Go Brown Bag Free, and Treat Yourself with Toronto's Top Lunches

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 fresh air will do you good either way.

From downtown Toronto to the Beaches, our picks transverse the city. It is hard to run a restaurant in Toronto and keep the customers interested. The ones that "make it" have inventive chefs, fresh food and an energy that never wanes. 

Whether you are solidifying a business deal or gossiping over illicit lunchtime drinks is your prerogative. Just step away from the desk, already. Right now you must tend to your stomach. That work will wait for you to return.

Queen West
Banh Mi Boys
Photo courtesy of Banh Mi Boys Facebook page

If you are looking for a unique twist on a filling Vietnamese sandwich, you certainly can't go wrong with Banh Mi Boys. Right on Queen and Spadina, the sandwich shop takes the Vietnamese construct and gives it multicultural twists, from Korean...  Read More


Momofuku in Japanese translates to "lucky peach." Now that we have the linguistics lesson out of the way, let's get to the details. With the surging popularity of New York's Momofuku scene, Toronto couldn't have been more thrilled to David...  Read More

Urban Herbivore
Photo courtesy of Urban Herbivore Facebook page

If you are looking for fast food that is made of ingredients that you can pronounce, in general you are out of luck. However, chef Stephen Gardner foresaw a need and in 2005 opened up Urban Herbivore in a small restaurant in Kensington. They are...  Read More

The Burger's Priest
Photo courtesy of The Burger's Priest Facebook page

When The Burger's Priest opened in 2010, it catapulted in popularity. Now three restaurants in, there is a cult following, because Torontonians love nothing better than overpopulating a new hot spot. Luckily, the service is quick and even if it...  Read More

West Toronto
Pizzeria Libretto
Photo courtesy of Pizzeria Libretto Facebook page

This is the real deal kind of pizza. You may find yourself enthusiastically affirming the taste of real Neopolitan Pizza at Pizzeria Libretto in Italian. Or, if words fail you, "Mmmm" works well in most languages. This pizza has a soft chewy...  Read More

Milagro Restaurante Mexicano y Cantina
Photo courtesy of Milagro Mercer Facebook page

There are times when you crave Mexican Food, but you don't want to stoop to Taco Bell. Milagro is as far a deviation as you can get from the "run for the border" fast food chains. It has a sleek look that more warrants a business lunch than a...  Read More

Mark McEwan is a Canadian celebrity chef. He has had his own Food Network show (of course) and he also has this restaurant, among many others. This restaurant has the markers of a perfect business lunch: a swanky restaurant interior and a...  Read More

Little Italy
Hey Meatball
Photo courtesy of Hey Meatball Facebook page

When men stand with a sign that says "You'll love the the taste of our balls" you have to take notice. When it comes to chef Rod Bowers, it is indeed true. His restaurant Hey Meatball in Little Italy in Toronto is a small grab-and-go restaurant...  Read More

High Park/Roncesvalles
Barque Smokehouse
Photo courtesy of Jill Chen

If you are a person who hears the words "baby back ribs" and salivates, you must make a trip over to Roncesvalles for a spectacular lunch. Lucky for us, owners and childhood friends Jonathan Persofsky and David Neinstein left the corporate world...  Read More

Queen West

Right smack in the heart of the Entertainment District, it is indeed possible to have uncomplicated, unfussy food that is all about freshness. Nota Bene has a modern vibe, with a luminescent mural spanning the entire back wall of the restaurant....  Read More


Meet Courtney Sunday

Courtney Sunday has lived in England, Switzerland, Canada and the US, finding her way into the professions of freelance writing and yoga teaching in between travel opportunities. She learned...  More About Courtney

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