Shoes & Lunch
June 4, 2016 12:40 PM   Subscribe

My cousin's coming to Toronto to go to the Bata Shoe Museum with me next Saturday. We'd like to have lunch before we check out the shoes of antiquity. Can any recommend a good and inexpensive place for us to have lunch in the Bloor & St. George area?
posted by orange swan to Grab Bag (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Fresh at Bloor & Spadina is about a 5-minute walk away. Bright and casual, with tasty vegetarian and vegan food- menu. I really like: the dosas, squash tacos, soup+cornbread, and any salad or bowl with crispy tofu cubes added on. Tasty juices, too.

A little further at Bloor and Bathurst is Insomnia. About a 15 minute walk to the Bata, along a nice stretch of Bloor. Insomnia has a nice busy breezy atmosphere and great brunch- the homefries have some kind of saucy seasoning on them that's delightful.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 1:14 PM on June 4, 2016 [3 favorites]

Unfortunately, the immediate area is pretty pricey. Magic Noodle near Harbord and Spadina has delicious hand-pulled noodles and is a 10-minute walk away.
posted by grouse at 1:49 PM on June 4, 2016

My wife and I love the restaurant "Sushi on Bloor", at 525 Bloor St W.
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:52 PM on June 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

Seconding Sushi on Bloor. Great lunch specials.
posted by Milau at 2:33 PM on June 4, 2016

Maybe living in Seattle gave me unreasonable standards for Toronto, but I was not impressed by Sushi on Bloor. When I went they served us fish that tasted like it was still frozen. If you must have sushi, please walk the other direction to the much better Wow Sushi.
posted by grouse at 2:54 PM on June 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

If you want sushi, keep walking east to Sushi Couture. Have the bc salmon and butterfish nigiri. But it's not cheap.

Cheaper: Thai Basil (on bloor south side west of Spadina). Famosa (i think its called) pizza. North side of bloor west of Spadina. Espresso by Bar Mercurio (south side corner of bloor snd st. George).

Not cheaper: Bar Mercurio (the original). North side of bloor just west of St. George.

Seriously just go to sushi couture. I'm drooling just thinking of it.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:39 PM on June 4, 2016

I agree... Sushi on Bloor is not a good sushi restaurant.
By the Way is a little more expensive, but very very good. I don't know whether the patio is open yet.
Country Style Hungarian Restaurant is more expensive, but the portions are very large... you can keep the price down by sharing an entree.

For coffee, try the microscopic The Coffee Lab in the foyer of Willow Books next door to the Shoe Museum, or Aroma Espresso Bar at 500 Bloor West
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 5:58 PM on June 4, 2016

St George & Bloor itself doesn't have a lot of stuff.

But if you go down St George to Harbord, you get the university options. Super cheap (like $6) are the food trucks, if they are there out of term.

A little more expensive (more like $8 each) is the Cafe at Hart House - I think it's called the Arbor Room. There is also a little Korean place on Huron halfway between Bloor & Harbord - it's cheap, though I wasn't that impressed. The Hart House cafe is better - actually, so are the food trucks (they are great food trucks; one has the best poutine I've had in TO). Hart House has super tasty bourecka.
posted by jb at 8:30 PM on June 4, 2016

sushi couture is awesome. but NOT cheap and definitely not fast. Great food, slow service.

Espresso is what I would call "medium", not insane, but you'll pay at least $10 if not $15 for lunch. But it is tasty.
posted by jb at 8:33 PM on June 4, 2016

Echoing the above that there isn't much around the area in terms of good restaurants, but I've had a good and fairly inexpensive meal or two at:

Overeasy: Serves eggy breakfast foods if you like that. You and your cousin can eat for under $20 each. It's short walk from the shoe museum, across from the royal conservatory of music.

Alternatively, you can eat cheaply at the hot dog stands too (one across the street from the shoe museum, the other at the corner of the ROM).
posted by ThatSox at 7:50 AM on June 5, 2016

My cousin and I ended up eating at Overeasy. We both agreed that it was a very satisfactory lunch place and that we'd happily eat there again. Thanks all for your suggestions!
posted by orange swan at 9:58 PM on June 11, 2016

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