The morning after New Year’s Eve—or any big bash, for that matter—is no time to waste wandering the city in search of a sobering brunch. Our favourites among the city’s traditional diners are guaranteed to perk you up any day of the year.
Aunties and Uncles
The concise but varied menu at this College Street spot rarely changes, because the owners have discovered that challah bread automatically elevates most run-of-the-mill diner offerings. Their affinity for this braided Kosher bread has transformed the common club sandwich, while the daily omelettes, served with rich potato salad or hash browns, are sure to cure whatever ails you. 74 Lippincott St., 416-324-1375.
The Bloordale Pantry
An unexpected sight along the slightly drab stretch of Bloor Street, but the eclectic decor and inventive dishes are a welcome addition. The Boada sandwich comes chockfull of slow-cooked pork while the various “bennies” come on a house-made griddle scone. Sip away your headache with a Grand Marnier-tweaked mimosa or an espresso martini. 1285 Bloor St. W., 416-530-2999.
So named for its relaxed atmosphere and collection of retro movie posters, including one for Easy Rider. Try the signature dish, huevos divorciados—two eggs on a tortilla, slathered with ancho jam, black beans and salsa—or indulge in flawless West Coast Toast, accented with fresh dill and black caviar. Bottomless coffee will rouse even the sleepiest of patrons, or choose amongst Easy’s four smoothies for an energy boost. 1645 Queen St. W., 416-537-4893.
Nestled in the heart of the Annex, Future Bakery is typically crowded with famished university students—expect a side of overheard philosophical debate with your eggs. No-frills, über-affordable diner-style fare is served up in plentiful portions here. Breakfast classics or Eastern European specialties such as cabbage rolls come with homefries and garden salad, and you can refill your own coffee. Be sure to make a stop at the crowded dessert counter for a slab of caramel crunch cake. A wide selection of beers is also available. 483 Bloor St. W., 416-922-5875.
George Street Diner
The bold red exterior of George Street Diner is the candy coating on a classically styled eatery. Replete with swiveling bar stools and red booths, the diner offers Irish soda bread both in-house and to go, house-made marmalade and a rotating roster of delicious quiches alongside other breakfast staples. 129 George St., 416-862-7676.
The Lakeview Restaurant
A fixture since the ‘30s, and one look at their expansive menu explains why. From the Philly cheesesteak benny with shaved sirloin and bell peppers, to a pulled pork sandwich with havarti, this classic 24-hour diner has something for every craving, any time of day. Slip into the red booths and order a $3 mimosa or Caesar—your hangover won’t stand a chance. 1132 Dundas St. W., 416-850-8886.
Le Petit Dejeuner
The turquoise chairs here are as rich as the menu. Order the seafood crepe or the Flemish beef stew if your stomach is really rumbling, or go for a duo of croques (Monsieur and Madame). The selection of drinks is too tempting to pass up, from spiked ciders and coffees to brandy or Stoli-infused milkshakes (though perhaps you’ll want to hold off on those if you’re dining before noon). 191 King St. E., 416-703-1560.
Dedicated vegetarians forgo many of life’s little pleasures; the temptation of the comforting, old-fashioned diner brunch can surely rankle even the most focused of herbivores. Enter Sadie’s Diner, which offers the same staple dishes—huevos rancheros, club sandwiches and burgers—you expect from other restaurants, but in meatless, often vegan, formats. Smoothies complement the meal. 504 Adelaide St. W., 416-777-2343.
This 24-hour eatery offers casual dining in the heart of a luxury hotel. The sleek banquettes and bright blue floor tiles set the mood for a menu steeped in comfort-food classics such as breakfast burritos with guacamole, truffled mac ‘n’ cheese, and even hot dogs. If you’re feeling extra indulgent, try a Mudslide Shake—Kahlua and Bailey’s with rich ice cream. 550 Wellington St. W., 416-640-7778.
The Tulip’s long history began in 1929—it’s had decades to perfect steakhouse basics. Gourmands might balk at the diner prices of a porterhouse, but even steak snobs grudgingly admit that the Tulip’s sirloin is beyond reproach. Although known for meat, the Tulip also offers satisfying breakfast options, such as weekend eggs Benedict with peameal bacon and pancakes. For a taste of both, try the 10-ounce sirloin steak and eggs, though dainty appetites are advised to steer clear of this culinary behemoth. 1610 Queen St. E., 416-469-5797.