The top 10 cafes that serve brunch in Toronto
The top cafes that serve brunch in Toronto are perfect for those who give food and drink equal weight in their weekend rituals. Knowing of a cafe equipped with a well-stocked kitchen can save you from subsisting on bottomless drip coffee (that can wreak havoc on your not-yet-fortified tummy). Here's a list of places where you can have it all; superbly crafted espressos along with eggs, waffles, pancakes and the rest.
Here are my picks for the top cafes that serve brunch in Toronto.
This cafe on College is a daily destination to get that first caffeine fix, and on weekdays, you'll find sandwiches, croissants and bagels on the menu. Weekends are another story - brunch starts at 10am, and while the menu is limited to just three selections, it's always changing, so it's hard to get bored. The offerings generally include an omelette or some sort of eggy fare, plus something sweet like pancakes or french toast. The last option usually gets inventive, with recent selections including bibimbap, smoked salmon tartare, or wieners on a bun (featuring Sanagan's breakfast sausages).
This Cabbagetown cafe pairs its lineup of Pilot blends brunch menu with various bennies ($10.50-$13.50), waffles ($11.50) and huevos rancheros ($11.50). Vegans and vegetarians will find tofu substitutes ready to accommodate, but for those without restrictions, I recommend the scones ($5.50) with butter, jam and devon cream. Their brunch menu is served weekends from 9am to 3pm.
Brunch starts at 8:30am on Saturdays and at 9am on Sundays and goes until 2pm at this cafe just west of Little India. While breakfast sandwiches ($6) are a tempting to-gooffering, on weekends the menu will encourage you to linger over berry or banana waffles ($10) and hangover-helping plates like the Mason's breakfast ($12) that sees a savoury, chive-studded waffle served with pulled rotisserie-cooked chicken, mashed potatoes, strip bacon and gravy.
Served 10am to 3pm on weekends, this Roncesvalles Village coffee house offers a full menu for brunch. Expect to find morning staples like eggs benny ($11-$15), breakfast burritos ($9-$12), sweet and savoury crepes ($9-$11) and waffles ($10-$15) to go along with coffees from Classic Gourmet in Concord.
Hub Coffee House & Locavorium
Recently relocated from Shaw to a new address on Dovercourt, the Hub serves brunch on Sundays only from 9am to 2pm. While Dark City coffees are a big enough draw throughout the week, expect the Sunday menu to satisfy substantial appetites with features like eggs benedict ($11) and huevos rancheros ($12), as well as more unusual offerings like eggs Angkor ($12) - a Cambodian-inspired cashew, coconut cream, lime and kefir curry over poached eggs.
While the cafe's three Toronto locations are known for top-notch espressos, at the Danforth outpost, you'll also find brunch offered on weekends. Chef Josh Charbonneau has converted an under utilized back room into a kitchen to offer breakfast burritos ($6) weekround and a full brunch menu on the weekends. Expect to find poached eggs in "benny form" on top of roast pork loin and buttermilk waffles ($13), as well as in huevos rancheros ($12) served with house-made salsa rojas, baked black beans and corn tortillas.
Scout and Cash
Replacing the beloved brunch spot The Bristol Yard, this newly-opened neighbourhood cafe offers a concise brunch menu on weekends that helps to fill the void left behind. While the selections are limited, there's a little something for everyone including all-time faves like French toast ($11.75), eggs florentine ($13) and three-egg omelettes ($14).
This bakery cafe at Spadina and Richmond might be best known for its delicious cookies and walk-up lunch counter, though on weekends they're happy to bring brunch to your table. From 9am to 3pm, expect to find a rotating menu featuring delectable lemon ricotta pancakes ($11.16), creme brulee French toast, ($11.16) or huevos chilaquiles ($10).
Atlas Espresso Bar
On Front, this coffee house offers some surprisingly varied and creative daily food specials. While brunch is on hiatus for the rest of the summer, you'll find chef Dale Fraser there most weekends whipping up off-the-cuff menus that have, in recent months, featured dishes like chicken and waffles or build-your-own omelettes, all generally priced around the $10 mark (including a coffee).
Lazy Daisy Cafe
This busy Little India cafe offers an extensive list of chow to be enjoyed while sipping lattes. Select from indulgent options like marscapone stuffed challah french toast ($13), or try the very reasonably-priced breakfast, the Ultimate ($8), which comes with Mennonite sausage, a fried egg, melted cheddar and apple butter stacked on a buttery breakfast biscuit. Their brunches are served exclusively on Sundays from 8:30am to 2:30pm.
Did I miss any? Leave your favourite cafe that serves weekend brunch in the comments.
Photo of Voodoo Child by Jesse Milns.