Dundas West (recently ranked the 12th coolest neighbourhood in the world) is home to no shortage of excellent restaurants, many of which will leave your belly full—but your wallet significantly lighter. Fortunately, for those watching their budgets, it’s also possible to eat well on this trendy strip without breaking the bank. Here, 10 spots on the stretch of Dundas West from Bathurst to Lansdowne where $10 (or less!) goes a long way.
The best burger on this stretch of Dundas belongs to Extra Burger, and you can get its three-ounce smash patty topped with American cheese, tomato, pickles, shredded lettuce and secret sauce for just $9.
More budget bites: Bowlerama Fries, crinkle-cut taters covered in gravy and cheese sauce ($9.50).
There’s nothing heartbreaking about Jerome Robinson’s indulgent comfort food (unless we’re talking about coronary artery disease, but hey, one sandwich can’t hurt). The Half-Ass Chicken Sandwich ($9), stacked with a piece of fried chicken dressed in Carolina butter sauce, is a more modest but still hearty alternative to the towering Big-Ass Chicken Sandwich. Topped with spicy ranch, sweet pickles and creamy slaw, it offers all the delightfully messy satisfaction of the OG.
More budget bites: Five-cheese mac and cheese ($9), Cajun-spiced tater poutine ($9) or the Likkle Dutty Chicken Sandwich, with extra-hot jerk sauce and grilled pineapple ($9).
One of the most economical menu items at this family-run restaurant also happens to be its speciality: handmade pork-and-chive dumplings ($9.95 for 10). The bright room is accented with bold pops of colour, making this one of the more stylish budget-friendly spots on this stretch.
More budget bites: A pan-fried green onion pancake ($7.95) or an invigorating hot and sour soup ($6.95).
The west-end outpost of this takeout counter, which also has a location in the Beaches, sells a trio of plump corn empanadas with a side of salsa for just $10. With salsa available in varying levels of heat and filling options that include beef, chicken, cheese, vegetables, Beyond Meat and Impossible Meat, there’s something for every type of thrifty diner.
The Burger’s Priest founder Shant Mardirosian really delivers on his pizza parlour’s name, which is a biblical reference reflecting his desire to save Toronto diners from high restaurant prices. The Meatball Hero Sandwich ($10) is a sloppy and filling American Italian classic that’s even better when paired with a Miller High Life ($7.50).
More budget bites: The Caprese Hero Sandwich ($10).
Almost everything on the menu at this fast-casual Indian kitchen, which draws inspiration from Mumbai’s street food scene, is under $15. But the Bombay Veg Frankie—a roti or chapati rolled burrito-style around a filling of spiced mashed potatoes, onions, green cabbage, garlic chutney and mayo—is the stand-out deal ($9.95).
More budget bites: Chinese bhel noodles ($9.95) or, for an extra buck, spicy veggie curry ($10.95).
This laid-back standby attracts a local crowd for its solid menu of Vietnamese staples. The pho is top-notch, but the banh mi sandwiches ($9.95) heaped with grilled pork or lemongrass tofu offer the best bang for your buck.
Open since 1982, this west-end stalwart has affordable prices to match its retro feel. The wide-ranging menu includes everything from beef patties to fish and chips, but Italian dishes are what Tony and Nick do best. At $8.95, the spaghetti and meatballs is a wise guy–approved steal. Snag a spot at one of the metal high-tops if you don’t want to scarf down your spaghetti on the go.
More budget bites: Pizza squares ($4.95), lasagna ($9.92) and hamburgers ($5.50).
Slices here are ready to grab and go in a flash, but true to the restaurant’s name, the process of making them is slow and thoughtful. Although more elaborate options exist, even the margherita, wood-fired and topped with mozzarella, fior di latte and fresh basil, is evidence of chef Giuseppe Bruzzese’s attention to detail ($4.50).
Chef Joe Kim leans in to his Korean heritage and experience in kitchens like Pinky’s CaPhe and Hanmoto for his menu of hearty and filling fare. While you’ll need to shell out a little more for one of Kim’s beautiful bentos, the hand-cut waffle fries covered in Japanese chicken curry ($7) will do the trick.
More budget bites: More fries and curry—this time with the addition of cheese—for $8.