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Introducing: Hammersmith’s, Riverdale’s newest spot for scones and other breakfast favourites

Inside Riverdale’s newest brunch spot (Image: Karolyne Ellacott)

Hammersmith’s, the brainchild of boyfriend-girlfriend duo Brittany Peglar and Colin Reed, is a new brunch spot in brunch-laden Riverdale, housed in a space previously occupied by a diner for 50-odd years. The couple does both sweet (Peglar) and savoury (Reed), keeping the focus on breakfast. They’ve already managed to draw a loyal clientele, with regulars popping in just after 9 a.m. for either a quick coffee or a full-on brekkie.

Peglar and Reed have both done the rounds in successful Toronto kitchens—including The Drake, Czehoski and Didier between them—and felt it was time to strike out on their own. They first dreamed up the eatery while in London last year, so it was only fitting that name itself be inspired by the borough in which they lived. The logo, meanwhile, was “kind of a communal effort,” notes Peglar: a friend at Quince suggested incorporating the borough’s coat of arms, while Justin Adam helped bring it to life (he also did one for Porchetta and Co.).

The decor is kept simple and stays true to the diner’s roots, with everything right out in the open. Café-style tables fill up the main space, while a low tiled bar is outfitted with metal stools for grab ’n’ go purchases. Large windows let the sunshine spill in, and baked goods are given pride of place on the countertop, allowing passersby to keep an eye on daily picks.

The straightforward menu is governed by both impulse and seasonality, with five mains and three sides currently on offer. Peglar recommends the classic steak and eggs ($13) as well as the cured salmon dish, which comes with sweet peas, fennel and pine nuts ($12). With a background in pastry, Peglar whips up baked goods daily. Scones ($1.25), currently studded with local raspberries and blackberries, are likely to be a fixture (“they’re a bestseller,” she says). Chocoholics can get their fix with the truly decadent chocolate chip cookies ($2)—the chocolate is sourced from the Distillery District’s Soma.

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Hammersmith’s, 807 Gerrard St. E., 416-792-9043,

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  • Jenna

    Ouch. Those chairs don’t look comfortable at all.

  • Darlene Sebesta

    making me hungry, can’t wait to check it out next time I am in Toronto.
    All the best.

  • michele

    Just went today. Very tasty! Chairs are decently comfie.

  • M B

    Went there today based on this article – firstly, food was great BUT 1) no air flow/ventilation, ugh it’s was 29 degrees outside people. open the door or a window 2) no atmosphere, shouldn’t diners have music? 3) chef kyle had no problem berating both waitresses to the point where they both looked like they could burst into tears – if you’re going to be a dick to you staff, do it so your customers don’t hear it – also, poor kyle looked like a miserable prisoner forced to cook…in a word, the whole place was “grumpy”

  • Hevcal

    Food is very tasty, flavourings very refined and nicely presented. Portions are too small though. I’m hoping the restaurant will clue in to this as seen a lot of comments pertaining to portion size elsewhere and it would be horrible for such a gem to disappear. No point going out to eat though if you feel you need to hit another restaurant after.

  • david mott

    As a local business owner (Cold Mountain School of Martial and Healing Arts), I am delighted to welcome Hammersmith’s to the ‘hood. The two partners, Colin and Brittany are terrific. Consequently, so is their beautiful food. The ingredients, the preparation and the imaginative seasonal menu make for a wonderful dinning experience. And they have high quality tea on the menu, a rarity. Everything that I’ve had from the menu is delicious and superbly made regardless of how busy it is. And there is a relaxed and easy going atmosphere that adds to the pleasure. I strongly urge you to complement Colin’s fine entrees (and in my opinion, nicely proportioned too) with one of Brittany’s scones. As my wife Bobbi says, “they are to die for”. Like a lot of other discerning patrons, I’ve become a “regular”.