Recess Diner and Fountain

Recess was everyone’s favourite part of school, and Recess Diner and Fountain is all about celebrating those much simpler times. The newest project from Brad Moore (School Toronto, Old School) is a new-age, 24-hour diner located on the lowest level of Toronto’s ART Condos. Recess pays homage to the simplicity of the 60s era, with modern day comfort foods made from scratch and served around the clock.

Sporting a retro feel that’s classic to Moore’s style, Recess has checkered floors, luxurious yellow banquettes and marquee lights that make the space pop. Recess is split into two sections where guests can experience a show-stopping brunch and delectable dinner in the Recess Diner, and grab fresh baked goods, pre-made meals, grocery items, authentic sodas and ice cream treats galore in the other. Nostalgic for a time before food became highly processed by large-scale factories, the fun, retro-inspired dishes at Recess are made with real, wholesome ingredients.

To start dinner off on a high note, the Souffle Chips & Dip are a definite crowd pleaser. Served with airy, golden puffed potatoes and pink onion spiced yogurt, this dish is an inventive spin on regular old fries. The Watermelon-Quinoa salad with fresh arugula, peanuts and smoked chili vinaigrette is a welcomed, refreshing treat.

For the main event, the simple yet delicious Classified Burger truly shines. This sugar cane bacon cheeseburger is topped with caramelized onions and an addictive peppercorn-brandy classified sauce that’s a winning ingredient. The Kentucky Kung Pao dish was refreshingly light for fried chicken, with Arbol chili, sesame soy greens, country corn fritters and a finger lickin’ good sauce. As far as steaks go, the perfectly cooked Pan Seared Bone-In Ribeye made from Artisan Farm AAA ribeye with fresh sautéed thyme, shallots and chef’s steak sauce was a home run.

From their sweet brunch items to their Frosted Classic Milkshakes, Recess has plenty of tasty treats to satisfy any sweet tooth. Craving pancakes for dessert? Anything goes at Recess. The comfortingly classic Chocolate Chip Pancakes with a fried banana were divine, while the thinner, German-Inspired Giant-Baby Apfel Pfannkuchen truly hit the spot. Recess Diner and Fountain gets good grades for celebrating and elevating Americana-style classics, making us want to go back to school (just so we can have a taste of recess again).