Brunch is becoming the thing to do in Toronto these days. And while this is easily becoming the best meal you can possibly have, where do you go to get the grub? The city is brimming with great places to grab eggs bene (which also seems to be the city’s most popular dish as almost every restaurant has its own superstar variation), but it may be tough to navigate the brunch scene—especially when they’ve become so popular and you’re almost certainly going to have to wait in life for food, since summer is approaching and the sub-zero temperatures have dissipated. But, we take our research very seriously and we’ve tried and tested (not to mention watched our waistlines expand with every bite of research) and rounded up some of the best brunch places in the city to give you a head start on your new Sunday hobby.
SCHOOL (70 Fraser Ave, Toronto, ON)
Located in Liberty Village, SCHOOL offers a laid-back appeal with a retro schoolhouse vibe that is as cool as it is delicious. With offerings for both the sweet and savoury-craving visitors, their menu is inventive (hello, Caramel Coconut Pancakes). Even though the portions are hefty and you won’t leave hungry, you should still order the Cheddar Chive Biscuits when you arrive (especially if you’re famished from the half hour wait at this brunch hotspot) and they offer mimosas with their fresh jus du jour. Tried and tested: Huevos 101 (anything that comes with guac is an instant winner in my book) and the Ooey Gooey Cheesy Omelette Souffle.
Lady Marmalade (898 Queen St E, Toronto, ON)
This small-bistro style brunch place actually opened their first location in Victoria, BC befor making their way to the Toronto brunch scene a few years ago. This is once place that many Torontonians swear by (when asking some friends where I should go try during my research, this seemed to be one of the top places)—and with good reason. They offer a good range of dishes, so even the less… inventive… eaters will still be satisfied. Plus they have the A.M. Poutine which is targeting a whole other market of eaters in itself. Tried and tested: Cheddar + Spinach Waffles.
Lil’ Baci (892 Queen St E, Toronto, ON)
I happened upon this place on the day I was originally supposed to go try Lady Marmalade (only a few doors away from one another, with the neighbouring Joy Bistro just on the other side too), but when Lady Marmalade had at least an hour wait for a table and Lil’ Baci had a few spots to spare, this hangry girl made a snap decision and went for the path less chosen. Don’t let the lack of packed clientele deter you from checking this place out. Normally a small Italian eatery (not quite a brunch place, per se), Lil’ Baci offers a twist to the ordinary brunch fare. Mixing in some traditional and not-so-traditional Italian flavours, this is definitely one of my new favourite places to brunch. Tried and tested: the Truffled Eggs or Pork & Beef Ragu on toast with their specialty Caesar: it has barbecue sauce around the rim, rosemary mixed into the bevvie and BACON (!!!). You won’t be disappointed.
Starving Artist (582 Lansdowne Ave, Toronto, ON)
I have two words for you: WAFFLE BACON. Now, do I have your attention? Thought so. This place is known for their waffle dishes (and is a particular go-to for those gluten-free eaters), which marry everything from fresh fruit, eggs and even more lunchy meals (like the Chicken Bacon Club). Like most of the brunch places in the city, this is one you’ll have to stand in line for, but is totally worth the wait. Located in the Bloor and Lansdowne area, it is a particular hotspot for Bloor West locals; so go early because this small bistro-style resto fills up quick. Tried and tested: The Hitchhiker and Cheddar Cheese ‘n’ Chives Waffles.