One of the more popular activities to do in Toronto is, well, brunch. Brunch is especially popular and rewarding social gathering after a well-spent weekend. You might have to ward off some dopey or dramatically famished people in line, but you'll be rewarded with some of the best eggs benny, fluffy waffles and bacon you've ever tasted.
Here are some of the best brunch spots in Toronto you must try at least once in your life:
The new and revamped Café Boulud brasserie takes on a slightly more relaxed and personable approach than traditional fine food French dining. Their mid-century interior decor designed from the credible Martin Brudnizki's Studio gives the space an elegant, slightly mid-century feel. I'd say their tasteful leather and tweed combo seating and use of brass as accents contribute to this aesthetic.
I have always loved the Yorkville neighbourhood, and Café Boulud really encompasses the personality of Yorkville. Their new menu is certainly more casual now compared to their previous ventures but it is still a classy and elevated version of French bistro food. Enticing menu items like Parisian Steak Tartare, Confit de Canard, Baked Alaska, and Tuna Tartare can be found here.
This sophisticated restaurant hidden away in a building on Bloor West is a high-society French bistro where Toronto A-listers go for happy hour and chic dinners. You'll catch many local Yorkvillains here dining at their regular booths with frivolous fashionistas and their vodka martinis. This restaurant certainly tells a story and gives off a cool vibe. This spot isn't exactly the vibe for a hungover Sunday but it is nonetheless a cool dining experience in Toronto. Maybe if you're lucky you'll spot a celebrity.
The French toast is a plate I thoroughly enjoy here, although it's more of a dessert than brunch food (not complaining). It pretty much tastes like a thick, chewy sandwich stuffed with rich chocolate and then dusted in a familiar icing sugar, berries, and whipped cream. It's topped with a sweet banana purée, which is what makes it decadent. The interior decor and stylish vibe of the restaurant are typically what keeps customers coming back for more. Don't overlook this spot as pretentious, it's definitely a place you should check one at least once!
This restaurant is a bit different than the above Yorkville spots — it's a mix of bright green walls with mismatched tables and antique chairs, typical of any Leslieville establishment. If you want to have some fun during brunch — give Lady Marmalade a try! It's definitely not Cora's.
They serve really cool, clean and sustainable dishes like Moroccan scrambled plates with tofu, spinach, kale, avo, and tomatoes) as well as traditionally-loved fruit crepes with granola and delicious yogurt. If you want the juicy, fulfilling stuff, you can try one of their Eggs Benedict platters because it's a meal that's meant to feel good.
Mildred's Temple Kitchen
This is one of Toronto's favourites and if you haven't been here, you've got to try it. Of course, their infamous pancakes have probably flooded your Instagram feed about a million times, but what most people don't know is that this Liberty Village spot is a restaurant by-product of the olderMildred Pierce. It was apparently a fabulous brunch spot with loyal customers and fantastic food. I've never dined there before, but if their pancakes were as awesome as Mildred's are now, I'd probably be a regular.
On Sundays, Cibo does this snazzy brunch thing where it's basically a wild AYCE operation. From 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. every Sunday, guests can eat delicious Italian food to their heart's desire. They have a salad bar, pasta station, custom pizza station, freshly-made waffles and even a giant parmesan cheese barrel with fresh fruit and other miniature baked goods.
Bottles of prosecco and rosé are all 50% off, and the AYCE menu is $35 per person. I'm not really sure when or how brunch parties became such a Toronto lifestyle, (probably the offshoot from Le Brunch at Brassai ... whenever that was introduced) but I am not complaining because I am a sucker for prosciutto.
Brunch doesn't always mean eggs benny, okay? For over thirty years, Pearl Harbourfront has whipped up delicious, award-winning dim sum with peaceful Lake Ontario as its backdrop. What's better than food + views?
One essential thing about dim sum is the lively banter and loud atmosphere. It isn't dim sum unless you go partially deaf from servers clanging on plates and teacups. At Pearl Harbourfront, expect the usual favourites: BBQ pork buns, rice noodles, Shiu Mai, shrimp dumplings, and fried tofu. They don't do this at many dim sum restaurants anymore, but Pearl Harbourfront still uses carts! All the food you order comes directly to you via carts. What's more cultural than that?
Le Petit Dejeuner
This all-day breakfast spot is famous for its fluffy Belgian waffles and Eggs Benny. Their Belgian waffles are definitely a must-try at Le Petit Dejeuner, as the owner and chef employ house preparation methods (only the best). It's kind of like how everyone says the best pizzas are the ones found in homey and personal pizzerias. It's the love that makes the food taste so good!
Their Brussel's Styled Waffles are only $7 and it is a simple treat with dollops of cream and covered in icing sugar. They are light, airy and fluffy and apparently, they don't put sugar in the actual waffles which, to me, is astounding because it tastes so good.
Figo is one of my favourite restaurants in the downtown core plainly because of its ambiance and beautiful interior decor. This Italian-inspired restaurant is contrasting because it doesn't play by the traditional Italian rules. While the pasta and pizza are great, it is their seasonal cuisine that I'm so curious about!
Figo might be one of the most pretty, delicate, and precious dining experiences in Toronto but there's nothing wrong with that. Drinking at brunch is definitely encouraged, make sure to take a look at their extensive cocktail menu or maybe just opt for the one with the pretty flower garnish.
The Stockyards Smokehouse and Larder
The Stockyards Smokehouse and Larder has been keeping customers going back for more ever since it opened. This brunch spot creates giant, juicy burgers among other meaty plates. It's definitely different to go to a smokehouse for brunch, but this spot has been winning hearts in Toronto for a very long time. This is a spot to try at least once in Toronto if you're really, really hungry.
Toronto's loveable West End hotel opened up a Commissary in 2017 and this area has become a popular hotspot for Toronto city contemporary hipsters. I'd say this restaurant is solidified as the West End neighbourhood's top choice for social gatherings and festivities. If you try the brunch here, make sure you pick up one of their Cilantro Tequila Caesars!
Cafe Fiorentina serves up local ingredients in a really dramatic and emphasized way. This restaurant is co-owned by owners Tina Leckie and Alex Chong and their baked goods counter is very impressive to the eye. Their prices are very reasonable and their plates are extremely beautiful.
A large plate of duck eggs benny accompanied with slow roasted heritage pork with a side salad or fried potatoes is only $16. They serve hearty buttermilk pancakes for only $13 and delectable, lavish plates like squash blossoms with goat cheese, shishito peppers, tomato sauce, Spanish-styled fried eggs, and prosciutto for $17.
La Palma used to be one of many cute cafes situated along Dundas West. During its construction and remodel, the new owners (Harding and Hutchison) decided to recreate the space while still preserving the hub spot that carries a little bit of everything.
This is great because the food caters to a spontaneous dining public, as their careful menu of gourmet and ready-made Italian eats are perfect for an elegant dining room and a blanket at your local park. (Trinity Bellwoods, perhaps?) It doesn't hurt that the restaurant is absolutely stunning in their pastel, airy palette.
Rose and Sons
It's not a surprise why people keep coming back to Rose and Sons. They encompass a really unique atmosphere where one can notice the affection of a sweet deli, combined with the rush of a shiny, modern vibe. This is a Toronto brunch spot where you can spot millennials dive headfirst into delicious, thick and dry-rubbed pastrami with a side of eggs and onions or whichever way you want it. Their cheesecake pancakes are quite delicious too. The recipes here don't disappoint!
Maha's Fine Egyptian Cuisine
Maha's is a popular Egyptian brunch spot in Toronto on Greenwood, just north of Gerrard. This is the kind of restaurant ambiance where it feels like you've just stepped into someone's colourful home and are being seated for a hearty, welcoming meal. This is a great place to dine with a group of close friends.
Their semi open-spaced kitchen can be peeped from the seating areas, where you will notice the chefs cooking away, prepping a delicious and made-to-order meal for guests. You can't go wrong with their famous Shakshuka which consists of a three-egg scramble with sautéed tomatoes. The simplest of ingredients are often the best.
School is a bakery, cafe, bar, and restaurant that consistently delivers amazing food and legendary pancakes. Their french toast, breakfast poutine, and pancakes are over the top good and the smell of freshly baked bread doesn't hurt either. There are always freshly baked selections you can ask your server about, their baked features change almost every other day.