The top 10 early morning brunch restaurants in Toronto
Early brunch in Toronto might be an oxymoron (or more plainly, it might just be breakfast), but it's not exactly nonexistent. Sure, some might argue that brunch involves booze, which makes even the concept of an early brunch negligible - I, however, am happy to argue that "brunch" is a verb, something we Torontonians like to do on weekends. Or in the very least, it can be defined as a menu that offers both breakfast and lunch on one page.
Here are my top picks for early brunching (see, it is a verb), so that next time you find yourself trying to get an early start, you'll need not endure a torturous wait 'til 11am for some french toast or eggs.
See also: The best 24 hour restaurants in Toronto
Brunch is the forte of this popular spot on the east side and is available from 8am on making it a magnet for early risers. The menu encompasses both sweet selections like fruit parfaits and baked french toast, as well as savoury options like cheddar and spinach waffles and a crepe croque monsieur.
Skip the lineup at this French bakery cafe on the east side by taking advantage of their 8am start time. Here the early birds get first pick from the selection of fresh baked goods on display, or can opt for sandwiches on ultra-fresh baguettes, tarts, quiches by the wedge, and other eggy morning standards.
Tucked into a sleepy residential stretch of Dovercourt, this Beaconsfield Village cafe opens daily at 8:30am to appease early-waking locals. The menu offers selections like pancakes, breakfast burritos and bennies.
In midtown, this over-the-top eatery runs its brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 8:30am to 2pm. The weekend menu might start early, but it's considerably more indulgent then the regular weekday offerings. Choices include fluffy chocolate chip pancakes, steak 'n' eggs, and most notably, an egg and cheese breakwich that's stuffed into a fresh, house-made doughnut.
The location on St. Clair is home to an astounding assortment of Parisian pastries, croissants and baguettes which are available at their freshest at 8am each morning. Order a croque monsieur, or the namesake pain perdu with frothy cafe au lait in a bowl, and you've got yourself a recipe for a perfect start to any weekend.
George Street Diner
This fire engine red diner operates weekdays from 7:30am and on weekends from 8:30am dishing out classic Irish breakfasts, frittatas and tall stacks to the morning crowd. Situated just a short walk from St. Lawrence Market, this is an ideal spot to start a Sunday of antiquing.
Lazy Daisy's Cafe
While breakfast is available weekdays from 8am and Saturdays from 8:30am, it's the Sunday brunch (also commencing at 8:30am) that could be reason enough to drag yourself out of bed. The cafe in Little India makes a pretty mean espresso - and better still, bakes its own pastries from scratch and prides itself on making big breakfasts from all-natural, locally sourced ingredients, like free-run eggs and mennonite sausage.
Boom Breakfast & Co.
This brunch specialist boasts four locations in the GTA where you can get an early start, though the College St. outpost is open the earliest, slinging eggs and bacon daily from 6am on. Here, the menu doesn't discriminate between breakfast and lunch - thoughout the day, you'll find sweet and savoury fare from waffles and omelettes to salads, sandwiches and burgers.
Brunch is served at all hours of the day at this 24-hour joint on Dundas at Ossington. Being a notch above most diners means you're not limited to greasy spoon options, either (though those are available, too). On the menu you'll find nine types of eggs benedict, as well as Montreal bagels with lox and stacks of maple syrup-smothered buttermilk pancakes.
Located on Victoria St. just behind Yonge and Dundas Square, this retro diner serves brunch on weekends between 8am and 2:30pm. The menu offers all the typical breakfast foods like fluffy pancakes and bennies, though you'll also find comfort foods like cobb salad or macaroni and cheese.
Did I miss any? Leave your favourite restaurants that serve early brunch in the comments. Photo of Luna Cafe by Jesse Milns.