Food & Drink

Toronto's best brunches


Brunch is social. Brunch is decadent. It's a weekly opportunity to slow down, indulge and enjoy late morning or early afternoon for its own sake. Toronto, a city that often needs an excuse to take time to appreciate the finer things, excels at the weekend midday meal.

Aunties and Uncles

At the youthful Aunties and Uncles, the music is mostly modish indie-rock, but the decor is a trip back in time. The vintage posters, chrome fixtures and Formica tables are reminiscent of the early 1960s. They prepare food the old-fashioned way too; even the ketchup is made from scratch. Most people rave over the Belgian waffles (available “while they last”), but it'd be a crime if you left without tasting the dill and Dijon potatoes, the most delicious home-fry alternative in the city. It's available as a side order to most dishes, including classic eggs and house-smoked bacon, an excellent croque monsieur and the less conventional breakfast pocket – focaccia stuffed with scrambled eggs, mozzarella, tomatoes and herbs.

74 Lippincott St., 416-324-1375

Mildred Pierce

Mildred Pierce

Mildred Pierce, located in a converted warehouse near the trendoid Queen-Beaconsfield strip, is equal parts absurdity and excellence. The richly coloured faux ancient murals shouldn't work with the white tablecloths and fresh flowers, but they do. Same story with the menu: Green Eggs and Ham is as it sounds. It may look suspiciously like manipulated avocado, but the spinach-and-butter taste is drool inducing, and the eggs come with a thick slab of country ham. The real showstopper is Mrs. Biederhof's Pancakes, baked in the oven and unbelievably fluffy. You'll want to order a side of buttermilk biscuits with citrus butter.

99 Sudbury St., 416-588-5695

Bonjour Brioche

Those with francophile tendencies will appreciate a trip to Bonjour Brioche in the east end. Aside from offering what may be the best croissants and baguette in Toronto, this tiny spot draws long lines for its nine tables at brunch. Baked French toast full of peppery cinnamon, scrambled eggs with caviar and a variety of daily quiches are among the recommended specialties.

812 Queen St. E., 416-406-1250

Le Royal Meridien King Edward's restaurant

You could do worse than indulge in the legendary brunch at Le Royal Meridien King Edward's restaurant. Though a recent renovation has replaced the old-fashioned regal charm of the dining room with an anti-chic esthetic, the sheer scope of the buffet continues to be dazzling. Seafood, smoked fish, cheese, cold cuts, pastries, beef Wellington, leg of lamb, eggs benedict, sausages, steamed vegetables, custom-made omelettes – it would be easier to list what they don't serve. All of it's good, so you'll want to come hungry to get your money's worth, especially since the bill, including tax, tops $50 a person.

37 King St. E., 416-863-9700

(Edward Keenan was a breakfast and brunch cook in Toronto restaurants for five years. He now works as City Editor of Eye Weekly.)

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April 2006

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