Boyle McCauley News

Since 1979 • February-March 2024 • Circulation 5000


Dining Out on a Budget

Where to eat without much cash

The “Little Italy” breakfast at Santo’s. Paula E. Kirman

Boyle Street and McCauley offer numerous choices for those who would like to enjoy a meal out, but whose wallets may be light.

A regular-sized bowl of pho in most of the Vietnamese restaurants in Chinatown will not cost you over $10. Most are around $7-$8. The best part is that a “regular” sized bowl (as opposed to a large) looks big enough to go swimming in (figuratively speaking) and will fill you up. A great idea for the chilly days of fall and winter.

If you like westernized Chinese food, Taipan Café (10627 97 Street) offers three “Dinner for One” selections that come with rice and around three entrees, all laid out on one large dish for around $12. The portion is so huge that if you bring someone with you, it could easily be “Dinner for Two” (although that option in its true form also exists on the menu).

Spinelli’s Bar Italia (10878 95 Street) is serving more and more hearty foods like pasta salads, pizza, and focaccia. The focaccia in particular is a savoury, thick serving of freshly baked bread, with several topping combinations available. My favourite is the tomato and black olives. A massive hunk is only $3 and when I pair that up with a small Orangina, the bill comes out to $5. Not bad for a light lunch.

If it is breakfast I am after, Santo’s (10821 95 Street) all-day breakfast menu has a lot of economical options, but none so much as the Little Italy. For slightly less than $5 I get two eggs, hash browns, and two pieces of toast. I am not sure I could eat cheaper than that at home.

For vegetarians, head to Veggie Garden (10582 100 Street). The restaurant’s delicious selection of Asian vegetarian goodness range from around $7-$10 per item.

Dining out is a luxury that many people cannot afford on a regular basis. However, these ideas will hopefully allow for an occasional splurge.

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