By Natasha Gan and Sonia El Boury
A growling stomach isn’t exactly the best companion when you’re running from one class to another with a pile of assignments to finish. We rounded up 10 places to eat at around Ryerson, detailing how long it takes to walk there from the centre of campus, Gould Street (indicated by the yellow icon) and how long the estimated wait time is, from the moment you line up until you get your meal (as indicated by the red).
10 Dundas East Food Court – Curry & Co
Walking distance from Balzac’s on Gould: If you have a class at Cineplex, the food court on the third floor makes a good lunch spot. Just four minutes away from the centre of campus, the eatery has a number of food stalls, the newest one being Curry & Co.
Atmosphere: Fun, but if you show up between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m, it’s likely to be packed with hungry students.
Wait time: Curry & Co has prepared food so the average wait time is reasonably low at three minutes. Keep in mind naan breads are fresh, so it might take a minute or two extra.
Is there any other reason to go here for lunch? Indian food is delicious and it’s the only joint in the food court that offers curry.
Chipotle, 323 Yonge St.
Walking distance from Balzac’s on Gould: Chipotle is right off of Gould so you won’t feel like you left campus at all. With a walking distance of three minutes, it’s definitely worth the visit for a quick bite to eat.
Atmosphere: It’s hectic and not exactly a good place to sit down and grab a bite to eat while reviewing class notes.
Wait time: If you think Panera is crowded, check out Chipotle during lunch. Sometimes the line extends to the door, but the servers are efficient and cut down the wait time. The total wait time is six minutes.
Is there any other reason to go here for lunch? If you’re in a rush, this is the place to go. Be warned though: The portion sizes are massive, so make sure you stay awake for your next class. It also doesn’t hurt that the burritos are some of the best in town.
Panera Bread, 322 Yonge St.
Walking distance from Balzac’s on Gould: Only three minutes away, Panera has been the go-to spot for Ryerson students since the day it opened.
Atmosphere: It’s a very spacious area, with lots of seating both upstairs and downstairs. Bonus: There’s free wifi and lots of electrical outlets, so you can catch up on work or study.
Wait time: Expect big crowds and crazy lunch rushes to keep you waiting up to 10 minutes for a sandwich.
Is there any other reason to go here for lunch? Since Ryerson is a commuter school, we’re always looking for a place to relax. Panera has great atmosphere and great food. It’s worth the wait time if you have a long gap between classes.
Doner Kebab House, 385 Yonge St.
Walking distance from Balzac’s on Gould: Doner Kebab is an ideal place to get lunch if you’re around the new Student Learning Centre. It’s a mere three-minute walk away.
Atmosphere: Doner Kebab is small and rather murky. The seats are too close for comfort – it’s recommended to get your food to go.
Wait time: Usually the line is very short with a maximum of two people. The servers are efficient so expect to get your fix in a minute.
Is there any other reason to go here for lunch? Let’s just say that it’s the perfect hangover food (not suggesting anyone would be in the middle of the day on weekdays, or anything).
Fit For Life, Dundas Station
Walking distance from Balzac’s on Gould: There are a number of joints within walking distance of campus, but the one inside Dundas Station is about five minutes away during lunch hours.
Atmosphere: Fit For Life doesn’t have the best atmosphere for a relaxing break, as people are constantly running in and out of the busy station.
Wait time: Expect your healthy meal after three minutes in line.
Is there any other reason to go here for lunch? It’s relatively cheap for healthy food (or what they claim to be is) and it’s quick.
It’s All GRK, 101 Dundas St. E
Walking distance from Balzac’s on Gould: GRK is steps away from Church and Dundas, which means it would only take you a brisk four-minute walk to get there.
Atmosphere: GRK is a cute little spot with natural lighting and white décor. They have stools and an eating counter for those who want to eat in and people watch.
Wait time: The wait for a gyro runs up to three minutes, while their fries are fresh cut and cooked to order.
Is there any other reason to go here for lunch? Their $8 gyros are delicious and they have healthier options like Greek salads.
Pita Land, 102 Gerrard St. E
Walking distance from Balzac’s on Gould: Craving pitas? Head over to Pita Land, it’s just five minutes away.
Atmosphere: Pita Land might appear slightly dodgy at first, but it’s completely harmless. It’s not usually busy – unless it’s past midnight on Friday, when Ryerson students are out having fun.
Wait time: A pita or a falafel wrap takes only two to three minutes.
Is there any other reason to go here for lunch? The portions are rather large compared to other pita-serving spots.
RUEats Build-your-own-bowl bar (BYOB), Podium at Ryerson
Walking distance from Balzac’s on Gould: Ryerson’s BYOB is in the heart of campus. Take a three to four minute walk to the back of the Podium, near the Hub Cafeteria, and you’ll find yourself in the home of Ryerson Eats (RUEats).
Atmosphere: RUEats looks much more refined after its recent facelift. There’s lots of options, and aside from the BYOB stall, the place is usually fairly quiet.
Wait time: You might grow impatient, as it takes about seven to eight minutes for your meal. But remember: It’s super fresh.
Is there any other reason to go here for lunch? It’s like home-cooked food, minus the annoying task of dishes. Whatever you get is cooked right in front of your very eyes, and its cheap!
Urban Eatery — Szechuan Express, Eaton Centre
Walking distance from Balzac’s on Gould: It’s not that close. You have to traverse through downtown’s busiest intersection, not to mention the sea of shoppers at Toronto Eaton Centre.
Atmosphere: Urban Eatery is bright and spacious, and usually filled with retail workers and Ryerson students. There are lines everywhere, but it’s a good spot to get lunch if you haven’t decided what you’re in the mood for yet. They have sushi, pasta, curry, poutine and more.
Wait time: While there’s a constant line for prepared Chinese food at Szechuan, the servers tend to you rather quickly, so expect to get your affordable lunch after about four minutes.
Is there any other reason to go here for lunch? Szechuan also offers cooked-to-order noodle soup. But if that doesn’t suit your taste, the food court has tons of other options to choose from.