At best, brunch in Toronto is the decadent highlight of a weekend. At worst, it can be a time-and-money-consuming source of regret (insult to the injury of a Sunday morning hangover). To help you avoid the latter and ensure the former, head to one of these hidden gem brunch spots where you won’t see lineups out the door on weekends. Plus, these spots won’t put an even bigger dent in your bank account than you did the night before.
Here are 7 hidden gems to grab brunch at in Toronto that you won’t find in tourist guides!
Definitely unassuming, Hurricane’s Roadhouse is a hidden gem in plain sight. The vibe is sports bar (with a history-filled, classic atmosphere – this place has been standing since 1985), but they’ve been voted one of the best ones in the city and they actually have award-winning menu offerings. The Hangover Poutine in particular doesn’t disappoint. Paired with $5 caesars or mimosas on Saturday and Sunday until 3 p.m., you can rarely go wrong with this weekend brunch.
Gayley’s is the definition of underrated. It might occupy a tiny hole in the wall at Dundas and Gladstone, but the place has served made-from-scratch comfort food for 15 years to a devoted pack of regulars. Choose from all day breakfast options like eggs benny, omelettes, pancakes, waffles, crepes, or a generous assortment of sandwiches, wraps, and soups. Gayley’s is open from Monday to Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Start your day here and stay fuelled until dinner.
Even though we’re in the depths of winter, come summer, soak up some sun on this Nassau Street patio and and take your pick of traditional all-day breakfast options at KOS. Enjoy ample veggie options (the Veggie Eggspress with eggs and your choice of grilled tomato, baked beans, sautéed spinach and mushroom for under $10. KOS has been a mainstay in the heart of Kensington market since 1975 and if you’re in a hurry, you can expect to be in and out fairly quick.
If you’re craving bacon, eggs, and home fries at 3, 4, or 5 a.m., there aren’t too many reliable options downtown outside of 7 West. Luckily, this statuesque cafe in a Victorian house near Yorkville offers its full menu 24 hours everyday. A more robust brunch offering is served on Saturdays and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., so you can get a decadent waffle or a stack of berry-topped pancakes with a mimosa, but if your ‘weekends’ start during the week, grab the ‘All the Time Breakfast’ option.
Any big-time waffle lover needs a Starving Artist brunch experience. There are now 7 different locations to choose from across the city, where you can get an all-day, distinctly waffle-oriented brunch. Choose from sweet or savoury, vegan, gluten-free, potato, or do a waffle eggs benny, a BLT with a waffle bun, a waffle grilled cheese, or even waffle bacon. Signature waffles start at $6 so, you can justify a 2 ounce caesar.
Situated on College just past Spadina is Free Time’s Cafe. While you might know this spot for its quaint live music that can be heard in the back and it’s Jewish comfort food, you have to know that it also offers a wicked brunch come the weekend. On Saturdays, enjoy an all-you-can-eat brunch for just $25 while listening to live Klezmer & Yiddish music.
Located on Roncy, The Ace is super cute but more importantly, it serves up super delicious fare. Grab brunch on Saturdays and Sundays between 9:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. Choose between tasty dishes like huevos rancheros, eggs benedict, croque madame, challah french toast, and more.
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