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Has anyone been to Cora's for breakfast? seems to be a new chain that has just sproated up in Pickering, but upon looking at their website, I see they are all over the place.

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  1. And reviewed at length on Chowhound. The verdict? Pass.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Edith S

      Cora's (originally from Ottawa or Montreal?) is a bit of a greasy spoon. The one in Ottawa is okay but the one near Pearson Int'l Airport is really not worth the trip. For that kind of breakfast, I'd rather go to EGGSPECTATIONS. There's one in Eaton Centre.

    2. There's one near me in Richmond Hill that just opened, and I was thinking of trying it tomorrow morning.

      I was in Halifax last week for the World Hockey Championships, and ate at a Cora's there. My friend really enjoyed his waffle, fruit, eggs, and bacon, and I found my ham and eggs with fruit quite substantial. The only thing I found curious was that I asked for HP sauce, and they brought me a little plastic cup instead of a bottle.

      I thought they were a perfectly acceptable breakfast spot; can't understand why people are so critical.

      3 Replies
      1. re: KevinB

        I've never been to a Cora's in the GTA, but I went regularly in Ottawa and a couple times in Montreal and always really enjoyed it. The impression I got was that the Toronto Cora's was below the quality of the Ottawa locations.

        1. re: vorpal

          "The impression I got was that the Toronto Cora's was below the quality of the Ottawa locations."

          Hmmm, that brings le Pain Quotidien in Toronto to mind. Curious ...

          1. re: mrbozo

            Same deal? I've found this to be the case with a few Toronto restaurants or styles of cuisine, but I've always been worried to say it here as I suspected it would upset people and I would get flamed for my opinion. I wonder why this is the case?

      2. Cora's is a step up from a greasy spoon (not that there's anything wrong with a good greasy spoon place!) I've been to the one in downtown Toronto on Peter St once. I thought the food was good though I'd never line up to get in. I've never understood why people line up to get in even in the cold, snow and rain. I see them ever Saturday and Sunday morning. Weird.

        5 Replies
        1. re: lister

          Agreed, Cora’s certainly isn’t a greasy spoon. Just cuz it serves breakfast doesn’t make it a greasy spoon. A family breakfast chain is as far away from greasy spoon as I can think of.

          My experiences with the Toronto Cora’s have been just awful. Tons of out of season, bitter acidic fruit with my craptastic stale French Toast doesn’t exactly float my boat. I’m done with that place.

          The original Montreal/Ottawa locations might very well be better, I don’t know, I’ve never been. I do know Toronto’s Eggspectation is horrid, doesn’t hold a candle to the Montreal one I like going to when there.

          1. re: magic

            Funny how things are from one city to another. Here in Montreal, where Cora was founded and Eggspectations too I believe, most hounds wouldn't be caught eating there if it were the only restaurants left in the city. Maybe we're just lucky to have great breakfast options, I don't know.

            1. re: Campofiorin

              I don't know if it's different, city to city. I avoid Cora's and the like as well. I went once to the one in Vaughan and I am not into the pre-fab cut fruit and quantity over quality. There are great breakfast options in Toronto also that prevent me from having to resort to Cora's or Eggspectations.

              1. re: pescatarian

                Yeah, I’m not sure if Campofiorin really understood what I was trying to say. I harbour no illusions in thinking Eggspectation is Montreal’s best breakfast spot. And it’s certainly not the only breakfast spot I go to when there. That said, I stand by what I said, in that Montreal’s Eggspectation is vastly superior to Toronto’s. Whether that is good enough for Montrealers is really none of my concern. I simply think the quality of their location is much better than ours. Which I suspect follows suit regarding the Cora’s franchise, having experienced how crappy our locations are.

            2. re: magic

              I've been to the Cora's in Charlottetown P.E.I. as well as one of the locations in Montreal. My daughter enjoys Cora's and always drags me there but I would really prefer eating elsewhere. My beef with Cora's is that it seems like the only fruit they serve is imported, a lot of it is tropical fruit and often unripe especially in winter. One of the worst breakfasts I recall was in Montreal one winter with watermelon, barely pink and tasteless, and some cantaloupe too hard to cut with my fork. In Charlottetown the service was good and the fruit alright but geez, I was there in the summer when local berries were in season and I would have preferred local fruit to the pineapple and melon that was served. Especially with all the concern these days about global warming it would be nice to see a chain like Cora's make an effort to feature local fruit on their menus instead of just imported fruit.

          2. Having been twice subject to Cora's, I can heartily say that you should avoid it at any cost. I had some sort of ham and pear panini that was bone dry and devoid of any flavour. Salad was wilted and the dressing comes out of the Kraft single-serving plastic cube thingy. Service was brutal, and the place filled with screaming toddlers. Absolutely wretched.

            1 Reply
            1. Cora's has been wildly popular in parts of Quebec for many years. Remember that food in Quebec outside of Montreal, Quebec City, and a few resorts is not exactly a gourmet experience. Some of Cora's food tastes decent, though it is a quantity over quality operation and there is much use of mixes.

              I can understand eating at Cora's. In some places it may be the best available breakfast option. What I can't understand is why people would line up to be rushed through a meal at Cora's in, say, Mississauga or Toronto.

              8 Replies
              1. re: embee

                How true, and let's not forget Nickel's. For me, that truly was a disgusting experience, even before the cretin (sp ?) arrived.

                1. re: millygirl

                  Compared to Nickel's, Cora's is a gourmet dining experience. But at Nickel's you are supposedly basking in the personal warmth of Celine Dion (or, perhaps more accurately, her money) :-)

                  A Nickel's bombed in Scarborough a couple of years ago.

                  1. re: embee

                    Haha, everyone complains about Nickels. I haven’t been there in at least 10 years but when I was taken there when I was a punk kid (only the Montreal locations), I remember loving it. I loved their basket of fried chicken and smoked meat. Maybe their food has gone downhill, maybe it was only tasty to a little kid who didn’t know any better. But I remember loving it, thinking it was a real treat to go when I was younger.

                    1. re: magic

                      Hmmm, now find myself wondering whether or not I should bother trying the Loblaw's pot pie :)

                      1. re: magic

                        Market research (for better or for worse) shows that ...

                        1. re: mrbozo

                          People might very well be right. All I can impart are my memories -- which are positive.

                  2. re: embee

                    Cora, le Pain Qoutien, Bifteque, Houston's, "Montreal bagels", and perhaps even MacDonald's are better elsewhere. That is not their fault necessarily. Rather ask yourself what these franchises (and that is the key) assume that through marketing research they have arrived at as the common denominator suitable to the "Toronto" palate. A willingness to spend money on an inferior product if it apparently confers prestige? A lesson for the city in its maturation as a gastronomic destination. Onward and forward!

                  3. Cora's are everywhere now (originally started in Quebec). Cora's does provide an alternative to your basic greasy spoon breakfast. Fresh fruit, smoothies, healthy food choices, etc. While the quality of the food is always very good, the quality of service can vary widely from franchise to franchise. All the Cora's I've been to in Quebec have been excellent. The cora's in Ottawa sucks. The one in St. John's was great (patio service overlooking the harbour entrance!!!). If there was a conveniently located Cora's in Toronto I'd definitely give it a try.

                    1. Went to the Cora's in Richmond Hill on Sat for brunch with mom and sis. The line went out the door-- fortunately it was moving the entire time.. probably waited about 20minutes.. so not too bad.
                      My mom had eggs benedict and sis a spinach and bacon omlette. Sis didn't enjoy her dish as much as my mom's. I had the french toast zucchini cakes (slices of zucchini cake in french toast batter).
                      As a side we had what was allegedly claimed to be 'brioche'-- which wasn't-- it was more like thick slices of cinnamon swirl bread.
                      Decor was a tad cheesy (cartoon pics randomly scattered on the walls), but I suppose its purpose was to give the place a homey welcoming feel.

                      Overall, meal was decent but nothing to rave about ( if you don't live near one, don't make it your only stop)-- but-- if you are looking for consistency and prompt service, I say try the place.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: sugarcube

                        Note: in Quebec, "brioche" sometimes refers to cinnamon rolls.

                        1. re: sugarcube

                          I think the RH location seems to be the worse one I've been to. I've been to one in Quebec which was great, the downtown one is "ok" but the RH locations is the worst of the bunch.

                        2. My breakfast experience at cora's in RH was so gross i was compelled to create a chowhound account immediately just to warn you. plastic textured omelette - suspect the "egg mix" was from a tetra-pak not an egg carton - folded over cold ham and unmelted cheese square inside.

                          just vile.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: n8tr_grl

                            I was going to go to the one in RH, but now I'm so disappointed to find out that everything is prepackaged. It gave me the same feeling when I found out that at Tim's everything is frozen. That's not suprising, but those 'always fresh' commercials tend to lead you to think otherwise

                            1. re: n8tr_grl

                              I had breakfast at the Cora's in Richmond Hill about an hour ago, so this review is very "fresh". The place is bright, clean, and cheery, so I felt good as I walked in. It was quite early - about 7:00 am - on a Tuesday, so I was the only customer and was seated immediately.

                              Coffee was brought promptly, and I ordered the "Cora's Special" - two eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, home fries, toast, a crepe, and fruit. It took about five minutes to arrive.

                              The eggs (over easy) were perfect. The ham and sausage were nothing special, but they were fine. The bacon was done exactly the way I like it (and I didn't request anything) - cooked through, but still slightly limp. The home fries were real home fries - not the deep fried imitations I get at many places. The fruit was a wedge of cantaloupe, a slice of pineapple, and a strawberry. I like cantaloupe, and while the strawberry was probably one of those California monsters bred more for size than flavour, it didn't taste bad. The pineapple was OK, although I wish they had trimmed the woody centre a little better.

                              They had rye toast, which is a plus in my books - most places around here only offer white or wheat. My only complaint was the crepe - it was pretty rubbery, although I admit it was the last thing I ate, and it might have been a bit better if I had eaten it earlier.

                              Total, with coffee ($1.95 - steep, but I ended up drinking four cups) and tax, $12.32. I left my cheerful waitress $2, so the total was just shy of $15. My verdict - good, simple food, generally well prepared, in surroundings that are definitely a step up from the typical greasy spoon, but definitely on the pricey side. I wouldn't make it a weekly stop, but for the occasional change of pace I think it's fine.

                              1. re: KevinB

                                For those of you in RH in search of breakfast there is a going to be, or maybe its already open, a Sunset Grill in the Canadian Tire/Sobey's Plaza at Tower Hill (Yonge Street north of the Gamble Sdrd.).

                                We used to like the Sunset Grill, which is now the Sunrise Grill, on Woodbine Ave. north of Elgin Mills but the last time I was there which was about a year ago it was just OK.

                            2. Over rated pancakes, french toast and crepes is how I would describe Cora's. My last experience had my table waiting at least 45 minutes. I would rather have eggs at any neighbourhoed diner than eat the out of season fruit, drink the bad coffee and fill up on pancakes, crepes or french toast.

                              1. absolutely not worth waiting in line on a weekend for! I do like their breakfast, they do decent omelettes and I enjoy their crepes (except the spinach cheddar, which is horrible! the crepe batter is made with pureed spinach and is very dry with just a tiny bit of cheese inside)
                                I don't care for the decorative fruit and salad that is mounted on each plate..it's an extra that doesn't add to the plate and likely just runs up costs! Mostly cantelople and melon(who likes cantelope or honeydew???) and hard strawberries

                                1. Just to add my 2 cents to the comments, I've been to the Cora's in Mississauga (near Clarkson). I had a crepe with spinach and cheese and it was quite forgettable - I will not go back. It's a very fair question though, I wish there were more good breakfast places.

                                  1. I begrudgely went to Cora's in London ON while visiting there recently. Something rubbed me the wrong way about the place right from the start. Maybe because I was in the mood for lunch and they didn't have much that wasn't breakfast. Anyway as I expected the meal was lousy (though I was the only one among the people I was with who felt that way). Good to hear that I'm not alone on this one.

                                    There are lots of good breakfast places in Toronto just very few 'chain' ones. Leslieville is a good spot for breakfast places. From low end to high end. I prefer the lower end but if you go late in the morning then you may have someone drinking beside you. (which is always a little strange at breakfast).

                                    1. Ive been to a few different Coras and I guess all i can say is that they all seem to be run slightly differently. I live in Oakville and have tried 3 different location in my area but find the clarkson location the best out of the three. Food is consistent, service is very good, and the restaurant is clean. I drive to clarkson at least once a week from Oakville, meal is plentiful and i leave happy

                                      1. I waited outside the new Pickering location once this past summer. I'd been to locations in Ottawa and Montreal and had enjoyed them. This time I was disappointed. I had the cora's special and it did nothing for me. The g/f's meal was just as 'meh'. I found the crepe tough, the sausage and bacon rubbery, and the fruit was unripe. With a couple of smoothies the breakfast was over $30. I was unimpressed.

                                        The next weekend we went strawberry picking up north, my dad made crepes, and we stuffed ourselves with whipped cream and strawberry stuffed crepes for a fraction of the price....

                                        The one thing I love at Cora's is the cretons spread on toast. I've found a recipe but have never gotten around to making it.

                                        1. A new Cora's just opened at Yonge/Carlton Streets. For those who like the place, and live in the area. It's a welcome addition to the neighbourhood!