A highly contested topic, the best brunch in Toronto is often a source for argument on a hazy weekend morning. With local favourites and hidden gems thrown into the mix, the refueling power of a proper brunch seems to take on greater importance than the standard meal. A tried and true classic of bacon and eggs, hearty toast and a bevvy of fixings have their merits, but there are lots of new brunch notables that are pushing the boundaries of tradition.
Don’t bother getting in a tizzy with your pals over which brunch standard to devour after a hard night on the drink. In fact, why not try something new for a change? This alphabetized assembly of relative babies and old souls on the brunch scene will surely make your tummy rumble – or cure your gastrointestinal grumblings. Either way, we’re sure you’ll enjoy them just as much as we do!
Aunties & Uncles
All breakfast, every day. Aunties has been voted the best brekkie and brunch by several Toronto publications, and that’s not even the reason they make our list. While they’ve been around since ’98, if you haven’t tried favourites like their breakfast pocket, or the otherworldly grilled brie on challah with pear chutney and walnuts, it’ll be both new and exceedingly noshworthy.
Another spot that’s closed before suppertime, Bonjour Brioche is amongst the most exceptional East End spots for savoury and sweet. This cute French bakery has fresh quiches, omelettes and tarts on special every day, and there’s always something hot coming out of the oven.
Sunday brunch is a fairly new addition to the College Street taco shop, but it’s also one of the more untraditional options in Toronto. Tantalizing meat combos like roasted pork belly with arbol lime hollandaise sauce and chicharon, chorizo with spicy maple syrup and lamb with habanero sauce make La Cartina a great choice for la carnivore in all of us.
Served on Saturday and Sunday, like much of the Cheesewerks menu their brunch is not without its quirks. Their unique offerings are a thing of mystery, with varying combinations of ingredients included in their baked brunch or daily benny. One standard that always satisfies is their outrageously good chicken egg cheddar waffles served with guacamole and chipotle.
A cultural hotbed in Toronto, The Drake’s culinary prowess is also admirable. The prefect spot to help you remember your night (maybe because you left one of their parties only hours before, or because of their awesome early-bird cocktail list) if you find yourself in a food coma afterwards, you can always just grab a room upstairs.
Toronto’s longest running diner, The Lakeview is a haven of affordability and a deathtrap for the indecisive. I’m not sure which is larger, their menu or their portion sizes. At least at $3-per, their mimosas and classic Caesars are always an easy decision. Mind the fact that while they’re open 24-hours a day, you might find yourself waiting to grab a seat.
A trendy little spot on Church Street, Lola’s Kitchen just recently started their dinner service, but their roots are entirely brunch based. Always fresh and incredibly friendly, the good folks at Lola’s will treat you and your eating preferences properly – almost everything can be made veggie, and there are vegan and gluten free options on offer.
Queen & Beaver
This British style pub knows what they’re doing when it comes to brunch. With old English classics as well as some hearty seasonal assortments, they’ve always got something interesting on tap… aside from just the beer. Try some of their house-smoked salmon or dig into their earthy rabbit and potato pie.
Rose & Sons
Chef and owner Anthony Rose – a graduate of The Drake kitchen – describes his baby as comfort food with lots of loving, and we’ve got no shortage of love when it comes to what they do. Frying up the goods with lots of schmaltz, the artery obstructing eats are off the flavour charts! Their patty melt, between grilled cheese kimmel rye is amongst the best burgers in Toronto.
One of the newer inclusions on the Ossington strip, The Saint is aptly named – their food is freakin’ heavenly! Their weekend brunch menu is one that you read, and soon think to yourself, I could enjoy every single thing on here. Personal favourites are the poached eggs with prosciutto wrapped asparagus, and pretty much anything accompanying the maple bourbon bacon.
Le Sélect Bistro
One of the finest French brunches in town, from one of the finest French bistro’s around. There’s little to scoff at on the Le Sélect brunch menu. There are standard classics, of course, but the entree menu is where it’s at. Note: seared fresh foi gras on thin french toast with lardons, pears flambé in Brandy and a fig compote, served with an egg en cocotte and Port maple sauce – now that’s a mouthful to marvel over!
The menu isn’t large, but you’ll be feeling just a little lethargic after sampling this Church Street restaurant’s brunch. Their offerings are elegant, interesting and always well prepared. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, try out their challah French toast with blueberries and caramelized bananas. And always, always, always order up the house-made scones!
The brunch selection at La Société is as large as it is lavish. Ultra luxe options like their seafood towers and AAA dry aged steaks seem to trump the more modest sandwiches and benedicts. That being said, if you’re all-in to go all-out. this is the spot.
Known for their exceptional cocktails and game-focused menu, the Weslodge brunch doesn’t stray far from its roots. Bison pastrami, provimi schnitzel and lamb bacon – if you’re a meat lover like we are, there’s little need to say more. How ’bout, just go!
As tastes tend to evolve, so could this list. If you’ve got a favourite brunch place to stuff your face, let us in on the info!
Image courtesy of La Société’s Facebook page.