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lunch counters in toronto

danKar Sep 7, 2009 11:16 AM

I'm old enough to remember a few lunch counters in Toronto. Although the food wasn't always great sometimes the basics of the era like hamburgers and BLT's seemed so natual and fun in that atmosphere. I found one a few years back around Coxwell and Gerrard but unfortunately it closed. Does anyone know of a true and hopefully good one still running in Toronto? Nostagically yours...DanKar

  1. z
    zeva Sep 7, 2009 12:01 PM

    There's a bagel place around me at Bathurst and Steeles called Kiva's. They do dairy and have a counter that's very busy along with the restaurant. They haven't changed the motif in 30 years through renovations. Still very 'old neighbourhood.'

    1. jayt90 Sep 7, 2009 12:15 PM

      Collegiate Lunch is authentic 60's

      Collegiate Lunch
      1024 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M1Z5, CA

      1 Reply
      1. re: jayt90
        koknia Sep 7, 2009 12:50 PM

        I found a great one the other day, the Downsview Restaurant. (2865 Keele Street) Owners have had it for 50+ yrs. I had a nice chat with them. The place is incredibly well preserved, but not precious at all.
        I googled it and it even has a Facebook fan page:

      2. aser Sep 7, 2009 12:43 PM

        vesta lunch sounds like your cup of tea. The food is what you would expect of a counter diner.


        474 Dupont St, Toronto, ON M5R1W6, CA

        1. g
          Gary Sep 7, 2009 01:32 PM

          The Crowbar, aka Olympus, at Princess and Adelaide. Crazy old little spot with 20 layers of paint and a crooked floor. Older Greek guys serving club sandwiches, burgers, and similar diner fare from behind a counter at ridiculously low prices. Usually open only around lunch hour on weekdays.


          1. Dimbulb Sep 7, 2009 02:43 PM

            Do you mean a diner/greasy spoon or a lunch counter in a department store like Kresge's?

            1. ChalkBoy Sep 7, 2009 02:44 PM

              Gale's Snack Bar. $1.35 cheeseburgers!

              2 Replies
              1. re: ChalkBoy
                pearlD Sep 7, 2009 04:09 PM

                They still have a counter at The Tulip...usually easier to get a seat there than at a table..The food is reliable 'diner style'!!

                1. re: pearlD
                  OTFOODIE Sep 7, 2009 08:18 PM

                  The Tulip also serves one of the best steaks for the money in Toronto.

              2. d
                danKar Sep 7, 2009 08:06 PM

                I actually meant a real lunch counter like you would find in a Kresge's. Thanks for the help to all who responded.

                1. CeeQueue Sep 7, 2009 08:24 PM

                  If you're thinking of the old Woolworth's and Kresge's type of lunch counter that was off to one side of a department store, the closest I can think of is that many Zeller's still have a restaurant. Typical diner fare, but the prices aren't so cheap.

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