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Breakfast in Hamilton, Ontario

Either with friends or business colleagues, I really enjoy eating at a good breakfast restaurant. The problem is that I live in Hamilton, Ontario, and I haven't been able to find anything better than satisfactory. To date, I've tried:

- Your Place in downtown Hamilton
- West Town on Locke Street
- The Egg & I in Ancaster, Hamilton, and Stoney Creek
- Russel Williams in Burlington
- Tammy's in Dundas
- Sammy Joe's in Ancaster
- Samiotis in downtown Hamilton

I'm planning on trying out One Duke this coming Saturday (they open for breakfast only on Saturday and Sunday, at 11am).

Would someone please recommend something new, different, and better? I'm willing to drive to Caledonia, to Stoney Creek, to Burlington/Oakville, if the food is good.

Thanks!

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  1. My family and I are big fans of Fava in the Middle.
    Lakeshore and Brant in Burlington, beside the Pepperwood.

    And of course there is Ben's, right beside Fava.

    -Tim

    1. I think the quality of a breakfast joint depends on what you are looking for. I will assume you are looking for the basic combo (eggs, pork product, potatoes, toast and coffee). Because I'll be darned if I can find a place that makes even decent biscuits and gravy here in Canada...

      I too, would like to find a better than average breakfast place, I've tried most of The BvO has tried and have also added the following to my list of okay but not outstanding places to eat:
      - Doc's (Concession at Upper Wentworth)
      - Limoncello (Ottawa St. N.)
      - The Big Top (Main St. E. and Sherman Ave)

      My only recommendation would be to try...
      - Steve's Open Kitchen (James St. S.)

      4 Replies
      1. re: Mike from Hamilton

        Another good breakfast place in Hamilton is Pancake House on main west. it's near Tally Ho.

        1. re: food_lover

          I'd avoid the Pancake House if you are planning on doing breakfast with Colleagues. Especially on a Saturday or Sunday morning. It's a fun hung-over breakfast place. Probably not the most inspired breakfast you will have, but it's tasty but it's hangover breakfast good.

        2. re: Mike from Hamilton

          Thanks, Mike from Hamilton. I'll try Steve's sometime soon.

          BTW, my experience at One Duke was very positive. I had "The Big Duke" breakfast, and was quite impressed, particularly by the ham and by the fruit. Service was friendly and prompt, the patio was fantastic.

          1. re: Mike from Hamilton

            Steve's Open Kitchen is gone. It was a landmark.

          2. What are you looking for? The West Town and The Egg and I seem to be the most popular places in the area, so I assume you're looking for something without the 'diner' ambience. I'm more of a glutton than a gourmand, so a huge plate of eggs, bacon, home fries, etc. for a fair price is my nirvana.

            Glen Abbey golf course serves a Sunday Brunch for $30.95 per person. I haven't been there in years, but it may be what you're looking for. You might try other golf courses also.

            http://www.clublink.ca/sundaybrunch.html

            2 Replies
            1. re: El Puerco

              There's a lovely new resto called "Seven Windows" on Aberdeen at Dundurn that has Sun brunch (DH was there for lunch recently and really enjoyed it). Amuse Bouche has also recently located from Aberdeen to Locke St S and is reputed to have a nice brunch and a nice new digs. Both of these are cheaper than $30/person and definitely more upscale than the local diner.

              1. re: El Puerco

                I have nothing against diners. What I'm looking for is a good place that serves bacon/eggs/sausage/toast/homefries. Should have a relaxed atmosphere, good service, and be open weekdays before 8am. Must have drinkable coffee.

                It's not a classy Sunday Brunch that I'm seeking so much as a restaurant that does the basics, and does them well.

              2. Mount Royal Family Restaurant on Brant and Mount Forest Dr. north of the QE has to be one of the best for breakfast in Burlington. The atmosphere is great and the staff are treated well so I have never seen poor service. The only problem is it has a very big following and seats are often hard to come by. Usually filled with regulars. But worth the wait.

                1. Try the Harbour Diner (www.harbourdiner.com), on James North below Picton... great food, really good coffee (fair trade or not, your choice...) the best pie you'll find in Hamilton... kind of kitschy, good, simple food... :)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: wish i had a clever name

                    Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting about the Harbour Diner. We had a superb breakfast there on Sunday. HEAPS of top quality food (highlights included waffles with fresh fruit and real maple syrup, great homefries, and delicious pies), some of the best free-flowing java anywhere, and a bill that came to $44 for five adults and three kids. Amazing. The service was outstanding, and chef/owner Scott Randall obviously knows what he is doing and enjoys doing it. He also has a wonderful 3-year-old daughter, so the place is exceptionally well-geared toward keeping the kids happy. It was the perfect place to gorge ourselves before letting the kids wreak havoc in the rain at the marvellous Pier 4 playground up the street.

                  2. For a basic breakfast in Hamilton, served pleasantly in clean diner surroundings complete with the day's newspapers tucked under coat hangers for your reading pleasure, try the Sunrise on Main West just west of Hunter. If you like peameal bacon with your brekkie, the Sunrise serves lean slices that are cooked properly - eminently chewable not overcooked which seems to be my grouse at most restaurants.

                    The Hilltop restaurant in the Mountain Plaza Mall on Upper James, Hamilton is another basic breakfast place with pleasant, efficent service, cleanliness but there's very occasional slip ups in their usual high quality ingredients, e.g., peameal bacon. It's a Greek Canadian restaurant owned and operated by a charming, friendly family - father, mother and son all are active workers on the premises. Ben's Deli is okay in Burlington but in my opinion, just an average place and there's no table service which I like in the a.m. Used to go to Fava just down from Ben's and enjoyed it. Must go there again!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Fandango

                      I looks like Steve's Kitchen isn't gone for good - now reopened, newly renovated and the building is bright green. Not sure about the food because I haven't been inside yet.

                      1. re: kaitlynnt

                        steve's open kitchen is for sure the best place downtown for breakfast, i go every saturday with my son!!

                    2. We really like The Village in Olde Towne Stoney Creek.

                      1. The Village is quite good. We've also had pretty good luck at the Bedrock Bistro, at the corner of Queenston and Parkdale, although their homefries aren't always as well done as I like them to be. We were also pleasently surprised with the breakfast served at The Lincside, a little pub on Upper Gage just north of the Linc, although I'm not sure if they have breakfast on weekdays.

                        1. Cora's has opened on Dorval Dr. in Oakville (in plaza just north of QEW)..only open for breakfast/lunch and tonnes of choices

                          1. Suggest Cora's in jOakville to those on your list. Not quite Hamilton but good value.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: cynalan

                              There is a Cora's located in Ancaster, it was great.

                              1. I havn't tried it yet but the rouseau house in Ancaster looks promising. More upscale and they have a patio. Rays boathouse is decent and also a patio. Patio and breakfast are hard to come by in Hamilton. Theres also Chedoke golf course that serves breakfast and there patio doesn't open until May I believe. Great view!
                                Fava in Burlington has closed down. Sorry stone bread lovers.

                                Paul

                                1. There are a few good options in Waterdown. Angels Diner on Hamilton St. has a great selection on their breakfast menu. The service is quick and friendly and the food is always fresh and not greasy. Gator Teds on Dundas St. just east of town and The Royal Coachmen at Dundas and Main Sts. are both good too. I've only been to those two on weekends so I am not sure if they are open weekdays.

                                  On the more upscale side The Water Street Cooker in Burlington has excellent weekend brunch.

                                  If you are ever out Beamsville way The Relay Station on Ontario St., just north of the QEW is worth a stop. From the outside it doesn't look the greatest, but for straight up bacon/sausage and eggs with homefries it is good.

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: ach

                                    If you really want to go upscale for breakfast, try Spencers on the waterfront in Burlington. It is an excellent mix of a great Sunday brunch with main course elements prepared to order. You get your normal list of breakfast items: eggs benedict, bacon, sausage, salads, antipasto, etc. However, the highlight is 3 or 4 courses (prime rib, lamb, veal, etc) made to order, In the $30 range, the brunch is excellent. Probably the best in Burlington with Water Street Cooker taking second. Stay away from Lakeside 2020. Terrible service and limited menu.

                                    1. re: cynalan

                                      How is lakeside 2020 for dinner?...I have to meet some people there (not my choice).

                                      1. re: DDD

                                        Sorry - cannot tell you... never been for dinner but my guess would be... nothing special. A lot of many finer restaurants in Burlington: Spencers, Trendz, La Costa Nuovo, Landmark... just to name a few.

                                        1. re: DDD

                                          2020 Lakeside is alright. Nothing overly special. I've eaten there ocasionally if I'm DJing the same night, so it's more out of convenience than anything else. It isn't a place that I would plan to go to if I weren't already working an event there.

                                          1. re: DDD

                                            I just had one of the worst restaurant experiences at 2020 Lakeside...
                                            Our waitress couldn't have cared less about serving us and my meal was incredibly unappetizing. She was argumentative when I stated that I didn't care for it (among other things, I thought the chicken was very fatty), and returned later to tell me that the "manager inspected it and he disagreed and they won't remove it from the bill". Excuse me? I never asked them to take it off the bill, and since when should you challenge a customer if they don't care for something? She didn't set foot near us dyuring the meal, otherwise I would have told her earlier that it wasn't to my taste. Also, my husband asked for his leftovers to be wrapped for him, and she brought our bill, but no leftovers. We waited a while to see if she was coming back with them, but nothing. There's more, but I've already wasted enough time on this restaurant. Needless to say, the tip reflected the overall experience.

                                            1. re: winegirl2

                                              Can't say that I'm surprised. If they cannot get breakfast right, no right to expect that dinner would be any better.

                                          2. re: cynalan

                                            I was recently at Spencer's for their weekend brunch and it was really busy. The food was fantastic! To add to cynalan's description, dessert is part of the buffet. There are made-to-order omelettes and waffles. Drinks like smoothies and juice are included, along with alcoholic beverages like mimosas and caesar's. The brunch price is $36 per person and it's definitely worth every penny! Reservations are highly recommended.

                                        2. Another spot to try is Joe Dog's in Burlington on Brant St. Their breakfast is good and the patio is a nice option now that the weather is nicer.

                                          1. good news! Cora's is opening in Burlington at Appleby and Dundas!!!

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: burlgurl

                                              burlgurl, are these Cora's in Oakville and Burlington the same chain as Chez Cora from Montreal?

                                            2. If you are looking for perfect eggs, great bacon, sausage or peameal and great coffeeI would try the Ranch House on Queenston at Walter. Prices are great for breakfast including weekends, Staff friendly. The only downplay is that they do not take plastic.

                                              Order the potatoes well-done crispy and they out better than french fries, they also have potatoes with onions if that is more of preference.

                                              1. - The Egg & I in Ancaster, Hamilton, and Stoney Creek -- you could not pay me to go their for breakfast, worst I have ever had.

                                                Besides the RanchHouse that I suggested below, you can also try AppleAnnies on Plains and King, just past the QEW.

                                                1. I'm looking for a breakfast place like Boom or Mitzis in Toronto, something above the usual greasy diner food I've been able to find so far. Somewhere with a decent eggs benny with real hollandaise and french toast thats not a soggy mess.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: zenmonkey

                                                    Apple Annies, on Plains Road and King in Burlington has good eggs benny. They also have a chicken benedictine that I hear is good too. Weekdays they have a 3.99 bacon/sausage/ham and eggs special before 10am. I was there on Sunday had the french toast which was cooked to perfection on nice thick bread.

                                                  2. Can't go wrong with Erlind's on the Six Nations Reserve...............

                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/536640

                                                    1. The Vicar's Vice on Hamilton mountain just off of Centennial across from the Walmart does a great British breakfast on Sat. Sun. It is really good and only about $10. This place also does a good dinner with a family night on Mondays. For a fee the kids go down to a supervised room and the adults can have a quiet meal. I just love this place. For breakfast I haven't found much else in Hamilton. There is definitely a shortage of decent breakfast places in Hamilton.

                                                      1. There's a fantastic new diner on James Street North called Harbour Diner. All mismatched chairs and crazy wallpaper, the decor is just what I missed in a breakfast joint. I got a $30 gift certificate for my birthday from friends who live nearby and we went in February. Fresh organic eggs, fair trade coffee, pancakes from scratch with carmelized pecans and fresh fruit. Seriously - there hasn't been anything like this in the Hammer for the 10 years I've been living there, and the place was packed. Get there before 10 on weekends to get a table. Yummy yum yum! http://www.chow.com/places/295

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: maggiefox

                                                          Hi - it has been there for awhile but correct - great spot and excellent breakfast!

                                                        2. Just ate at the Woodward Restauant on Saturday. Basic diner fare - eggs, bacon/sausage, toast, home fries - for $6 - $8 per person, coffee seems bottomless, food was good. Small, about 12 tables and a few seats at the counter. Fast, friendly service. Oh yeah, it's just off Barton across from the Lowe's Hardware. It was my first time there, would definitely go again.

                                                          1. The Old Mill in Ancaster for Sunday Brunch--hands down the best you will find. But for Breakfast...hard to get much better than Tammy's Place in Dundas or Jet Cafe downtown. I have also found that the Brassie Pub in Ancaster makes a mean breakfast.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Greenfrog905

                                                              One Duke has great breakfast on Sundays from 11-3. It's my favorite place to go down town. I've heard that they have started doing it also on Saturdays but I have been there yet. Also the rumour is that they are thinking of doing breakfast 7 days a week and opening early. Like I said I heard its a rumour. Will let you know when I find out its true or not.

                                                            2. the Harbour Diner, hands down. Reasonable prices, excellent service, great coffee and a wide variety of options.

                                                              Whether you go for the breakfast special or a lobster and crab eggs benny, it's unpretentious and delicious - and comparable in price to any greasy spoon for a lot more atmosphere.

                                                              -----
                                                              Harbour Diner
                                                              488 James St N, Hamilton, ON L8L1J1, CA

                                                              1. I go to The Bedrock Bistro once a week for breakfast and I get either the Steeltown Slammer (a hungry mans meal) or Freds Feast (still a large meal). Service is fast and friendly. Prices are around $10 for the two I order. Home fries are great. Best part about the restaurant for me is there is 5 TV's playing the flintstones that you can watch while you wait/eat. I havent been there for anything but breakfast but I have heard they have a good lunch and supper too.

                                                                -----
                                                                The Bedrock Bistro
                                                                260 Queenston Rd, Hamilton, ON L8K1H1, CA

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Roach1974

                                                                  The Sunrise is the nearest 'greasy spoon'/diner in my neighbourhood. Breakfast there is as good as it gets anywhere in Hamilton, if you are looking for your basic eggs and bacon/sausage/ham combo. The Sunrise will meet that challenge. It's relatively quiet - no multiple TV's for me at breakfast. The breakfast waitress is unfailingly cheerful and helpful if you have a special request, e.g., I'm gluten-intolerant and bring my own bread. She offered to toast it for me! That's thoughtful service. Peameal bacon is particularly good and not greasy, eggs are cooked as ordered. Good place to ease into the day....