Where to find the best meals for $10 or less on Scarborough’s Golden Mile
Including jerk chicken sandwiches, Iraqi-style shawarma and breakfast dosas
Thanks to the ongoing development of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT and the revitalization of Eglinton Square, Scarborough’s Golden Mile is basically one big construction zone. But, with proper planning, it’s still a prime place to visit and show support for small businesses while the area is undergoing its glow-up. There are plenty of independent restaurants and shops that offer filling meals at budget-friendly prices. Here are some of our favourites.
Named after the fiery scotch bonnet pepper, this fast-casual kitchen spotlights Caribbean flavours with Western twists. Owner Kendell Garcia brings the heat with customizable sandwiches like jerk chicken ($6.75), Cajun fish ($6.75), jerk shrimp ($7.25) and veggie curry ($5.75).
More budget bites: Jerk wings ($9.95), stuffed patties ($5.45).
Start the day off right with breakfast from this South Indian spot. (And don’t worry about sleeping in—here, the morning meal can be enjoyed right up until 10 p.m., when the kitchen closes.) We like the kicky Hara Bhara Dosa layered with a green chutney of mint, coriander and green chilis ($9) and the Karam Masala Pesarattu, a thin crêpe with potatoes in the house garlic spice blend ($10).
More budget bites: Peanut chutney idli, steamed rice-and-lentil cakes drenched in peanut chutney and topped with ghee and spices ($9).
This European deli and pantry has been a family-run operation since 1953. Go for the cold cuts and imported groceries, stay for Imbiss, the hot food counter serving up satisfying plates of their signature goulash ($4.25) and schnitzel on a bun ($7.50).
More budget bites: Leberkäse (meatloaf) on a bun ($7.50)
A Golden Mile mainstay for over 30 years, Lageez offers weekday deals—like the butter chicken ($9.49) or lamb curry ($10)—that are fantastically filling and affordable.
More budget bites: Vegetable samosas, house-made dough stuffed with potatoes, green peas and spices ($10).
Since 1989, chef Paul has been cooking up Armenian comfort food in his kitchen, which is just due north of the Golden Mile. Sandwiches stuffed with slow-roasted lamb, tomatoes and onions or beef shawarma with barbecue tomatoes, onion and tahini are just $6 each.
More budget bites: A shish kebab plate (pork, ground beef, beef, chicken or lamb) for $8.50.
Just up the street from the Armenian Kitchen, you’ll find succulent Iraqi-style shawarma, charcoal-grilled skewers and rotisserie chicken at this restaurant opened by the late Ali Al Awadi. Today, Karar Awady carries on his brother’s legacy, serving up satisfying and affordable food, like sandwiches made on freshly baked samoon or tandoor bread. Best bets include the beef and lamb sandwich ($9.50) and the mshakal (falafel) sandwich ($8).
More budget bites: Fasolia (white bean) stew ($6) and kebab skewers ($5 each).
Diana’s Seafood has been one of the city’s premier suppliers of fresh seafood and oysters since 1985. When the brand opened a restaurant in 2010, seafood-loving citizens flocked to it for freshly shucked oysters, lobster rolls and seafood platters of epic proportions. While the mains here are obviously on the pricey side, a good budget-friendly game plan is to order a bowl of the clam chowder ($7), which then gives you access to buck-a-shuck oysters, like East Coast Malpeques and Pacific Lucky 88s.
More budget bites: Kusshi and Acadian Gold oysters ($2.75 each).
Shirin Kebab House
This strip mall spot specializes in Turkish fare, and the menu’s top sellers are the shawarma wraps loaded with either beef or chicken, hummus, garlic and hot sauces, onions, tomato, and lettuce ($9). For a couple bucks more, the lahmajoun pide is a must ($12).
More budget bites: Kelle (sheep) head soup ($10).
This burger joint located in the One Centre uses 100 per cent HMA-certified Halal beef and chicken. Some of the over-the-top creations here include the Dementor Junior, a spicy fried chicken burger topped with house-spiced oil, jalapeno peppers, pickles and garlic mayo ($8.95).
More budget bites: Alley Fries, crispy taters tossed in house masala seasoning ($5.45).
Situated inside the Al Premium Food Mart, this Filipino counter offers meal deals that are just a teeny bit over our $10 budget. Each one will set you back an additional buck, but it’s worth the splurge. Menu hits include the lechon paksiw, succulent roasted pork cooked in liver gravy and served with rice; menudo, pork stew with tomato sauce, carrots and potatoes served with rice; and comforting chicken adobo, also with rice ($11 each).
More budget bites: Lumpiang Shanghai spring rolls ($10), barbecue longanisa skewers ($4.50 each) and embutido, a Filipino-style meatloaf ($9).