This is how you know Toronto is a seriously multicultural city: People here get into arguments about which spot serves the spiciest Jamaican beef patties, swap recommendations for Vietnamese pho, and keep a tally of all the places they’ve nibbled on Parisian macarons. Brunch, however, has always tended to be a pretty domestic affair. No longer. These days you can savor brunch favorites from around the world without leaving the city to see where they diverge from the omelettes and toast you’re used to. Even your local falafel, taco, or gyro joint is getting in on the a.m. action. But if you’re looking for something truly different to break your fast this Sunday, these four international restaurants will take you on a culinary journey as you greet the new day.
This retro-styled Cuban diner will kickstart your day with a chorizo empanada, slow roast pork, and tostones. The Cuban music and green tiled walls of La Cubana only heighten the sense that you should slow down and savour your breakfast. Make sure you try their signature (and very filling) Cubano sandwich and order the freshly made mini donuts for dessert.
With Grateful Dead posters on the wall, the Middle Eastern/Mediterranean Fat Pasha isn’t your typical deli. It’s a restaurant made to comfort your soul with good food and cozy seating. Order some appetizers to share and dive into sour pickles, roast cauliflower, and smoked fish. Order a cast iron skillet of shakshuka for the table and take turns dunking chunks of buttery challah bread in the gooey poached eggs and rich tomato stew. A spread like this is definitely different than your average Waffle House chowdown, but give it a try. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Luckee by Susur Lee
Celebrity chef Susur Lee serves up a refined version of Chinatown classics during Luckee’s weekend dim sum lunch. Each dish is a new present to unwrap from traditional bamboo steamer baskets. There’s chewy, sweet braised black pepper beef bao buns and flavour-packed crispy taro-and-turnip cakes. Sit down with your besties and take turns ordering until you’ve tried everything on Luckee‘s menu. Then, dive back in for round 2 and get more of your favorites.
Huevos racheros can be found on almost any brunch menu, but you’ll get the real deal at El Trompo, one of the city’s first taquerias. When the weather is nice, snag a seat at a streetside table and brunch al fresco. The huevos a la mexicana pair scrambled eggs with flour tortillas, spicy salsa verde, and refried beans. They also serve bacon and eggs (otherwise known as huevos estrellados con tocino), by the way, in case you prefer to stick to what you know.