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Eat & Drink

The top 10 early morning brunch restaurants in Toronto

Posted by Liora Ipsum / July 26, 2014

brunch torontoEarly 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

Lady Marmalade
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.

Bonjour Brioche
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.

Luna Cafe
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.

Uncle Betty's
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.

Pain Perdu
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.

The Lakeview
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.

The Senator
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.



Required / July 26, 2014 at 08:30 am
You have to be a Senator to be able to afford to eat at the Senator, zoinks!
Bonjour / July 26, 2014 at 09:06 am
The only problem with 'brunching' that early at Bonjour Brioche is that their always awesome spicy bacon avocado sandwich isn't ready yet. That's usually available after 9:30
Andrew / July 26, 2014 at 09:49 am
Dakota Tavern! Amazing brunch spot with all you can eat family style serving and live blue grass! Definitely a must!
Paul / July 26, 2014 at 10:36 am
Lady marmalade??????? Are you kidding me!!!!! That was the worst food I've ever had. Mcdonalds breakfast trumps the place....just a bunch of yuppies thinking their cool for paying top price for crappy food
Paul / July 26, 2014 at 10:41 am
People line up outside like lambs to slaughter waiting for a seat, then after they finish, their so embarrassed with themselves for paying top dollar for a poor excuse for brunch they tell everyone it was good....fools and their money soon part
WHAT? / July 26, 2014 at 11:54 am
easy on queen and roncy?
cathie / July 26, 2014 at 12:12 pm
The Lakeview is widely regarded as being pretty crappy. How about Emma's Country Kitchen on St. Clair - a much better choice.
bowah / July 26, 2014 at 12:18 pm
'Little Fish' in the Junction! Their 'Stinky Frenchman' (French toast with blue cheese and leeks) is genius.
Sooo..... / July 26, 2014 at 02:10 pm
Breakfast then?
Misled / July 26, 2014 at 07:01 pm
Lazy Daisy's does NOT open at 8am during the weekdays. I was so excited to try out their coffee, on my way to work and found out that they actually open at 9.
Don / July 27, 2014 at 03:48 pm
Come on, if it's too early its just called breakfast - Quit trying to make a hipster hangout. Doesn't sound as cool to say you went for breakfast as is does to say your going or went for brunch, OR that your #brunchingwith#...
Jeb / July 28, 2014 at 11:09 am

It's breakfast. Early morning brunch is breakfast.
the german / July 28, 2014 at 12:45 pm
You forgot Figs on queen east/ parliament
Corbin / October 25, 2014 at 07:57 am
Where is Mitzi's on Sorauren? Open every day at 7:30.
Savannah / October 25, 2014 at 12:21 pm
I agree! I have lived in Leslieville for the better part of 30 years and Lady Marmalade is very overrated. Le Petit Dejeuner on King E is quite good and a place called Ten Feet Tall was excellent (Danforth/Greenwood) but closed down :-(
foodie / October 25, 2014 at 12:49 pm
Niche Cafe on Queen W.
Zeeshan / December 28, 2014 at 09:34 am
Surprised in this multi ethnic city, nibody's offering a halal or Indian/vegetarian brunch.
S replying to a comment from Zeeshan / April 5, 2015 at 09:02 am
I have been to a ton of vegan lunches. Some have been Indian. Just google "Indian vegetarian lunch" and you'll find some results :)
Dawn Chapman replying to a comment from Misled / January 15, 2016 at 09:41 am
Hey there - Lazy Daisy's is open from 8 am on weekdays and from 8:30 am on weekends for brunch. Hope you come on back, guaranteed the door will be open at those times.
sheri / February 10, 2016 at 10:34 am
Hollandaise Diner on Danforth is open every day at 7am!
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