Student haunts for cheap off-campus eats in Toronto

Whether you’re looking for a plateful of brain food to fuel your next study session or hankering for a greasy breakfast to cure your morning-after hangover, these wallet-friendly student haunts are sure to satisfy your cravings without breaking the bank. [Image credit: iStock.com/gpointstudio]

Salad King

1
340 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M5B 1R8

Salad King is the undisputed monarch of Yonge Street when it comes to Thai cuisine. The communal tables are perpetually packed with Ryerson students and professors enjoying a filling meal between classes. The menu features traditional Thai curries, stir fry noodles, fried rice and meaty entrees while the unique “Spicy Scale” encourages adventurous diners to turn up the heat and customize their order with up to 20 chilies. Bonus: your student ID gets you 10 per cent off between 2pm and 5pm.

Fran's Restaurant

2
210 Victoria St, Toronto, ON M5B 1V8

Take your study group on a field trip to this iconic retro diner offering classic greasy spoon fare 24 hours a day. Here, the extensive menu includes all-day breakfast, sandwiches, burgers and plenty of filling dishes designed to fuel your late-night cram session. The Victoria Street location is steps away from Ryerson campus and the College Street outpost is a just a short walk from the University of Toronto (U of T).

The George Street Diner

3
129 George St, Toronto, ON M5A 2M6

It’s hard to miss this bright crimson redbrick building at the corner of George Street and Richmond Street East. This casual Corktown lunch spot fills up daily with hungry students from nearby George Brown College thanks to its classic diner vibe and friendly service. The Irish Breakfast — served with two thick slices of traditional Irish soda bread — is sure to help you power through your hunger till the end of the school day.

Dim Sum King

4
421 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T 2W4

Students from the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) get creative by mixing and matching colourful dim sum dishes from this Chinatown eatery. Bite-sized finger foods like pork buns, seafood dumplings and sticky rice are delivered with traditional dim sum cart service and range from about $2 to $4 per item. Take your selections to go if you need to head back to class.

Einstein Cafe & Pub

5
229 College St, Toronto, ON M5T 1R4

Even the most brilliant minds need to unwind from time to time. This casual beer hall lures U of T students off campus with its large selection of craft beers, daily drink specials and affordable pub grub. Pair a basket of chicken wings — just $1 apiece when you order 10 at a time — with a pitcher of the pub’s own Einstein Lager and you’ll soon forget that looming calculus test.

Loblaws

6
60 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5B 1J2

Sometimes there’s just not enough time between classes for a proper sit down meal. Luckily Ryerson students don’t even have to leave campus to grab a quick bite (and some groceries to take home) at this full-service food emporium located inside Maple Leaf Gardens. The canteen has plenty of prepared takeaway meals, a DIY salad bar, and an on-site patisserie offering fresh-baked cupcakes and doughnuts. Burn off those calories at Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre located right upstairs.

Sushi on Bloor

7
525 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 1Y4

Sushi lovers are spoiled for choice in the Annex, but this busy two-floor restaurant stands out with its speedy service and large portions. Daily lunch specials start from just $4.99, which means hungry U of T coeds can afford to dine out and cover their student loans.

Toronto’s frigid winter months were made for curling up with a warm mug of hot cocoa. Escape the chilly air inside these local cafés where the hot chocolate is sweet, spicy and sinfully delicious.
Grabbing lunch or dinner around the TIFF Bell Lightbox? If you've a craving for thin crust, wood-fired pizza in an upscale atmosphere, stop in at one of these trendy King West trattorias where humble pizza pie gets the gourmet treatment.
With plenty of cinematic delights to take in, you’ll need to make sure your hungry brood is properly fuelled during TIFF. Forget the typical movie-theatre popcorn and indulge in a meal at one of these family-friendly downtown dining destinations around the TIFF Bell Lightbox. [Image credit: iStock.com/Nastia11]
Close menu