What’s on the menu at Lazy Daisy’s, the east-end brunch institution that’s now doing dinner
Hello, smash burgers on biscuits
Lazy Daisy’s is the namesake of an especially lazy cow with whom Dawn Chapman became acquainted as a child at her family farm. Chapman fondly recalls reading under an apple tree while Daisy grazed nearby. But the restaurant’s name is more than a callback to her pastoral upbringing—it underpins the ethos of this neighbourhood staple. The vibe is laid-back and cheery, the food wouldn’t be out of place in a farmhouse kitchen, and the animal products are local, responsibly sourced and hormone-free.
Chapman made her mark on the city’s food scene with the perfect buttermilk biscuits that form the base of Lazy Daisy’s myriad breakfast sandwiches. Until this month, Daisy’s was solely a breakfast and brunch operation. But, riding the energy of a major post-pandemic renovation, Chapman decided to expand the menu, including delectable new dinner features like a biscuit-based smash burger. The dinner menu is for takeout and delivery only, but guests can also take their orders to the restaurant’s patio, weather permitting.
This is unpretentious down-home cooking with deep roots and premium ingredients. Lazy Daisy’s biscuits are still the star of the show, now subbing for burger buns in remarkably juicy smash burgers topped with accoutrements like Mennonite-smoked bacon, house bread-and-butter pickles (made using a recipe courtesy of Chapman’s grandmother) and roasted portobello mushrooms. There’s also fried chicken and waffles—including an option that comes finished with a helping of mac and cheese. Desserts are nostalgic favourites like butter tarts and Rice Krispie Nanaimo bars.
The patio is licensed, so guests can enjoy their biscuit burgers with beer from Left Field or Muddy York. Of they can fancy up their fried chicken and waffles with a Ward 5 Brut Blanc from PEC’s Nicholas Pearce. For the record, fried chicken goes brilliantly with bubbly. There are also fruity refreshers (peach, mango, or raspberry purée and sparkling water over ice), local soft drinks and fresh-squeezed orange juice.
The indoor restaurant is closed for dinner, but the patio—painted in green, pink and yellow—is just as cheery as the dining room. Featuring picnic tables painted with giant daisies, grass-and-flower wall art and plenty of shade, it feels like a little oasis on busy Gerrard.