Toronto’s best brunch right now
75 Portland St., 416-599-2822, buca.ca/bar
Bar Buca is an all-day, Euro-style snack bar—the kind of place where you can grab a morning cappuccino, lunch or a post-work aperitivo. For weekend brunch, scrambled eggs are blended with gooey burrata and garnished with shaved black truffles. Executive chef Rob Gentile also makes traditional Tuscan pig’s blood crêpes, but instead of plain vanilla sugar as a garnish, he slathers them with a chocolate concerto sauce and crème anglaise.
1120 College St., 647-352-7322, pomegranaterestaurant.ca/tavoos
This Iranian brunch restaurant brings a touch of ceremony to the otherwise no-frills College and Dufferin strip. The room is loaded with murals, pottery and chandeliers, and diners can sit around a Persian rug. The shahrudi is a highlight: sunny-side-up eggs perched atop crispy fried potatoes, dressed with creamy feta and olives coated in sweet walnut and pomegranate paste.
892 Queen St. E., 416-465-4888, lilbaci.com
Leftover pizza is a sometimes morning food, but at this Leslieville trattoria, the pizzaiolos are pulling legitimate brunch pies out of the oven. The Festa is topped with your standard breakfast combo—sunny-side- up eggs, sausage, bacon (okay, pancetta)—then smothered in mozzarella. Every third bite comes with a hit of rosemary.
226 Greenwood Ave., 416-462-2703, mahasbrunch.com
At this tiny east-end kitchen, owner Maha Barsoom and her family send out over-the-top-delicious Egyptian brunch. The falafel—flatter and darker than their Lebanese counterparts, and sesame seed–encrusted—are a contender for the city’s best, and the Pharaoh’s Shrimp Po’ Boy is clever and tasty; tender shrimp, fried in a crisp batter, is stuffed into a warm pita and liberally sauced with tomeya, an Egyptian garlic mayo. Who needs eggs Benny?
638 Queen St. W., 647-748-6822, fidelgastros.com
As founder of the Fidel Gastro food truck, Matt Basile built his reputation on delicious, decadent sandwiches. At his restaurant, Lisa Marie, he injects the same passion into brunch. His double-pancake pork burger is like the junk food love child of a Big Mac and a McGriddle. Two pork burgers topped with melted American cheese come sandwiched between a trio of hotcakes, then layered with iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and a house-made Thousand Island dressing.
328 Wellington St. W., 416-935-0400, luckeerestaurant.com
Susur Lee spent his entire career running from traditional Chinese food, determined to be worshipped as a master of invention. Then, in 2014, he turned around and opened Luckee, a restaurant devoted to dim sum—the ultimate hangover cure, what with all those savoury dumplings and hydrating pots of steaming tea, and everyone too busy grazing to keep up a serious conversation. No surprise, he makes some of the best char siu, har gow and pork bao around.
898 Queen St. E., 647-351-7645, ladymarmalade.ca
In Mexico, huevos migas means fridge purge—a mash-up of stale tortillas, last night’s tacos and almost-expired condiments. At this cheery Leslieville café, that kitchen sink breakfast is refined with cilantro-infused crema, pico de gallo and brown basmati rice, but it retains the dish’s rustic, waist-expanding soul.
Mildred’s Temple Kitchen
85 Hanna Ave., 416-588-5695, templekitchen.com
Mildred’s take on steak and eggs is a daunting open-faced sandwich called the Manhandler. The pièce de résistance is a six-ounce flatiron, grilled medium rare and served on a thick slice of toasted sourdough smeared with garlic butter. Two sunny-side-up eggs top it off.
1438 Dundas St. W., 647-352-9120, thefed.ca
Dundas West’s busy brunch spot caters to west-enders recuperating after a night of boozing—and astronauts weaning themselves off freeze-dried space grub. When Chris Hadfield visited, he ordered the most decadent dish on the menu: French toast topped with foie gras, bacon, medjool dates and almond butter.
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