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May 20, 2008 10:03 AM


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!