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Recent move to Toronto...need fellow foodie help!

Hello fellow foodies.,

I've just relocated from Montreal to the North York area. In Montreal it was a weekend tradition to just get up and walk down to a breakfast/brunch place. I'm looking for something casual that would serve your basic bacon and eggs...(oh and some peameal baconof course) am already aware of the downtown places such as Pickle Barrel, Eggspectations.

I'm looking for the hidden gems that chowhounders are so good at finding!


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  1. Best peameal and eggs breakfast is at the New Yorker at Broadview and Danforth. It's a very typical family-run greasy spoon kind of dive.

    Sadly, too far to walk from North York... but at under $10 per personl (inc coffee) and with a peameal slice the size of a pork chop, it's definitely worth the trip!

    3 Replies
    1. re: tartiflette

      Close tartiflette but a few blocks off....the best eggs and peameal in that area is Detroit Diner at Danforth and Chester.

      Foodcricket where in North York are you ?

      1. re: books

        I'm located within walking distance of the Finch Subway. I have a car so will definitely make the drive out to try the New Yorker and Detroit Diner... Thanks!!

      2. re: tartiflette

        Add my vote for New York Cafe....larger than Detroit which could be important on busy weekend mornings. Like both, but always end up at New York. The Eggs Benedict looks unbelieveably sinful - haven't ever taken the plunge myself. Always happy when I go and full when I leave.

      3. Nothing in TO compares to Cosmo on Sherbrooke in NDG.

        Try the Patrician Grill on King St. E., east of Jarvis.

        For something a bit more upscale, try Swan and Queen St. W., east of Shaw.

        And definitely check out: http://www.torontobrunch.com.

        1 Reply
        1. re: acd123

          Ah yes Cosmo is a heart attack on a plate but I do applaud Toronto's peameal bacon which is non existant in Mtl...

        2. In the Yonge/Eglinton area is the Good Bite. Straight-up breakfast. About 4 blocks north of Eg. on the east side of Yonge. Also, a bit more upscale, but still reasonable is Homeway on Mt. Pleasant, a couple of blocks north of Eglinton. Nice breakfast.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Yongeman

            I second Good Bites. When I read the OP it was the first thing that came to my mind. Nothing fancy but good straight up breakfast. At some points on the weekend morning it has a line-up on the weekends, but they are so efficient you never wait more then 10 minutes.
            I haven't tried Homeway yet but it is on my list.

            1. re: Yongeman

              Agreed on both. Good Bite is the typical Toronto Greek-family run diner. Homeway is fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice in a nicer setting, but still with your basic brekkie choices.

              1. re: Yongeman

                Hey Foodcricket you need to go to United Bakery in the Lawrence Plaza, corner of Bathurst and Lawrence. It is exactly like Beauty's.....and pea soup is almost better!!!
                Same kind of menu without the meat, they are a dairy restaurant. Weekends are pretty hectic with line ups, etc. but the food is good. Oops just read your post again and noticed the part about the bacon - sorry you won't find it there but it is still worth a try. p.s. welcome to TO!

              2. Speaking of Toronto Greek-family run diners, whatever happened to People's Foods at Dupont and St. George. It was by far my favourite breakfast spot when I lived in the neighbourhood, but I haven't been there in years.

                Sadly for us, all those Greek families are gradually selling their businesses and moving on with their lives (hence, no more Tasty's, and many others), and no one is taking their place.

                3 Replies
                1. re: estragon

                  People's diner is fantastic! I usually go for lunch and cannot resist the onion rings (best in the city, I would say) or the milkshakes.

                  1. re: estragon

                    People's Foods is still there but the ownership has changed and I think it has gone downhill in a big way. It is my neighbourhood 'diner' and sad to say we simply only go when desperate (it is within an easy walking distance for us) At Davenport & Avenue Road you'll find the Avenue Diner" a much better choice than the current People's. The Villager on Spadina Road & Lonsdale is also a good choice. The Vesta on Dupont at Bathurst is good but only has counter seating.

                    1. re: pearlD

                      Oh no! That's too bad, I haven't been in about a year since I moved from the neighrbourhood.

                      Good to know though, thanks PearlD.

                  2. Hey Foodcriket (and fellow North Yorker), it is a shame that there isn't much better than a few Wimpy's locations around you to get your breakfast/brunch fix. Not that they aren't good, they are just places that fill the void. There is a Chez Cora at Dufferin & Steeles, but I have never been a big fan. I will be watching this post closely, just to see what else is around.

                    If you don't mind driving, there is B on Dundas West, and the Freshwood Grill on Roncevalles (they also have a location in Kensington market). Le Petit Dejeuner (sorry, if my spelling sucks, I failed grade 9 French) is good as is Bonjour Brioche, but sometimes the meals come with a side of attitude. It is a shame that the Canary closed a few months ago, but I keep hearing rumblings that they may reopen. There is also SmallTalk on Bayview. My only warning with some of these places don't open until 10:00 on the weekends, so if you are an early riser, you may be SOL.

                    Well, good luck and welcome to the neighbourhood.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Lazar

                      Ditto on the Petit Dejeuner (King E @ Jarvis), though I wouldn't suggest going there specifically for a straight-up eggs and bacon brekkie, since you can get a perfectly good greasy breakfast for half the price a few doors down at the Patrician Grill.

                      However, if you want something a bit more elaborate (ie. cafe au lait, tea that isn't Red Rose, or eggs benny), this is the place to go.

                    2. One of my favourite afforable, 'every-weekend' brunches is by far 'Easy' which is at Queen W & Roncesvalles. Delicious smoothies, great bacon & eggs (they always seem to cook my eggs perfectly)... you can even get toast soldiers, a hard boiled egg with toast strips and your very own toy soldier to take home. It's affordable and casual and I haven't yet had a bad experience.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: To Market To Market

                        Ditto on 'Easy'. I ate there 3 weeks ago and although we had to wait 15 minutes (Sunday) the food was fantastic. Staff were extremely friendly. I had the Huevos Divorciados asked for extra spice and was given it with a smile. The Mango smoothie lacked flavor though. Maybe because my mouth was fried from my spicy egg dish.

                      2. I live in North York, and really there aren't a lot of breakfast places left. You may want to try Sunshine Spot on Sheppard, which is located within a 5 minute drive from you. There's also Steve's, which is on Bathurst just north of Wilson.

                        3788 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON M3H3M9, CA

                        Sunshine Spot
                        796 Sheppard Ave E, Toronto, ON M2K1C3, CA

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: dlw88

                          Yeah, I used to to to Steve's all the time for peameal and eggs. I haven't been in years, but I guess they are as good as they used to be.

                          1. re: acd123

                            Was at Steve's a couple of weeks ago - my first time. Was not too impressed. Food was not very good. Much prefer the Good Bite on Yonge.

                        2. As fellow North Yorker, I suggest Bon Vivant for Brunch, they only do it Sundays, it is a casual atmosphere...I am not sure if they do peameal bacon, but they definately have a nice country sausage. I especially like that they have all the weekend newspapers and a lot of current magazines to browse over coffee. They are located on Avenue Road, South of Wilson.

                          I myself prefer the Homeway, also mentioned in the above posts located on Mt. Pleasant, north of Eglinton. It is worth the drive--They have great peameal, great coffee, nice atmosphere, very reasonable and pleasant.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: saucethatcounts

                            Oh, and what about Sunset Grill....they do a pretty good brekkie at least they did last time I was there which was a year or so ago. Not sure about the Yonge and Eg spot but the Danforth and Coxwell location is pretty good. Big portions!!

                            1. re: millygirl

                              I used to enjoy Sunset Grill. But the last 3 times I've been, well... its been terrible.
                              I travel all around the city so I get to try out the different ones in the chain. The one on Eg and Yonge and downtown stick out the most.
                              Potatoes were, at the same time, burnt and undercooked. I really don't like crunchy hash browns. And the portion was really small. Like someone in the kitchen was in a bad, bad mood and threw the hashies on the plate. The sausages were ... there are no words for them. I didn't really touch them after a mouthful. Not sure if they were undercooked or just bad. The scrambled eggs were really good, light and fluffy.

                              This occurred both times, at different spots. Not a good sign. After the last time, I commented to the server and was treated to an embarrassed shrug. I think she understood, but basically what could she do was here attitude. She was a good waitress, wasted on the food she was serving.

                              Unless I hear different, I'm not going to bother with Sunset any longer. I'm on the hunt for a new place. Too bad, I'll miss them.

                          2. North York != Toronto.
                            Try the Times Square Diner on Wilson heights http://www.restaurantica.com/restaura... or the
                            Midway Restaurant & Tavern 7059 Yonge just north of steeles. Both appear to be family run o/o decent diners.
                            STAY AWAY from Steves! The place is just not clean & the food was worse than mine!

                            1. Thanks for all the suggestions! Will be giving these places a try! I'm sure you will see me quite a bit on the boards asking for help until I get my bearings...moving is hard on chowhounders as we have to leave our favourites behind!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: foodcricket

                                Long Live Cosmo. BTW, I was there a couple of weeks ago and the son in back in the picture. He's almost funnier than his dad.

                              2. I've been loyal to both Frans and Mars Uptown for years. ..nothing special just good old fashioned diner food..

                                1. If you happen to be around the Beach(es), I love brunch at Pomegranate at Queen East at Beech Ave. At the very far end of Queen East is a place called ViVetha Bistro, which also makes a decent brunch and has a nice patio.
                                  A bit further west on Queen, in Leslieville, is another nice place for brunch - Le Cafe Vert.

                                  1. Try Morning Glory on King Street, near the Distillery. This place is upscale casual, but still great. They have the regular breakfast items, but have a gourmet twist like using organic or aioli etc.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: merlot143

                                      A few people earlier on mentioned The New Yorker at Broadview and Danforth. I dragged the hubby there a few weekends ago and both of us could not believe how filthy the place is!!!! And, I'm sorry to say the food was horrible. We were both so turned off by the whole experience that we barely even touched our food. Hey, I love a good greasy spoon breakfast but this place is just Nasty. The worst had to be the carpets. Probably started out a sort of dusty rose shade, now black! The wooden tables and chairs had a thick patina of combination dirt and grease....lovely. My husband had the BLT. The bacon was so salty and tasted like it had been sitting in grease for a few days. Really, really bad food. Much prefer Donlands Restaurant, great bacon and eggs, clean, and friendly service. Huge portions too!

                                      1. re: millygirl

                                        Couple family restaurants I always go for breakfast are Tulip at Coxwell and Queen Street East close to the beaches, and T Bones on Eglinton Avenue East between Midland and Brimley. For Tulip I do love their peameal bacon breakfast, but I also go there for lunch and dinner. Expect line up any time of the day though. For T Bones it is one of our favourite 24 hour restaurant that serves about 700 sirloin steaks a day, but their Lumberjack breakfast is cheap and big. In the evening and middle of the night you will see lots of police cruisers in their parking lot, not because of high crime rate there, but they also dine there or order heir steak sandwich to go to eat in their cars. If you see lots of police constables eating there you know it must be pretty good! Give them a try!