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Hot Dining: Diner Time

The Counter at the Thompson Hotel

Seeking simple fare like a three-egg breakfast or club sandwich? These laid-back local hubs won’t disappoint.

1 Hip, new, and open 24 hours daily, The Counter features refined versions of greasy-spoon classics in a decidedly non-greasy space.

2 The restaurant that introduced the banquet burger ($10.99) to this city, Fran’s boasts 70 years of history and three always-open downtown locations.

3 Similarly long-standing, Patrician Grill offers no-nonsense eggs, BLTs, burgers and more in an unpretentious space.

4 Swan adds Queen West eclecticism to the diner archetype, thanks to its southern-style menu that includes fresh oysters from an antique Coca-Cola cooler-cum-shucking station.

5 Though slightly off the beaten track, Universal Grill nonetheless draws raves with its spread of classics like baby back ribs ($25) at dinner, and huevos rancheros ($9) for brunch.

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