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Restaurants

Flo's Diner

Posted by Tanja / Reviewed on February 17, 2007 / review policy

Big BreakfastSome 40's years since Joni Mitchell played the then-legendary Yorkville scene, there isn't a lot left in the neighbourhood for me as I don't shop in the boutiques or need to "be seen" at the upscale restos. Still, I find myself returning often enough for a laid-back meal at Flo's Diner, a little window into Yorkville past.

Located near the corner of Yorkville & Bellair, you might not even notice Flo's in passing. It's up on the 2nd floor and visitors need to climb up a spiral fire-escape-esque staircase (or head the building for an elevator) to access it. Once inside this red and white '50s time capsule, the crowd is an uptown-downtown mix, met with unpretentious service and even less pretentious food.

Flo's StyleRegardless of the culinary trends happening outside Flo's doors, nothing appears to affect the diner standards on the menu. All day breakfast, burgers, sandwiches, steaks, salads, sundaes and lots of variations in between... but none of which will be slathered with sun-dried tomato paste or garnished with delicate goat cheese shavings.

On my last visit, I actually remembered to pull out my camera, and so, finally, a review.

Pictured above is the big breakfast. Waffles, eggs, bacon, sausages, and potatoes... served with a smile. Nothing extraordinary, but it gave the undecisive member of my group a chance to have waffles and the standard breakfast on the same dish.

Waffles are also available covered in fruit instead, but this orderee is 'allergic' to fruit.
*cough cough*


Eggs BennyEggs benny with turkey breast and potatoes. My choice, as I thought turkey was a nice, leaner, option to have instead of ham. Turkey has the potential to be a dry pick, but there is just enough hollandaise sauce to balance things out in this one. Would order it again.


Steak n EggsSteak & eggs with toast and potatoes. Pretty standard all around. While the bread was a little extra toasty, the multigrain was a nice option to have -- 'cause you'll be wanting some fibre with a dish like this... if you know what I mean.


Butterscotch SundaeAnd for those with room for dessert: chocolate cake, apple pie, cheesecake and other classics filled the menu. Everyone passed this time around favour of freshly squeezed juices, floats and sundaes.

Not pictured, I had a diet coke with vanilla ice cream float. I never leave without one... and sometime's it's all I order.

On the right, you're looking at a butterscotch sundae with a cherry on top. Need I say more?


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Flo's Diner
70 Yorkville Ave/10 Bellair St
2nd Floor. (416) 961-4333
Climb the outdoor staircase or head indoors for elevator access.

Discussion

6 Comments

Hamish / February 17, 2007 at 10:44 am
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Flo's used to be in a proper brushed steel deco dining car-style building at ground level, right across from the rear exit of Bay Station. It was called "4-D's Diner" when it first opened, and then Flo's moved in when they had a change of management. I used to love the black bean soup they served at 4'D's back in the late eighties-early nineties. It's nice to see some of the decor has survived - and the food is still good!
Steve M / February 17, 2007 at 10:47 pm
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I thought Flo's was gone when they tore down the building that Hamish is describing.

Next time I am in town I will be looking for Flo's on the second floor.

Thanks Tanja.
k / May 19, 2008 at 01:23 pm
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Was really eager to try Flo's after reading this review, so I went this morning. Unfortunately, the hostess wouldn't let me enter with my outside coffee cup. I offered to just drink it in the lobby before being seated - I had been planning to buy another drink once inside anyway, so what was the big deal? But my bf was so outraged that they were being such hardasses about it that we just left. Flo's Diner = Fail.
Roz / January 12, 2009 at 11:23 am
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I have just reecently returned from a fabulous vacation in Toronto and ate a few times at Flo's. I loved it !I wish that I had been able to stay longer in order to try everything ! I never got a chance to taste the desserts ! I was very happy and satisfied with the food and the service. I hope I get a chance to visit Toronto again and if so I will certainly be eating at Flo's !
CS replying to a comment from k / July 8, 2010 at 11:34 pm
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Umm, I think it's pretty standard practice for restaurants to not allow outside food and beverages...that's not a fail it's just common sense. Perhaps a failure on your boyfriends part to understand how the food service industry works.
Tony / April 2, 2011 at 02:14 pm
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've been to Flo's many times, but after today I won't return.

Three of us went there today for brunch, arriving about 10 past 10. Our waiter was excellent and earned a generous tip. When an order of Eggs Benedict arrived cold, he had them re-made instead of just having the first order re-heated, and we appreciated that. All in all everything was fine until 11:15, when one of the staff came to our table and said "I hate to be rude but i'd like to get these kids seated." We had ordered full breakfasts. We had already paid our bill, but one of our group was still finishing her coffee. We hadn't taken an unreasonable amount of time (and had tipped generously). We left our table right away and saw about 8 people waiting to be seated - not so much of a line-up for a popular restaurant on a Saturday. If staff had just been patient for 5 more minutes we would have been on our way. Instead we left dissatisfied. We didn't make a scene but complained we had been treated rudely. The staff member who had asked us to leave said he didn't have time to deal with us.

If you want a great brunch experience in downtown Toronto there are at least two much better options - Cora's on Carlton, and Fran's on Shuter. Great food, great service and you won't be rushed out even when there's a long line-up. I guess that's why they stay so popular. Flo's could learn a lesson here, but probably won't.

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