Torontonians take their brunch seriously. You can expect delicious fusion dishes that reflect the city's multicultural population. From decadent pancakes that use Ontario-grown blueberries to Egyptian falafel, you can find anything your heart (and stomach) desires for brunch.
You’ll find Italian charm in spades from the decor to the menu at this casual spot. Begin your meal with a cappuccino and a delightfully airy bombolone filled with Nutella. Follow your sweet start with something savory, like scrambled eggs with burrata and truffles or a pizza on traditional Pugliese-style crust. Bar Buca uses seasonal ingredients so the menu changes frequently.
Mildred's Temple Kitchen
Opened by beloved chef Donna Dooher, Mildred's is quintessential brunch spot in Liberty Village, and the long waits on weekends prove it. Once seated, you have to order the blueberry pancakes. Even if you're not a fan of pancakes or blueberries, this bountiful stack will change your mind. The dish is so popular that it's now included on the weekday menu, and can be ordered as a side any time of day. Other craveable delights include currant scones, mile-high biscuits slathered in fresh butter, and the Big Brunch Skillet (spicy pulled pork cooked with roasted onions, and served with black beans, potato hash, sunny-side-up eggs, and peri-peri salsa).
Pro-tip: There are no reservations for weekend brunch. However, on weekdays they offer their B'Lunch service—which is a pared-down brunch menu that still has the signature pancakes, scones, and biscuits on the menu—that has shorter waits.
Oretta is an airy Sicilian eatery with art-deco motifs, vaulted ceilings, and eclectic light fixtures. The dishes at Oretta are a mix of Sicilian classics and contemporary takes on North American favorites, and that trend continues with their brunch menu. Take your pick of fried calamari, a bombolone chicken sandwich, or homemade porchetta with a fried egg and insalata. Round out your meal with one of their cocktails or something a bit sweeter, like their Nutella cappuccino.
Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen
No need to book a flight to the Carribean to taste fine Jamaican fare, just head to Chubby's. There are Jamaican breakfast classics like ackee and saltfish with fried plantain, along with Caribbean twists on brunch favorites like avocado toast on Jamaican hardo bread or oxtail poutine with scotch bonnet fries. And the best part? The space transports you to paradise with decor reminiscent of a beachy resort and Soca music playing through the speakers.
Dine like royalty in the clouds at this brunch spot on the 31st floor of the St. Regis Hotel. Prepare for an opulent experience with sweeping views of downtown Toronto and a two-story Grand Bar. While they have a variety of delicious a la carte options, treat yourself to the Royal Brunch: a seven-course meal that comes with a New York strip steak, mini French toast, smoked salmon, and pork belly, among other options. You can also add bottomless mimosas, bellinis, or Kir Royales to your meal for an additional charge.
Reservations are recommended, and this experience is only available on weekends from noon to 2:30 p.m.
If you're in the mood for something unique, head to Maha's for an Egyptian brunch. The homey restaurant has been wildly popular since it opened in 2014 and evokes a sense of family. The menu options are plentiful, but if you're dining here for the first time, opt for the Cairo Classic, a traditional Egyptian breakfast that includes soft fava beans with tomatoes and onions, a boiled egg, falafel, homemade tomato feta, and their signature charred balady bread. To drink, the delicately sweet honey-cardamom latte is a must-try.
Maple Leaf Tavern
Maple Leaf Tavern has a long history. The building was first opened in 1910 before being converted to Hotel Maple Leaf in the '30s. After 40 years, the hotel closed, and Maple Leaf Tavern opened, garnering a reputation as a divey drinking hall before shuttering in the late 2000s. In 2016, Maple Leaf Tavern reopened intending to build a community in East Toronto.
Today, plenty of locals and visitors dine here for the brunch and dinner service; it's a great chance to also admire the preserved architectural and interior design elements, including the original maple-leaf stained glass windows. As for the food, chef Jesse Vallins offers the spirit of a neighborhood tavern with a sophisticated approach to prep and presentation. If you're having trouble choosing between the poutine, waffles, and burrata, give the Brunch to Share a try. It feeds up to four people and includes homemade breakfast sausage, baked beans, and waffles for one, reasonable price.
Lady Marmalade has been charming diners since 2009, and after nine years of success, the owners moved into a new building a few blocks away. The new two-floor restaurant has a Scandinavian vibe evident in the light wood, skylights, and foliage-lined walls. Decor aside, the main star of the show is the food. Lady Marmalade sources ingredients from local suppliers and uses sustainably farmed meats whenever possible. Be sure to try the bread pudding—with seasonal fruit, berry coulis, and Ontario maple syrup—or one of their signature eggs benedict variations.
Lady Marmalade doesn't take reservations, so be prepared to wait. Luckily, the breakfast menu is served every day so, if you can swing it, visit during the week.
Gusto 101 is situated in the heart of the entertainment district, so it's the perfect morning-after spot for mimosas, spritzes, and modern Italian brunch fare. Chef Dan Duketovsky's menu is all about comfort. One of the most popular dishes is Eggs in Purgatorio, which features spicy tomatoes, olives, artichokes, basil, smoked provolone, and 'nduja on grilled sourdough. You can keep it healthy and light with one of their breakfast bowls or throw caution to the wind and go for a supreme sweet treat like the Brioche Francese (cornflake-encrusted brioche topped with Nutella, torched marshmallow, ground hazelnuts, and maple syrup). Even better, you can enjoy all of that while eating on the sun-drenched covered patio.
Pro-tip: Book at least a month in advance via phone or online reservations—yes, they are that popular. Or roll the dice and take a chance, they have some seating set aside for walk-ins, just be ready to wait.
White Lily Diner
For a classic diner vibe, head straight to White Lily, where the focus is on comfort food using local fare. They proudly list which farms provided the day's ingredients on a chalkboard sign that hangs above the kitchen.
While their White Lily Standard may look like your typical breakfast of bacon, sausage, eggs, and toast, it's anything but. Everything is made in-house, including the bacon (which is smoked out back) and sausage. Doughnuts here are also a delight; fluffy and airy, the yeast-leavened pastries are also made in-house daily. Flavors are always on rotation, but favorites include apple cider and vanilla bean custard.
Emma's Country Kitchen
You can spot this beloved St. Clair neighborhood restaurant from afar because it's frequently jam-packed with people waiting for a table or waiting to grab a dozen of their award-winning doughnuts. Open since 2012, Emma's Country Kitchen serves homey, comforting fare. Their most popular items include buttermilk biscuits slathered in sausage gravy, baked oatmeal with an Ontario pear compote, and the quiche of the day on their signature flaky crust. No reservations are taken, however, while weekends are busy, weekdays have much shorter wait times. If you're really in a rush, you can also order your food to go.