Top 5 all-day breakfasts
Breakfast your favourite meal? Here are NOW's favourite spots to start the day proper - no matter what the hour.
-- Aunties And Uncles 74 Lippincott, at College, 416-324-1375. Once a single-chair barbershop and now twice its original size, David Ginsberg's and Russell Nichols's neo-mod hole in the wall continues to attract a budget-conscious crowd that appreciates value as well as style. It's a jumble of cast-off kitchen furniture and diner kitsch set to a stomping soundtrack of 60s beat groups and 70s soul, so no wonder the joint's always jumping. Scooters optional. Best: fluffy omelettes du jour sided with challah toast or a classique croque monsieur of Black Forest ham and Swiss, both served with dill 'n' Dijon mashed-potato salad and cantaloupe wedges; signature classic club with grilled chicken, cheddar, bacon, lettuce and tomato on aíoli-smeared challah; Belgian waffles with fruit and maple syrup while they last; breakfast tacos stuffed with scrambled egg, house-made chorizo, pinto beans, cheddar, coriander and lettuce dolloped with sour cream. Complete breakfasts/brunches for $15 per person, including all taxes, tip and a latte. Average main $7. Open for breakfast/brunch Tuesday to Sunday 9 am to 3 pm. Reservations not accepted. Unlicensed. Cash only. Access: barrier-free, washrooms in basement. Rating: NNNN Boom Breakfast 808 College, at Ossington, 416-534-3447. With its all-day breakfast lineup and modern diner decor, this busy storefront resto has the buzz of a frantic Fran's, equal parts animated conversation, steaming espresso machine and the clink of china and cutlery. Regulars know to show up early for assured variations on bacon 'n' eggs and comfort-food-style lunch classics. Best: three types of Benedict including the Boom topped with smoked salmon and lemony hollandaise with frites and chef's 'garnish'; huevos rancheros-style whole wheat wrap stuffed with salsa-fied scrambled egg, refried beans, guacamole and sour cream; chocolate chip pancakes; lassi-like smoothies like the Honey Bee -- yogurt, honey, banana and blueberries. Complete breakfasts/brunches for $15 per person, including all taxes, tip and a smoothie. Average main $9. Open for breakfast/brunch daily 6 am to 4 pm. Reservations not accepted. Licensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms in basement. Rating: NNN
Easy 1645 Queen W, at Roncesvalles, 416-537-4893. Surrounded by junk shops, Peter Morrison's funky luncheonette at the far end of Queen has been a hit with Parkdale artsy types since it launched six years ago. The reason: a crowded, cacophonous storefront offering a reasonably priced card of all-day brunch/breakfast. Warning: weekend line-ups! Best: Huevos Divorciados -- two eggs topped with both red and green salsas, with cool refried black beans, chunky tomato-spiked guacamole, rosemary-tossed home fries and a toasted baguette with homemade ancho chili jam; a pair of soft-boiled eggs sided with toast soldiers 'n' salad or fries; weekends-only Belgian waffles topped with strawberry compote, blueberry coulis and whipped cream; on the side, cinammon toast; to quaff, jumbo Bloody Caesars. Complete breakfasts/brunches for $18 per person, including all taxes, tip and a glass of wine. Average main $9. Open for breakfast/brunch daily 9 am to 5 pm. Reservations not accepted. Licensed. Cash only. Access: barrier-free. Rating: NNN -- Mimi's 218 Bathurst, at Queen, 416-703-6464. For the past 20 years, vivacious owner/chef Mimi, 'just a cowgirl cookin' with love," as her menu explains, has been dishing up grub for musicians, arty types and the occasional cowboy from this tiny diner located on the ground floor of the Oak Leaf Steam Baths. Warning: flexible hours - if she's open, she's open. Best: named for the Mexican Elvis impersonator, the El Vez omelette stuffed with Texas-style chili and maple-syrup-infused cheddar cheese, sided with herbed Yukon Gold hash browns fit for the King; corned beef hash topped with two fried eggs; cheese blintzes, three light crepes stuffed with mild farmers cheese in a pool of homemade berry compote, served with sour cream and honeydew melon; for the hung-over, freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice. Complete breakfasts/brunches for $15 per person, including all taxes, tip and a coffee. Average main $7. Open for breakfast/brunch Thursday to Sunday 10 am to 3 pm. Reservations not accepted. Unlicensed. Cash only. Access: one step at door, washrooms in basement. Rating: NNNN
-- Morning Glory 457 King E, at Gilead Place, 416-703-4728. The unofficial offshoot of Aunties and Uncles offers a similar all-day breakfast slash soup 'n' sandwich lineup but focuses more on the first meal of the day. Quality ingredients and first-class attention to detail make this diminutive diner the biggest thing to hit Corktown since, oh, the Great Fire of 1904. Bonus: read all about MG's daily specials - as well as the off-the-wall ruminations of its staff - at www.morningglory.ca/news.html. Best: the always astounding muffin du jour; whopping omelettes wrapped around havarti n leak or Brie paired with pear sided with house-baked toast and potato rosti; The Breakfast Butty, a Brit-style Egg McMuffin with scrambled egg and bacon, house-made ketchup optional; house-made granola with fruit. Complete breakfasts/brunches for $13 per person, including all taxes, tip and a more than competent cappucino. Average main $6. Open for breakfast/brunch Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 8 am to 3 pm, Saturday and Sunday 9 am to 3 pm. Reservations not accepted. Unlicensed. Cash only. Access: two steps at door, washrooms in basement. Rating: NNNN