YYZ / Toronto

A Guide To Brunching Through Toronto: The Sequel


April 22, 2020

Brunch in Toronto is so epic that I could write endless blog posts about it. Toronto Brunch. Toronto Brunch The Sequel. The Return of Brunch in Toronto. The list goes on… 

I will continue to write about and eat brunch until my pants no longer fit and even the booziest mimosa can no longer revive me. Even when I lose all of my teeth, I will determinedly; stoically gum my eggs benny and blend my pancakes into a smoothie that can be sipped through a straw. I guess I’m not really painting an appetizing image to set the scene for a brunch post, huh?

How could I provide a definitive list of my favourite brunch spots in Toronto without doing more research? Well, I was not afraid of rolling up my sleeves and digging right in to an endless parade of brunch dishes.

It took a lot of French toast, stretchy pants and early mornings spent angst-ing over savoury versus sweet, but it did it ALL for you. You’re welcome. 

Currently accepting donations to my brunch GoFundMe account. But seriously — can I brunch for a living? Hit me up if you’re searching to fill a position for an obsessed dedicated  professional brunch enthusiast 🙋🏻‍♀️


RELATED READING:

A Guide To Brunching Through Toronto: Part 1
A Guide To Eating Your Way Through Toronto’s Chinatown
Scene + Eaten: February 2020 Round-Up



Here are 6 more brunch-worthy spots in Toronto to add to your to-eat list:

BB’S DINER

Did I meet the owners of this amazeballs Filipino, brunch spot getting 2am poutine when I was hideously non-sober on my birthday? Yes. Did I hide my face in embarrassment when I went to BB’s Diner so they wouldn’t recognize me? Also, yes.

Toronto Brunch - BB's Diner

Toronto Brunch - BB's Diner

The truth is that I was too non-sober to recognize anyone I may (or may not) have met that night anyways but that is neither here nor there. With a cheerful cotton candy pink exterior hinting at a cozy retro interior, this weekends-only establishment serves up cultural Filipino classics adding a welcome alternative to the standard eggs benny brekkie.

Toronto Brunch - BB's Diner

BB's Diner - Shoyu Chicken brunch

What to Order: I dream about the shoyu chicken that they had “on spesh” the weekend I went — juicy chicken thighs slow-poached in sweet soy and sake accompanied by mac salad and two scoops of rice sprinkled with a special furikake 🤤 Excuse me while I wipe the drool from my chin. Of course, the silog breakfast platter is an essential pick at BB’s, featuring fragrant garlic rice, two fried eggs and a protein like house pork sausage. Don’t sleep on the crispy Jollibee-inspired fried chicken!

BB’s Diner | 76 Lippincott St.

 

BADDIES

I’m not going to lie — I had low expectations for Baddies, assuming that it was all style no substance with food that looked gorgeous on the IG feed but tasted blah. Considering that it’s owned by an Aussie, I should’ve known better. After eating at Holybelly and the Hardware Société in Paris — both Australian transplants — I discovered that the Land Down Un-DAH takes breakfast super seriously.

Baddies window

Baddies interior

Massive windows run the length of Baddies, bathing the intimate interior with natural light. When you’ve finished your meal but want to keep conversation going, free up your table for fellow brunchers by taking your drinks to the bleachers set against the wall. Note to the weekend crowd: They’re closed on Sundays!

Toronto Brunch - Baddies

Toronto Brunch - Baddies

What to Order: Start with a homemade sticky chai with almond milk that will BLOW YOUR MIND 🤯 So flavourful and the perfect amount of sweet. If it’s chilly out, the hearty braised pork belly and beans with roasted Brussel sprouts, sweet potato, leeks and a poached egg with buttery sourdough toast will warm you right up. The spiced ricotta French toast with vibrant spirals of roasted squash and seasonal fruits was an artful masterpiece that pleased the eye as much as the tastebuds.

Baddies | 679 Lansdowne Ave.

 

PARALLEL

If you’ve never tasted hummus in Israel then you’ve never really tasted hummus. That is, unless you’ve been to Parallel which is as close as you can get to the real thing on the Toronto brunch scene.

Toronto Brunch - Parallel

Sesame butter - Parallel

Doubling as a sesame butter (tahini) factory, this spacious, high-ceilinged restaurant offers authentic Israeli dishes and a view of the open kitchen on the ground floor. The second level is reserved as the manufacturing area and they even have an herb garden on top of the bathrooms!

Toronto Brunch - Parallel

What to Order: Sip on a morning mimosa because, hey — you deserve it, before ripping a corner of grilled pita to snag a generous scoop of silky smooth truffle hummus with chunks of soy mushrooms. So rich and decadent! Grab an order of falafel that are crispy on the outside and moist (in the best way) and vividly green from a trio of herbs on the inside. Another classic is the saucy shakshuka with merguez sausage and two poached eggs immersed in a chunky tomato sauce made for dipping.

Parallel | 217 Geary Ave.

 

THE GREEN WOOD

Is it weird that I know which agency designed the branding for this healthy, modern brunch spot? I guess it’s exactly what you’d expect to be the intersection of interest for a food-obsessed designer.

Toronto Brunch - The Green Wood

As a brunch-lover with an eye for the aesthetically pleasing, I delighted in the pink tiles and lush plant wall at the Queen Street East location. With a second outpost on King West, the menu focuses on clean, ethical eats with a flair for the exotic, pulling culinary influences from Greece, Lebanon, Turkey and Morocco.

Toronto Brunch - The Green Wood

French Toast - The Green Wood

What to Order: If you’re like me and crave savoury brunch dishes, go for the crispy shredded potato rösti topped with luscious folds of smoked salmon, two oozing poached eggs, dollops of light dill sour cream and refreshing tendrils of cucumber. For those with a wicked sweet tooth, opt for the cinnamon swirl brioche (!!!) French toast glazed with a rich vanilla cream piled with fresh mixed berries. We also ordered a side of bacon jalapeño cheddar scones with crab apple jelly because we’re fat. If you want lighter fare, go for a smoothie bowl or the classic breakfast.

The Green Wood | 1402 Queen St. E. | 461 King St. W.

 

BODEGA HENRIETTE

Despite it evoking heavy sighs from me that this second location for Bodega Henriette took over the space of one of my favourite bars, at least Toronto is got a killer brunch place out of it.

Bodega Henriette

Bodega Henriette

What’s not to love about the minty green walls, hanging wicker lampshades and an ambiance that transports you to a sun-filled terrace abroad? Head over for a casual morning at what will soon become your favourite neighbourhood watering hole.

 Bodega Henriette

What to Order: THE BREAKFAST BURGER! Juicy double patties topped with melty American cheese (does any cheese melt as satisfyingly as American?), bacon, lettuce, onion, HP sauce, dijonnaise (dijon mustard + mayonnaise…get it?)with pickled shallots adding the perfect tang and finished off with a fried egg. As if this monster wasn’t filling enough, it’s served with the best potato fingerlings I’ve had in a while and a salad because health.

Bodega Henriette | 234 King St. E. | 1801 Gerrard St. E.

 

BONJOUR BRIOCHE

If you’re like Oprah and LOVE BREAD then Bonjour Brioche is THE place to go for a taste of a Parisian boulangerie. It’s Toronto’s go-to for next level baguettes, croissants, quiche, all-day breakfast and, of course, brunch. While you wait for a seat, press your nose against the glass of the pastry case out front and drool over the buttery, flaky display of baked goods, including a delectable pear almond tart large enough to feed 4-6 people, for purchase.

Bonjour Brioche

Toronto Brunch - Bonjour Brioche

What to Order: You can’t go wrong with eggs benny — the quintessential brunch staple — or creamy scrambled eggs topped with a mound of smoked salmon, crème fraîche and finely diced chives. Both come with a healthy segment of warm, fresh-baked baguette and a thick triangle of butter. The daily quiches handwritten on hanging chalkboards are solid choices as well.

Bonjour Brioche | 812 Queen St. E.

 


You wanna know something weird? Without even knowing it, it turns out that it was exactly a year ago that I posted the last Toronto Brunch post! What are the chances?! If you have a reco or a brunch spot that you want me to taste test for you, hit me up in the comments below.

They say to write what you know. What I know is brunch and where to get the best eats in Chinatown!

Keep your stalking game strong and follow me @teriaki if you aren’t already!