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Eat & Drink

5 places to eat a traditional Irish breakfast in Toronto

Posted by Robyn Urback / January 17, 2012

Irish Breakfast TorontoA traditional Irish breakfast in Toronto is not as hard to come by as it may seem. While the city's best known brunch spots continue to offer up arugula eggs benny and buttermilk waffles, and many faux-Irish pubs share a common owner and thus breakfast fare — the Pour House, Brazen Head, and Pogue Mahone, for example — there are several others that offer their own takes on potato farl, rashers, eggs, grilled tomatoes, and homemade Irish soda crackers.

Here are five worth checking out.

1. Tara Inn
This is the type of place where the waitress calls you "luv" and the carpets look like they could tell decades of stories. That is to say — awesome, awesome. A typical sloppy, fried Irish breakfast looks like it fits in a place like this, which is why it's such a hit on weekends (the only time when the breakfast is served). Black pudding, rashers, bangers, egg, soda crackers, and more, all for around $10.

2. Ceili Cottage
It doesn't look pretty on the plate, but looks, as they say, should never deter you from a fantastic, gluttonous meal. Ceili Cottage offers its full Irish breakfast each weekend (served until pretty late), complete with white and/or black pudding, banger, rashers, beans, potato farl, and the rest. All of which seems to interweave into a brownish, delicious mess. $15.

3. Irish Embassy
What sort of an embassy would this be if it didn't fill you up with lots of stuff that feels good but probably isn't great for you? Irish Embassy does its take on the Irish breakfast with eggs, bangers, bacon, black pudding, a grilled tomato, home fries, and toast for about $13. Of course, it all tastes better with an Irish coffee on the side.

4. The Roy
While the grilled tomato may be seen as superfluous to some, it is front and centre on The Roy's traditional Irish breakfast plate. The Leslieville Pub makes its breakfast with eggs, banger, peameal bacon, home fries, beans, and toast (plus the tomato of course), served Saturday and Sunday for $11. And for a taste of something Irish without the full plate, The Roy also offers an "Irish" BLT made with peameal and Dubliner cheddar.

5. Fynn's of Temple Bar
The place where the King West crowd unwinds to Celtic music after hours also offers stress-relief in the form of Irish sausage and potato cakes. Its Irish breakfast includes the aforementioned sausage and cakes, as well as eggs, bacon, beans, toast, and a grilled tomato ($11). Offered for weekend brunch, when very un-Irish mimosas and caesars are on special.

Photo by Jen Chan in the blogTO Flickr pool



Ombre / January 17, 2012 at 01:42 pm
Ceili cottage's food is disgusting. Skip it for what's served at The Roy.
The Lad / January 17, 2012 at 01:46 pm
Easily the best Irish brekk is found at the original Irish Embassy fellas
Cityplace / January 17, 2012 at 01:58 pm
Raaaaacism! Where are all the Huron/Iroquois breakfast places, huh?
Z / January 17, 2012 at 02:32 pm
What's with the leaving the Bar part out of Temple Bar? It's part of the name, guys. Temple Bar is a place, neither just a temple nor a bar (though I'm sure probably it contains both.)
darryl / January 17, 2012 at 02:53 pm
The review page has it written that way too... but I agree, the name is "Fynns of Temple Bar".

That's like calling Phoenix Concert Theatre "Phoenix Concert"
the lemur / January 17, 2012 at 03:02 pm
If you are looking for an Irish breakfast during the week and are willing to forgo the Irish pub setting in favour of more of a greasy spoon (that also means no diddly-diddly Celtic music, could be a plus or a minus), the George Street Diner does them.
Sophia / January 17, 2012 at 03:03 pm
Too bad this wasn't Scottish breakfast what with Burns' Day coming up (not to mention it's better than an Irish breakie)
coryjscott / January 17, 2012 at 03:06 pm
George St Diner, anyone? That's a glaring omission!
CAD Irish / January 17, 2012 at 03:27 pm
Brown beans are not Irish...none of the breks above would qualify as a traditional Irish brek fry. I feel sorry for the Irish.
Z replying to a comment from darryl / January 17, 2012 at 03:31 pm
Not even that, the "Bar" part of the pub's name doesn't denote what it is, it's a part of the name. Temple Bar is a region in Dublin, the pub is named after it. So it's more like if a place were named after, say... New York, and leaving out the York.
Jay / January 17, 2012 at 03:38 pm
Have to disagree Ombre. I've eaten at Ceili Cottage many many times and it's always been great.

Tara Inn, Ceili Cottage, and Irish Embassy are all great choices for a good fry.
Me / January 17, 2012 at 03:40 pm
I was born in Limerick.

tdilla / January 17, 2012 at 04:00 pm
I've never heard Celtic music at Fynn's once. Also, not a lot of suits in there.
scott / January 17, 2012 at 09:33 pm
p.j. o'brien's also has a tasty irish breakfast that goes well with a pint of guiness. oh man, my mouth is watering right now.
JPC replying to a comment from Ombre / January 17, 2012 at 10:01 pm
Way off the mark here - Ceili Cottage's food is exceptional, and the atmosphere can't be beat. Please get them another try - they are a true gem.
Jenn replying to a comment from coryjscott / January 18, 2012 at 07:49 am
I agree!!! The George Street Diner is AMAZING!!! I am shocked it's not even on the list!! Someone needs to re-do this article.
N / January 18, 2012 at 12:58 pm
I'm convinced that the people who claim the Ceili Cottage's food is bad are the kind of people who expect nachos, quesadillas and Bud Light at an Irish pub.

The Ceili is excellent. I've been there a lot in the past year I've never been disappointed there. Plus, the servers all have a great sense of humour and are fantastic!
Jesse / January 18, 2012 at 04:11 pm
The George Street Diner is indeed a glaring omission on this list!
Canterbury Tail / January 18, 2012 at 09:31 pm
Where's the soda bread, and what the heck is beans doing in an Irish breakfast?
Foghorn O'Kalashnikov / January 18, 2012 at 09:49 pm
Every Irish breakfast I've ever had (and I'm from Dublin) has baked beans in it. A million times more authennndick than "farls" or "soda crackers" (wtf?) or peameal bacon anyway.
jon / January 19, 2012 at 10:11 am
I'm convinced that the people who claim the Ceili Cottage is good probably work there. The Ceili Cottage's food is terrible and the employees and management are a bunch of a-holes. Skip it!! Loads of better places with actual personality and not attitude.
Grane replying to a comment from jon / January 19, 2012 at 10:37 am
Thank you. I can't stand the 'tude that the staff at Ceilli give when you ask for something as part of the menu. I once was told that the only way I'd get a beer there was if I bought my server a shot... Please.
Mike / January 19, 2012 at 03:34 pm
The Ceilli Cottage is a gem. There's no way the positive posts here are all written by employees. I don't work there. Food is great, atmosphere is truly unique to the east end and the service has been just fine. I've been there about 10 times. Not once have I had bad service. Be nice to people, they'll be nice in return.
Julie / October 21, 2012 at 08:40 am
I have eaten at the Ceilli Cottage a few times. Really enjoyed the dinners I have had but the breakfast was horrible. The puddings were dry, the sausage was not like the sausage I've had in Ireland and was also dry, and the tea was lukewarm so was definitely not made with boiling hot water. Also, they do not use true Irish tea but when we asked if they had HP sauce, we were told they didn't because it was English. A little hipocritical I'd say! The waitstaff was always friendly but the food is way overpriced.
maeve / August 15, 2013 at 09:27 am
best irish breakfast in city is in the pantry irish deli ...2 irish link sausages..heinz beans..2 rashers..2 black pudding..eggs..homefries..soda bread and barrys tea or coffee
Kathy / January 21, 2014 at 04:45 pm
Tara inn does it best from the last I've had one besides mine own. Whomever the ignorant gash is who said Scottish breakfast is the bestget your facts straight and find a leaky boat and set sail!
bakedbeans / March 16, 2014 at 12:49 pm
I also recommend The Pantry at Coxwell and Gerrard for a true & delicious Irish breakfast. I went there this week for one! There are a lot of authentic, well-made dishes to take home. The owners are very friendly.
StellsBells / March 16, 2014 at 02:51 pm
Maeve might want to mention that she is the owner of The Pantry. No bias there (though she does make good chicken pies)
Ten / July 29, 2014 at 04:13 pm
I wonder why bangers keep getting mentioned. They're English dinner sausages. Just call them sausages! And what are "Irish soda crackers"?
Sausage / August 25, 2014 at 01:00 pm
Theres a reason that the George street diner isn't on here. It's because they don't have Irish sausage. They have the typical greasy tasteless sausages that 90% of breakfast joints have. The soda bread is great I must say but overall it's a mediocre breakfast at best

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