Thompson Diner
By Karen Lloyd

Mechanical Advantage

In 2010, a former mechanic shop on Bathurst was transformed into a cozy diner featuring comfort food and friendly service as part of the newly built Thompson Toronto Hotel. Today, the Thompson Diner is the heartbeat of Toronto’s Fashion District. It combines full bar service and a 24-hour menu with booth and bench seating, making it a hotspot, especially after all the bars in the neighbourhood have closed for the night. “That’s probably one of our busiest times,” says Jeff Waters, the general manager at Thompson Toronto. “It’s a great time to work.”

Jeff joined the Thompson Diner four years after it opened and brought with him more than two decades of hospitality management experience, from culinary skills to event planning. "The Thompson Diner is a unique dining destination for Toronto," says Jeff, who is proud to be part of the team as well as the King West community, where the Thompson Toronto Hotel’s trendy entertainment complex is located (at Wellington and Bathurst). "It really is an all welcoming restaurant that embodies the spirit and energy of the city."

You can sit and nurse a coffee or be in and out as quick as you want. - Jeff Waters, general manager
Thompson Hotel's Director of Marketing Frank Campo with Thompson GM Jeff Waters.
Jeff Waters, the Thompson Toronto general manager (pictured right), works closely with the director of marketing to help ensure the Thompson Diner provides all guests with a memorable experience. Photo courtesy of the Thompson Toronto Hotel

Foodie Call

In addition to midnight snacks, the trendy Thompson Diner dishes out the old-school classics like eggs Benny, mac ’n’ cheese and meatloaf with creamy mashed potatoes . “It’s a menu that appeals to everyone,” praises Jeff. “The food is fantastic. It’s very true to the diner.”

You can also order award-winning poutine and buttermilk fried chicken waffles. Plus, artisan beers and signature cocktails are served until 2 am. The breakfast, however, seems to be the diner’s main attraction. “I would say it’s one of the most popular places in Toronto to grab a bite to eat and go for breakfast, for sure,” says Jeff. The breakfast menu offers a healthy balance of greasy spoon classic omelets and lighter choices like oatmeal with seasonal fruits.

Beyond the small kitchen window by the entrance of the Thompson Diner, there’s a much larger kitchen operating below the complex, with staff preparing food for hotel guests, or other parties and events happening at the hotel. “We also do an awful lot of takeout,” says Jeff.

The Thompson Diner combines full bar service and a 24-hour menu with booth and bench seating, making it a hotspot, especially after all the bars in the neighbourhood have closed for the night.

Neighbourhood Hero

When it’s not busting at the seams in the wee hours of the weekend, or with tourists, the Thompson Diner is a beloved hangout for locals. Jeff says that, like clockworks, they can expect the early morning breakfast crowd followed by neighbourhood firemen, police officers and construction workers at lunch, and then the dinner crowd, and so on. Jeff adds that the diner only hires people who would be a customer, so no matter what time of day it is, you can always expect a friendly and relaxed attitude from staff.

Like most cozy and welcoming restaurants in the city, the Thompson Diner boasts its fair share of regulars, who contribute to its casual family-like atmosphere. Jeff adds, “You can sit and nurse a coffee or be in and out as quick as you want.”

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