Steve’s Open Kitchen 149 James Street South

It was high time I try out a new breakfast spot in the city. I was downtown for some errands and it was an opportune time to stop into Steve’s Open Kitchen, a place that came recommended when I first started making a list of breakfast food in Hamilton.


Steve’s has an authentic diner feel. The black and white checkered floor, red booths, stools, and countertop were all a welcomed sight after stepping in from the chilly winter wind. You could tell it’s the type of spot that has a lot of regulars. It was early but the place was already bustling.

The diner has been a staple to the street since 1975, and you can feel that history. The walls are lined with old photos of classic Hamilton landmarks and buildings. I enjoyed looking at them all and feeling nostalgic about a city that was before my time.


They have a varied menu of breakfast classics – combos, eggs benny, pancakes, and more, as well as light breakfast options. There were also so many omelettes that sounded delicious – Western, Spanish, The Denver, The Greek – that I’ll have to try one next time.

When I spotted the Apple Cinnamon pancakes, I knew that was the winner! They were three huge, fluffy pancakes that were filled with bits of juicy apple and lots of cinnamon. It was only made better with a few generous dollops of maple syrup.

Breakfast is served all day (which I always appreciate) and there is a lunch menu that I will have dig into another time.

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes
Apple Cinnamon Pancakes
The Classic
The Classic

After chatting with our waitress, I learned she has been at Steve’s for eleven years and that Steve’s son Nick runs the Kitchen now. Steve is still around and drops in from time to time.

Breakfast really is the best meal of the day and I will continue my quest to track it down in the Hammer!

– Kristin

Steve's Open Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (, where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing a social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

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