Keep your weekend ritual alive with takeout, delivery and patio dining at these iconic institutions.
Ask anyone. In Toronto, we love our brunch. Breakfast has always been known as the day’s most important meal, but over the last decade, we have seen brunch fandom positively explode. Some play or watch sports… for others, their sport is brunch.
Some spots have a special brunch menu, only available on the weekend, and for others, it’s a daily occurrence that says, “I’m here whenever you need me”. Why do we all love brunch so much? It’s a warm hug in the morning, on our terms. It’s a way to travel and transcend, without travelling.
In COVID-19 times, whatever way you enjoy it, brunch is sure to bring up warm feelings while you’re making new memories. And so, this list has been updated but is not exhaustive of the many, many brunch institutions that inhabit Toronto and mean something to us all.
Consider takeout and delivery from the following restaurants if you're still concerned about in-person dining. Dig in!
Note: we recommend checking with restaurants for the most up-to-date menus, opening hours and availability.
The Good Fork
Come for unique takes on favourites with brilliantly sourced, expertly prepared ingredients and a menu that covers all things “brunchy” and “lunchy” on Dundas West. The taste buds sing and travel while tasting the Turkish influences throughout the menu.
What to order: Buttermilk and Red Velvet pancakes are universal favourites but the savoury dishes and the Mezes section will get you too. Plus, there are awesome brunch-friendly meal kits and an online pantry to help you make the experience yourself at home.
Lazy Daisy Café
This neighbourhood gem in the eastside makes everything from scratch with an immense amount of care for their food and community. It’s everything you want from a coffee shop with super-duper on-the-go treats and hearty brunch meals to enjoy over long good conversations.
What to order: One word: biscuits! These award-winning breakfast treats are served on their own and as sandwiches. But wait, there’s more. Cinnamon bun pancakes, homemade chilli… the list goes on. You can even grab groceries at their General Store.
Hello 123 is the cool, chill sister of Kupfert & Kim (the fast-casual go-to vegan and wheat-free eatery) now on Queen Street West. Their global menu (which includes an all-day brunch section) is plant-based, so all kinds of eaters can enjoy it.
What to order: Any smoothie bowl or regular bowl, and the housemade patties! The waffles are also stunningly good and basically, every dish will be colourful with punchy flavours.
Centre Street Deli
If brunch means a classic deli experience — look no further than this Thornhill staple. Open since the 80s, Centre Street Deli is a timeless Jewish deli with all the hits, great flexibility to meet all your breakfast plate needs, and a matzo ball soup that will warm the soul.
What to order: Hand-cut smoked meat, corned beef, smoked fish and a plate of latkes (the original hash brown). Try something new or nostalgic, and always add mustard to that sandwich.
The Stockyards Smokehouse & Larder
A wood-smoked BBQ fix at brunch up on St. Clair West! For 10+ years, The Stockyards Smokehouse & Larder has offered the perfect stick-to-your-ribs fare to quench any hunger pang and stabilize a hangover or upset stomach with good eats.
What to order: Any dish that integrates their famous BBQ! Also, people travel far and wide for this buttermilk-marinated fried chicken, which you can find in The Dirty Bird and the Fried Chicken & Waffles dishes.
Dim Sum King
Delectable dim sum for takeout and also, dining here is an experience. Fresh food comes around on pushcarts, inviting you to try something new or revisit an old favourite.
What to order: Dumplings of all kinds, bbq pork buns, chive and seafood pancakes.
French fare on Dundas West! Not only is there a dedicated weekend brunch menu, but they run a wine bottle & food shop and can help you put together a perfect picnic basket of bread, cheese, cured meats, etc. for brunch on the road.
What to order: Go classic with their eggs Benedict, omelettes, or a Croque Monsieur (or Madame). Anything eggs! And cheese, and cured meat, etc.
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Classics with a contemporary presentation from the brains behind La Palma and Mercatto. For a swanky experience with food that holds up and fills you up, Constantine is a great choice.
What to order: The pancakes are a mainstay that changes with the seasons and you can’t go wrong with any of their seasonal and locally sourced takes. Constantine is part of The Anndore House Hotel, so just imagine the possible private brunch events and breakfast in bed.
This is the best place to put together a SPREAD or the perfect sandwich. Here, you can up your breakfast bagel game and get the goods for round #2.
What to order: Try out experimental flavours like horseradish cream cheese, beet-cured gravlax, the list goes on. Or, let the pros do the work with a chosen-for-you sandwich like the Chub Chub. Assorted “middle eastern Bubby food” is around the corner at Fat Pasha.
Charming brunch with a menu that changes daily and the cutest patio to boot. There is also a wine shop and a few cook-at-home meal kits on offer.
What to order: The Union Salad that eats like a true meal, the crispy polenta, oysters, Benedicts. Although the whole menu is all so, so tasty.
Fuwa Fuwa Pancakes Japanese Pancakes
Get yourself some fluffy souffle pancakes! Accompanied by matcha, tiramisu dessert elements and more, these pancakes are as much of a delight to eat as they are to watch jiggle on the plate.
What to order: Souffle. Pancakes. Need we say more? This light airy pancake is such a unique texture, a must-try with the flavour combination that speaks to you.
Portuguese and Mediterranean-inspired dining with simple and tasty brunch dishes that you’ll come back to for life.
What to order: The Alpha Omega bowl. We could eat it every morning and the eggs Benedicts come with a range of special sauces like chipotle hollandaise, chive hollandaise and dill hollandaise.
With a stunning rooftop patio in the West and a brand new location in the East, the brunch at Gusto has something for everyone.
What to order: Lunch AND brunch. Folks can order Gusto’s all-star items from the lunch menu like the Mafalde Ai Funghi, while their friends are still enjoying Italian versions of their favourite brunch items.
Honest to goodness brunch! This historic multi-floor space is a crowd-pleaser. Very reliable with perfectly poached eggs every time.
What to order: Pancakes and breakfast hash for a table of two that likes to share, for the perfect mix of sweet and savoury. But really, you can’t go wrong with any choice.
Mildred’s Temple Kitchen
For that brunch to impress, this Liberty Village institution focuses on locally sourced ingredients, homemade and seasonal. Some menu items have so many fans that they’ve been on the menu for years.
What to order: The Mrs. Biederhof’s Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes have a cult following for their thick fluffiness, and the rosemary bacon is the perfect accompaniment to any dish. They’ve started selling their frozen biscuits scones and more pantry goodies for you to enjoy at home.
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Delicious middle eastern food — done hyper-local. Not only do they press and sell their own tahini (sesame butter) but they also grow herbs indoors for ultimate freshness.
What to order: Shakshuka and Sabich hummus. Shakshuka is a savoury, warming, tomato-baked egg dish and the Sabich hummus is a take on a vegetarian sandwich with egg and eggplant — a wildly good breakfast combination.
The oldest restaurant in Toronto! The roots of this restaurant started growing in 1839, it’s been a restaurant since 1948 and much of the decor remains the same. A piece of history that tastes real, real good.
What to order: The diner breakfast vibe here is famous. Challah French Toast, classic Senator Breakfast, Senator Cobb Salad or the Smoked Salmon Platter.