10 greasy spoons for breakfasts in cottage country

Breakfast at greasy spoon Photo by Agave Photo Studio/Shutterstock

Maybe you’ve set out early to get to the cottage, and it’s time to stop for a mid-trip breakfast (and an all-important cup of coffee). Maybe you have errands to run in town and decide to grab a bite before the stores open. Or maybe you just can’t resist the local diner’s fluffy, fluffy pancakes—you know, the ones you’ve tried to replicate too many times to count. Whatever your reason for grabbing a plate of breakfast favourites at a cottage-country greasy spoon, rest assured there are plenty of favourites out there with loyal fans.

Spinnaker Cafe in Blind Bay, B.C. 

This popular place on Shuswap Lake gets busy at peak times, but, as reviewers will point out, it’s worth the wait. Spinnaker’s has an extensive breakfast menu, including standard favourites (eggs with hash browns, toast, and a choice of meat), omelettes, breakfast wraps and sandwiches, as well as a number of different variations of eggs Benedict. (Hint: The Blackstone is a fan favourite.)

Sunflower Cafe in Selkirk, Ont.

It’s a small breakfast menu, but the Sunflower Cafe in Selkirk—located between Port Dover and Dunnville—has lots of fans for its tasty food and excellent service. Also, if you feel like a non-traditional breakfast that’s on the (much) sweeter side, their homemade cheesecake is described as “the best ever.”

Charlie’s Diner in Stayner, Ont.

Dubbed the “best breakfast in the Georgian Bay area” by one fan, Charlie’s Diner is a classic family restaurant serving traditional, straightforward (and delicious) diner food with super friendly service. Make sure you get there for breakfast or lunch—this greasy spoon closes at 2 or 3 p.m., depending on the day of the week.

Country Diner in Elmvale, Ont.

If you have a sweet tooth, the Country Diner in Elmvale has just the thing: pancakes stuffed with strawberries and blueberries or, for the REALLY dedicated candy fans, stuffed with chocolate chips and icing sugar. If your breakfast preferences fall on the savoury side, they have the standard breakfast choices. And don’t sleep on the breakfast poutine and breakfast quesadilla.

Hill’s Maple Leaf Restaurant in Orillia, Ont.

An Orillia fixture since 1926, Hill’s is known for tasty food, large portions, and friendly service. And if you’re at a cottage close to Orillia and don’t feel like heading into town for breakfast, Hill’s is on UberEats.  

Family Place Restaurant and Pizza in Huntsville, Ont.

As if home fries couldn’t get any better, Family Place offers them deep-fried. Folks who need gluten-free toast or French toast are in luck, as are those who would like to upgrade to pure, local maple syrup on their pancakes. Oh, and they offer the option of dairy-free cheese as well. Not full from breakfast? Go back later in the day for their very popular pizza.

Hungry Moose Restaurant in Cloyne, Ont.

This greasy spoon is located at Marble Lake Lodge, a family campground and RV park on Marble Lake that also has cottages to rent. You can sit down in the restaurant and break your fast with traditional favourites, or get a breakfast sandwich to go—perfect if you’re heading out on the lake to do some fishing. 

Shay’s Cafe in Espanola, Ont.

Shay’s Cafe in Espanola has all the usual brekkie favourites, along with a couple of menu items that put the “greasy” in “greasy spoon” in the best possible way. Try the hangover poutine: eggs and hollandaise are served over home fries along with bacon, sausage, ham, cheese, and gravy. Craving something sweeter? Try their Nutella or maple and peanut butter-stuffed French toast.

Trellis Cafe in Hubbards, N.S.

The Trellis Cafe features a colourful selection of options for the more health-conscious eaters among us. Choose from steel-cut oatmeal, yogurt, and granola, or vegetarian hash with quinoa, eggs and veggies. Or, treat yourself to Trellis’s fishcakes, made from salt cod and potato and served with baked beans and green tomato chow. 

New Minas Big Stop Restaurant in New Minas, N.S.

This is a literal truck stop, which tells you that the food must be good. For a twist on your usual breakfast, try their breakfast gouda burger, which isn’t actually a burger—made with a fried egg, bacon, gouda, and dijon mayo, it’s more like a fancy fried-egg sandwich. But who’s quibbling—it’s a delectable combination.

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