In Toronto it seems the better the brunch, the smaller the restaurant. Good Toronto brunch spots, which are frequently very tiny, will attract line-ups and most of them don’t take reservations so be prepared to wait 15 minutes or more at these restaurants unless you arrive right at opening hours. Whether you go out for brunch every week or on occasion, you’ll find that the following restaurants do brunch very well.
Saving Grace Restaurant
Located at 907 Dundas St. W. just east of Bellwoods (416-703-7368), Saving Grace is a neighbourhood breakfast magnet. The small non-descript eatery’s innovative kitchen puts a South Asian spin on Rajasthani eggs, which are made with chick pea masala, onions and tomato ($11), and have a nice kick. Other original menu items include carmelized pear pancakes. Make sure you put your name on the waiting list at the door as soon as you arrive to avoid getting bumped in line. Debit card or cash only.
Morning Glory Cafe
This Corktown cafe at 457 King St. E. (416-703-4728), which opens at 9 a.m. on weekends, has built a reputation for offering upbeat breakfast dishes at inexpensive prices. The $5.50 special includes two eggs, rosti potatoes, toast and coffee. Daily omelettes range from goat cheese and arugula to mango and brie and are melt in your mouth while the day’s homemade muffins may include chocolate raspberry. The front and back patio help with customer spillover. Cash only. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday.
This Bathurst and College eatery at 74 Lippincott St. attracts line-ups before it even opens at 9.a.m. due to regular customer favourites such as waffles, french toast and the breakfast pocket, a sandwich with scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, peameal bacon, tomato and dijon mustard. Hash browns also score, as well as homemade ketchup. This kitschy 50s-decorated diner has a small front patio. No reservations.
Replacing the former Dale’s Restaurant at 1285 Bloor St. W. (at Lansdowne Ave., 416-530-2999), this retro diner in the up-and-coming Bloordale area serves large brunch portions including french toast, pancakes and egg breakfasts. Eggs benny comes with homemade hollandaise sauce on homemade scones and you can get it with spinach, peameal bacon or smoked salmon ($9.99 = $12.99). Vegans will get their sugar rush with oatmeal chocolate-chip pancakes made with soy milk while to-die-for aromatic pumpkin spice pancakes are served with maple whip cream. Espresso is made on site.