Where Toronto’s Michelin-recognized chefs eat cheap: Kate Chomyshyn and Julio Guajardo of Fonda Balam

Although inflation has caused the cost of dining out to soar, there are many standout restaurants in the city with quality food at reasonable prices. And when it comes to restaurant recommendations, who better to trust than a chef — and a Michelin chef to boot!

Chefs Kate Chomyshyn and Julio Guajardo recently awarded a Bib Gourmand for Fonda Balam — an easy-going Mexican joint serving up some of the best birria in the city — recently shared their favourite affordable restaurant in Toronto where two can dine with wine for under $100. Read on to find out which spot they selected.

Chefs Chomyshyn and Guajardo want to eat at: Imanishi Japanese Kitchen

“The vibe is always fun but relaxed, and the food is all delicious and simple,” said the duo who in recent years have been behind some of the best Mexican restaurants in Toronto. As for menu favourites, the couple’s go-to include the anchovy potato salad and for dessert, the taro root ice cream on Tokyo toast which they describe as “amazing.”

Imanishi Japanese Kitchen

Tokyo toast with tarro root ice cream

Founded on the concept of Tokyo homestyle cooking, little Portugal mainstay Imanishi Japanese Kitchen is a favourite amongst trendy west end locals for its unique offerings and unconventional dishes. And when it comes to the menu, there really are no wrong choices. Working with fresh, umami-sensitive ingredients, each plate is designed to pair with beer, wine and an extensive selection of sake, which is available by the bottle or glass. Case in point: the cold served agedashi eggplant is marinated in a flavourful ginger dashi broth and is a firework for the senses, and the miso braised pork belly joins some of the most tender in the city. Although you may want to sample a bit of everything, do make sure you leave some room for dessert: the taro root ice cream topped with soba is truly out of this world. 1330 Dundas St. W.

If you want to know where celebrity chef Ryusuke Nakagawa of Aburi Hana eats cheap, click here, for Rob Rossi of Osteria Guilia click here.  And to find out where chef Jackie Lyn of Shoushin gets an affordable meal, click here.

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO