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Old Style (60’s) Diners In TO?

Indiana Aug 17, 2007 12:01 PM

Anyone know of any old style (60’s) diners in Toronto?

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  1. d
    dautcalm RE: Indiana Aug 17, 2007 12:43 PM

    Penrose Fish n' Chips is still in it's original 1960's glory.

    1 Reply
    1. re: dautcalm
      millygirl RE: dautcalm Aug 17, 2007 01:11 PM

      I would have to say that Donlands Restaurant at Donlands and O'Connor would qualify. They have the old style hot roast beef, mashed and peas...that type of fare. Nightly specials too. The food is good but we really only go for breakfasts.

    2. t
      tartiflette RE: Indiana Aug 17, 2007 01:12 PM

      Mars Diner at College and Bathurst is the real deal. Mind you, it's definitely showing its age and the food is hit and miss at best. Go for the experience, not for the meal. :)

      1. JamieK RE: Indiana Aug 17, 2007 01:50 PM

        Gale's Snack Bar on Eastern at Carlaw is certainly a blast from the past. Here's a thread about it.

        1. i
          ishmael RE: Indiana Aug 17, 2007 02:01 PM

          Vesta Lunch at Dupont east of Bathurst. Used to hang out there in the late 60'sand early 70's. Hasn't changed a bit since.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ishmael
            KevinB RE: ishmael Aug 18, 2007 10:37 AM

            I love the Vesta, but to me, it's technically a lunch counter, and not a diner. A diner has to have booths, IMHO.

          2. h
            hungry_pangolin RE: Indiana Aug 18, 2007 11:59 AM

            I forget the precise name (Avenue Diner?) on Davenport just west of Avenue Road.

            1. Bob Catt RE: Indiana Aug 19, 2007 05:37 AM

              Wimpy's is a faux 60s diner on Kingston Road, north side a block east of Warden Ave. at Manderley. Lots of nostalgia on the walls and huge portions of reasonably edible diner grub. It's a chain, so there are other Wimpy's in North York at 199 Sheppard E., 10800 Bayview Ave. in Richmond Hill, and others scattered throughout the province, and indeed, North America.


              4 Replies
              1. re: Bob Catt
                embee RE: Bob Catt Aug 19, 2007 09:23 PM

                I would argue that Wimpy's is (as you state) fake nostalgia and therefore doesn't count. They also served me (at the Danforth outlet) the worst chocolate "milkshake" I have ever experienced.

                My choice for diner ambiance would be the Lakeview at Dundas near Ossington, though it is much older than the sixties. Note, though, that their food sucked as of my last visit a couple of years ago and, by all accounts, still does.

                Mind you, where I come from these places would have been called "luncheonettes". A diner was a standalone building that looked like, and sometimes actually was, a railroad car. (Except for the Flagship on Route 22 in Union NJ, which resembled a large boat docked along the (inland) highway.)

                1. re: embee
                  Bob Catt RE: embee Aug 20, 2007 07:54 AM

                  Embee, I agree. The reason I mentioned Wimpy's is that Indiana's original question was "Anyone know of any old STYLE (60’s) diners in Toronto?", not "...any old 60’s diners in Toronto?". I guess the last real diner I recall was The Goof (Garden Gate) in the Beaches, until it was gentrified recently - juke box controls at every booth, vinyl stools etc.

                  1. re: Bob Catt
                    embee RE: Bob Catt Aug 20, 2007 08:01 AM

                    Yes, the GOOF. Same bad Chinese food in a slick new atmosphere.

                2. re: Bob Catt
                  gregclow RE: Bob Catt Aug 22, 2007 09:27 AM

                  There was a new Wimpy's location set to open on Dundas West near University for the last couple of months, but when it finally opened yesterday, the sign was suddenly changed to read "Maxwell's Rocket 88 Diner".

                  Not sure what happened - last minute franchise issues, I assume. Otherwise, it seems to have the same faux-50s/60s decor and menu as Wimpy's.

                3. T Long RE: Indiana Aug 20, 2007 08:12 AM

                  Does the Senator qualify??

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: T Long
                    tartiflette RE: T Long Aug 20, 2007 09:36 AM

                    Besides the fact that it has terrible food, the Senator is definitely more 30s/40s art deco than 60s diner.

                    1. re: tartiflette
                      deelicious RE: tartiflette Aug 24, 2007 07:30 PM

                      The Senator does not have terrible food! How can you call that food terrible? Overpriced to some maybe, but everything is freshly made with the best ingredients and all cooked well.

                  2. d
                    downtown RE: Indiana Aug 20, 2007 08:55 AM

                    There's a place on Bayview Ave. south of Eglinton - I am pretty sure its called Diner 66. Very 60s retro. Food quality is about what you would expect but it has the vibe I think you are looking for.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: downtown
                      Snarf RE: downtown Aug 20, 2007 09:00 AM

                      I think that might be Diner 55.

                      There's also People's Food, on Dupont west of St George, which is one of the old school 24 hour places.

                      1. re: Snarf
                        downtown RE: Snarf Aug 20, 2007 09:19 AM

                        You're right, no wonder I couldn't google it.

                        1. re: Snarf
                          embee RE: Snarf Aug 20, 2007 09:27 AM

                          Diner 55 is gone and the place is now a sushi joint.

                          1. re: embee
                            sherry f RE: embee Aug 20, 2007 09:42 AM

                            Does Steve's Restaurant qualify? -Bathurst just north of Wilson.

                          2. re: Snarf
                            pearlD RE: Snarf Aug 20, 2007 03:43 PM

                            People's is not open 24 hours anymore...the Vesta Lunch at Bathurst and Dupont does stay open 24 hours but no booths. Try the Villager on Spadina Road at Lonsdale or The Good Bite on Yonge Street north of Eglinton. None of these are 'diners' per se but serve the same kind of food. The only diner of late, that was really a diner was Flo's Diner on Belair...'upscale' but a diner nonetheless.

                        2. T Long RE: Indiana Aug 20, 2007 02:17 PM

                          Haven't been there, but the House of Chan is described on this CH board as a retro 60/70's Chinese-Canadian decor diner....

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: T Long
                            embee RE: T Long Aug 20, 2007 02:20 PM

                            Hardly a diner, but definitely of another era.

                          2. h
                            Helina RE: Indiana Aug 21, 2007 03:47 PM

                            The Bus Terminal Restaurant on Danforth at Coxwell. It's architecture is original and the decor has been revamped to make it even more "fifties-style."(I was told it was done for a movie and the owner decided to keep it.) I have friends who eat breakfast there every weekend. Personally I find it ordinary and over-priced, and the home fries are inedible. But it sure has the atmosphere I think you're looking for.

                            1. OnDaGo RE: Indiana Aug 21, 2007 05:51 PM

                              what about the Stem on Queen west before spadina?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: OnDaGo
                                Indiana RE: OnDaGo Aug 22, 2007 08:04 AM

                                Thank you for all those suggestions, im gonna look into them and hopefully I end up somewhere really interesting where the food is just as good!

                              2. m
                                munch RE: Indiana Aug 22, 2007 11:31 AM

                                The Good Bite Restaurant on Yonge a few blocks north of Eglington. I've only been for breakfast which is good for the greasy spoon variety, and its old-school dinerish in both decor and the staff. A couple of friends a few years ago used to go there for lunch because you could get liver and onions, and it included your choice of jell-o or rice pudding for dessert. Not sure if it was good, but definitely old style.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: munch
                                  Snarf RE: munch Aug 24, 2007 10:38 AM

                                  The Homeway on Mount Pleasant was recently made over (not on tv), but retains the old diner menu and food quality.

                                2. OnDaGo RE: Indiana Aug 24, 2007 11:34 AM

                                  What is the Dinner - west of Avenue on Davenport - north side?

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: OnDaGo
                                    hungry_pangolin RE: OnDaGo Aug 25, 2007 08:34 AM

                                    Avenue Diner (I posted above).

                                  2. roncie man RE: Indiana Aug 25, 2007 09:56 AM

                                    The Stem, on Queen near The Horseshoe. Don't know if I'd go out of my way to eat there, but they do a good breakfast, burgers, and club sandwiches and it's one of the last old original greasy spoons in the neighbourhood. Nice folks running it too.

                                    1. Wiley RE: Indiana Aug 26, 2007 07:32 PM

                                      Has everyone forgotten the Tulip? Queen East..

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