Diners and Greasy Spoons in the [Greater Toronto Area]

It seems like these are a dying breed. Which are your favourites and why?


I tried Frankie’s Diner for the first time yesterday. It’s been around since 1978. Solid food, big portions. Home fries made in house. They aren’t my favourite style of home fries. I prefer slices, with onions, paprika and oregano. That said, they were better than most.

I guess the thing that turns me off the most are commercial frozen potatoes that are deep-fried. I like home fries either cooked on the griddle or pan-fried.

Hollandaise is from a mix, which I anticipate at a diner . Generous amount of spinach in the Benny Florentine which was $15.95. Home fries are included. A salad might be included if you dine in, according to Reddit.

Benny Florentine $15.95

Fried chicken and jalapeño Benny, $16.95


Does UFO Restaurant count?

Assuming they are still there.

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Yep, it counts and it’s still around. Ufo on Niagara

The Barn Restaurant, which had been in business on Queen W for 45 years, closed in Oct 2022.

That’s great.

Hard to find a place that will make me a burger with fries and a bowl of pho.

Plus, it’s totally cool that the owners live upstairs.

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Rare in Toronto, but not too rare in rural Canada, outside Toronto, to have a Vietnamese restaurant offering Vietnamese food as well as burgers, bacon and eggs! It used to be Greeks running the family restaurants in smaller towns.

Now you’ll find more Vietnamese, Sri Lankan, Indian, Romanian, Laotian, Filipino and Thai restaurant owners in small towns serving breakfast as well as Old World foods.

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I need to get out more. Literally.

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Good Bite used to be my go to, but I think there was a change of ownership or the son took over the business. Last time I went the guy in charge(new owner/son?) started berating an elderly woman, very loudly, in front of everyone. I got up and left and haven’t been back since. Breakfast isn’t something I go out of my way for, except when I travel.

That’s awful.

I haven’t been since the change in ownership/ son taking over. Thanks for the heads up.

I used to do a greasy spoon breakfast meetup once or twice a month but that changed in March 2020.

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Ya, it was a decent greezy spoon, it’s been there forever and I’d go every so often to get my toasted club fix :slight_smile: Like everywhere else, prices are through the roof( i get it though) and I can’t justify $20 for B&E’s

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GoodBite’s prices are still relatively reasonable for a diner in Toronto, compare to the price increases at the chain pubs. I was paying around $13-$15 for a Greek omelette (my standard Greek greasy spoon order) in Toronto in 2019. It’s currently $15 at GoodBite.

The rural diner where I go on the outskirts of London has a different margin due to less competition and less clients, so prices are higher for my go -to dishes. I’ve always found it interesting that GoodBite and Detroit Eatery (RIP) could order similar food in similar portions for less than a diner in the sticks.

I used to go to diners more often several decades ago. Mars was great, particularly for the chopped liver. Mimi’s was my favourite breakfast spot, especially for the hash browns and fried kielbassa. The decor was great too, with all sorts of ephemera (e.g., a tampon ad featuring Alanna Myles) filling available spaces and ancient videos playing on the tiny TV. Lakeview Lunch was once also very good.

I do still hit classic diners when traveling in the U.S. It seems they have more of the vintage variety.

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There are some pretty cool diners in the States. I want to visit the Palace Diner in Biddeford, Maine on a future road trip.

I enjoy breakfast at White Lily Diner in your neck of the Toronto woods!

We love White Lily, but it is almost one-step up from what I think of as a diner. Dangerous Dan’s, which was a block away from White Lily, now that was a diner. We once had that Coronary Burger and then they thoughtfully gave us some deep-fried cheesecake and deep-fried brownies to ease the pain.


I was in search of the elusive Spanish Omelette when I found Scrambles in Ajax. Hubby and I haven’t dinered anywhere else since. Open 7 days a week, 365 days a year its that where do you go when everything’s closed place or when you just want comfort food. It’s a small and sunny space that’s family owned and operated. That’s my song.
scrambles ajax photos https://g.co/kgs/fksp43A


Looks great. Now I’m craving a greasy spoon omelette.

I agree, White Lily is sort of top tier diner, not in the same type of league as a $15 omelette diner.

I guess that’s how one could classify the diners in Toronto.

The traditional diners still charging $10-$15 for bacon and eggs, omelettes and Bennies, and the elevated diners charging $19-$29 for bacon and eggs , omelettes and Bennies.

$19 for the classic bacon and eggs at White Lily, understandably. I don’t think they’ll be able to keep it at $19 for much longer , but I understand why they are keeping it under $20 as long as they can. I guess the Senator is a similar kind of place in terms of elevated diner food with elevated prices, although I like the food at White Lily better.

I understand from a friend that the Lakeview, another elevated diner , has pretty good food lately. The Club sandwich was $19 . He said it was good and generous.

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White Lily is a “diner” by name only, and only because it’s actually in the name itself.

I mean, really, it’s a Bib Gourmand. Not that Michelin is an end all be all of all thing gastronomy, but it’s a pretty good indicator of what something is not.


The foods are diner foods, though.

Good versions of them.

When a Chowhound asked about meatloaf, that’s where I directed him.

I know it’s mentioned as a Bib Gourmand.

I have been going there 7 or 8 years. It’s great, one of my 2 favourite places for brunch east of the Don River. I don’t really think about it as Michelin place. It looks like a diner inside.

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I’ve mentioned before on Hungry Onion (and on CH) that I’m a fan of the George Street Diner. It’s a true labour of love for its owner, Ash Farrelly. I may be biased because my heritage is Irish and I visit family in Dublin annually, but I think their Irish Breakfast is legit (although I regret they switched a while ago from breakfast potatoes to French fries). Best enjoyed with a steaming mug of Barry’s Tea.

I haven’t explored their lunch menu too extensively but have enjoyed the Croque Monsieur in the past.