How to Eat for $30 (or less) at 6 Great Restaurants

By Suresh Doss  |  January 15, 2014

We get it, post-holiday eating usually means you're watching your wallet like a hawk. But who says you have to sacrifice taste? To help you shake off those holiday and winter blues, we've compiled a list of places to eat well within a budget - but without sacrificing flavour.

  • Khao San Road

    The food at this Entertainment District restaurant pays tribute to Bangkok-style eating with a menu that boasts a tremendous punch of flavour packed into bowls of curry and noodles. The dishes are complex and layered and the kitchen is known for spice. The lines can be long, but the wait is well worth it once you have the first taste of that khao soi.  
    Top dishes to try: fresh rolls, garlic chicken, green curry (pick your protein), Bangkok-style pad thai, khao soi.

    326 Adelaide W., 647-352-5773

  • Mildred Pierce Temple Kitchen

    The gorgeous Mildred Pierce in Liberty Village is a popular hangout during the weekend with the brunch mafia. If you don't want to bother with the hustle and bustle of brunch, check out MP's midweek feasts. Taking place Monday to Wednesday, the $48 feast for two features a three course menu starting with cheddar biscuits and bowls of daily soup, followed by a platter of sliced flat iron steak and roast breast of chicken. Finish with Mildred’s famous profiteroles.

    85 Hanna Avenue, Suite 104., 416-588-5695

  • Salt wine bar

    The extensive wine list is the backbone at this Ossington snack bar, which also serves ample Portugeuse/Spanish tapas. On any given night, plates of steak tartare tostadas and jamon serrano fly through the small dining room to clanking sounds of wine glasses late into the evening.
    Top dishes to try: grilled octopus, sunchoke risotto, patatas bravas, lamb sausage.

    225 Ossington Ave., 416-533-7258

  • Beast Restaurant

    Scott Vivian's farm-to-table restaurant in the King West District is a popular hangout for foodies that have a keen sense of provenance, with a palate for local food and wine. Vivian's menu primarily focuses on Ontario ingredients but is also influenced by French, Indian and British cooking. Vivian's wife Rachelle is the brains behind the popular Doughtoronto popup, so if doughnuts are on the menu, do not miss out. 
    Top dishes to try: Snails, fried squid, pork hocks, fried gnocchi poutine, bone marrow.

    96 Tecumseth St., 637-352-6000

  • Skin and bones

    Featuring one of the city's best by-the-glass wine lists, it's no surprise that Leslieville Skin and Bones is a popular hangout for those that wish to try a variety of different wines with shareable plates of food. The bistro menu changes seasonally and offers a great canvas to sample the 30-plus world wines in various size pours (3oz, 6oz and bottle).
    Top dishes to try: Arancini, charcuterie board to share, fried oysters, confit chicken leg, truffled gnudi

    980 Queen St E., 416-524-5209

  • Guu Saka Bar

    The second installment of the Vancouver-based franchise, Guu SakaBar brings all the energy, raucous of traditional Japanese izakaya eating to Bloor West. Louder than the original Toronto Guu from start to finish and has a fun, large menu that is impossible to experience in just one visit. Your best course of action here is to try a variety of plates (they're small) and order up a few sake cocktails. Sit at the bar to take it all in.
    Top dishes to try: karaage, takoyaki, gyu shabu salad, gyu carpaccio, carbonara yudon, saba, kaurbi

    559 Bloor Street W., 647-343-1101