Take Out: Restaurants in Toronto

Sometimes you don’t want to bother with sitting down at a restaurant, perusing the menu and providing scintillating conversation. Sometimes dressing down in pajamas seems like a dream evening, coupled with some takeout containers to keep you warm.

Toronto is well known for its multiculturalism and the food scene proves this. You can go and Google your ethnic preference, or you can try some of these special offerings. Just because you are watching reality television and eating with chopsticks does not mean that you don’t deserve special.

We have tried to cover a wide range, from sandwiches that crackle with Porchetta goodness at Porchetta & Co to food bowls that are delightfully packed with nutrients at IQ Food Company. From cheagans to vegans, bowls to plates, each of our ten picks majors in delicious.

Get out your walking shoes and do some sightseeing on the way to your takeout. Whether you are eating it in your hotel room or on a park bench people-watching doesn’t matter. All you will be muttering is “Mmm” anyway.

Flock Rotisserie + Greens

Photo courtesy of Flock

Flock Rotisserie is miles away from Swiss Chalet, even though the two both claim to have mastered the rotisserie chicken experience. We think you should trust Flock’s word, as they specialize in naturally raised chicken without hormones or antibiotics. It is gourmand, without having to ask for special sauce (but no judgment if that is your jam, you are in good company with many Canadians). Even more interestingly, salads are as much the main event as the meat and often don’t have any chicken in them, but instead goodies like pickled honey mushrooms, dried currents and French lentils. 14 stools are available for sit-down patrons, who can alternate between licking their fingers and watching the slowly rotating birds, which can be as mesmerizing as watching a roaring fire.

Recommended for Take Out because: Delicious food, good for you and ready to go. That’s all you need in your takeout soul mate.

Courtney’s expert tip: Order ahead on their website to make getting in and out as easy as possible. Make sure to grab one of their brownies for dessert.

Read more about Flock Rotisserie + Greens →

Banh Mi Boys

Banh Mi Boys

Photo courtesy of Nam Ngo

If you are looking for a unique twist on a filling Vietnamese sandwich, you certainly can’t go wrong with Banh Mi Boys. Right on Queen and Spadina, the sandwich shop takes the Vietnamese construct and gives it multicultural twists, from Korean to Japanese. People line up out the door in anticipation, serving the grab-and-go style quite nicely. It is a skinny, hip and modern restaurant which serves its sandwiches on retro checkerboard paper. Banh Mi Boys was an overnight sensation for Toronto foodies who had no idea how great five-spice pork belly could taste. Other mouth-watering choices include duck confit or kimchi fries slathered in mayo, kimchi and slow-roasted pulled pork.

Recommended for Take Out because: The Banh Mi Boys sandwiches are legendary and will satisfy the most ravenous appetite, especially when paired with kimchi fries.

Courtney’s expert tip: They have a secret menu, which you can find out if you ask the cashier. However, best to do this when the lineup is not cascading onto the street.

Read more about Banh Mi Boys →

There is the type of people will who eat supermarket sushi, and those people don’t go to Japango. Japango is all about freshness and hustles at breakneck speed to get takeout orders in your belly as soon as possible. (Because Netflix waits for no one! Oh, wait, that’s exactly what it does.). The signature roll is, what else, Japango, which is great if you will forget this article as soon as you read it. It is a California roll on the inside but jazzed up with salmon, seared scallop, spicy mayo and microgreens. Japango’s restaurant space sizes at only 530 square feet. You may return home and find yourself feeling like your bachelor apartment is spacious. Order online at Door Dash or Uber Eats if you don’t feel like picking it up yourself.

Recommended for Take Out because: Fresh fish in the heart of the city with fine attention to detail.

Courtney’s expert tip: If you are with a crowd, their sushi platter easily feeds 2-4 people.

Read more about Japango Sushi Restaurant →

Fresh Restaurant

Fresh Restaurant

Photo courtesy of Fresh Restaurant

Fresh restaurant opened its doors in 1999, way before “clean eating” and “vegetarian” were on the lips of every second Torontonian. As the times changed to make healthy choices, not about deprivation, Fresh grew along with it, opening four locations around the city. Tables are always packed and there is almost always a wait, but you can call ahead for easy pick-up and or use their online ordering system which will alert you to the specials of the day. If you decide to go vegetarian but not virtuous, their poutine is a Canadian dream, smothered in their roasted mushroom gravy.

Recommended for Take Out because: Fresh is a vegetarian institution in Toronto and it has never been easier to help a delicious plant-based meal get in your belly.

Courtney’s expert tip: With matcha lattes and espresso-based drinks, you might as well also order your afternoon pick-me-up.

Read more about Fresh Restaurant →

iQ Food Co.

iQ Food Co.

Photo courtesy of iQ Food Co.

When it comes time to pick up lunch, choices can seem worse for the wear when you are trying to stay in reasonable shape. Should you cross your fingers and hope that the item in front of you will not make you balloon? Going to iQ Food Co with three locations takes the ingredients and puts them in front of you in a bare format. A cardboard takeout box awaits waiting to be decorated with greens or grains with toppings ranging from avocado to sesame seeds to tempeh. You can get your inner chef on without having to wield a knife or wear an apron. There are some pre-made boxes, such as the Pimento with aged white cheddar, avocado, fresh corn, green ranch dressing and more.

Recommended for Take Out because: Seasonal, tasty bowls and salads that will fill you right up for just over $10.

Courtney’s expert tip: If you are someone who doesn’t like to eat the same food twice, go for the monthly special. This changes every two months and will make use of fresh, local ingredients.

Read more about iQ Food Co. →

Kupfert and Kim

Kupfert and Kim

Photo courtesy of Kupfert and Kim

The general mathematical rule is that the more kale a Toronto restaurant has, the more expensive it will be. Healthy doesn’t have to break the bank now that Kupfert & Kim have set up shop right in the heart of the financial district. Healthy gluten-free and meatless meals offer substantial fuel for long days at the office. A hearty breakfast option is the toasts, with avocado toast and blueberry avocado toast ready to start your day right. Lunches come in charming takeout boxes and are filled to the brim with good stuff like brown rice, beans and chia seeds. Expect fresh ingredients that change with the seasons and expect your digestive tract to be very happy indeed.

Recommended for Take Out because: You can sometimes judge the quality of the takeout by the size of the line. Come early to beat the crowd and conquer lunch.

Courtney’s expert tip: If actually going to the location isn’t a possibility on a busy workday, try getting them with UberEats, which will deliver gluten-free goodness right to your door. You can also pre-order your takeout online using their website.

Read more about Kupfert and Kim →

Chino Locos

Chino Locos

Photo courtesy of Chino Locos Facebook page

For those nights when you can’t decide if you want Chinese or Mexican (if there are those nights), Chino Locos is a dream come true. Even if you can’t decide what you feel like, the word “dream” still applies here. Exceptionally good burritos with unexpected ingredients. We are not talking about mystery meat here, but rather edamame, shitake mushrooms and adobe chicken. The three self-proclaimed “crazy” Chinese chefs are aspiring to bring the newest in burrito flavors, from slow-roasted pork to a vegan variety with pressed tofu, shiitake mushrooms and glass noodles. If you want to be a purist and go the guacamole route, that is also available.

The burritos are so reasonably priced for the amount of mouth gratitude that you will receive, it is a Toronto miracle. It is one of those “shouldn’t work, but it does” situations. Just open your mouth and don’t question it.

Recommended for Take Out because: Chico Locos does one thing, and it does it well. These will make all other burritos seem like amateurs.

Courtney’s expert tip: Call ahead for pickup. If you like hot sauce, know that these people don’t mess around. Hot has Chipotle peppers and “Extra Hot” is only advisable if you don’t need to use your tongue for awhile.

Read more about Chino Locos →

Raw chef Lisa Labute and Catharine Parker were frustrated that “crap food” seemed to be the only choice for takeout and fast food options. When you want a change to come to the world, the best way is to do it yourself. That is exactly what they did, and their Roncesvalles eat-in and takeout spot The Goods is filled with everything that is good for you. Whether delivered or ordered in house, salad bowls are piled high with everything from mung beans to noodled beets, with creamy dressings and healthy fats that will fill you up for hours. Served in a brown takeout box and sealed with a sticker, it almost looks too good to eat. Almost.

Recommended for Take Out because: GMO-free, organic, gluten-free and dairy-free. Bet you can’t make your own lunch that conscious.

Courtney’s expert tip: If you are interested in group delivery email info@thegoodisgood.ca for more details.

Read more about the Goods →

When you order a sandwich at Porchetta & Co there is no reason to ask afterward, “Do I have something on my face?” because the answer is always, “Of course you do!” You won’t care. With the house Porchetta sandwich made with truffle sauce, parmesan, mustard and hot sauce you will be in takeout heaven. The Porchetta is treated with more love than most meats are and if you can’t get enough of it, consider ordering a whole roast. Other sandwiches include the pastrami banh mi, fried chicken parmesan and Nashville hot chicken. You can order online for delivery or pick-up at both their Dundas Street and King Street locations.

Recommended for Take Out because: Savory, juicy sandwiches that are just begging for Instagram likes.

Courtney’s expert tip: The restaurant is not big enough for a big group, but just perfect for takeout.

Read more about Porchetta & Co →



Photo courtesy of Pai Toronto

There is an 80-seat capacity in the buzzed-about Pai, which you can wait patiently for…or just order their takeout and refuse to wait for anyone. Online or phone orders are easy-peasy with family-style dishes served up to share with people you like. Try the pad gra prow, made as meaty or veggie-friendly as you like, and fried with basil (it translates as “holy basil stirfry”). Or store some in your fridge for days of takeout and justification for your lack of cooking skills. Toronto is filled to the brim with real chefs, anyway.

Recommended for Take Out because: Sumptuous Thai food that will make you glad that you are an introvert.

Courtney’s expert tip: If you can stay, there is a quick-service lunch counter at the back to speed things along.

Read more about Pai →

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