For Brunch

A hardcore tradition of any self-respecting North American city

Bruch is an institution in Toronto largely driven by neighbourhood. The chances of you dragging your butt to Leslieville from the West End to stand in an hour-long line at 11 AM are pretty slim.  Let’s face it–you’re probably going to head down the street to the place you always go. Then again, if you ever find yourself on someone’s else’s turf, here’s a list of places you should give a try, even if it’s just for another Eggs Benny. A good brunch place should provide something interesting, and be fun, without being stupid. Bonus points if they can manage an efficient and generally stress-free line. Average price between $18-25 a person (without mimosas).

Tried and True:

  1. Cafe Belong: It’s a little out of the way, but if you are willing to drive out to Evergreen Brickworks, Chef Brad Long has done something incredible with this place and I can guarantee you won’t regret the trip. 
  2. Bar Buca: You can’t go wrong with any of Rob Gentile’s Bucas. You’ll have a great time at this King St West spot.
  3. Takht-e Tavoos: Persian bread and eggs, and some chai to go with it.
  4. The Tempered Room: Bertrand Alepée is a pastry genius and his French bakery has a fantastic selection of baked goods.
  5. Lil Baci: This serious Italian restaurant also takes their brunch pizzas seriously. Located in Davisville and Leslieville.
  6. Saving Grace: The biggest problem with this place is that it’s almost impossible to get in with the small space and big lines, but the food is great. Their coffee is not as good as their food.
  7. La Cubana: It’s not about the brunch so much as it is about eating a giant plate of awesome paired with a side of fried plantains that makes this place a solid choice for “brunch”.
  8. Aunties and Uncles: Everyone loves the simplicity of this place and the breakfast burger is always on point.
  9. Emma’s Country Kitchen: Definitely not fancy, but they have been holding onto their classic breakfast items (and doughnuts) for many years, and are still going strong.
  10. Farmhouse Tavern: This country-chic establishment is more or less what people are usually looking for when they’re looking for a hearty brunch experience. 
  11. Mildred’s Temple Kitchen: An excellent Liberty Village choice.
  12. Fiorentina: A very cute spot on the Danforth featuring local fare and lots of fresh pastries. Would rank hire if it wasn’t for the hit-or-miss service.
  13. White Brick Kitchen: It’s chic and simple, and the food equally so. A very un-Korean option in Koreantown.
  14. Lola’s Kitchen: Great options for vegetarians and the generally health-conscious who also enjoy an occasional mimosa.

Honourable Mentions:

  1. Smith: Although this place used to be my number 1, the scones have gotten a lot smaller and the fall of their sister restaurant House Maison has caused a bit of a decline in my love. However, their cute backyard patio makes up for so much. 
  2. FARMR: This is a new and very laid back Esplanade restaurant, serving farm-to-table classics and endless Pilot coffee. No servers, just tables and a bunch of friendly people behind the counter.
  3. Bonjour Brioche: When you’re in the mood for a simple pain au chocolat, this place will hit the spot. However, they’ve been in business so long that the quality isn’t as great as it once was. I would only recommend it if you are in the neighbourhood.
  4. The Stockyards: Good for chicken and waffles and anything Southern.
  5. Chadwick’s: I used to love Fanny Chadwick’s, but have not been back since their revamp, but am optimistic.
  6. Starving Artist: The one on St Clair is a super-comfortable open space for waffles, and has space to spare.
  7. Earls King St: This is not an amazing spot for brunch, but I recently discovered that they have a brunch “Happy Hour” which means that all their brunch menu items are only $9 and drinks are only $5 during 11AM-12PM. It’s a very good deal if you can’t think of anywhere else to go, and guaranteed line free.

On my Radar:     

  1. Maha’s: “Food made 5000 years ago, served 5000 years later”. Can’t wait to visit this Egyptian brunch spot.
  2. Cafe Cancan: Chef Victor Barry’s interpretation of a French Bistro? Sounds good to me.
  3. Jack and Lil’s: A South African driven communal atmosphere with a lot of healthy options.

Note: Bareburger, The Saint Tavern, and L’Ouvrier are all now closed! The Carbon Bar has also stopped offering brunch. So long, former favourite brunch spots.

Last Updated: October 2018