With food prices having risen, it’s getting more expensive to feed yourself at home — so when you go out to dine, you may want to save on your food budget. Some local restaurateurs are responding by keeping their menus affordable.
Here are five inexpensive eateries in Toronto to try this week:
Wanda’s Pie in the Sky
Niagara native Wanda Beaver says her passion for baking and pastry began 30 years ago at OCAD University. “I distinctively remember preparing desserts for a restaurant manager and everything else fell into place,” she said.
On Thursday, about 50 customers gathered for the lunch-time special “mac & cheese,” along with desserts, at Wanda’s Pie in the Sky on Augusta Avenue in Kensington Market.
Being an entrepreneur does not come easy, Beaver said. “I have gone to other bakeries and they’re very expensive,so we’re trying to give the customers value for their money.”
Approximately four years ago, Magnus Patterson and his business partner created their Jamaican take-out shop, Rasta Pasta, on Kensington Avenue.
Patterson’s secret to maintaining the customers interest includes a good price point and freshly cooked meals.
“Our lunch specials are five dollars,” he said. “The most costly item is the large jerk chicken for 10 dollars and oxtail for 12 dollars.”
Fresco’s Fish and Chips
Michael Fresco, who started the business six years ago, said it has been a pleasure seeing people enjoying his food at his fish and chip place on Augusta Avenue.
Fresco did not have time to slow down, nor did he seem to want to, as the lunch-time rush streamed in.
This local eatery caters to friends, families, professionals and students.
“Service is very important and I always greet people with a smile,” Fresco said. “When people are eating they’re happy.”
He credits his location for his thriving business.
“I picked Kensington Market because there is a lot of walk by traffic and not many places in Toronto offer fish and chips for a low price and I don’t have to go very far for produce,” he said.
“To be a good restaurateur, you have to make a lot of sacrifices,” Fresco said.
Saffron Spice Kitchen
The family business on Queen Street West offers an authentic Indian cuisine.
“We started cooking at a young age and I wanted to bring our own ethnic curries to the downtown core,” said Johnne Phinehas, manager of Saffron Spice Kitchen.
Phinehas says joining the restaurant business can be challenging.
“It took me three years to become manager, if you are willing to work hard then you will succeed,” Phinehas said.
Greek Grill is a local eatery on O’Connor Drive in East York, owned and operated by Dimitrios Mantziouras.
“I grew up in the restaurant business,” Mantziouras said.
His customers’ experience are top priority to him
“That’s one of the reasons why I make homemade meals, never lie to them and maintain a low food cost,” Mantziouras said.
“You have to know what you’re getting yourself into, don’t expect millions to come, ever. You work everyday for very little profit, just for the sake of making sure it keeps running,” he said.