A Student Guide to Cheap Eats in Ontario

Fact: Ontario is home to some delicious cheap eats and delicacies from all over the world. So, whether you are looking to transport yourselves to the bustling street food corners of Asia or the Middle East, or just grab a beer and chill with your friends, this quick guide to Ontario’s cheap eats will make your search a little easier. 

Cheap Meals around UTSC and Lambton College 

1. Pennies

A heaven for vegetarians looking for a bang for the buck meal, Pennies is a lively patio at the heart of Downtown Toronto. For meat lovers, they serve their famous Southern-style chicken with a tangy blend and the classic mac and cheese slider. 

2. Pho Metro

Your Vietnamese food adventure begins right after you take a seat; the friendly server pours complimentary piping hot tea from metal pots into small white ceramic cups and awaits your order. Be it a classic Pho or the delicate spring rolls, Pho Metro provides you with an opportunity to create your own comfort food bowl, without breaking your bank.  

3. Wilson’s Haus of Lechon

Providing premium quality food with a homemade touch is what Wilson’s Haus of Lechon at Wilson Avenue is known for. It is a family run eatery which takes the foodies on a journey to Cebu, a Filipino city where the family is originally from. Everything is cooked in a traditional Cebuano style and refreshing drinks like C2 apple green tea and Sarsi root beer are available to complete the journey. 

As you might know, the 6ix is big on all things food and so, if you need more suggestions, check out these 100 essential cheap eats in Toronto for a more comprehensive list. 

Cheap Meals around McMaster University and Mohawk College

4. Merk Snack Bar

A hidden gem on Ottawa St., Merk serves Hamilton’s best rotating menu with killer Oxtail as Chef’s secret and a wide selection of beers in taps/cans. If you’re unsure about your order, just go with the servers’ recommendations and let those culinary experts take you on an adventure of drinks and dishes. 

5. Chuggy’s Tap & Grill

Reasonable price and huge portions to last two meals? Check. Chuggy’s is a local pub at Stoney Creek that has unbeatable half price burgers and fries for just $6 on Tuesday nights – a steal for you and your friends.

6. Babaganush

Located in the east of Hamilton, Babaganush is the first name that comes to mind when Hamiltonians think of  Souvlakis, hummus, falafel and all things Turkish. A definite value for money, the doner kebabs are a DONE-r deal.

Cheap Meals around WesternU and Fanshawe College

7. KLEIBER’S DELI @ Covent Garden Market

Amongst the chaos of  Covent Garden Market, one of the largest indoor markets in Ontario, Kleiber’s Delicatessen is a sweet escape to the lanes of Central Europe. A proud member of the German-Canadian Club , Kleiber’s Deli gives new meaning to a homestyle Cabbage roll or a Schnitzel Sandwich. 

8. India House Fine Indian Cuisine

Wanna spice up your meal, quite literally? An effort to keep the family legacy alive, Head Chef Pradeep Jagtap and the entire India House team work tirelessly to give Londoners a taste of India. Some must-tries are their Goan fish, Veggie Pakoras and Chicken Tikka Masala. 

9. The Bungalow

A literal bungalow look-alike, the restaurant excels at providing a cozy, yet lively atmosphere to its customers and a great selection of beers and ciders on tap. Next time you’re craving a chill session, grab your buddies and head out to 910 Waterloo St., London to try their mouthwatering burgers. But don’t forget to order a portion that is shareable and split the bill,  so that you and your friends can easily cut down the cost and amp up the fun. 

Want an insider scoop on eateries from a Londoner? Check out this amazing reddit comment about must tries in London, Ontario

Cheap Meals around St. Clair College and WindsorU

10. Jubba Restaurant

Four words, Value with Homestyle Cooking. A rare gem of a find, said by one foodie, 

Jubba will provide you with some great tasting Somalian style Chicken and Goat, and a refreshing mango drink that complements the spices of the dishes. 

11. Shanghai Bistro 

A master of Chinese 5 spices, Shanghai Bistro is here to serve Windsor some hot, fresh and flavorful Chinese dishes. Their soup dumplings and salt n’ pepper squid are to die for. Perk: you don’t have to work very hard to make your IG  story aesthetic, as the dumplings and dim sums come in traditional bamboo containers. 

12. Average Joe’s Sports Bar

Do you and your roommates just want to eat, drink beer and watch the games, but don’t want to put a dent in your wallet? Average Joe’e the perfect place for you. Get their wings and chill away with your friends. Oh, did you know? On Mondays they serve $5 pints, ALL DAY LONG. 

Cheap Meals around Conestoga College and University of Waterloo

13. Choun Kitchen

Walking past Choun Kitchen without having to peak inside is impossible, as the fragrance of the Thai Jasmine Rice will call your name. Once you’re in, there’s no going back. The starch of the rice fried with eggs, veggies and in-house seasonings will take you down the lanes of Bangkok. Their dishes are a total steal, for customers looking for a value for money meal. 

14. The Jane Bond

A perfect place for hanging out or catching up with friends, this hipster 70’s themed pub will definitely want you coming back for more. Their specialties are Crispy Tofu Fritters, ChickPea Curry and the Mediterranean Dip app. 

15. King Fish and Chips

They make simple, seem appealing. Nothing puts you in a better mood than their perfectly cooked fish (Whitefish , Cod fish, Haddock fish, Halibut fish- you name it),  home-cut fries and a large size of coleslaw.

Ontario is brimming with cheap eats where quality and price are not mutually exclusive and at the end of the day, the trick is to know how and where to look. But if you’re still big on tapping but low on cash, know that you can now save while spending. With each transaction from your linked card(s),  payd, Canada’s first all-in-one financial management app, uses its advanced piggy bank functions like cash -backs and round-ups to save on your behalf. 

So, go ahead and use the savings from student hacks and the payd app to crush your student debt, take a cheat meal or even make that Grad trip happen.