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Best of Toronto

The Best New Brunch Restaurants in Toronto, 2011

Posted by Robyn Urback / January 6, 2012

Best Brunch Toronto 2011The best new brunch restaurants in Toronto carry on the glorious tradition of finding bigger and better things to do with hollandaise. With so many brunch options in the city already, the best of the new offerings have to get more creative than the typical bacon and eggs. For some restaurants that means adding a little pumpkin spice to their waffles or frying up a duck hash, and for more than a few it translates to whipping up their own ketchup and preserves.

The stars of the Toronto brunch scene — that is, the Mitzi's, the Lady Marmalades, the Edward Levesque's — have built loyal followings based on their unique twists on classics, balance of sweet and savoury options, and solid reputations for plain good food, and the best of the newbies all seem to place priority on these same qualities. That and great hollandaise, but that goes without saying. Here is the list of the best brunch restaurants that opened in 2011.

See also:

The Best New Brunch Restaurants in Toronto, 2010
The Best Brunch in Toronto

County General

County General

Rustic, cozy, and offering fried chicken thigh sandwiches for brunch. It’s no wonder Country General garnered a regular weekend brunch wait list almost immediately after opening in October. Brunch highlights include homemade smoked ketchup, Croque Madame, and the occasional server willing to sling cowboy talk. More »

The Ace

The Ace

The Ace on Roncesvalles finally got its revival late 2011, and hungry patrons celebrated with cheddar biscuits and Huevos Rancheros. A long way (but not too far) from its original diner glory, the revamped restaurant went with a classic, comfort food brunch of steel-cut oats, eggs, French toast, and homefries. More »

Barque Smokehouse

Barque Smokehouse

I’m fairly sure Barque Smokehouse became so popular so quickly in large part because of its Bacon Caesar cocktail. So simple, so genius, and so perfect for a leisurely midday Sunday meal. Unfortunately, Barque Smokehouse, like others on this list, has been thoroughly discovered, but its Barque Benedict with smoked brisket and BBQ hollandaise make it worth the inevitable wait. More »

L’Ouvrier

L’Ouvrier

L’Ouvrier took brunch to a slightly hoity-er place during the fall of 2011 with its menu of homemade scones and creme fraiche, oysters and horseradish, yogurt and wildflower honey. Still, the Dundas West restaurant managed to appeal to the comfort-food-fans too, with its fried egg sandwiches, classic French toast, and BLT. Brunch enthusiast of all creeds, alas, were catered to and content. More »

Smith

Smith

Those mourning the loss of Straight Lounge were appeased Summer 2011 with sheep ricotta pancakes and French toast with caramelized bananas. All else at Smith brunch is pretty much straight-up (not a pun) comfort food, with waffles, omelettes, eggs benny and Huevos all on the menu. It’s no spinning party, but it works. More »

Fabarnak

Fabarnak

Yes, it’s in a community centre, but don’t confuse what you’ll get here with a typical cafeteria brunch. (Do cafeterias serve brunch, anyway?) With head chef Eric Wood at the helm, unique flavours are combined to make maple-bourbon pears to go with your pancakes, shrimp and sausage grits for your eggs, and free cinnamon custard for just about everything. While the menu may be leagues above what you’ll find in any old community centre, the prices, fortunately, are not. More »

Fanny Chadwick’s

Fanny Chadwick’s

An ethical brunch, and tasty at that. Fanny Chadwick’s hasn’t been shy about letting people know about its local sourcing and hormone-free meats, though most customers seem more taken with its build-your-own-benny brunch option. Almost everything at Fanny Chadwick’s is natural and homemade, right down to the ketchup for the hash and the marshmallow for the hot chocolate. More »

The Good Fork

The Good Fork

A risky move, perhaps, to open right by Bloor Jane Restaurant, but The Good Fork won over Bloor West Villagers with its menu of unique brunch options. The Good Fork’s French toast croissants, pumpkin spiced waffles, and deep fried poached eggs are among its can’t-find-just-anywhere-options, and with two floors of seating, the risk of an excessive wait is a much reduced. More »

Discussion

22 Comments

scooby / January 6, 2012 at 11:14 am
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interesting that fanny chadwicks makes the list even though both the BlogTo review as well as the comments seem to suggest this place is mediocre, over-priced and has crap service. um...one of the best new brunch spots in toronto? come on now...
Bloor West-er / January 6, 2012 at 11:33 am
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The Good Fork is below average. Check out their Yelp reviews! This year must have been really short on new brunch restaurant openings for this to make the list.
EthicalAnthropocentrism / January 6, 2012 at 11:39 am
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Re: Fanny's, "An ethical brunch"? At the place that has no vegetarian options and vegans are told to steer clear? Right, because the greatest ethical problems are, after all, hormones and transport, not that whole slaughtering sentient beings thing.
JuliaBee / January 6, 2012 at 01:11 pm
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Little Fish in the Junction. HANDS DOWWWNNN!
smk / January 6, 2012 at 08:38 pm
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I think you should read your own reviews before making up 'best of' lists. Fanny Chadwicks isn't even considered that great by your reviewer... Doh. Details, people, details...
Candace / January 6, 2012 at 10:16 pm
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Who said you have to pay $12+ for good brunch?
James Cantor replying to a comment from scooby / January 7, 2012 at 03:55 pm
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Personally, I've enjoyed Fanny Chadwick's each of the several times I've been there, and I think it was the original review that was in error. The interesting homemade sausages are a don't miss, and the breakfast cocktails are unusual and fun.

It's been open a while now, and there still lines out the door, suggesting I'm not alone.
KJ / January 9, 2012 at 01:52 pm
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Whoa - clearly you've never had the brunch buffet at Whitlock's in the Beach?! It's phenom.
Garth / January 11, 2012 at 02:39 pm
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I have had brunch at Fanny Chadwick's often and it's the best I've had anywhere!
When I click on the "More" button on your blog to read more on Fanny Chadwick's it takes me to a review that was written almost a year ago which was two weeks after the restaurant opened.
I agree they had some service hiccups and even some recipes to perfect when the place first opened but BELEIVE ME, it's waaaay better now and definitely not deserving of the review that "More" button points to.
GM
SDynamo / January 21, 2012 at 10:03 am
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Fanny Chadwicks? Not sure how this list gets compiled but, really? I've been to most of the above mentioned- great concept..but the service was as bad as the food..I didn't even finish my meal there..neither did my bro-inlaw who lives in the area and eats anything/everything..c'mon Blogto- did you re-review this place? While I applaud their efforts in opening this little neighbourhood joint- they need re-examine a few things.
Kate CH / January 22, 2012 at 06:20 pm
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I would disagree...in all honesty even a Milestones brunch greatly surpasses "The County General". My eggs benny was served on a wooden cutting board, which made the runny eggs (not poached) an absolute mess. The salad was bland and in huge pieces that had to be cut with a knife and fork. The toast on which my eggs arrived was burnt and thin. I ended up getting the avocado chutney to add some taste to it all. Was there Hollandaise sauce? Don't even remember, it was just a mess. Not thrilled about spending $35 on eggs benny and a mimosa that left me wanting much, much more.
Brunch of Crap / May 18, 2012 at 11:06 pm
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Terrible list!!! Most great places are missing and that is probably best for me! Go line up at County - it sucks! The Ace??? HAHAHA
PM / June 8, 2012 at 05:15 pm
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listen I never post on here, I hate eating breakfast and despise brunch, but the banana bread french toast at County General was the best damn thing I've ever eaten. hell i licked the cutting board it was served on and I'm not ashamed to admit it
Chow Hound GTA / July 14, 2012 at 11:52 am
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All I really want to know is... are any of these brunch spot adept at creating a mouthwatering eggs benedict? You know, without "eggy" smelling hollandaise sauce, or strange bread on the bottom?
Cosplay / September 26, 2012 at 10:35 am
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I think you should read your own reviews before making up 'best of' lists. Fanny Chadwicks isn't even considered that great by your reviewer... Doh. Details, people, details...
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