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Aug 23, 2003 04:23 AM

Greasy Spoon

  • g

I'm sure this has been asked numerous times before, but what are good recommended places for a nice cheap all-day breakfast?

Danforth/Pape area would be ideal!


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  1. I don't know if it is all day, but Only Cafe on Danforth has a great breakfast and vibe.

    Link: http://reviews.degrassi.ca

    6 Replies
    1. re: airsy

      One of the Fran's restaurants. Been around in Toronto forever, 24 hours greasy spoon breakfast cooked to order (peameal is an option, as is fat farmer's sausages - ask for their egg bread). Not gourmet but if you need breakfast at 3 am in the morning, this will do the trick. The one I frequent is their College and Yonge location (on College, just west of Yonge).

      1. re: airsy

        Could you please explain the "great breakfast and vibe" in more detail, as it doesn't tell me much. Thanks!

        1. re: BCollier

          Dear Bcollier,

          I'm sorry, I cannot remember exactly what the meals were there but like an typical greasy spoon there are a variety of egg dishes (omelettes, scambled etc...)

          The vibe is laid back and "blue collar" and not trendy as opposed to some brunch places.

          Why don't you try it for yourself and let us know what you think?


          Link: http://reviews.degrassi.ca

          1. re: airsy

            The Only is definitely NOT a "typical greasy spoon" - it's a small neighbourhood pub with 16 beers on tap and hordes of long-time regulars sitting around the bar. Yeah, they do some very simple egg dishes, and on weekends they do waffles and stuffed french toast, but the bar staff cook these things on an electric skillet behind the bar (no, they don't have a kitchen), and as you can imagine, you have to wait forever.

            I would not describe the "vibe" as "blue collar". (The likes of Black Swan, the Canary and Grossman's are more blue collar.) The Only's walls are crawling with framed photos of everyone from Bob Marley to the Rolling Stones to Che Guevara. People sometimes play chess. Many of the regulars are bookish or artsy.

            1. re: Alex

              Fair enough. I guess I was just trying to say it is not your typical trendy brunch place.

              Regardless, it is a good place to eat breakfast.

              1. re: Alex

                Thanks for the info. Cooking behind the bar, in a pub? It somehow does not sound appealling (or hygienic). Sounds like a great place to go for a pint or ten, though.

          1. We like Donlands Restaurant which is on Donlands just south of O'Connor. So not too far from Danforth/Pape/ they do a good bacon and eggs/omelettes etc. but the eggs benedict are not really very good.

            1. There are a couple of diners on Broadview at and south of the Danforth (Kringles & NY Cafe). The food was good eggs bacon etc. The coffee sure was pretty traditional watery diner stuff, if you like that kind of thing. Not worth a trip from elsewhere, but if you live in the neighbourhood they're worth a look.

              My favourite breakfast diners in Toronto are Mars on College and Bathurst & Peoples Food on Dupont at Davenport. Vesta on the corner of Dupont and Bathurst is the best late night lunch counter. Peoples also has really good onion rings.

              1. Motorama (Jones and Danforth) is a greasy spoon with a decent, typical, greasy breakfast. I can't say there's anything special about it, but I was satisfied when I went there, and enjoyed the decidly NOT trendy atmosphere.

                The Only Cafe is a strange place. It has been there as long as I can remember & always appeared so unique, but I hear there's one in Peterborough. And if you look at the menu it does look kind of like a chain's menu.(Anybody feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on this suspicion...)
                I'd characterize The Only as 'cool' without being trendy AT ALL(kind of rare in this city if you think about it).
                I went for breakfast once. I hadn't realized they were cooking my breakfast behind the bar! I thought their ideas were great (french toast stuffed with herbed goat cheese and walnut-crusted, served with fresh fruit) but lacked in execution (no walnuts, french toast kind of dry, sliced strawberries tasted like dirt).
                Definitely go there for beer & atmosphere, but not for food.

                2 Replies
                1. re: julesrules

                  The Only is not a chain. The original owner owned both locations, but sold the Toronto location eons ago and it's gone through several changes of ownership since. When I used to live in the Danforth area in the early 1990s, the Only was owned by a freak named Dean, who occasionally got stinking drunk and had violent tantrums. Thank god he's no longer around, although it was amusing for the regulars at the time.

                  Motorama is charming. Standard Greek-operated diner menu: soup, burgers, sandwiches, spaghetti, greasy breakfasts. Used to be a vacuum cleaner store, hence the name. They have no air-conditioning, so it can become oppressively hot in warm weather.

                  Hmmm....Motorama's delightfully amateur wall murals of Greece (featuring Toronto's City Hall in the clouds) remind me somewhat of the one at the Elvis Restaurant on Queen W. near Dovercourt. If you can't stand smoke, don't go to the Elvis. (They keep their front door open during summer, but we're past that weather now...) If you can tolerate the smoke, you can have good breakfast grub there. The scrambled eggs are properly fluffy, and the home fries are very flavourful - they remind me of Ruffles All Dressed potato chips! If you're looking for Elvis memorabilia, you'll be disappointed. Just a few faded photos of Elvis on the walls, plus the aforementioned wall mural - an earnest attempt at depicting Elvis and his car. Otherwise, just some token Elvis tchotchkes sprinkled around the counter. Interesting crowd at the restaurant - a mix of old-school Parkdale folks and Queen West trendoids.

                  1. re: Heather

                    Wow - I thought nobody would even see my late post. Thanks for the history on both Motorama (love the sign cause it's so wrong for the place, love the mural cause it's so right) and the Only!