In looking for the perfect $5 lunch in Toronto, I factored in several things. It should be fast and possibly portable (sitting down is for dinner time!) It should be fairly healthy, since it’s the midday meal that powers you through the day. And in this, Canada’s most expensive city, the $5 price would probably only cover the main event, not drinks, dessert or taxes.
That said, Sandwich Box fits all of the above criteria. A homegrown business that now has four locations in Toronto (three downtown on Bay and Richmond Streets, and one uptown on Eglinton Avenue), Sandwich Box is fast, fresh, cheap and most importantly, delicious.
Guess how much that ham and cheese sandwich in the photo cost? Not five bucks. No, not four bucks either. It was $3.95! For a $3.95 sandwich, I would normally picture a smushed, pre-packaged offering from a gas station fridge. But look at that thing! The bread was thick, fresh and full of sunflower seeds. The sandwich contains a good portion of ham, swiss cheese, tomatoes and real lettuce (I am so tired of iceberg lettuce passing as sandwich filler, aren’t you?) and Dijon mustard for a little flavour.
There are plenty of other sandwich varieties available under $5. Egg salad, chicken, or grilled vegetables, for example. I’m only sad that they were out of my first-choice sandwich – the tomato, avocado and brie. ($4.95) I could talk about how I much I love that one, but without a photo it would be a bit of a tease, no?
Sandwich Box also sells fresh soups for $2.95 and $4.50, and in our frosty winter climes they can be a wise choice too. They come in drool-worthy flavours like curried cauliflower, or chicken and lentil.
If you happen to feel like being extravagant and spending more than $5, you can create your own sandwich or salad from a huge display of ingredients. But why bother? Did you look at my sandwich?