School

Where to brunch in Toronto

Toronto is a big city. And one of the things it does really well is brunch! I’m not sure if you know this about me or not, but after coffee, brunch is my second favourite meal of the day! For that reason, I wanted to try highlight a few of Toronto’s best brunch spots. It was a hard task because there are so many options, and I’m on a mission to try as many as possible. But these five are the ones I remember the most as being amazing meals and that I wouldn’t hesitate to return to in a heartbeat. Without further ado…

1. Portland Variety – Located in Toronto’s King West neighbourhood at King and Portland, this hip eatery offers brunch every day of the week! Their smashed avocado toast is out of this world and is always a hit. In the mood for something sweet? Try the lemon ricotta pancakes. The rich, velvety pancakes melt in your mouth and pair perfectly with the blueberry compote and sweet cream cheese mousse. Feeling more savoury? My favourite is the huevos – a scrumptious bowl of fluffy scrambled eggs, refried beans, chilaquiles sauce, avocado, queso and tomatillos. It’s the kind of meal I often dream about when I’m hungry! Don’t forget to order a flat white and a local 587, a brunch cocktail made with seasonal fruit juice, beefeater gin, lime & prosecco, to round out your meal!

portland-variety

Huevos at Portland Variety

2. School – As soon as you walk into this adorable restaurant, located in Toronto’s Liberty Village, you’ll be welcomed by the amazing smells wafting in from the bakery and kitchen up front. At School, it’s always brunch time, because this restaurant doesn’t even open for dinner. Are you a cheese lover? Then you have to try the Super Cheesy Bacon French Toast w/ Loads of Gooey Cheddar-Jack + Ontario No.2 Maple Syrup. Yes, it’s indulgent, but most of School’s dishes are. You are combining two meals, remember? I’m a big pancake fan so I had to try the Black ‘N’ Blue Flapjacks. Black and blue refers to the perfect mix of blueberry and blackberry compote, which is then topped off by a delectable brown sugar butter and of course Ontario maple syrup. School also offers house made hot sauce and freshly squeezed juices, which are served in an adorably clever lab beaker!

School

Black n’ blue pancakes at School

3. The Drake – Best-known for it’s unique takes on the classic Caesar, this West Queen West spot is an institution. Order up some of their famous housemade scones and a scorched marshmallow latte to start. Can’t decide between sweet and savory? Have a little of both with the chicken & waffle. Crispy, melt-in-your-mouth chicken is perched atop a fluffy waffle and topped with niagara cherries, cress, creme fraiche and maple syrup. It’s truly a party in your mouth! If you’re not that adventurous, try the Drake benny. The eggs are always poached to perfection and you can substitute the country ham for either smoked salmon or oven-roasted mushrooms to keep things interesting.

Drake

Eggs Benny at The Drake

4. Farmhouse Tavern – The name of the game at Farmhouse Tavern is local. They serve up truly unique dishes made with seasonal farm-driven food, Ontario craft brews and VQA juices. Located in the Junction Triangle, this charming tavern has a rustic interior decorated with antlers, rusty licence plates and mismatched furniture. You’ll feel like you’ve truly left the big city and walked into an old country farmhouse. The chalkboard menu changes daily, based on what’s in season. If you are lucky enough to dine on a day when they are serving the Mother & Child Reunion, don’t hesitate. Order it immediately. This indulgent dish was worth every calorie. Served on a butcher block, the dish consisted of a crispy skinned duck leg atop a crispy crouton, a soft-boiled, deep fried duck egg and a smattering of rich duck pate. Oh yeah, and I think there was a little salad as well. Honestly, you won’t need to eat again for days. It was that good!

Farmhouse-Tavern

Mother & Child Reunion at Farmhouse Tavern

5. Lady Marmalade – Located in trendy Leslieville, this hip eatery always has a line a mile long to get in – but trust me, it’s worth the wait! If you’re an eggs benny fan, look no further. Lady Marmalade offers so many ways to take your benny, you’ll have a hard time deciding. Will it be the benny with roasted vegetables and aged cheddar? Or perhaps you should try the benny with brie, avocado and bacon? Maybe you’re feeling like the benny with ‘cochinita pibil’ pulled pork & citrus red onions. Still don’t see anything you like? Lady let’s you build your own benny as well! No matter how you build your benny you won’t be disappointed. Not a fan of eggs benedict? Not to worry. The menu is pretty large so you’re sure to find something to suit your fancy. Perhaps it’ll be the daily baked bread pudding, which is their version of french toast. Or the moroccan scramble, either organic tofu or 2 eggs, baby kale, spinach, tomatoes, olives, onions, spiced chickpeas, avocado, toast & salad. Whatever you decide on, pair it with a bottomless cup of coffee or splurge and order a peanut butter banana shake! Oh, and don’t forget to bring cash. The lady does not accept credit.

Lady-Marmalade

Brie, avocado and bacon benny at Lady Marmalade

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This blog post is a part of #weekendwanderlust:

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23 Comments

  1. I have been meaning to check out Portland Variety for some time now, and your photo of the huevos and the pancakes makes me have to get there asap. Have you ever tried the pancakes at Mildred’s Temple? They look similar to the ones at PV 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wellcaffeinatedtraveller

      I love Mildred’s but I’ve only been there for dinner. I need to try brunch there soon! I’ll have to try the pancakes. Definitely try PV soon and let me know what you think!

      Like

  2. Wowie. Just love this. We are planning a trip next year. These are awesome tips, just on time for us. Thanks a ton!! Your pictures are tickling my taste buds already 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wellcaffeinatedtraveller

      I’m so glad! Drop me a line when you’re in town. I’d love to grab a coffee if I’m around during your visit!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I live in Toronto and it’s always great to discover new places for brunch.I would add Pickle Barrel and Richtree to the list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wellcaffeinatedtraveller

      Thanks Anne! I haven’t tried those yet. I like in Toronto as well. Let me know if you’d ever like to grab a cup of coffee. I love meeting fellow local bloggers!

      Like

  4. tinajohnson2

    Is there anything better than brunch? We’ll be in Toronto this summer and I can’t wait to try some of these places out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wellcaffeinatedtraveller

      So fun! Let me know when you’ll be in town. I’d love to grab a cup of coffee if you have time. I love meeting fellow bloggers!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Toronto has some of the best places for brunch and the Drake is one of my absolute favourites but I need to check out the other ones!

    La Belle Sirene 

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wellcaffeinatedtraveller

      Let me know if you need a brunch date. I’m always available! 😉

      Like

  6. I want to eat everything!! I have never been to Toronto but my wife C absolutely loved it and said she could is living there. A proper Canda trip is something we would love to do so I’m sure we’ll be heading to Toronto and we’ll definitely be looking out for these places. Thanks for sharing…although now I’m hungry! *puts laptop down and heads to the kitchen*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wellcaffeinatedtraveller

      Thanks D. Let me know if you make it to Toronto. I’d love to grab a cup of coffee and say hi!

      Like

  7. mymeenalife

    My favorite theme park is near Toronto (Canada’s Wonderland) – so I hope I can use these tips soon! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Those black ‘n’ blue pancakes at School look incredible. I haven’t been back to Toronto in years, and I feel like I’m due for another visit soon. I’ll have to keep these brunch spots in mind. #WeekendWanderlust

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wellcaffeinatedtraveller

      Let me know if you do Erin! I’d love to meet up for a cup of coffee and say hello!

      Like

  9. Looks absolutely scrumptious! I’d love to explore but not being a breakfast person, probably wouldn’t! I save my caloric intake for later in the day…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Gotta love Toronto… as long as you don’t get stuck in downtown traffic!

    Like

  11. OOOOHHH also “Joy Bistro” if Leslieville counts as “Toronto” to you 🙂 We love that place for brunch…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wellcaffeinatedtraveller

      Of course it does! I’ve never been there. I’ll have to add it to my list! Thanks for the tip!

      Like

  12. Agreed! All of the best spots for sure! Great post 😀 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  13. LOOOOOVE Lady Marmalade!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ll have to try some of these!

    Liked by 1 person

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