Bae at Egg Bae. A scrambled egg sandwich with spicy bacon, muenster, tomato, arugula, pickled shallots, Bae sauce. $8.

Really any dish at Swatow would fit the bill, but I would start with either the beef stew noodle soup or the shrimp dumpling noodle soup. $10.99 each.

We go back again and again for the classic churrasco sandwich (we get the steak version) at Completo. It has sliced grilled steak, tomato, avocado, mayo, red pepper sauce, and hot sauce. $10.95.

Any of the soon tofus at Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu. All are hearty, spicy, and have a nice side of rice. $13.28.

Crispy dosas ($9-13) and spongey uthapams ($9-12) are all yummy at Udupi Palace.


Emma’s Breakwich at $11 and BLT at $12 are good value. Most mains cost more.


I tried So Famous in the Annex tonight, a take-out only Chinese restaurant that has a streamlined menu, that uses halal chicken.
I signed up on their website, agreeing to their offers, and by doing this, there are some menu specials, including a $13.88 deal for a main and side dish.
Some mains and sides have a premium of a dollar or 2.

I got a chicken stirfry and wok hai noodles, paying a premium of 1 dollar more for the noodles, bringing my dinner to $14.88 before tax.

I thought the food was great. Generous dinner for the price and one of the better take-out options on Bloor near Spadina.

If you are a walk-in and pay cash, they throw in a free drink.


Edit: I paid $15.88 before tax. $1 premium for the chicken, as well.

Noctua’s $12 breakfast sandwich, which has 2 pieces of peameal bacon inside.


The breakfast sandwich at Noctua was $12.75 before tax and tip.

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Sausage and Egg Muffin at Emmer is $10 before tax and tip

I had 5 savouries from the Columbus bakery near Lady York on Dufferin: 2 empanadas, 1 cassava cheese pastry, 1 cheese buñuelo/ball, and 1 cheese stick wrapped in dough, and the total was $11.42 including tip.

Same types of prices at Ave Maria on Bloor west of Bathurst.

Photo from Ave Maria


Curious about the Filipino chain Jollibee since it came to Toronto and needing a quick lunch while we were near the Yonge and Broadway location, we stopped in.

Since their fried chicken is one of their calling cards, we tried the Spicy Chicken Sandwich ($8.49):

I think the chicken is fried to order as you have to wait for it to be prepared. The frying was certainly good, crispy and not oily. And it was real chicken breast, not a processed patty. Taste was a little bland, even with the sriracha mayo and fresh jalapenos. Toasted bun was decent. Pretty good deal overall for the price.

Of course the other thing we had to try is the Jolly Spaghetti ($7.99):

People may know that this is an adaptation of spaghetti bolognese, sweetened up with sugar and banana ketchup, with the addition of sliced wieners and very non-Italian cheese. I was expecting to not like it, but it wasn’t that bad. True the sauce is very sweet, like Heinz-canned-spaghetti-sweet. And the mixture of ground meat with wieners was odd. But the noodles weren’t overcooked. Nothing I might seek out again quickly, but certainly something I could tolerate if others wanted to have it.


The carrot cake which is like lo bak go / turnip cake at Kiss My Pans is $12 before tax and tip, $2 extras for sambal.


Tamago sando (soft yolk egg salad) from Ohiru. $15 plus tax. Lots of food. They put some seaweed seasoning on the fries which I didn’t expect but I got used to.

I paid $21.99 for a cheeseburger with an $4.99 upgrade to a Caesar salad before tax at the Duke of York yesterday, and $21 before tax for a 13 inch 3 topping pizza at Blondie’s on Friday, to put this $15 brunch main at Ohiru into downtown Toronto lower end meal context.

Everything else on the menu is over $15, in the more typical brunch range of $17- $25 before tax, since the other proteins cost more than eggs.

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I would gladly pay 2x for that.


I tried the $14 butter chicken and rice combo at Mannat on College near Dufferin tonight. I liked it.

I got take-out. The restaurant was pretty busy for a Wed at 10 pm.

I haven’t tried the Hakka dishes.

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Eataly has figured out the psychological price ceilings. Almost everything is $X.90. :slightly_smiling_face:

My $13.90 Cdn hot, grilled Mortadella and Artichoke Panini.

I like the cold paninis better. This was too salty and too greasy for me. I finished it, of course.

I like the cold prosciutto crudo, which is also $13.90 before tax.


The $6.50 Crème Caramel at Bakery Pompette. Decadence.

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Anything else you try there?

Open about 4 months now?

I have been twice in the past 6 weeks and will be returning soon.

The leek and goat cheese quiche is excellent. They have a lot of interesting savoury croissants and danishes. The loaf cakes are good. They have madeleines.

Their breads look good, but they all have a hard crust and I’m currently more into softer crust breads.

Definitely also check out Bricolage (further west of Little Italy ) and Kiss My Pans (College and Manning ) when you visit College St.

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The baby OG veal sandwich at San Francesco is around $7.50 plus tax. I think the baby eggplant is $7 before tax.

The regular size is around $11 before tax.

This was my first San Francesco veal sandwich. It was okay. It was certainly filling.

I used to get the mini size or regular size veal or eggplant sandwich at the California Sandwiches on Yonge or Dufferin.

The San Francesco on Clinton only had one young man working. The California sandwiches nearby was quite a bit busier. I will stop by to compare in a few months.

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I like San Francesco - they were my first veal sandwich. I also like California and Mustachio’s in the St. Lawrence Market.

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With the closing of Rose’s, we lost our go-to banh mi option. So we finally decided to try Banh Mi Huy-Ki, on Gerrard near Jones. We sampled the assorted and the meatball. Each was $5 (cash only).

Our overall assessment: not bad but not as good as Rose’s. The sandwiches were a little lighter on the vegetable garnishes (carrot and daikon mix, cucumber, fresh cilantro). The sliced meats were fine, but the meatball was a bit blander.

We’ll try them again, mainly because I think they are our only local option. But we may travel further afield as we are aware that other places are favoured by various of you.

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