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Posted by Tanja / Reviewed on March 5, 2007 / review policy

Fran's Big BreakfastIt's 3:00am as I slip through the retro-flashy front entrance of the legendary Fran's Restaurant on College St. At this hour, it's one of the only places left where you can be arriving to find that not only is the kitchen open, things are just beginning to rock.

Fran's, of course, is open 24hrs, and once T.O.'s night hawks are done working and/or partying around town, they congregate here for some food and flourescent lights.

A couple friends and I settle in with some coffee (and free refills, of course), a tall Coke float (it's Fran's after all) and some food. One order of the Big Breakfast (to split) and a Rainbow Benedict... coming up.

Fran's Big Breakfast ($9.99), pictured above, offers up "2 of everything".

2 eggs (any way you like 'em), 2 sausages (sliced in 2), 2 pancakes, 2 slices of buttered toast (also sliced in two), 2 pieces of bacon and a pile of home fries.

It's huge, and because we're out late but not out drunk, we realize it's also best split this one between 2 of us.

De-lic-ious... and that's not fatigue talking.

I used to eat here as a teenager and never remembered it being this good. Furthermore, considering I had much lower standards then - allowing myself to eat at Golden Griddle on Carlton St in those days - that's got to say something.

Across the table, a friend in search of vitamins orders up the Rainbow Benedict. Rainbow, because it's got fresh veggies piled in there between the yolks and hollandaise.

Rainbow Benedict
Not bad either.

She smiles as she slices through the egg and hot steam rises out. The hollandaise isn't the best she's ever had, but that's really not what we came looking for.

It is poured on generously though, so we call it even.

More coffee and a couple hours later, we're off into the night in search of a blue night bus. It's cold but we can barely feel it we're so full of grease and goodness.


Fran's Restaurant - 20 College St. (at Yonge). (416) 923-9867

(Glowing neon sign photo by blogTO Flickr group member,



Matt / March 5, 2007 at 10:27 am
I have a longstanding fondness for this Fran's, given that it's where my father went for breakfast after seeing my mother through delivering me, 30 long years ago. But for 3 a.m. fixes I still gravitate to the Griddle on the other side of the lights. Something about that plasticky food just keeps me awake longer.
Katie / March 5, 2007 at 01:35 pm
mmmm... a now-ex of mine took me there on a first date once. I haven't been there since. But I think after seeing this, I'm just about ready to head back through those doors!
bob / March 5, 2007 at 05:10 pm
i was at the frans on shuter st. and my friend found a peice of metal wire in his pancake when he ordered the big breakfast.

we still go there though... for some reason it didn't bother us that much.
Steve M / March 5, 2007 at 06:04 pm
this is just the sort of breakfast i have been craving. next time i am in toronto i am heading to fran's, it's been ages since i've been.
laurel / August 6, 2008 at 03:33 pm
eh, i never get the big deal about frans. i've never been there late at night, but breakfasts there haven't been awesome, and most of their dinners seem too expensive for what you're getting!
Cliff / February 6, 2009 at 10:29 am
I love fran's. My favourite is their Monte Cristo sandwich--a french-toasted sandwich with turkey, ham, and swiss cheese (i think)... it's absolutely mindblowing.
Lizzie / October 30, 2010 at 05:15 am
I went to the Frans across from Massey Hall the other day and everything came cold and there was a fly in my friends milkshake and it was IN IT, not taking a drink as the manager suggested. They did remove the drink from the bill though. Cold fries are a no, especially during a peak hour and there should be a good turn around.
Sean / November 17, 2010 at 10:08 pm
Four of us had dinner at the same Frans across Massey Hall last weekend. They were not that busy. All of us ordered different meals. All our meals were brought to us COLD, not lukewarm but COLD. One coffee COLD, one 'hot' chocolate COLD. They microwaved our meals and our server had the gall to say, "Happy now?"

We paid our bill to the penny with no tip!
Tyrel / March 30, 2011 at 10:05 pm
I went to Fran's in Barrie, and had the Morning Glory. Belgium Waffle with eggs and bacon, with caramelized apple on the side. It was the best belgium waffle I've ever had.
eliabeth maniex / December 31, 2011 at 10:02 pm

Nice to see an old favourite returning. However, they really need to work on getting the food to the customer hot -- not cold or luke warm. Been going to Frans for years now and enjoy seeing the new ones springing up.
Scusi / March 2, 2013 at 01:43 pm
Quality of food is garbage
Sean / September 17, 2013 at 09:14 am
Inspected on: September 9, 2013
Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
Number of infractions: 5 (Minor: 2, Significant: 2, Crucial: 1)
Crucial infractions include: Operator fail to maintain hazardous food(s) at 4C (40F) or colder.
rob s / January 14, 2014 at 11:46 am
what about the one on shuter
d / August 16, 2014 at 02:07 am
I used to work at Frans College in 1979 (and also briefly at Frans Yonge and Eglinton) and it was one crazy place to work - but a ton of fun. Good people and some .... interesting customers!
Colin J Crooke replying to a comment from d / January 24, 2015 at 08:55 pm
I too used to work at Fran's, started out as a busboy at the St.Clair location then moved into the kitchen at night.A lot of good times and memories especially at Christmas when Fran Deck Sr was still around he gave all the staff members a ivory elephant.

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