On Our Radar: White Lily Diner
If there’s anything the east prides itself on, it’s how seriously we take breakfast—or more specifically, brunch. Leslieville and Riverside have proudly become the go-to destination for Torontonians seeking a comfort nosh, and the newest addition to the hood is sure to fit right in. White Lily Diner, located at 678 Queen Street East, opened just last month and is already quickly approaching must-try status.
Owners Ben Denham (of Grand Electric and Electric Mud BBQ) and Ashley Lloyd looked to the east to open the diner for a change of pace from their west-end norm. “We really like this neighbourhood. It’s a lot different from where we live in Parkdale. This was our first venture on our own and we wanted something a bit more down-to-earth. There are a lot of young families here and young professionals,” said Denham. “We wanted a no-stress environment. We didn’t want to open a restaurant to be the popular guy on the block, we wanted to open a restaurant that was sustainable, and what’s more fitting than a diner?”
The space is an homage to the classic diner with a retro vibe. Exposed wood booths offer up four and two-seaters and there’s a large bar with classic swivel stools to solidify the diner’s comfortable and instantly familiar atmosphere. Open from 10AM – 10PM Wednesday thru Sunday, White Lily is posed to quickly become the go-to place for meetings, hangover food, and brunch with your bestie.
To match the easy pace of the interior, the food sticks mainly to comfort dishes such as Buttermilk Griddle Cakes, Classic Steak and Eggs, and Pastrami Sammies. Wanting to focus on well-crafted dishes that are familiar but inspiring, the kitchen is hoping to keep the menu updated with new and seasonal offerings in the future. “I hate being handcuffed to a particular cuisine,” said Denham. “A diner to me in just comfort food—not fussy. It’s food that can speak to the average person.”
White Lily Diner may be the newest addition to the already established morning neighbourhood, but in our opinion, their spot amongst the greats has already been sealed. You’ll find White Lily Diner at 678 Queen Street East. Visit them online.