The top 20 new brunch in Toronto by neighbourhood
2016 was a killer year for brunch in Toronto. We’ve seen more creative and stunning options than ever over the past twelve months, from fry bread tacos to deep-fried breakfast sandwiches. Get out there and witness the loving marriage between breakfast and lunch performed so often and so well in this city.
Here are my picks for the top new brunch restaurants in Toronto by neighbourhood.
What goes better with brunch than beer? Crafty Coyote in the Annex may appear focused most heavily on a giant menu of local craft brews, but on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays they do pancakes, waffles, huevos and an eggs benny with both peameal bacon and turkey sausage.
Baddies serves up beautifully elegant hot cakes and breakfast sandwiches along with incredible coffee in a cozy Aussie-style cafe. The new fixture next to Lansdowne subway station is an already popular breath of fresh air. Just be aware, they’re closed Sundays.
The Tabule family of restaurants has been bringing class and beauty to Middle Eastern cuisine for a while now, but Souk Tabule in the Canary District is amping things up with a market or “souk” vibe and a cafe. Go for turmeric lattes, harissa caesars and sumptuous platters of dips and hot pans of shakshuka.
Sakawa Coffee promises Japanese comfort food and coffee. While they make a variety of standard and espresso-based coffee drinks as well as matcha drinks, the brunches may be more familiar to you if you’re used to Japanese cuisine. Everyone can get behind baked goods and chocolate in the morning, though!
Formerly just a catering company, recently Jack and Lil’s has opened their kitchen up on Sundays to serve a family-style brunch with South African influences that includes such dishes as township eggs, maple sausages, and crustless quiche.
Lena joins the family of businesses in Saks at the Eaton Centre this year, doing a full latin menu. Brunch items include alfajores, breakfast tortillas and breakfast empanadas with poached eggs and chimichurri, as well as grapefruit mimosas.
Dirty Food in the Junction is anything but: serving up incredible albeit casual brunches that feature a ton of items cured and pickled in-house, this place is a real find in this cute neighbourhood. Discover vegan gluten-free pancakes and caesars made with beet juice along with epic fried chicken waffle sandwiches.
Love Chix prides themselves on doing a 100 kilometre breakfast with bacon steak, but since they do fried and butter chicken so well they offer brunch versions of those on their menu as well. You can also get a Station cold brew and Bailey’s or a secret mystery brunch drink.
Where can’t you go for brunch in Kensington Market? You can get almost anything for breakfast here, so Pow Wow Cafe is offering something not seen in this area before on the weekends: fry bread tacos topped with poached eggs and smoked salmon, as well as pancakes.
If hearty breakfast crepes are your thing, look no further than Crepe TO In a classy and accessible environment crepes with fillings like veggies and salami with egg scrambled right onto the crepe on the griddle are served up along with fresh-squeezed cane juice.
Clubby restaurant Lavelle is probably best known for having a rooftop pool, but in snowy Canada it’s year-round brunch that’s more reliable. Cocoa nib waffles, duck hash, oysters and French toast are as jaw-dropping as the view.
You might not assume a great new Mexican restaurant would have opened in Koreatown this past year, but that’s exactly what happened. Creamy guacamole and cocktails shine at Los Guaca-Moles, and for brunch they’ve got huevos divorciados, burrito de huevos, chilaquiles, and enchiladas con mole filled with scrambled eggs and bacon.
If you like your eggs with a little rock n’ roll on the side, Janie Jones is the place to grab a vindaloo caesar in this Brits-on-holiday themed, black-and-white checkerboard ska/reggae spot. They do a deep-fried breakfast sandwich on house-made crumpets, as well as potatoes layered with poached eggs, smoked salmon, and horseradish cream.
A bustling bastion of brunch options, it’s tough to choose who clinches brunch in Little Italy this year, but in terms of pure uniqueness B’saha stands out. Their Sunday brunch includes Moroccan favourites like avocado shakes, merguez torta and beghrir semolina pancakes.
Another pub out to prove breakfast goes great with beer is The Belsize. They serve a limited menu of a standard breakfast and a meat or veggie eggs benny, but with a great kitchen pumping out elevated pub food the rest of the time and a cold craft beer in your hand, it’s a no-fail option.
Longstanding diner Harry’s has been open for decades, but was recently revamped by the Grant van Gameren team. The place is as diner-y as ever with the most basic of cocktails, beers, burgers, and breakfasts, but the details have been tightened up a bit with excellent corn beef hash, green chorizo burgers and breakfast burgers, and avocado toast.
Springing up along with a bunch of other restaurants in the Queen and Broadview area, White Lily Diner is run by the folks who have a hand in Pusateri’s and Grand Electric. Serving up a range of patty melts, English breakfasts with house sausage, and DIY mimosas, not to mention fresh baked pastries like donuts and lemon tarts.
Emma’s Country Kitchen has been open for a while west of Oakwood on St. Clair, but they’ve recently moved into much roomier digs further east. They still do the same classic biscuits and gravy and oatmeal as well as their famous baked goods including donuts.
Also technically just an old spot in a new location, Jules Bistro is still serving up French comfort classics but now in a new space at Queen and Shaw. They do croques both madame and monsieur as well as a quiche of the day and a breakfast cassoulet.
If smoothies, cold-pressed juices, and clean plant-based eats are your jam when it comes to brunch, go chill in bright and classy Planta, sure to fill you with get up and go. Banana pancakes, tofu scramble, carrot lox, and crab cake benny reign supreme here.
Hector Vasquez at White Lily Diner
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