Cheap eats in Toronto

Tequila Bookworm (photo: Ariel Rubinstein)

Tequila Bookworm (photo: Ariel Rubinstein)

They said it couldn’t be done: Toronto on a budget. Well, they didn’t know who they were dealing with. (Or “with whom they were dealing,” for the grammar nazis among us.)

Shoestring Montreal has done the impossible: Toronto on $40 a day.

I’m actually working on writing this up for someplace that’ll pay me, but as a quick blog entry, here are the highlights:

– Fresh: All-vegetarian restaurant. Delicious sweet potato fries with miso gravy to start, followed by a black bean burrito that was deliciously rice-free. Halleluia!

– Rocket Fuel Coffee House: Take someone who’s been there before, as this place is a bit hard to find, the owners are rather gruff, and there’s no menu whatsoever. Kind of like the Soup Nazi, you’d better know what you want and have your money out and unfolded! They serve coffee, hot and delicious, and they make it like true artists. My friend said they have the best soy lattés in the world. I, a cow’s milk drinking heathen, enjoyed a nice stiff foam on the top of my enormous cowjuice latté. Seriously, you could be drinking this thing all afternoon. And only $3!

Tequila Bookworm: Okay, so their latté wasn’t anything like the unbelievable one I had at Rocket Fuel, but dude, combine a café and a bookstore and you’re set for life. Why anyone hasn’t thought of this in Montreal I don’t know, but I’m telling you, this is an idea to jump on. Especially in a town of loafers who love to hang with their coffee all afternoon, you could be pulling in extra dough as they peruse your bookshelves. Just don’t ask me how they manage to police the books or prevent pickpockets from simply thieving them, cus I don’t have a clue.

– Homemade pizza with dill pickle: I was wary, very wary, when my friend informed me that she’s super picky about her toppings and ALWAYS puts dill pickles on her pizza. Along with olives (both black and green), pineapple and green pepper. I met her halfway and added some of the dreaded dill pickle to one side of mine. As it turns out, I didn’t hate it! Garlicky pickles on pizza… who would’ve thunk it?

And as a side note, why aren’t there any No Frills grocery stores in Quebec? That shit is off the hook with its bargain awesomeness. BYOB (bag, not bottle) or you’ll have to pay per bag. This totally makes sense! How else do you force people to use those re-useable grocery bags they’ve been collecting and forgetting in their apartments? Not to sound like a Toronto lover, as we all know that Montreal is the only Canadian city worth loving, but after a weekend in Toronto I’m just not the same. There are deals and steals, if you know where to look. And even though we didn’t make use of this Top 10 Under $10 article in NOW, it’s obvious that the T-dot has more style and class and even cheap eats than we’ve previously given them credit for. Y’hear that, Montreal? You’ve got competition!


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