Who says you can't get decent snacks for under $5? Check these out.
ERNIE'S HOT DOG STAND Corner of Gould and Victoria
Champ of cheap eats has to be Ernie's, the year-round Ryerson hot dog stand, where a dubloon gets you a first-rate veggie dog on a quality bun topped with gently fried onion, shredded cheese and the biggest cross-section of condiments in town.
Narula's 1438A Gerrard East, 416-466-0434
Ask the owner of any restaurant, regardless of price bracket, and they'll tell you Tuesday is the slowest day of the week. To compensate, Little India eatery Narula's offers Toonie Toosday, when the damage on its already bargain-basement Subcontinent street eats - masala-scented bhel poori topped with cracker puffs, aloo tikki chickpea fritters stuffed with creamy lentils (all regularly $3.49) - gets reduced to 2 bucks. As well, their fiery three-curry vegetarian thali with rice, griddled naan and papadam, an everyday steal at $3.99, goes for $2.99.
Flava 606 Yonge, 416-967-0700
Also on Tuesdays, cheap 'n' cheerful Flava lowers the bill for its jerk chicken dinner - a moderately spiced leg, hot-sauce-splashed rice 'n' peas, lightly dressed slaw - from $4.99 to all of $2.50.
Kathy's Corner 139 Dundas East, 416-367-0645
For the same price, Kathy's does a takeout order of Greek-style lima beans in dilled tomato sauce that makes a sensational supper coupled with a DIY salad and a good loaf of crusty bread.
Chinese Traditional Buns 536 Dundas West, 416-299-9011
Every day is Toonie Toosday at this modest Beijing-style café in Chinatown specializing in explosive pick-me-ups like jellied bean curd ($1.49) - hot silken tofu soup rich with slippery seaweed, swirled with salty shrimp, slivered scallions, chopped raw garlic, fresh coriander and a jolt of fiery chili oil - or similarly volatile shredded cured pork ($1.99) on grilled flatbread, like a Mongolian hamburger.