When I first came to U of T, I was on a diet of pizza from Cora’s (which was once closed for health code violations) and fries from that truck in front of Sidney Smith. I just found the food from the U of T cafeterias to be crappy and overpriced (one time I found a plastic wrapper inside my salad…).
After several years, I’ve been able to figure out what places have decent — if not awesome — food around campus, which is affordably-priced, filling, reasonably healthy, and has vegetarian options (I am a vegetarian). Hopefully this will help you stop buying hot dogs and Burger King, which I know you hate yourself for eating. While you won’t find food at these places that costs less than $3, let’s be honest — no meal that costs that little can be good for you.
I think this place opened fairly recently. I ran into it today and almost exploded in excitement that there was indian food on campus. Though I didn’t have time to buy anything, the menu looked pretty good (and it smelled really great in there too!).
Location: Sanford Fleming
2. Sushi World
I eat here at least once a week during the school year. They have a special lunch menu with at least eight different items, all of which are $5.99.
Type: sushi, of course
Location: Chinatown/Kensington Market area
3. Hot Yam
This is cafe is run by volunteer U of T students. They only serve meals on Thursdays at lunchtime but each meal is only $4!
Location: International Student Centre
The food here is not that cheap but there is a lot of variety and it’s pretty good-quality.
Type: all kinds
Location: basement of Hart House
I would eat here constantly if it were a tiny bit closer to campus and the service was faster. It tends to get busy and the dumplings are hand-made so sometimes it takes a while to get your food. They serve items other than dumplings but everything is delicious and really affordable. Even though it’s in Chinatown, Mother’s Dumplings does not seem like it is going to have any health code violations.
Type: Chinese, specifically dumplings
This restaurant used to be called something else, but they serve pretty much the same food as the old place. I’m not sure if they re-branded or it’s just coincidental.
Type: Japanese, specifically sushi
Location: Spadina and Bloor
I like eating here when I want to feel healthy, though I wouldn’t call the food cheap nor expensive. During busy times like lunch and dinner, there are long lines to get a table.
Location: Right beside Rolu (Spadina and Bloor)
8. Spring Rolls
If you don’t know, Spring Rolls is a chain of restaurants in Toronto. They have a location now at U of T, which I guess opened within the last few months. The service is pretty fast and the food is tasty but the prices seem to be the same as in the restaurant.
Type: Asian, I think
Location: Sidney Smith
There was a period when I ate veggie burritos from here at least 3 times a week. They are just extremely delicious, filling, cheap, and I don’t feel unhealthy afterward. The only thing is that you have to make the trek to Kensington Market.
Type: burritos, of course! There are tacos too
Location: Kensington Market
Compiling this list made me super hungry! Comment below if I’m missing anything!