Must-Try Breakfast Spots And Diners In Hamilton, Canada

Papa Leo's Brunch | Courtesy of Papa Leo's
Papa Leo's Brunch | Courtesy of Papa Leo's
Photo of Ezeekyal Trepanier
29 October 2016

Hamilton has a reputation for many things – its thriving arts scene, industrial past, and stellar hiking trails – but not typically for the Hammer’s abundance of quality breakfast places. Luckily, this is changing and we’ve put together a list of the best spots to get you started.

John Street Diner

Diner, Canadian, American
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John Street Diner takes a cafeteria-style approach and specializes in all-day breakfasts. The owners’ experience as restauranteurs – John Street Diner was opened by the same masterminds behind the beloved Jet Café – is evident in every visit. The service is friendly, and the food hits the spot. The prices are more than reasonable. Located just a block away from Jackson Square Mall, it’s the perfect spot to grab a bite before or after a little shopping.

Jack & Lois

Jack & Lois has a lot to offer with affordable prices and authentic, well-cooked breakfasts. The decor gives off a retro vibe, with vintage kitchen design and a homey feel. Be sure to head to Jack & Lois in the warmer months. With a large front window that opens up and a back patio, this place lets you dine al fresco. Located on James Street North, a street known for its connection to Hamilton’s bustling art and culture scene, the diner is a prime spot. Grab a bite before checking out a gallery (or five). Whether you’re looking for a nice family meal or a greasy hangover cure, Jack & Lois is worth your while.

Jack & Lois, 301 James Street N, Hamilton, ON, Canada, +1 289 389 5647

Papa Leo's Restaurant

Restaurant, Canadian, Vegetarian, Vegan, Salad Bar, $$$
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Papa Leo’s Restaurant is serious about the integrity of their business. They have a commitment to supporting other Hamilton locals. From the art hung on their walls by local artists to their fresh coffee from Red Hill Coffee Trade (Fair Trade Certified), Papa Leo’s is full of local pride. They also offer takeout and catering, making them a convenient and versatile breakfast option. Choose from a wide range of savory or sweet breakfasts – or go for both. Try the #Uptown Crab Cake Benny and get a plate of Papa’s Pancakes – fluffy, buttermilk pancakes – to share with the table.

Bedrock Bistro Family Restaurant

Bistro, Restaurant, American, Canadian
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Coffee Time
Coffee Time | © Adrian Snood/Flickr
Bedrock Bistro offers a quality breakfast time with a nostalgic atmosphere. The Flintstones theme, inspiring not just their name but also their interior (including TVs playing The Flintstones on repeat), is a refreshing and reminiscent choice. Another crowd-drawing feature is their all-you-can-eat Sunday Brunch. Understandably a popular spot for morning meals, parking may be difficult to find. Still, Bedrock Bistro deserves to be experienced next time you’re looking for a breakfast in the Hammer.

The West Town Bar & Grill

Bar, Canadian, Pub Grub, Wine, Beer, Fast Food, $$$
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Pancakes with strawberry sauce
Pancakes with strawberry sauce | © tomislav medak/Flickr
The West Town Bar & Grill is a classic Hamilton joint with a fun atmosphere. They have friendly, personable staff and offer generous, decently priced portions. Located on Locke Street, it’s a popular and charming pub experience surrounded by a variety of other intriguing places. When it comes to breakfast, why mess with the tried and true? West Town serves up classic breakfast fare, including Belgian waffles, omelets, and breakfast sandwiches.

West End Diner

Diner, Canadian, American, Vegetarian
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West End Diner, located in Hamilton’s west end, near Dundas, is a great choice for any meal, especially breakfast. The servers are friendly and, perhaps more importantly, very diligent with their coffee refills. They offer exceedingly generous portion sizes cooked in a reasonable amount of time. For students living in the area, it is a great place to go with a group of friends to refuel after an exhausting night (of studying, of course).

Cannon Coffee Co.

Cafe, Canadian, Coffee, Tea , Vegetarian
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Cannon Coffee Co., deriving its name from its location near the corner of Cannon and Ottawa, offers a pleasant experience for its customers. With a reputation for its high quality, this beautiful artisanal coffee shop offers more than just stellar coffee. Cannon Coffee contains an especially raved-about – and gluten-free – item called the ‘Waffle Sandwich’. With a wide variety of regularly updated coffee blends and a cozy atmosphere, Cannon Coffee Co. should be a priority on anyone’s morning meal itinerary.

Good Life Deli

Restaurant, Canadian, $$$
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Good Life Deli offers a clean and creative menu prepared and served skillfully by a personable staff. They serve all of the breakfast standbys, in addition to their own spins on the classics. Choices range from breakfast pita pizza to their frittatas (Italian open-face omelets), so you won’t be lacking choice. With most items being quite cheap and coffee included in the cost, Good Life Deli is well worth a visit – and the inevitable return visit.

Sunrise Restaurant

Bar, Restaurant, Canadian
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Sunrise Restaurant's Breakfast Combo
Sunrise Restaurant's Breakfast Combo | © Ezeekyal Trépanier
With no website and little review material online, Sunrise is definitely a hidden gem. However, don’t let their lack of fame dissuade you from making it your next breakfast destination. Sunrise is a bar-style restaurant with a cozy vibe, especially when looking out the window onto winter’s frightfully frigid King Street. The staff of this family-run business make a sincere (and effective) effort to make your experience enjoyable and tailored to your time schedule. Give them the chance they deserve, and they will give you the breakfast you deserve.

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