The 9 Best Diners in Toronto [2022]

One of the earliest diners in Toronto was opened in the 1940s and these diners are still running, well maintained and popular today. People love going to diners due to feeling transported back in time to the 1950s and 1980s era, with true vintage retro interior designs and great medley of 50s music. 

Some of the diners even feel like you’re in Archie’s comic book with Archie, Veronica and Betty stepping  in the diner enjoying their milkshakes. 

The best diners in Toronto are cozy inexpensive restaurants with a great selection of classic foods offered. There are so many good diners in Toronto to enjoy a meal with friends and family. If you’re craving comfort food in a nice atmosphere check these diners below!

Summary

How We Chose The Best Diners in the City

We compiled our ranking of the finest diner restaurants in Toronto based on a few key factors, including:
  • Quality of food: The diners should serve food in large portions and cooked perfectly.
  • Options: Must have many toppings and sides available. Also, vegetarian and vegan options!
  • Price: Must be affordable and under budget to enjoy with friends and family as the go-to places in the city!
  • Customer Reviews: Customers experience fast and friendly service!

The Best Diners in Toronto

Here is our list of Toronto’s greatest diner eateries! Remember to leave a comment and share your thoughts!

1. Fran’s Restaurant and Bar

Fran’s Restaurant and Bar

Fran’s diner has been around since 1940, this family-owned restaurant is well-liked for its classic comfort foods, and their retro 80s style diner in the centre of Toronto.

It’s a great diner with an extensive menu to choose from and you can substitute fries with sweet potatoes! One of the favourites is the Monte Cristo ($13.99) which is a grilled French toast sandwich with melty cheese and ham. 

We recommend going for the Fresh Herbs & Cheese. This meal comes with 3 Grade A eggs that are tossed with creamy feta cheese, fresh basil, dill, cilantro and parsley. This dish has a subtle sweetness from the spices.

The eggs are served with a side of homemade fries and toast. If you want something more healthy, you can substitute the fries for a fresh fruit cup or cheese. Also, their coconut cream pie is a must to try!

The cost ranges from $10 to $25. If you want to enjoy an 80s-style atmosphere with cool blue-colored lighting and great food, head to Fran’s at any time of day or night!

Business Information:

Address: 20 College St, Toronto, ON M5G 1K2
Phone: (416)-923-9867
Website: fransrestaurant.com

Customer Review Highlights:

“One of my favourite all day breakfast places in toronto. It is an amazing place to eat breakfast food. They have other options too but I always eat breakfast here. It is fresh, delicious and service is quick and friendly. Would recommend 100/100.”
“Always a great place to eat any time of the day! I always enjoy the burgers and milkshakes. Prices are reasonable too. A slight remodelling/update would be nice though, but I do enjoy the forties/fifties vibe.”

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
24 hour breakfastDue to covid, they only do takeout between late hours (1am-5am)
Great portion size
Huge menu with endless options
Vegetarian friendly, vegan options and gluten free options
Has multiple locations 

2. Chew Chew’s Diner

Chew Chew’s Diner

This diner opened in 2008 and continues to serve Toronto with delicious food. What makes this place different is its historic train theme. Not only is the outside painted with a train mural but the inside feels as if you’re a passenger on a train.

In addition to their regular menu, they also offer weekly specials as well. We personally prefer the dinner menu as it has poutine options available. 

The price range of their dishes are from $5.99 to $17.99 where you can try their souvlaki, eggs benedict, poutine, homemade fries and more! 

The Cowboy Poutine ($7.99) is especially amazing, it comes with fresh-cut fries topped with beef, onions, mozzarella and gravy. So definitely don’t miss out on this spot!

Business Information:

Address: 186 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5A 2K3
Phone: (416)-924-758

Customer Review Highlights:

“Long I’ve searched for the perfectly cooked over-medium egg, and I found it at Chew Chews! This is a fun, quirky diner with friendly staff, reasonable prices and huge portions. All aboard!”
“Loved the meatloaf... the roast beef dinner was awesome...prices are great , especially for the amount of food served. Loved the customer service, i will add chew chew to my list of favourite places to stop and eat.”

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Great portion sizes!The diner isn’t wheelchair accessible
Many options available!

3. Route 401 Diner

Route 401 Diner

Route 401 diner  opened in 2017 and serves traditional breakfast and brunch. It is a retro-style place with vintage booths. Indulge in delicious comfort food and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere here. 

They have a nice selection of options on their menu for you to try! Especially the omelettes served with home fries and jam. For omelettes they have different styles of ingredients from vegetarian ($12.25) to Italian ($12.95) (sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, red onions and mozzarella cheese). Also, steak breakfast ($19.55) served with 3 eggs, home fries, and toast.

We recommend trying the French toast here. This meal comes with three pieces of tasty vanilla and sweet with dusted sugar on top. For an additional cost, you can get it with a side of ham, sausage or fresh fruit. Lastly, end your meal off with a rich and creamy vanilla milkshake. 

The price ranges from $7 to $20. If you love the 50s era, you’ll love this place, check it out today to feel like going back in time!

Business Information:

Address: 2 Ronson Drive Toronto, ON M9W 1B2
Phone: (416)-247-7836
Website: route401diner.com

Customer Review Highlights:

“50's themed diner ...friendly attentive service. I got there early once and they invited me in anyway and gave hubby and I coffee. Breakfast is great, what I would make at home for my crew. Change over to new owners who are building up the diner business, even shooting movies/shows there (Kodachrome).”
“I had the traditional breakfast Saturday before closing. It was a sufficient size for your dollar and was brought to us very quickly. Great service and the 50s vibe was awesome 👌”

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
They have a kids menu option!
  • Pancakes
  • Chicken Fingers
  • French Toast
  • Kids Egg Breakfast
Diner usually gets full, even on lazy Sundays! So, better to go early
Variety of side options such as onion rings, poutine, fries, turkey sausage, grilled tomatoes and many more! 

4. Frankie’s Diner

Frankie’s Diner

Frankie’s is produced from scratch and always to order. They lay a priority on high-quality, carefully prepared ingredients. There’s something here for everyone! The restaurant is small and elegant, with a bar and a welcoming environment.

They are known for their burgers but they serve a variety of other dishes as well such as omelettes, chicken and more. 

Since everything is made in-house, it’s hard to find these flavours anywhere else. A favourite here is “The Hogtown” ($15.95). This burger comes with barbecue pulled pork, with sharp provolone cheese, fresh lettuce, tomatoes and red onions. This is topped with creamy coleslaw. This dish will leave you full for the rest of the day. 

The prices range between $6.95 to $15.95. Visit Frankie’s now if you want to enjoy some traditional tasty burgers and many more dishes with enormous amounts that will leave you feeling satisfied for the day!

Business Information:

Address: 994 Queen Street W Toronto, ON M6J 1H1
Phone: (416) 588-1936
Website: frankiesdiner.ca

Customer Review Highlights:

“Always love Frankie's. Quick service and delicious food. Nothing fancy, just your regular diner but love coming back to this place for it's charm and no-frills ambience.”
“Always love Frankie's. Quick service and delicious food. Nothing fancy, just your regular diner but love coming back to this place for it's charm and no-frills ambience.”

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Amazing portion size!Service may be slow but not to worry. They prepare you with some hot, warm delicious meals!

5. The Lakeview

The Lakeview

The Lakeview restaurant is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This store has been in operation since 1932 and is a part of Toronto’s rich history. Inside, the restaurant is modest and tidy, with an elegant bar!

This is the perfect spot if you’re craving a midnight snack or looking for a place to hang out with friends. Their menu offers desserts, drinks, lunch, kids menu and many more! All priced from $6.50 to $23.50.

The Chicken N Waffles ($16.50) are a local favourite. Crispy waffles with cornflake chicken are available. The entrée is served with hollandaise sauce and rich maple syrup. It also comes with a serving of house gravy. Check out this eatery right now if you wish to have a classic supper with wonderful food and good old milkshakes!

Business Information:

Address: 309 Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON M5T 1H1
Phone: (416)-977-0601
Website: swatowrestauranttoronto.com

Customer Review Highlights:

“I have a great experience every time at The Lakeview. Good service, friendly staff and reasonably priced food. It's open 24 hours but expect a wait during peak times such as Sunday brunch. The freedom toast was exceptional.”
“Fantastic staff, great menu and prices. The choices were great and I loved the look of the place. A must visit. Enjoyed a slice of pie with some coffee. Cannot wait to come back late one evening and sample their menu.”

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Open 24 hoursService might take longer
Vegan options available

6. White Lily Diner

White Lily Diner

White Lily Diner opened in 2016 and serves quality food made from scratch. They offer an all-day menu with your choice of wine or beer. The place is small and cozy  with a nice ambience for you to enjoy your meals. The place is designed in a retro style with mustard yellow comfortable seating!

Their prices range from $5 to $25.50. They have a fantastic menu especially their all day breakfast menu offering some crispy hash brown ($5), buttermilk griddle cakes($13.45) with maple syrup and butter are fluffy.

We recommend trying the “Hot Turkey”($20). This is a sandwich made with french toast, smoked turkey, gravy, cranberry chutney, and drizzled with maple syrup. This dish is both sweet and savoury. It doesn’t taste like the classic breakfast you’re used to, which is what makes it more fun. 

You should go here if you want to eat excellent quality classic food, and the presentation of their dishes is extremely lovely!

Business Information:

Address: 678 Queen Street E Toronto, ON M4M 1G8
Phone: (416) 901-7800
Website: whitelilydiner.ca

Customer Review Highlights:

“Amazing patio experience for a Sunday brunch. Even though it was drizzling, the umbrellas helped with staying dry. Server staff were friendly and always attentive. Food great variety, flavours and portion sizes are great.”

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
They serve an all day menu!Long wait time for a table
Delicious variety of options

7. Flo’s Diner

Flo’s Diner
Google/Jonsson Liu

Flo’s Diner opened 20 years ago and has an update to date all-day breakfast place that serves breakfast items like omelettes, french toast, waffles and more. The diner gives off a cool retro vibe that is clean and well-lighted, it has comfortable booths and large windows. 

They have an amazing menu especially their brunch specials such as the “Good Morning Burger”($13), and their all day breakfast options range between ($10 to $16).

We recommend trying the “eggs all meaty”($15), which comes with three eggs served with bacon and your choice of farmer’s sausage. This dish is served with salty home fries and buttered whole-grain toast. For $1.50 you can add extra cheese to the dish. Wash your meal down with their freshly squeezed juice like their mango juice. It’s a great accompaniment to any meal.

If you want to know what it feels like being in a comic book from the 50s – 80s era, visit Flo’s Diner to experience the vibe and delicious meals! 

Business Information:

Address: 70 Yorkville Avenue Toronto, ON M5R 1B9
Phone: (416)-961-4333
Website: flosdiner.ca

Customer Review Highlights:

“Love this place! The food was amazing, fresh and delicious! and the view is really nice. The staff were very kind and the price was very fair!”
“Great for a quick brunch as always. A nice option for non-fussy simple breakfast food in Yorkville. The big patio is a plus right now, and they did seem to be using reasonable precautions.”

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
All day breakfast placeThey don’t take reservations for weekend brunch so be prepared to wait for a while.
Great portion of food
Easy accessibility with a wide ramp, automatic doors and an elevator.

8. Avenue Open Kitchen

Avenue Open Kitchen

Avenue Open Kitchen opened in 1959 as an all-day breakfast place. Their store has a retro vibe and foodies love the classic Canadian dishes served here. 

They serve all types of breakfast foods but they’re most well known for their sandwiches. The price ranges from $5 – $15.

A favourite is the clubhouse sandwich which is served with lean chicken breast, smokey bacon, crisp lettuce, fresh tomatoes and creamy mayo. This meal is served with a side of fries. Also, their Montreal smoked meat sandwich!  Get this from their lunch menu the next time you visit!

If you want to experience what it’s like being in a diner in the 50s, visit this place to enjoy their meaty sandwiches and enjoy the atmosphere!

Business Information:

Address: 7 Camden Street Toronto, ON M5V 1V2
Phone: (416) 504-7131

Customer Review Highlights:

“Avenue Open Kitchen is the ultimate hidden gem in the city. Their deli sandwiches are to die for, more specifically their pastrami sandwich 🤤 Don’t pass on this place!”
“If you're looking for a cheap, filling, and tasty brunch spot this place is great. We ordered the greek omelette and the smoked meat which were both really large portions and tasty considering the price.”

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Great portion sizes!It’s a small eatery with fewer seats.
Variety of meal options

9. The Skyline Restaurant

The Skyline Restaurant

The Skyline restaurant has been operating for 40 years, serving delicious brunch, lunch and dinner. They have changing daily specials, weekly live music and trivia night! The diner interior brings you back to the 60s that has been well maintained. 

The price ranges from $5 to $23 offering classic menus such as the Jalapeno margarita, 

The top favourite here is the classic club sandwich($15) made with sliced chicken, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo. Also, their veggie/vegan burger ($13) added with beyond beef patty with lettuce, tomato, onion, vegan mayo and pickles. 

Check this place out if you want to go back to the 60s, enjoy delicious meals and live music!

Business Information:

Address: 1426 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6K 1M1
Phone: (416)-536-3682
Website: theskylinetoronto.com

Customer Review Highlights:

“Favourite restaurant in the city. Lovely atmosphere... I can't wait til indoor dining is back because this is the best place to sit around all night talking with friends drink after drink. Amazing food, too. Love the Skyline ❤️”
“I have eaten at this cute restaurant and I can tell you the food is great, the service is just perfect and the atmosphere brings me back to the late 80s early 90s. I love this place, keep it up everyone and to the staff that work there you’re doing a great, amazing job.”

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Live music every Monday by local musicians Longer wait time
Vegetarian and vegan options available

FAQs About Diners

They attract individuals of all ages, offer a diverse cuisine, some are open 24 hours a day, have a casual atmosphere, pleasant service, and an ambiance that is frequently boisterous and lots of laughing.
Yes, many diners have many vegan options available for you to choose.
At diners, they are popular for all day breakfasts, sandwiches, milkshakes and sandwiches.
Diners are places to dine that are relaxed and inexpensive. Also, diners are often open extremely late and very early, making them ideal for breakfast or a quick lunch if you’re out late. Restaurants usually serve lunch and evening dinner type meals with a specific focus such as a seafood restaurant or it could be a steakhouse restaurant and usually more expensive.

Conclusion

With so many great diners to choose from in Toronto, why not try some of the best breakfast food around. These meals can be enjoyed at any time of the day, as most diners offer an all-day menu.

Visit the best diners in Toronto today with your friends or family, and enjoy a delicious meal with some lively conversation!

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