The top 10 neighbourhoods for brunch in Toronto
Brunch in Toronto is a favourite weekend ritual. But while many pockets of the city have a popular option for pancakes and eggs, only a few have such a bountiful selection of restaurants that the neighbourhood itself is a brunch destination in its own right.
Here are my picks for the top neighbourhoods for brunch in Toronto.
St. Clair West
Emma's Country Kitchen, an old staple, serves up deceivingly simple and impossibly delicious brunch favourites. Further east, Stockyards is considered legendary. If you're extra nice, they may agree to make you an off-the-menu chicken-fried breakfast burger. And don't forget about the ever popular Starving Artist, which specializes in brunch items that come with waffles instead of bread.
You may not think of the Annex as much of a brunch mecca - but you just need to get off of Bloor. On Harbord, take your pick from Harvest Kitchen, Rasa and THR&Co. Get prepared to line-up on Dupont to get into perennially packed destinations Rose and Sons and Fanny Chadwick's. Don't let warm weather pass without trying the BBQ brunch at Big Crow's cottage-inspired back patio.
For dishes that incorporate crazy good barbecue head to Barque. The Ace serves up classic brunch staples with a few tex-mex dishes thrown in for good measure. If you'd rather have the real deal when it comes to Latin flavours, grab a seat at La Cubana. The Westerly is where to go to dig into a smoked brisket hash and further south Cardinal Rule offers up plenty of gluten-free and vegan fare.
Among the many condo buildings that have sprouted in Liberty Village are two restaurants very important to the brunch culture of Toronto: School and Mildred's Temple Kitchen. Go to Mildred's on a Sunday, have the impossibly fluffy, blueberry pancakes and be happy. At School, expect to clog your arteries with decadent hash brown poutine and 12-hour braised pork with eggs.
Aunties and Uncles comes with a wait given its reputation as one of Toronto's best brunch spots. Craving huevos rancheros? Try the offerings at Easy Restaurant. For a unique brunch Takht-e Tavoos serves up Persian inspired eats. Like great coffee and booze with your breakfast? Voodoo Child's got you covered. Bored of bacon and eggs? Me & Mine is always cooking up something different.
There's plenty to choose from along Dundas starting with Saving Grace's addictive brunch fare. Can't stomach the line-up? Head to Patois for Hong Kong style waffles and chicken. The Federal will serve you something boozy with your French toast. EL Ruddy does vegan, Essen a Jewish brunch, Old School killer pancakes and Gayley's Cafe will satisfy without breaking the bank.
West Queen West
West Queen West doesn't lack in much, least of all brunch spots. You can sip mimosas and have eggs benny on the patio of the Drake or head on over to The County General for something low-key. To cure your hangover, have the full English at the Bristol. Swan by Rose and Sons has brought the classic diner back to life.
The Junction Triangle
It might be small but the Junction Triangle's food scene comes to life on weekend mornings at such spots as Farmhouse Tavern which serving farm-to-table dishes. Its aptly named sister restaurant, The Farmer's Daughter, offers slightly lighter brunch fare. Wallace & Co serves indulgent all-day breakfast staples. For something sweet, try the chocolate chip pancakes with whipped cream at Hello Darling.
Leslieville and Riverside
These east side 'hoods are home to well loved brunch destinations. Prepare to wait in line at both Lady Marmalade and Bonjour Brioche. Edward's 1290 does a great brunch featuring local ingredients grown on the owner's farm. Okay Okay is the classic neighbourhood diner with pancakes the size of LPs. Ashdale, Brooklyn Tavern, Skin + Bones and Saturday Dinette are the newer kids on the block.
Looking to splurge? You can do that at Colette's lavish Sunday buffet spread. At Portland Variety and Bar Buca there's refined offerings with great baked goods and coffee. For something less traditional, try the Spanish omelette at Patria. Beast will satisfy even the most hardcore carnivore while Gusto 101 will serve you brunch on a patio with a retractable glass roof.
What's your favourite neighbourhood for brunch? Let us know in the comments.
Photo of Aunties and Uncles by Jesse Milns.
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