Tasting menus are divine, especially fancy ones paired with wine. But for diners on a budget, the prix fixe is the gift that keeps on giving and an upmarket alternative to buffets. Plus, prix fixe options are a manageable foot in the door of a place you’ve been curious about but were reluctant to chance. These five spots—two serving lunch, two dinner, one weekend brunch—offer superb value for a fixed price.
221 Ossington Ave., 416-532-8000
550 Danforth Ave., 416-466-0400
155 University Ave., 416-551-0433
545 King St. W., 647-352-1200
All four locations of this acclaimed chain serving insanely delish thin-crust, brick oven-fired pizzas (certified authentic Neapolitan by the Italian government and the European Union, no less) offer a screaming deal every weekday lunch: your choice of caprese or arugula salad, Margherita or Marinara pie and a scoop of gelato or a biscotti for $16. We’d eat there every day if we could…
1 Richmond St. W., 647-748-1444
This downtown eatery’s Slow Roast Saturday is truth in advertising. Every Friday night, something (maybe turkey, maybe beef brisket) goes into the convection oven. Every Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm, that slow-roasted something is served with complementary sides (depending on the meat) for $21. (Yeah, we thought you’d appreciate knowing that.) And every weekday, a two-course lunch prix fixe is also just $21.
Aprile Bambina Cucina
1054 Gerrard St. E., 647-352-6969
This east end Italian restaurant dubs its Wednesday night special “Date Night” but we can confirm that even friends can benefit from this deal if they’re game to share. For $40, diners receive a Caesar salad, any pizza, any pasta and a dessert. Given that Aprile Bambina Cucina’s Caesar is among the best in town—with the romaine lightly grilled and served with crispy pancetta, herbed crostini, parmesan and house-made dressing—there is just no downside.
Le Sélect Bistro
432 Wellington St. W., 416-596-6405
This superb long-running French restaurant offers a nightly prix fixe of soup du jour or house salad, choice of steak frites, duck confit or risotto and either mousse au chocolat or crème brûlée for $35. The décor is brilliant too, and as close to Paris as you’re going to get in Toronto, especially the bar at the front. In summer, the doors are flung open onto a pretty street-side patio.
147 Spadina Ave., 416-348-8886
924 Queen St. W., 416-533-5454
Steak frites fans also flock to Jules Bistro for the $28.95 prix fixe deal that comes with onion soup, Caesar salad or warm goat cheese toast and dessert. Or, instead of steak, you can choose sauté de poulet or saumon grille (if you must).
The Dakota Tavern
249 Ossington Ave., 416-850-4579
It’s a honky-tonk saloon at night but on weekends the Dakota morphs into a family-friendly brunch spot serving all-you-can-eat scrambled eggs, sausages, pancakes, potatoes and fruit salad at $18 for adults and $7 for kids. Boozy drink specials round out the Bluegrass Brunch— perfect for those who availed themselves of the honky-tonk action the night before.