It’s only been around for six months, but Toronto’s Uncle Betty’s Diner is quickly becoming a popular kids-friendly dining destination near Yonge and Eglinton. Inspired by the diners of New York, Uncle Betty’s opened with the idea of providing good food in a relaxed setting that kids will enjoy. With fresh-made donuts, an extensive creamery, and food that takes a modern twist on the greasy spoon, it’s a hit with the kids.
A Family-Friendly Brunch Spot
Brunch, served on weekends between 7am and 2pm, is the busiest time at Uncle Betty’s. The place is packed full of families, and french fries and crayons litter the floor — evidence that the kids are having a blast. The brunch menu includes, among other kids-friendly items, stuffed French toast, three types of pancakes, and Uncle Betty’s take on Eggs Benedict (served on a Dreesen’s donut). They also serve organic fair trade Kicking Horse Coffee.
Among the diner’s most popular items are the Dreesen’s Famous Donuts, made fresh on the premises. Trans fat-free, they come tossed in icing sugar or cinnamon, or with their all new chocolate glaze. The donuts are available for takeout, but orders of 2 dozen or more should be placed 24 hours in advance.
Open for Lunch and Dinner
If you’re interested in a more sedate dining experience, then try their lunch menu. My family headed out to Uncle Betty’s on a Saturday afternoon. It was pretty quiet, and we had our pick of the seating. The lunch/dinner menu is quite extensive and takes a bit of time to get through on your first visit. It was developed with the support of Chef Paul Lampa and based on the owners’ recipes and their food experiences living in New York. Regular diner fair is enhanced with ingredients such as chimichurri or roasted garlic aioli. In addition to the salads, sandwiches and mains you might expect, you’ll also find a selection of gluten-free, all natural Uncle Betty Franks. The kids’ menu offers a small selection of items broad enough to ensure there’s something for your little ones.
And oh yeah, they are fully licensed.
For dessert choose from the fresh Dreesen’s donuts; a selection of sundaes, milkshakes and other creamery items made from Greg’s all-natural ice cream; or the homemade Twink’ehs.
I ordered the Ultimate Grilled Cheese, which includes a slab of their homemade mac and cheese with a choice of pulled pork or all-beef meatloaf (I chose the pulled pork), topped with roasted garlic aioli. It was unusual but very tasty, especially with a side of sweet potato fries. My kids ordered the Mac and Cheese and the Cap’n Crunch Chicken Fingers from the Kids & Tweens menu. We also got a chance to sample the chocolate-glazed donuts, the glaze for which they’d just perfected.
We enjoyed our meal and the kids were entertained with colouring and visiting the donut machine to watch them as they fried. We’ll definitely go back to try the brunch menu.
Uncle Betty’s Diner
2590 Yonge Street, Toronto 416-483-2590