Where Toronto’s Michelin-recognized chefs eat cheap: Steven Molnar of Quetzal

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!

Chef Steven Molnar, recently awarded a Michelin star for Quetzal— a restaurant serving upscale Mexican cuisine that’s cooked over a 28-foot wood fire   — recently shared his favourite affordable restaurant in Toronto where two can dine with wine for under $100. Read on to find out which spot he selected.

Chef Molnar wants to eat at: Donna’s

“I have been going to Donna’s since they first opened, and I am amazed with their consistency and creativity,” chef Molnar told us. “The cooking is of the highest quality, and they change their menu often, allowing the guest to always experience new things.”


The roast beef sandwich with parsnip, horseradish and watercress.

A favourite for residents of Toronto’s Junction neighbourhood, Donna’s was opened by chefs Peter Jensen and Jed Smith and Jensen’s wife, Ann Kim. Donna’s is a cosy spot serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between. Whether you’re stopping by for a breakfast sandwich on your morning commute (they even do combos with an Americano or a tea), sharing a bottle of wine and a platter of oysters with friends after work or want an intimate setting for an actual date night, Donna’s does it all. The menu is packed with quick eats that go for an elevated approach — think sandwiches and salads but also unique finger foods, like the beef tongue, served with apples, beets, dandelion and horseradish, or the lamb liver on toast with pickled shallots and capers. Bigger meals include cod, pork shoulder or rice and shrimp. Donna’s also sells a selection of beers, ciders, sake and classic cocktails, like the dirty gin martini, vermouth spritz and negroni. 827 Lansdowne Ave.

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