Yes, the rumours are true—Toronto adores brunch. On weekends, the struggle is real to get a table at the best brunch restaurants in Toronto, with hungry patrons vying for a spot like it’s a competitive sport. But take heart—with a tonne of cafés, restaurants, and bars in the city, you’ll be a brunch pro in no time. To start you off, here’s a list of some of the best brunch restaurants in Toronto:
George Street Diner
Entering the fire-engine-red brick building, you grab a swivelling stool at the bar and gaze agog as the cook deftly whips up omelettes, banana chocolate-chip pancakes, and breakfast burritos. With the aroma of maple and bacon wafting through the air, your belly begins to rumble.
This is breakfast at the George Street Diner, a 1950s-style eatery with cozy booths, which offers more than traditional bacon and eggs. The menu is all about Irish-style breakfast, with dishes inspired by the owner’s heritage. Ash Farrelly emigrated from Ireland to Canada with only 12 dollars in her pocket. After doing odd jobs across the city, she stumbled upon a ramshackle restaurant in Corktown and snapped it up.
Almost a decade later, the George Street Diner remains a local favourite, attracting hungry hordes for what many consider the best brunch in Toronto. For a taste of the Emerald Isle, feast on the Ultimate Irish Breakfast—a hearty plate of bacon, sausage, ham, eggs, sautéed veggies, home fries, and of course, freshly baked Irish Soda bread. For those who can’t get enough, the George Street Diner sells their soda bread mix to make at home.
Omni King Edward Hotel
Built in 1903, the “King Eddy” was once the tallest building in the city. Today, it’s considered a historic landmark, saturated with over 100 years of history. Throughout the century it has attracted celebrities and dignitaries such as Mark Twain, Margaret Thatcher, and Ernest Hemingway.
But the King Eddy is also famous for its exquisite Sunday brunch buffet, served in its Victoria’s Restaurant. A harpist welcomes you into the lavish dining hall, ornately decorated with chandeliers and elegant crown moulding. Plate in hand, you stop to marvel at the tempting cornucopia of fancy foods before satisfying your appetite in luxurious style with a sampling of smoked salmon, Alaskan king crab legs, eggs Benedict, Beef Wellington, and finally, decadent cakes and pastries. If you’re celebrating a special occasion, this is the place to do it.
Le Petit Déjeuner
To score a spot in this tiny eatery, long considered one of the best brunch restaurants in Toronto, you may need to come prepared to wait. On weekends, the line often extends down the street, so bring your friends, join the crowd of hardcore fans in line, and remember: the best things come to those who wait.
Le Petit Déjeuner’s sumptuous Belgian-inspired brunch is certainly worth the wait. Once inside this narrow diner with exposed brick walls, you slip into one of the green vinyl booths and take your rightful place among the throng of peckish patrons feasting on Belgian-style waffles topped with maple syrup, strawberries, bacon, and Chantilly cream. Others have come for a breakfast crêpe—a thin pancake stuffed with savoury fillings such as ham and cheese or peameal bacon and scrambled eggs. Absolute bliss!
This bistro-style restaurant claims to be Toronto’s oldest operating restaurant (since 1929), and serves some of the best brunch dishes in the city. If that’s not reason enough to visit, the Senator Restaurant has got serious charm, wooing patrons with wooden booths, counter seating, and walls that are bedazzled with music memorabilia from its previous life as a jazz club.
The attention to detail extends to the menu, which uses only local and organic ingredients. The organic milk is from Sheldon Creek Dairy in nearby Caledon, and the fresh roasted coffee beans hail from Ontario’s Dark City Coffee. The restaurant even produces its own honey at an apiary in Caledon.
Got a voracious appetite? Go for the signature Senator Breakfast, an epic platter of bacon, eggs, Challah toast, maple cider baked beans, home fries, and coffee, followed by a decadent dessert. And treat yourself to a spiked milkshake—all the cool people are doing it.