Need a decent lunch break? Take it at one of these happening spots.
NEW YORK SUBWAY (520 Queen West, at Portland, 416-703-4496) East Indian-inspired take-away fuses mild-to-wild roti-like curried veggies with Mexican tortillas and calls them burritos. Then they add cheese, grill 'em and dub them California Rolls. Zero decor but dead cheap; expect lineups when the bars close. Best: so-called burritos stuffed with curried cauliflower, spinach or ground chicken; quesadillas lined with cheese, roast beef and onion; grilled eggplant with spinach and satay chicken or shrimp jumbo burritos. Complete dinners for $7 per person ($4 at lunch), including all taxes. Open Monday to Thursday 11:30 am to midnight, Friday and Saturday 11:30 am to 3 am, Sunday noon to 10 pm. Unlicensed. Cash only. Access: one step at door, washrooms on same floor. Rating: NNN
CO YEN (372 Spadina, at Dundas West, 416-597-1573) With ugly fluorescent lighting, zero ambience and silent counter staff, this Vietnamese take-away turns out thousands of Asian sandwiches daily. There's always a lineup, but it moves quickly. The cause? One-dollar Saigon submarine sandwiches! Best: sugar-sweetened French-style buns loaded with mildly spiced tofu pâté, jalapeño slivers, carrot and daikon julienne and coriander sprigs; non-veggie version adds near-prosciutto pork and "ham"; packages of rice-paper-wrapped spring-rolls studded with whole shrimp; noodle combos with salad. Complete dinners for $3 per person, including all taxes. Open daily 9 am to 9 pm. Unlicensed. Cash only. Access: one step at door, no washrooms. Rating: NNNNN
TERRONI (720 Queen West, at Manning, 416-504-0320; 106 Victoria, at Queen East, 416-955-0528; 1 Balmoral, at Yonge, 416-925-4020) Combination Ital groceteria and upscale pizza and panini joint dishing out what's possibly Toronto's best pizza. Takeout or eat-in. Best: ultra-thin-crust pizzas decorated with minimal yet full-strength sauce and cheese, and quality toppings like fresh basil, spicy Calabrese sausage, grilled peppers and arugula; romaine and sun-dried summery salads. Complete dinners for $12 per person. Queen West location open daily 9 am to 11 pm. Victoria location open Monday to Saturday 9 am to 10 pm and closed Sunday. Balmoral location open daily 9 am to 10 pm. Fully licensed. Access: all barrier-free. Rating: NNNN
ZENA CAFÉ (250 Church, at Dundas, 416-366-9362) For the area, this almost-classy café serves up quick take-away breakfasts and wallet-friendly home cookin' at lunch. Best: under-five-bucks three-salad combo (roasted veggie mix, two-tone tortellini, tabbouleh, Greek, green or fruit); homemade soups and customized mega-sandwiches; retro macaroni 'n' cheese. Complete meals for $8 per person, including all taxes and tip. Open Monday to Friday 8 am to 7 pm. Closed Saturday, Sunday and holidays. Unlicensed. Smoke-free. Cash only. Access: four steps at door, washrooms in basement. Rating: NNN SD
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