Grab and go lunch spots in the Beaches

This city is as diverse in culture as it is in landscape, and the eclectic cuisine in the Beaches is a great example of Toronto's culinary variety. Take a stroll along Queen Street East and discover these casual lunch spots, just a few steps away from the lake. [Image credit: iStock.com/PamelaJoeMcFarlane]

Brick Street Bakery

1
1969 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L 1H9

If you want to seriously multi-task and pick up some French macarons and fresh baguettes for your dinner party, and also tuck in for a healthy lunch, may we suggest indulging in the oh-so-good vibes at Brick Street Bakery? While the pastry selection ranges from mini tarts to pan au chocolat to made-in-house croissants, a selection of hot and cold sandwiches will seriously compete for your attention. Standout lunch dishes include the lamb kofta wrap, accented by fennel coleslaw, and the coronation chicken sandwich, featuring apple, apricot, almonds and a lightly curried mayonnaise.

Hogtown Smoke Restaurant

2
1959 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L 1H7

It’s rustic, modern, and truly old-school rolled into one at this Queen East smokehouse. Open for lunch seven days a week, Hogtown Smoke specializes largely in Southern-style dishes with a modern spin. Think: pulled chicken served with potato salad and baked beans, Cuban-inspired pulled pork, smoked brisket, beef short ribs, and smoked chicken wings. Oh, and bourbon. Did we mention they boast a stacked selection of bourbons on the menu?

Yumei Sushi

3
2116 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4E 1E2

Got a hankering for a lunchtime sushi feast? This mom-and-pop sushi restaurant in the Beaches in a neighbourhood favourite. A compact but inspired interior creates the calm, casual vibes of Yumei, while sushi boats stocked with oh-so-fresh sashimi (including salmon belly), bibimbap, lunch combo specials, and both the standard rolls and unique maki creations attest to the solid reputation of this long-time spot.

The Burger's Priest

4
1636 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L 1G3

This burger joint has become somewhat of a cult favourite in Toronto. The Burger’s Priest offers a homemade take on popular fast food. The simple menu focuses on the patties, which are made fresh daily. The Beach location is tiny but perfect for take-away, whether you're headed back home or to the beach with friends. For vegetarians, The Option offers two roasted, breaded and deep-fried Portobello mushrooms that sub for the beef.

Burrito Bandidos

5
1614 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L 1G3

Burrito Bandidos was born when Ian Angus split ways with Burrito Boyz, a massively successful restaurant he founded. Feeding hungry customers from multiple locations across Toronto, this spot offers mixed meat options and some great guacamole. Who doesn’t like a little Mexican inspired fare for the beach? This packed tortilla will keep you on-budget and ready for the next great thing, from boardwalks to beach volleyball.

Cafe Naturalis

6
2198 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4E 1E7

If you love yourself some comfort food and a pot of tea, this Beaches café and bakery is the spot if you’re peckish on Queen East. Help yourself to a range of made-fresh sandwiches like a turkey club or egg salad, upgrade your bread to a Montreal-style bagel, or skip the savoury and head straight for the serious pastry display. Hot tip: there’s also a cute little street-side patio for outdoor dining.

Tori's Bakeshop

7
2188 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4E 1E6

If you're looking for grab-and-go lunch options free of dairy, egg, casein and sugar, Tori's Bakeshop is for you. While the entire menu is not entirely free of these ingredients, all options are natural, organic and made with love. Choose from bakeshop favourites such as pies, breads and cookies – but don’t miss out on the delicious sandwich options that are perfect for on-the-go lunch. The grilled cheese is a top pick, as it seems locals can’t get enough of it.

Beaches Bake Shop

8
900 Kingston Rd, Toronto, ON M4E 1S5

Owner Anna Tvinnereim wants her love of food, community and friendship to shine through in everything the bakeshop does. Having studied nutrition, Anna creates Scandinavian-inspired options that are healthy and delicious. These take-away suggestions are perfect for picnicking at the beach. Choose from quiches, quinoa salads, soups and more. You can also balance out your nutritious meal with a mouth-watering Swedish cinnamon bun – in Toronto these are some of the most authentic rolls around.

Sanna's Farmacia Organic Juice Bar

9
2096 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4E 1E1

For a light option that is full of all the good stuff – vitamins, nutrients, fibre – Farmacia Juice Bar is your place. What’s more refreshing and rejuvenating than a fruity juice or smoothie? Former physical trainer, Stefano Sanna, will help you find just what you need. If you’re looking for something more filling, try a protein smoothie or add a baked goodie. A whole lot of care goes into each creation, so stop by for a delicious concoction.

Just because you don't eat meat doesn't mean you can't eat a great burger. At these Victoria restaurants you'll find unique and delicious veggie burgers that may even convert the carnivores in your dining party.
Those who can’t have gluten can sometimes struggle to find good eats, but that’s rarely an issue in Victoria. Here, gluten-free cooking has been welcomed with open arms, and those who can’t have gluten can find a wide range of foods to enjoy. From fresh-baked treats to home-style pizzas, these restaurants offer all of the flavour, with none of the gluten.
Thirsty? Sure, you could reach for a sugary soda or lean on the caffeine crutch of coffee, but why not treat your body (and your taste buds) to something better? Packed with energy-enhancing nutrients and bursting with fresh flavours, a healthy jolt of juice may be the answer. Find it at one of these fine local juice bars.
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