Hastings Snackbar Toronto

Hastings Snack Bar

Hastings Snack Bar might just be the cutest lunch counter in Toronto. The wide but shallow eatery features just a single row of stools along the counter looking into the open kitchen and coffee bar.

The place is owned by Karolina Conroy who also helms the adjacent barbershop on the corner of Queen and Hastings just east of Leslie.

Hastings Snackbar Toronto

She's enlisted the "best chef ever," her mom Ania Garbos, and the two are serving up a concise menu of family recipes that stay true to their Polish heritage.

Hastings Snackbar Toronto

The newly refurbished diner has entered its new phase after former owner John Chong retired after 53 years as a short order cook last spring. The place has been gutted but the peach patterned counter top is original, as are the newly reupholstered stools.

hastings snack bar toronto

The chalk-written menu hangs overhead and bills just a handful of dishes available exclusively from Thursday through Sunday.

Hastings Snackbar Toronto

The rest of the week the shop is open for coffee, tea and select baked goods from Pain Perdu.

Hastings Snackbar Toronto

Options include kielbasa ($7/2), pierogi ($5/4, $8/8) stuffed with potato and cottage cheese, beef or blueberries, and cabbage rolls ($8) with beef, pork and rice filling, or made vegan with lentils, rice and mushrooms.

Hastings Snackbar Toronto

The best way to sample it all is to get Hungry Tata's Lunch Plate ($13). It's packed with all the aforementioned good stuff and served with rye bread, pickles and tangy sauerkraut slaw.

The cabbage roll is indeed delicious. The tomato sauce that smothers it all is sweet while there isn't a hint of bitterness in the cabbage. The slippery hand-pinched pierogi are good too. The dough is slightly chewy while the potato filling is perfectly seasoned. Thick sour cream on the side is a welcome condiment.

There's a daily soup ($5) too. Today it's split pea with sausage, but I'm told the pickle soup is the most popular.

Hastings Snackbar Toronto

The only thing left to try is the Polish breakfast ($9) before conquering the whole menu. The morning meal features farm fresh eggs (perfectly cooked, by the way) along with parowka (a Polish weenie), potato pancakes and bread.

Hastings Snackbar Toronto

It's cheap, cheerful and comforting. It's very easy to like. Thankfully there's a few benches outside and they'll do take-out when all the stools are full.

Hastings Snackbar Toronto

Photos by Hector Vasquez.


Hastings Snack Bar

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Hastings Snack Bar

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