Go Brown Bag Free And Treat Yourself With Toronto's Top Lunches

Courtney Sunday

By , Local Expert, Toronto
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Let's bring the lunch back.

For too many years, we have been neglecting this meal, eating it hurriedly in front of a computer screen. We are spending far too little time indulging our epicurious side; our inner gourmands.

Lunch in Toronto doesn't have to come at a high price point. From a bowl of steaming hot noodles made by rising superstar chef David Chang at Momofuku to a fancy take on local food at Nota Bene, we have you covered. We have the burgers slathered in cheese, and the pizza slathered in...cheese. We have the spots where you can sit and linger, or the perfect places to grab and go and get on with your day. That...  Read more »

  • 1

    Nota Bene

    Nota Bene's lunches are lip-smackingly good and the attitude is just fancy enough to warrant business casual attire.

    Local Expert Tip: " If you visit on a Friday you can enjoy "Fish and Chip Fridays" with tartar sauce and malt vinegar complementing the British favourites. "

  • 2

    Barque Smokehouse

    • Cuisine: Barbecue, Comfort Food
    • Average Main Course Price: $12
    • Neighborhood: High Park/Roncesvalles

    The carefully marinaded and slowly cooked meats will satisfy a craving that you never knew existed.

    Local Expert Tip: "You have made the trek over, so invest in some takeout. The takeout menu is extensive and you will never regret the a la carte brisket."

  • 3

    Hey Meatball

    The service is laid back, but the cooking is spectacular. Every detail is considered, leading to the best meatball sandwich of your life.

    Local Expert Tip: "Don't be afraid to think outside of the box: the vegan meatballs are a hearty treat, made with mushrooms and eggplant."

  • 4

    Milagro Restaurante Mexicano y Cantina

    • Cuisine: Latin, Mexican
    • Average Main Course Price: $25
    • Neighborhood: Downtown

    This high end Mexican lunch is right near the major city attractions (TIFF Lightbox, Roy Thompson Hall) and...  Read more »

    Local Expert Tip: "Make a reservation online before you go to avoid disappointment. This place gets busy! You can do this easily through their webpage."

  • 5

    Pizzeria Libretto

    This exceptionally fresh pizza will transport you to Italy, if only for your lunch hour.

    Local Expert Tip: "A great deal can be found in the $15 lunch prix fix menu. A caprese or arugula salad followed by a Margherita or Marinara pizza (doused in house made chili oil) and some biscotti or gelato for dessert. Perfetto!"

  • 6

    The Burger's Priest

    • Cuisine: Burger
    • Average Main Course Price: $15
    • Neighborhood: The Beaches

    This is the kind of burger you would imagine getting at an outdoor BBQ, only perfectly cooked and unapologetically over the top.

    Local Expert Tip: "You could order from the standard menu, or you can go VIP and order from the secret menu. It's not so secret - it is on their webpage (but not in their restaurant). You will be rewarded in the form of a cheesy tower of burger that will make nearby McDonalds blush."

  • 7

    Urban Herbivore

    From muffins to soups and rice bowls, this grab-and-go vegan cafe has a great menu with substantial portions to satisfy all kinds of herbivores.

    Local Expert Tip: "The 100% gluten free cupcakes are amazing. There is usually a seasonal flavour, and examples have included pink lemonade or candy cane."

  • 8


    Amazing location, friendly service and slurping is encouraged. What more could you ask for?

    Local Expert Tip: "There is a lot of selection, so consider going with the ramen for your main and splitting other dishes. Save some time and stomach space for the Milk Bar for dessert."

  • 9

    Banh Mi Boys

    A gourmet lunch in Toronto can be had for less than $3, and the sky surprisingly has not fallen. Fresh, fast-moving, inexpensive and amazing.

    Local Expert Tip: "They have a secret menu, which you can find out if you ask the cashier. However, best to do this when the lineup is not cascading onto the street."

  • 10

    Jabistro Modern Japanese

    JaBistro provides imaginative dishes that result in the most melt-in-your-mouth sushi in Toronto.

    Local Expert Tip: "If you are visiting during the summer, ask to sit on their patio, a Zen retreat with wooden walls and black furniture. The city distractions are blocked out so that your attention can rest on the food."



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