How to eat healthy at Toronto Eaton Centre

By Ashley Alagurajah

Eating healthy can be a daunting resolution while in the big city of Toronto. With so many delicious foods and smells, it’s hard to resist the temptations all around you, especially in the Toronto Eaton Centre. We took a trip to the food court and found three unique options if you are looking for some healthy choices while you’re out and about.

Urban Herbivore is a plant-based food spot that makes delicious vegetarian meals. Options like sandwiches, salads, and bowls are not only tasty, but they are good for you too. Today we tried the Moroccan Stew ($10.84 CAD) which is a “mild Mediterranean stew with root vegetables and chickpeas served on choice of grain.” We substituted the rice base for quinoa and turned this into an extra nutritious lunchtime meal.

Mucho Burrito was next on the list. The build-your-own Mexican spot was perfect for creating a bowl that has exactly what you crave. We ditched the tortilla and went for a Build Your Own Bowl ($11.25 CAD) instead of a burrito, and once again switched out rice for quinoa. The rest of the bowl was beef, beans, salsa, and cheese – a spicy and delicious meal that your body will thank you for.

Last, but certainly not least, was Jimmy The Greek. Although rice and potatoes can be alluring, we went for the Chicken Fillet Greek Salad ($10.99 CAD). The salad had lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onions, olives, feta cheese, and delicious Greek dressing, topped with a grilled chicken fillet for protein and souvlaki sauce.

We hope this gave you an idea of what you can do to avoid the grease and focus on nutritious eats in the tempting setting of the Toronto Eaton Centre food court.

New food options available for commuters as Union Food Court opens

By Severina Chu

Commuters now have a variety of new and tasty meal options with the opening of the Union Food Court at Toronto’s Union Station.

Part of the Union Station revitalization project, construction for the food court was first approved in 2009 and originally scheduled to be completed by 2015. Several delays later, the food court finally opened in late November of 2018.

It is located on the lower level of the GO York Concourse and offers 10 new food retailers and seating for up to 600 people. Many of the food vendors offer meals that cost $15 or less which allows students to grab a bite to eat before class, work, or on their way home.

The Union Food Court offers food from local vendors around the city. While commuters can still buy from familiar chains like McDonald’s, Tim Hortons, and Pizza Pizza, they now have the option of choosing healthier and more culturally diverse meals. Here’s a closer look at what’s on the menu.

Loaded Pierogi

In its newest Toronto location, this retailer serves the traditional Polish dumpling dish with a twist. Customers can get pierogies, either fried or boiled, loaded with various meat and vegetable toppings.

One of Loaded Pierogi's vegetarian options, Baba's Classic ($9) is topped with caramelized onions, sour cream, and green onions. (CanCulture/Severina Chu)

One of Loaded Pierogi's vegetarian options, Baba's Classic ($9) is topped with caramelized onions, sour cream, and green onions. (CanCulture/Severina Chu)

Bangkok Buri

Inspired by the street food served in Bangkok, Bangkok Buri serves traditional Thai cuisine with a modern influence. The menu includes noodles, rice, and salad dishes, as well as gluten-free and vegetarian choices.

Roywoods

Known for being an authentic taste of the Caribbean, this established Toronto business has now made its way to Union Station. They are well-known for their jerk chicken, which they offer either in a platter meal or on a sandwich with Jamaican coco bread.

The jerk chicken sandwich ($10) is served on Jamaican coco bread and comes with a beverage. (CanCulture/Severina Chu)

The jerk chicken sandwich ($10) is served on Jamaican coco bread and comes with a beverage. (CanCulture/Severina Chu)

Paramount Fine Foods

Paramount Fine Foods is serving up authentic Lebanese cuisine, including classics like shawarma and falafel served in a wrap, on rice, or on salad. The Union Station location also offers fresh bread and house-made sweets.

Scaccia

A family-owned and operated Italian restaurant in Toronto, Scaccia has expanded its brand to a quick service location. The scaccia, a stuffed flat bread from Sicily, is made with various combinations of meats, vegetables, and cheeses that makes for the perfect meal on-the-go.

Scaccia has a wide range of good eats, from hearty meat and cheese sandwiches to lighter vegetarian options. (CanCulture/Severina Chu)

Scaccia has a wide range of good eats, from hearty meat and cheese sandwiches to lighter vegetarian options. (CanCulture/Severina Chu)

Shanghai 360°

Shanghai 360° serves dishes typical of northern Chinese cuisine. With familiar Chinese takeout favourites such as fried rice and dumplings, the Union Station location also offers a noodle bar with your choice of noodle and soup base.

Sushi Shop

Despite the simple name, Sushi Shop is not your traditional Japanese menu. Here you can get sushi in creative forms, such as burgers, tacos, and burritos, along with unique flavour combinations.

The Union Food Court is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends.

Two restaurants in Toronto are great for students on a budget

Finding great food at a reasonable price doesn’t come easily when you are a university student on a budget. It can be challenging to treat yourself to something nice, preferably something that isn’t greasy or sloppily put together, without spending a fortune. There are two spots near campus that are great for students to indulge but not break the bank. Kyoto House and Tacos 101 are just right for any financially struggling student who wants a delicious meal. Kyoto House Japanese Restaurant

Photo taken by Sophie Diego.
Photo taken by Sophie Diego.

Kyoto House is neither a top sushi experience, nor the worst of the worst. 

It is a small but cozy place to eat. Also, the restaurant provides a more authentic Japanese eating experience, as the waiters and chefs dress in authentic kimonos and traditional clothing.

Kyoto House is an extremely popular all-you-can-eat sushi place, so there is constantly a line, especially during peak hours. However, the long lines portray the reason why one needs to eat at this restaurant. 

The menu is essentially a check list that you can fill out. It is comprised of all the items to choose from, and it asks you how many pieces of it would you like. By having this menu, it generates faster service and a lack of miscommunication with the waiters.

Traditional foods, such as sashimi, tempura, sushi rolls, cooked items like teriyaki, and soups are all present within the menu. However the quality of some of the food are questionable. For instance, the rice from the salmon sushi seemed to fall apart quite quickly.  If you wanted to get the entire piece in your mouth, you would have to act fast if you don’t want the entire sushi piece to disintegrate into your soya sauce

Adequately priced for a couple pieces of sushi, and just a few minutes away from the Ryerson campus, it’s a place to be considered, but not an everyday type of restaurant.

Photo taken by Sophie Diego.
Photo taken by Sophie Diego.

TACOS 101

Photo taken by Sophie Diego.
Photo taken by Sophie Diego.

Tacos 101 is a completely different experience in comparison to Kyoto House. Not in food, obviously, but in terms of atmosphere all together. It has a steady stream of customers coming in, but it is not too crowded. It is a tighter space, probably half the size of an elementary school classroom. However, it compensates for its lack of space with the vibe it emits. The turquoise walls bring light into the restaurant, and hanging light bulbs with banners painted of each colour of the rainbow decorate the eating area. There’s about seven chairs to accommodate customers, but don’t worry if you don’t find a seat, they do take out. The interior is modern yet traditionally Mexican at the same time.

Tacos 101 sets the cost of their tacos at an incredibly good price. If you’re tight with money, the most expensive item on their menu is the fish taco at $4.50. When you do get your food, which doesn’t take long at all because of the excellent service, the tacos are quite small. If you’re a person with a large apetite, you might want to order two. They’re comfortable to hold, and they fit in your mouth, although it does have the potential to create quite a mess.

Photo taken by Sophie Diego.
Photo taken by Sophie Diego.

This piece was edited by Maha Syeda, food editor of CanCulture.