George Street Diner
George Street Diner is one of Toronto's classic diners with true old school appeal, easily spotted by its bright red brick exterior and street-facing kitchen picture window.
Expect Irish breakfasts and soda bread, along with diner classics unwilling to compromise on quality when it comes to local, organic ingredients to a surprising level. A sign at the front informs diners cash and debit are the only payment methods, to keep costs down.
The F Word was actually filmed here, and the long, narrow space with booths on one side and bar stools facing a long bar and open kitchen on the other certainly have an iconic appeal.
So much so, not only that but a Shawn Mendes video was filmed here too.
The light and easy breakfast ($10.95) features two of the organic eggs that are the highlight of breakfast here: free run from Ontario, the yolks are a golden orange that belies their rich taste.
This plate comes with a fruit salad, seared tomato, and your choice of challah, wheat, or rye, or you can go for unique Irish soda bread for a dollar extra.
The soda bread is grilled and buttery on both sides, giving the simple, mealy taste extra oomph. It’s made in house, a traditional Irish bread that’s extremely quick and easy to make, unlike pretty much all other bread. $3 for a side of soda bread with house marmalade and fruit.
Buttermilk blueberry pancakes ($10.50) are studded with tiny, tart little berries, served with a seasonal fruit compote (today it’s apple rhubarb made from ingredients a cook brought from the farm) and local Ontario maple syrup made by Harry Kessels.
The Irish Breakfast ($9.95) plates up two organic eggs with sausage, ham or peameal (we go sausage), a seared tomato, beans, slightly spicy home fries and Irish soda bread.
Add a coffee for a buck, and ask about subbing avocado for meat in both the Irish and Canadian breakfasts.
Owner Ash Farrelly is often stationed at the booth by the front door, gazing at a laptop. She’s had this place for over a decade, a waitress before eventually deciding to open up a spot of her own.
Hector Vasquez and Jesse Milns