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Accessorized with Ray-Bans and a fake French accent, served with raspberry-guava compote, it must be brunch

In Uncategorized on October 26, 2011 at 2:30 pm
Croissant Queen Katie Zier-Vogel shares her
top 7 Toronto spots for the best of all meals


(Editor’s Note: Ketchum professionals regularly share their secret and not-so-secret passions with their colleagues. In this essay, Katie Zier-Vogel asks the age-old question:  “What could be more delightful than a day-time meal that combines the best of breakfast and lunch, while leaving enough time in the day for a good nap?“)


By Katie Zier-Vogel

TORONTO – You never hear anyone say: “I’m going to grab a quick brunch at my desk today” or “Let’s just get something from the drive-through for brunch.” No, brunch is a meal to be savoured, so special that it exists only in the rarified air of weekends and holidays. In a word, brunch is exquisite.   In Toronto, brunch is also a competitive sport. The demand for a table where the French Toast arrives thick as clouds that drizzle foamed kiwi syrup is dog-eat-dog, (though the dogs are hand-formed blueberry sausages in toasted-pecan-waffles.) To survive in this world there are a few things you need to know.

  • Arrive when the restaurant opens (unless you fancy eating brunch at 3 pm, which will seriously eat into your post-brunch nap time)
  • The uglier the décor, the better the food
  • When in doubt, go with the daily special
  • Traditional restaurant cues (i.e. making eye contact with the wait staff) won’t work.  If you want more water or coffee ask…or better yet, get it yourself
  • Waiting two hours for your food to arrive isn’t uncommon so choose your company wisely

With that here are Toronto very best brunch spots.

#1: Saving Grace

Location: Dundas St and Bellwoods (just east of Trinity Bellwoods Park)
Known for: daily specials, seasonal ingredients
Famous dish: French toast with carmelized bananas
Arrival Time: 9:50am (they won’t open the doors until 10:15am)
Décor: sponge painted walls, forgotten plants and religious icons
Type: Indie-hipster
Accessorize with: Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses, fedoras and leggings


#2: Mildred’s Temple

 Location: Liberty Village
Famous dish: Veda’s Choice (poached egg with smoked salmon on a croissant) & buttermilk pancakes
Arrival Time: 10-11am, but a table of two is pretty easy to score any time of the day
Décor: sleek, modern, eco-friendly, individual bathrooms (that have quite the reputation)
Type: 30-somethings
Accessorize with: your grandma (this is the only place nice enough to bring her)

#3: Lady Marmalade

Location: Leslieville
Known for: health-conscious, veggie-friendly menu
Famous dish: eggs benny and savoury waffles
Arrival Time: 10am
Décor: mismatched vintage furniture, avocado-coloured walls
Type: young families from Riverdale and Leslieville
Accessorize with: a baby on your hip

#4: School Bakery and Café

Location: East Liberty and Fraser
Known for: baked goods and large selection of pancakes
Arrival Time: between 10-11am
Décor: schoolhouse chic (apples, chalkboards, clocks)
Type: young couples from Liberty Village
Accessorize with: your entire party, they won’t seat you until everyone has arrived

#5: Aunties and Uncles

Location: College and Lippincott
Known for: omelets of the day
Don’t miss: homemade ketchup
Time: between 9-10am
Décor: diner-esque
Type: indie-hipster
Accessorize with: see Saving Grace for appropriate attire

#6: Le Petit Dejeuner

 Location: King St. E and Jarvis
Known for: omelettes, crepes, french toast
Arrival Time: 9:30am Sat; 10am Sun
Décor: sparkly green vinyl seating
Type: Brunch diehards

#7: Bonjour Brioche

Location: Leslieville (Queen St. E)
Known for: croissants, baguettes, omelettes, quiche
Arrival Time: early morning if you hope to get a warm croissant
Décor: French bistro
Type: mid-30s Riverdale residents
Accessorize with: out of town parents you want to impress, a fake French accent and a cigarette
  1. I’m a big fan of Bonjour Brioche in Leslieville — glad it made your round-up, KZV! Good choices. Now I’m hungry.

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