HIDDEN GEM: John’s Breakfast and Lunch

When Anita Ly speaks about her parents, she effuses pride for the hard work and dedication they’ve shown in creating a legacy in business and in their family.
John and Wendy Ly own John’s Breakfast and Lunch on 4th St. N.W. — a small diner specializing in… well… breakfast and lunch… with a side of gourmet ice cream — but we’ll get to that. John’s place is at the grill, whipping up delicious breakfast bowls, sandwiches and, of course, some classic Chinese dishes that speak to John’s own journey behind the grill. Anita says while her father began his Canadian journey at a print shop in Saskatoon, it wasn’t long before he found his way into the kitchen in one of the hundreds of small-town Chinese restaurants sprinkled across the prairies. Having found his calling, he and Wendy worked and saved to buy their own restaurant iin Manor, SK. where, for eight years, the family cooked classic Asian fare for area farmers. But John and Wendy are parents first and knew their kids would have more opportunity in a bigger city. So, they headed to Calgary where Anita and her brother, Jamieson, could work, go to University and start their own lives.

The couple did odd jobs for a number of years, but always wanted to get back into the restaurant business and, in 2007 they opened John’s Breakfast and Lunch. Thirteen years later, John’s is a favourite among the locals who rave about the homestyle food. We had the vegetarian benny bowl and devoured it a little faster than we’d like to admit. And, in a wonderful case of passing along a family’s passion for food, Anita and her cousin, Tiffany, have started their own venture,
MILK ice cream, which you can buy at John’s. And you should. It’s really something else.