Toronto on a budget: Affordable spots to eat, drink, shop and stay

by YP Contributor

Toronto is a thriving metropolis packed with places to be and people to see; but how can you best see #the6ix on the cheap? The following is a collection of the best places to eat, drink, shop and stay in Toronto without totally breaking the bank. [Image credit: iStock.com/Marya Valchetskaya]

Toronto on a budget: Affordable spots to eat, drink, shop and stay

Eat: Savour some cheap eats in Toronto

Ramen: it’s cheap, filling, and pairs nicely with a cold pint of Sapporo. Toronto is bursting with chef-approved local spots like Kinton Ramen, Ajisen Ramen, and many, many more.

Mom and pop restaurants are also great option for cheap city eats. Try:

Top-notch cheap pizza slices are not a dime a dozen, but thankfully TO has more than a few good standbys: North of Brooklyn Pizzeria serves up a scrumptious Margherita pie (slices from this pizzeria are also available at The Get Well and Greater Good Bar). Other haunts to hit include Bitondo Pizzeria on Clinton, Sud Forno on Queen Street West or the always popular Queen Margarita Pizza.

Drinks: Toronto watering holes with wicked drink deals

Hitting up a happy hour is one way to avoid steep bar bills, so don’t miss out on these specials:

  • Skin + Bones in Leslieville offers free snacks and half priced cocktails and beers from 5PM to 7PM every day.
  • Hey Lucy offers $4.50 martinis every Monday.
  • Tall Boys Craft Beer Pub on Bloor offers $5 pints every day between 4PM and 8PM.
  • Cibo Wine Bar offers $3.50 glasses of wine and domestic beer for $3 on Thursdays.
  • Check out what we voted as the most stellar happy hours in both the east and west end.
  • Half-priced wine night anyone? We’ve got your west end and east end guides here.

Shop: Score some vintage Toronto clothing on the cheap

If you’re on the hunt for cheap threads, you’ve come to the right city. Public Butter in Parkdale has an array of quirky vintage, as do vintage meccas, House of Vintage (also in Parkdale) Ransack the Universe, a eclectic record/clothing shop in Bloordale, and Odd Finds General Store on Bloor Street West. Consider also heading to Kensington Market to scour the endless selection of unique new and used clothing in their shops and open-stall markets, and if you’re east-ending it, check out the most amazing vintage finds on Queen Street East.

Nab some designer deals on consignment at these top shops:

  • Fashionably Yours sells (and buys) big brands such as Gucci and Prada at 40-60% off retail prices.
  • Common Sort has two locations, on Queen East and West, and houses some of the biggest designers at bargain prices.
  • The Kind Exchange has many locations across the city, including Queen Street East and West, and sells a wide range of clothes and accessories for different body types.

Stay: Cheap places in Toronto to rest your head

Accommodation can be a killer while on vacation, so avoid the downtown core by grabbing an AirBnb in a cute but affordable hood such as: Bloordale, Riverside, Leslieville, Harbord Village, Christie Pitts, Little Portugal, or the Annex. Also try:

  • Hostelling Toronto on Church Street has an on-site bar, paid laundry and daily activities organized by staff.
  • The Only Backpacker’s Inn not only boasts status as one of the best-reviewed hostels in town, but it also hosts a café and bar that acts as a community hub populated by locals and travellers alike.
  • The Drake Hotel is a Toronto institution on Queen Street West. Smaller rooms, such as the “Nook,” are available for $169 a night.

With the right know-how, being a tourist in Toronto won’t have to be a totally wallet-draining experience. Our city is one of the most exciting places in the world to eat, shop, stay and drink – even on a budget.

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