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The Federal: Dining In on Comfort Food

by Lisa Sit

From the sauciest egg sandwich to the cheesiest mac & cheese, The Federal satisfies your hunger in the comfiest ways possible at an affordable price. I’ve been here on a couple of occasions and I always recommend it to my friends—it is affordable and filling, brunch or dinner.   


If I could describe The Federal’s brunch in a couple of words, it’d be: filling, bustling and freelancer-galore.

Brunch is offered from 9am to 3pm, every day. Brunch is typically a meal that is offered on weekends, so it’s nice to have the opportunity to eat brunch on a weekday when most people are working. But don’t be fooled, weekend or weekday, it can get busy—who would’ve thought? I came for brunch with my best friend on a Thursday afternoon and there was only one table left – the table right in front of the door. Both starving, we didn’t want to wait for a less-out-of-the-way seat and took it. Seeing that it was a week day (Thursday), I was expecting it to be quieter but it was the exact opposite. 

The Federal's breakfast brunch menu.

Their menu offers a variety of healthy and semi-healthy food. You can choose from lighter or heavier dishes, and almost all the options can be vegetarian with a couple that are gluten-free. 

A vegetarian omelette with side of hash browns and salad.
An eggs benedict covered in hollandaise sauce and mushrooms, with a side of salad and hash.

We ordered a vegetarian omelette and eggs federal.  The omelette was a good mixture of heart healthy ingredients. It came with a side salad and potato rosti (like hash).  The eggs federal with kale substitute was my favourite. The tarragon cream was the icing to this cake.   


Once you have had their brunch, you’ll notice the the slight similarities in their dinner. Personally, I prefer their dinner because of the mac and cheese—my favourite comfort meal!

I came here on the Saturday night for date night with Hammad and it couldn’t have been anymore perfect for us. I think we totally lucked out. We reserved a seat by the window so that I could use the natural lighting for my pictures, and the seat actually turned out to be the perfect date night spot. It’s nudged in the corner at the front of the restaurant between the window and wall – enough space for a table for two. With the speakers facing the rest of the restaurant, the music wasn’t blasting over our conversation which my boyfriend appreciated as I have a very soft voice (even when I’m yelling, seriously).  

As important it was for us to dine at a local restaurant, it was this menu that won us over – comfort food at an affordable price. We knew that The Federal had a good crowd but surprisingly, for majority of our dinner it was only Hammad and I – it’s like we had the whole little restaurant to ourselves.

Fresh orange juice mason cup.

Their menu serves a selection alcoholic drinks, but we decided to forgo it as we had plans to hit the Drake afterwards. Hammad ordered a Mexican coke and I ordered a freshly squeezed tangerine juice. It was pretty humid outside so these drinks were very refreshing.   

For our dinner, we went super comfort: deep fried chicken for him, Mac and cheese for me and a starter of animal fries. 

Animal fries covered in cheese and sauteed onions.

The animal fries were curly fries topped with sauteed onion, cheese and more cheese. The curly fries brought me way back to my university days when I used to get them at the campus pub with my friends. It was nostalgic eating these! They weren’t extremely filling, so it was a nice appetizer to munch on. 

Fried chicken and waffles with a side of avocado, pickled salad and pickles.

His fried chicken was steaming hot, moist and crunchy. Freshly made written all over it. There was a good serving size of chicken considering the price,  $14 with a side of fries (he loves fries).

Mac and cheese.

My mac and cheese was amazingly cheesy. I probably would’ve been content with sharing this dish considering the serving size and how heavy cheese and pasta can get. I did notice a piece of what I thought was hair half way through my pasta and brought it up to the kitchen. The kitchen felt it may have been a strand of cloth from their towel. No matter what it was, I lost my appetite so I stopped eating, but it was probably a good thing because if I didn’t, I would’ve definitely overate. They discounted my pasta to compensate for the foreign object in my food.   

Even with the mishap during dinner, I wouldn’t hesitate to go back. The food is well priced and delicious and the service was great. Another go-to neighbourhood restaurant to add to my list!   

Neighbourhood: Dundas West

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