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10 Essential Toronto Diners

There’s something extremely nostalgic about diners and how they manage to stop time. Whether it’s an authentic diner from the 50s, or a newer spot that achieves diner status through design and menu, they all have one thing in common – good greasy grub. Soak up your hangover or satisfy your breakfast for dinner craving at one of these 10 essential Toronto diners.

What’s your go-to neighbourhood joint? Let us know in the comments at the bottom.

The Lakeview

The revamped Lakeview Lunch from the 1930s. Open 24 hours, The Lakeview caters to locals and the late night run-off from the booze-fueled Ossington strip. Nothing like breakfast at 3AM to soak up those last couple beverages you probably should’ve skipped.

The Senator

Probably one of the most famous diners in the city, and Joel Plaskett’s personal favourite, The Senator has been feeding Torontonians and tourists since 1929. The bistro-style upscale diner lives on Victoria Street, just around the corner from Yonge-Dundas Square. You can expect North American home-style cooking, and most importantly, spiked milkshakes.

George Street Diner

You can’t miss this bright red greasy spoon located near the St. Lawrence Market. If you’re lucky (or patient), snag a swivelling stool or vinyl booth and enjoy an Irish menu. You can even get a side of live music with your eggs sometimes.

Easy Restaurant

The Easy Rider-themed diner recently opened a second location from the original Roncesvalle one in Little Italy. Signature smoothies and Mexican-inspired dishes are staples at Easy. Go for the Banana Latte and Huevos Divorciados – you will not leave disappointed, or hungry.

Patrician Grill

Many call this famous King East spot the best greasy spoon in Toronto. Home to many film sets, the Patrician has that authentic diner atmosphere from the 50s. Quick, affordable, and greasy – what more could you want?

Avenue Diner

Simple, reliable, classic. Located at Av and Dav, the Avenue Diner is a friendly neighbourhood joint that makes you feel at home. Expect standard diner fare including all day breakfast, burgers, and milkshakes.

Rosedale Diner

Rosedale Diner has been a neighbourhood favourite since 1978. Guy Fieri recently shot an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives here and opted for the duck confit poutine and Asian sticky ribs.

Rose & Sons

Rose & Sons opened its delicious doors at Dupont and Davenport one year ago. It’s no surprise they immediately had a line up down the street as chef Chris Sanderson and co-owner Anthony Rose both came from the Drake Hotel. The menu resembles a Jewish bakery, but is in no way kosher.

Okay Okay Diner

This modern take on retro diner located in Leslieville diner has pancakes that rival any flapjack house in the city. If you favour more of a savory dish to start your day, the huevos are all the rage. The friendly staff make it very popular with the locals who huddle in the tiny front entrance waiting for a table on weekend mornings.

Avenue Open Kitchen

This greasy spoon is a hidden gem in the garment district. Avenue Open Kitchen is a true mom’s home-style cooking place where you can get a feast for 10 bucks. The Mac n Cheese is a must-try but is only available on Fridays.

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