I have to admit that after compiling a list of my favorite brunch spots in Toronto last year, I reverted back to my kitchen on weekends to make my own omelets and smoothies for quite some time. I was uninspired by a lot of the menus I was seeing and felt that brunch was becoming a pricey endeavor for food I could make at home, and healthier at that.
I’ve chosen wisely lately and have some new brunch recommendations where the food is creative, delicious, fairly healthy and pretty exciting! Most of these places are using local, in-season produce which means that as we dive into fall you can expect decadent squashes and greens to fill your plate and your tummy, prepared in ways you have never imagined or tasted.
Beast: This restaurant has become a staple for me, whether for dinner or for brunch. For coffee lovers, you get to pick your coffee bean and will be brought your own personal Bodum with a timer to ensure your pot is steeped to perfection. Start out your meal with the best doughnut you will ever eat by pastry chef Rachelle (Dough Toronto) – particularly the browned butter doughnut (although, did I just read about coffee icing with salted hazelnuts?!). Your meal can be as adventurous as you’d like it to be, but what Chef and owner Scott Vivian does best is meat, so I recommend getting out of your comfort zone a bit and trying something new, like the corned beef tongue scramble, served with gruyere and garlic scape pesto and house-made buttermilk biscuit.
Gilead Cafe: Jamie Kennedy’s cafe is hidden away down an alley-way off of King St., just east of Parliament and is only open for brunch on Sundays. The menu is eclectic and fancy, and won’t have you spending a fortune to sample the eats of this celebrated Torontonian chef. The seasonal tarts, french toasts, salads, eggs, hashes and sandwiches change week-to-week and everything is made in-house. If you’re looking for bacon and eggs, I’d steer clear, but if you’re open to an unexpected pop of blue cheese in your quiche or had a rough night and a braised beef breakfast poutine is all you can think about, this is the place for you.