The top 25 diners in Toronto by neighbourhood
Diners in Toronto may be long past their glory days - and yet, these nostalgic eateries endure across the city. Toronto's greasy spoons are reliable sources for all-day breakfasts (with bottomless drip coffee to boot) and homestyle comfort foods ranging from sandwiches to steak dinners that won't break the bank. They're not fancy, but they're familiar - and that's why we love them.
Here are my picks for the top diners in Toronto by neighbourhood.
In business since 1955, Vesta Lunch is a divey, retro diner that serves hungry patrons 24 hours a day. The backlit menu boards feature classic greasy spoon fare like all day breakfasts, souvlaki dinners, and fish and chips.
The Beaches location of Sunset Grill is the original that's since spawned an empire of breakfast joints. Their French toasts, waffles, and egg-focused creations are all equally beloved among diners.
Chew Chew's Diner is a railway-themed greasy spoon where the all day breakfast menu boasts an abundance of choice. Find over a dozen variation on eggs Benedict, 20 types of omelette, and classic egg breakfasts.
The Bus Terminal Diner is a Toronto institution that's been slinging greasy breakfasts, triple-decker grilled cheeses and homestyle comfort foods since 1948. Its interior has seen some recent improvements, but not to fear - the iconic checkered floors, chrome and sparkling vinyl upholstery is familiar as ever.
The Lakeview is a refurbished diner open around the clock. The expansive menu has been updated and upgraded in recent years, but still very much adheres to the genre, offering tasty, hangover-crushing foods like all-day brunch, tuna melts, clubhouse stacks, and an abundance of poutine options.
Slide into a booth at The Grille at pretty much any hour of the day to enjoy everything from breakfast to late night eats. This dine doubles as a bar, too - so if you'd like a beer with your all day breakfast, you're in luck.
While Jim's Restaurant and Gale's have both withstood the test of time in this part of the city, Okay Okay Diner on Queen East is a local fave for all day breakfasts and lunches featuring triple-stacked sandwiches and souvlaki platters.
Mars Food in Little Italy has recently revamped its menu, but thankfully, the interior retains all its original chrome, vinyl and Formica charm. Open late into the night on weekends, it's an ideal spot for pancake breakfasts after last call.
Zet's near the airport is open 24/7 making it a prime pit spot for pilots and other airline crew. The menu boasts big souvlaki dinners, charbroiled burgers and all-day breakfasts served on packed plates with with home fries, toast and a choice of bacon, ham or sausage.
The Times Square Diner is a resilient, turquoise-clad greasy spoon in Wilson Heights where menu staples include thick milkshakes, pork chop dinners, and hot open faced sandwiches smothered in gravy.
Avenue Open Kitchen is a longstanding luncheonette in the Garment District. Here they do brisk business on workdays dishing out short order standards like three egg breakfasts, smoked meat sandwiches and hearty daily specials foods like chicken soup or mac and cheese.
WEST QUEEN WEST
UFO Restaurant is a remnant of simpler times on West Queen West. Here early birds are rewarded with full breakfasts at a discount, though you'll find the food quite wallet-friendly at anytime of day. In terms of dinners, ribeye steaks and pork chops are both priced under $9.
YONGE & COLLEGE
Fran's at Yonge & College is an institution, and while some might say its past its prime, most would be sad if it ever closed. She's kind of like an old friend that's been there for you at your worst (or drunkest), welcomed you without judgement, and fed you eggs at 3am.
YONGE & DUNDAS
The Senator is one of the longest-standing continually-operated restaurants in Toronto. The landmark excels at classic comfort foods including staples like meatloaf and liver and onion entrees.
YONGE & EGLINTON
Good Bite has been serving this neighbourhood since the 1969, dealing in homestyle favourites like corned beef hash and hot turkey sandwiches doused in gravy and served with sides of peas and fries.
YONGE & LAWRENCE
Hazel's deals in your standard dirty diner fare while majoring in hangover crushing breakfast foods. The aptly named Hangover Cure is one such heart dish featuring a burger patty topped with a fried egg over a pile of beans.
YONGE & WELLESLEY
The Coach House Restaurant and Tavern is a bastion for cheap eats on Yonge St. Find breakfast specials (including some pretty fluffy waffles) listed alongside cheeseburgers and souvlaki dinners - none of which will break the bank.
What did I miss? Disagree with my selections in the comments.
Join the conversation Load comments