Wednesday, October 7, 2015Partly Cloudy 18°C

Poor John's Cafe

Posted by Kari / Listed on March 20, 2007 / review policy

poorjohns.jpgAfter too much green beer on Saturday, a hearty breakfast was called for. I met up with a couple friends and headed over to Poor John's Cafe at 1610 Queen Street West. Poor John's has been open for just over a year now, and it's been getting quite a bit of positive exposure lately. Literary clubs like the T-DOT Writer's Meetup Group and the Wilde Chats Philosophy Cafe go there regularly, finding the quaint spot ideal for discussions and readings.

We didn't go to read or talk about books, though. We went for breakfast. We arrived at 2pm and were lucky enough to get the last available table, conveniently for three. The bubbly waitress was there in a jiffy (really- I think she skipped over, she was so enthusiastic) to take our orders.


I decided to go traditional with two eggs over easy (not green), bacon, marble rye toast, and the maple home fries. My dining partner was looking for some lighter fare, and ordered a whole wheat bagel with cream cheese. The menu didn't seem to have too much to choose from, but it might have been just a brunch menu.

The food arrived a while later, after just enough time for a morning-after-party conversation. The eggs were perfect, the toast was pretty with its swirls, the bacon was nice and lean- spread evenly over the potatoes... presumably to hide them. I think I got the last spuds in the batch, because unfortunately, they were tough and dry. Not too maple-y either, sadly. The free trade coffee was good, hot and strong, though, so that made up for it.

The place was filled with Formica tables and vinyl bound chairs, and the sun was shining in the big bay window, which warmed me up along with the coffee. A soothing moss green paint coated parts of the exposed brick interior, and a retro refrigerator and rustic green waiting station rounded out the stylish yet cozy atmosphere.

In my world of breakfast reviews, I rate with a scale from one to five. So, for Poor John's, I'll give the service a definite 5 (the server was exorbitantly nice). The food was a 4 (not too much selection, and the potatoes were limp). The atmosphere a 5 (I can see myself going there to read in the sunshine). Cleanliness a 5 (which is good). Cost a 4.5 (my eggs were $6.75). Overall, Poor John's Cafe gets a 23.5 out of 25. I'll definitely be going back again.


Poor John's Cafe
1610 Queen Street West



megan / March 20, 2007 at 07:04 pm
oooohhh, I'll have to check it out. I LOVE going out for breakfast. Not sure what that's about, but oh well, there you go.
Kari / March 20, 2007 at 10:44 pm
I'm the same way, don't worry! And there will be more breakfast reviews- there are so many good places for breakfast in my hood!
Len / October 22, 2007 at 12:55 pm
I have also been there. Great food, coffee and atmosphere and the owners are nice too!!
Tara / September 16, 2008 at 04:17 pm
Love this place-great food, atmosphere and service!
Lee / November 1, 2009 at 11:58 am
Just got back from breakfast at Poor John's. The food was mostly good: my over-easy eggs were slightly overcooked, but not greasy. Toast was lovely, bacon well done but nowhere burnt. Potatos were kind of weak and shriveled though. The service was good, and the atmosphere very pleasant: comfortable seating, quaint art, with lovely exposed brick. I was able to write and think amongst a dining area full of conversation, along with music playing.

The name is not reflective of the prices though, with the 2 eggs costing 7.95, coffee not included. With coffee, your simplest egg & toast breakfast at "Poor" John's comes to about $10.50, so you're dropping around $12.50 including tip. If the food had been extraordinary, I would go again.
Melanie / November 3, 2010 at 04:13 pm
I've been going to poor John's for a while, and absolutely love the place. They have regular events throughout the month, like a book club, comedy night, palm readings, and seasonal parties. It really brings the community together. As the resident palmist, I invite you to come and grab a complementary 10-minute reading on the first Wednesday of every month. It is the ONLY location I offer this way of loving my community ;)
Hector / April 27, 2011 at 02:34 pm
I bought my formica table off of Poor John's owners. Great people!
jameson / November 15, 2011 at 05:20 pm
I really enjoy Poor John's food, however the front staff is usually the worst and potentially ruins the experience every time.
melly / December 11, 2011 at 03:48 pm
Was excited to try the goan style brunch as was dissapointed. Menu said roti and what was served was a whole wheat wrap - really wanted something more authentic and home made. Green chilies inside were way too big and overwhelming, would have enjoyed smaller pieces with subtle taste. Chutney too was underwhelming. Sounded amazing on menu, but just wasn't exexecuted well.
fair trader / April 25, 2012 at 02:47 pm
hay kari.

Its FAIR trade coffee not FREE trade coffee. fair trade good. free trade bad.

ps. who are the owners of this place. anybody know? everyone should carry fairly traded coffee! :)
rick mcginnis / June 19, 2013 at 01:41 pm
The windows are papered over, the sign is gone - I think Poor John's has gone deadpool.

Add a Comment


Find a restaurant

Or use the options below to assist you in locating a restaurant in Toronto.

Search Results

Please select criteria from the dropdown menus above to start your search.


Recent Reviews

Refine the list using the categories below:

Other Cities: Montreal