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Oct 11, 2010 05:37 AM

Cherry Street Restaurant - solid diner breakfast

We're always on the lookout for new breakfast spots, especially places that open early (I hate waiting until 10 or 11 to have my breakfast on the weekends!). So I was happy to read that Cherry St. Restaurant was open and serving at 6 am. Hubby and I made our way down on Saturday morning and wondered how any restaurant would survive in a seriously industrial area.

The owners have done a beautiful job refurbishing the building -- the woodwork is beautiful, both inside and out. The ceiling, in particular, looks amazing. The sunshine was streaming in through the huge windows and the atmosphere was really great. We chatted with the proprietor for a little bit and he said business during the week has been super busy with the various offices nearby -- TTC, Toronto Hydro. There's a large patio that I'm sure will get great use come next summer. He also said they expect their liquor license in the next few weeks.

The menu is standard diner fare at surprisingly reasonable prices. The standard 2 egg/meat/potatoes/toast breakfast is $5.99, though I don't think it includes the coffee. Hubby had that and said it was solid -- they got his eggs just right, though the potatoes were lukewarm. He said the coffee was very good. I had a grilled cheddar and bacon with a side of french fries and gravy. I wanted onion rings, as they menu said they were home made, but sadly, they were out. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the fries were fresh cut and made in house as well. My grilled cheese was just what I wanted and a total deal at $3.99 (only $2.99 without the bacon). The gravy was too sweet for my taste, but the fries were good enough on their own that I didn't bemoan the loss.

So standard breakfast, grilled cheese and bacon, side of fries and gravy, coffee and tea came to $17 and change, before tip. We'll definitely be back.

Note that they are closed on Sundays.

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  1. TorontoJo too bad that you missed the onion rings. I found that their onion rings were very good. Very pleasant environment.

    1. We've been back twice since I wrote this review. It's quickly becoming our favourite Saturday morning destination. Totally laid back, not crowded and a beautiful, bright space -- making for a really great spot to leisurely read the paper and enjoy a good breakfast. The manager, Nick, is just a super nice guy and managed to remember us after our first visit. Even remembered that I like chamomile tea and apologized for not having any today.

      The cooking is honest and homemade. I've tried both the onion rings and the french fries -- both are home made and tasty. I asked about the burger, and while it's not ground on site, it's made from fresh ground beef rather cooked from frozen patties. The soups are all made in house, the coffee is good, the bacon is tasty and everything is just sorta "right" for me. Not everything is perfect, of course -- the gravy for the fries is too sweet, and I had a greek salad today that was way overdressed. Hubby had the peameal bacon and egg on a kaiser that he didn't really care for because it had processed cheese and he personally prefers his bun toasted more (next time he'll ask for cheddar and a well toasted bun). But it wasn't the restaurant's fault, so there were no complaints from us. Regardless, they unnecessarily took the sandwich off the bill when they saw it was only half eaten (like I said, super nice). But the rest of the breakfasts we've had have been very good and we'll continue to make it a Saturday morning destination. It's nice that they open at 6 am, giving us an early morning option, which is a rarity in this city.

      4 Replies
      1. re: TorontoJo

        The wife and I would like to try it. Do you have the exact address? Cherry St. is off of the Lakeshore right? Sort of south east of the Distillery area?

        1. re: scarberian

          The address is 275 Cherry St., and yep, it's the area where you are picturing it. It's on the Southeast corner of Cherry and Commissioners St. It's hard to miss -- it's a bit a small jewel sitting in the middle of an industrial wasteland! You can combine your trip with a visit to the T&T which is just down the street, too. Or up the street to Soma at the distillery! :)

          1. re: TorontoJo

            THANK YOU!!!!

            I live about a 10 min walk from it and was wondering what it was like. My bf and I love breakfasts and one close to home is great.

            Do you happen to know if it is open Sunday?

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. By the way, I thought I'd share the back story on this place because I thought it was so interesting. The owner of Turtle Island Recycling (which is basically across the street) was frustrated that there was no place for him or his 400 employees to grab breakfast or lunch nearby. So he took out a 30 year lease on that building, totally refurbished it and opened the restaurant. I guess that's why the hours are what they are right now (6 am - 6 pm on the weekdays, 6 - 2 on Saturday). But he's got longer term plans for the place, and is just starting slow. They are working on their liquor license, and there is clearly going to be a huge patio next summer. He plans on extending the hours eventually.

          The nice thing about all this is that I imagine the prices will stay reasonable, as he's doing this for his employees and I doubt he'll be trying to gouge them. I look forward to them opening for dinner, as it would be a nice alternative for dinner before Soulpepper or Cirque du Soleil, when it's in town.

          3 Replies
          1. re: TorontoJo

            Isn't this close to where the late, great Canary restaurant was? I thought this was a classic diner/greasy spoon. I know it was featured in many movies where they needed a stand-in for New York or Chicago. And yes, their business was mostly breakfast/lunch from the industrial places nearby, so maybe he's trying to replace it?

            1. re: FrankD

              This is about a kilometer due south of where the Canary was (Canary was north of Lakeshore, Cherry St. Restaurant is south). I ate at the Canary once, and while I generally love greasy spoons, it was a bit *too* greasy for my liking. I think I draw the line at sticky tables and chairs. :) I did love the building it was in, though.

              Cherry St. Restaurant
              275 Cherry St, Toronto, ON M5A 3L3, CA

            2. re: TorontoJo

              Yeah, I was thinking the same thing about how it would be great to be open pre- Cirque du Soleil next summer when it returns to that area for its "tent" show... I went to T&T last time before a show and it looked great but didn't taste as good as it looked :) Thanks for the back story.. interesting, I will try to check it out at some point even though I am pretty far from that area.