Asean Restaurant 257 College, 416-598-2895
Located across the street from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and kitty-corner from the Scott Mission, this may not be the most cutting-edge cantina in town, but it's certainly the most cut-rate. From 11:30 am to 9 pm daily, the friendly folks lay out a $4.99 no-frills pan-Asian all-you-can-eat spread - tasty but alarmingly orange pad thai, tofu in veggie gravy, regulation egg rolls - washed down with $2.50 domestic beer. Go early for best results, since the steam table eventually turns everything to mush.
Govinda's Hare Krishna Temple, 243 Avenue Road, 416-922-5415
Soggy smorgasbords are never a problem at Govinda's, where a south Indian vegetarian lunch buffet is served from noon to 3 pm. For a $7 charitable donation, you get spectacularly spiced grub like cauliflower aloo gobi, kofta in sweet gravy and brilliant basmati biryani tossed with cashews, plus salads, fresh fruit and sweet mango juice. Now, if only they could learn another song....
Dangerous Dan's 714 Queen East, 416-463-7310
Famished carnivores swear by Dan's gargantuan 24-ounce Homeburger that's the equivalent of six Quarter Pounders ($11.95 with chunky fries and a diet pop).
Bellwood 756 Queen West, 416-504-8855
Only slightly smaller, the advertised 16-ounce hamburger at the Bellwood is actually a very good, never-frozen 10-ounce ground chuck patty piled with lettuce, Spanish onion and sweet Ontario field tomato. The total weight of this hangover helper: 18 ounces, just $4.85 with fries.