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Saturday Brunch in Toronto


phoenikia
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I was curious to hear about any of your favourite places open for brunch on Saturdays, as well as start a list for easy reference. It seems many of the better brunches in town (like JKWB, the Gallery Grill, the Globe, etc.) are open only on Sunday.

Open on Saturdays

Yorkville/Museum:

Studio Cafe

C5

One Restaurant

Yonge and Summerhill:

Cafe Doria

Rebel House

Mount Pleasant:

The Homeway

Yonge and Eglinton:

C5

Yonge and King:

Beer Bistro

King East:

Le Petit Dejeuner

Spadina and King:

Brassai

Leslieville: Bonjour Brioche

Danforth: Ten Feet Tall

Queen West/West Queen West:

Bar One

The Drake

The Gladstone

Swan

Epicure

Czehoski

Mitzi's Sister

Dundas West:

Saving Grace

Looking forward to hearing about any suggestions you might have.

Edited by phoenikia (log)
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

The AGO restaurant is now open - called Frank (after Gehry) - but I haven't tried it yet.

My absolute favourite (in the Museum/Yorkville area) is the Cafe at Holt's (inside Holt Renfrew and upstairs). Don't confuse with the cafeteria style basement food outlet (which is also good, and cheaper, but a little frenetic).

I usually don't reserve for brunch - don't want the time limitations, so occasionally can't get in anywhere upscale. Unexpectedly (to me at least) I've always been pleasantly surprised at the Bloor Street Diner (on the Bay St side of the Manulife Centre). Good (not great) food and really good service (but not the greatest ambiance) - and, of course, cheaper than most other places. Not worth a special trip - but my 'permanent' backup in the area.

In the Yonge/Summerhill area I'm not sure that I'd go to either place (although both are OK). Rebel House has slipped recently (for me) - and is noisy, crowded and doesn't take reservations. Caffe Doria has good coffee, but I'm not smitten with the food - probably because I find Boccone (Yonge, south of St Clair @ Rosehill) to be far better and MUCH cheaper. I also prefer Boccone's back patio (summer only) which is REALLY quiet! They do have an Espresso machine, but nobody would claim it's top tier (but really low prices). Also, in the same area, Franco's (I believe same family ownership as Caffe Doria - at least when it opened; Yonge a little south of St Clair) does an excellent brunch that's more omelette/salad style (smaller menu). However, Franco's hasn't really settled in - keeps changing its menus/opening hours - so not sure how permanent this will be.

And on a downer note: Homeway has really gone downhill. Bad service and barely passable food. I used to be a regular but never go there now.

Edited by estufarian (log)
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phoenikia,

I agree that there are too many mediocre places around town serving brunch. And even though this link leads you to many Sunday brunches, a number of those restaurants might also serve it on Saturdays.

In regards to some of the better places I've had non-Sunday brunches (which are, I'd admit, few):

I've heard nothing but good things about Celestin's brunch although I haven't been lucky enough to try it yet (will soon be remedied). 

Mount Pleasant and Eglinton area.

I'd happily return to Celestin for its brunch (which I enjoyed, foodwise, more than a recent dinner I had there).

I was curious to hear about any of your favourite places open for brunch on Saturdays, as well as start a list for easy reference. It seems many of the better brunches in town (like JKWB, the Gallery Grill, the Globe, etc.) are open only on Sunday.

Open on Saturdays

<snip>

Queen West/West Queen West:

Bar One

The Drake

The Gladstone

Swan

Epicure

Czehoski

Mitzi's Sister

<snip>

Mitzi's Sister has a small but pretty decent menu (I'd happily return even at that wobbly table), but if there's no room or if you wake up later, why not try Easy Restaurant (brunch everyday of the week!)?

Of course there's always dim sum for brunch (if you'd like to include that). :wink:

Edited by Renka (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...
The AGO restaurant is now open - called Frank (after Gehry) - but I haven't tried it yet.

My absolute favourite (in the Museum/Yorkville area) is the Cafe at Holt's (inside Holt Renfrew and upstairs). Don't confuse with the cafeteria style basement food outlet (which is also good, and cheaper, but a little frenetic).

I usually don't reserve for brunch - don't want the time limitations, so occasionally can't get in anywhere upscale. Unexpectedly (to me at least) I've always been pleasantly surprised at the Bloor Street Diner (on the Bay St side of the Manulife Centre). Good (not great) food and really good service (but not the greatest ambiance) - and, of course, cheaper than most other places. Not worth a special trip - but my 'permanent' backup in the area.

In the Yonge/Summerhill area I'm not sure that I'd go to either place (although both are OK). Rebel House has slipped recently (for me) - and is noisy, crowded and doesn't take reservations. Caffe Doria has good coffee, but I'm not smitten with the food - probably because I find Boccone (Yonge, south of St Clair @ Rosehill) to be far better and MUCH cheaper. I also prefer Boccone's back patio (summer only) which is REALLY quiet! They do have an Espresso machine, but nobody would claim it's top tier (but really low prices). Also, in the same area, Franco's (I believe same family ownership as Caffe Doria - at least when it opened; Yonge a little south of St Clair) does an excellent brunch that's more omelette/salad style (smaller menu). However, Franco's hasn't really settled in - keeps changing its menus/opening hours - so not sure how permanent this will be.

And on a downer note: Homeway has really gone downhill. Bad service and barely passable food. I used to be a regular but never go there now.

Thanks for your comments, Estufarian.

I'll have to give Holt's Cafe a try one of these days, and Frank is on my shortlist.

I wasn't impressed by the breakfast burrito at Franco's (probably not what I should have ordered at Franco's), but the prices are incredibly reasonable. What do you enjoy the most on the menu. I think I remember reading online that

Franco has sold the business, and his sister runs Caffe Doria.

I was very disappointed by my last visit to Rebel House.

Edited by phoenikia (log)
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Thanks Renka;) I've been wanting to try the huevos divorciados at Easy for a while now:)

I am thinking of trying Celestin & Mitzi's Sister for a future brunch, as well as Mildred's Temple Kitchen.

I tried MoRoCo today- decent brunch. The hollandaise and homefries were my favourite part- the smoked salmon was your typical grocery store quality. The sipping chocolate was decadent but too rich for me, and the macarons were fine (for Toronto ;))

Edited by phoenikia (log)
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I wasn't impressed by the breakfast burrito at Franco's (probably not what I should have ordered at Franco's), but the prices are incredibly reasonable. What do you enjoy the most on the menu.  I think I remember reading online that

Franco has sold the business, and his sister runs Caffe Doria.

I've only been a couple of times (it hasn't been open long). Haven't had the burrito - so far only the 'standard' items (omelettes etc). But each time cooked to order and served piping hot. And toast was exactly to my liking (crispy outside, slightly chewy inside) and creditable coffee (for breakfast they don't use the espresso machine).

Indeed it may have already changed hands. Certainly no real signs of Italian influences, but I'm not really an Italian afficionado, so am not familiar with Franco's food anyway. The evening dinner has already been suspended (never got to try it - when I attempted it had already closed for dinner - but that's when I noticed the breakfast offering). And it so exceeded my expectations that I may have just been lucky. Still working my way through the offerings - but both times I was really impressed by the service - very anxious to please without being too overbearing.

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I wasn't impressed by the breakfast burrito at Franco's (probably not what I should have ordered at Franco's), but the prices are incredibly reasonable. What do you enjoy the most on the menu.  I think I remember reading online that

Franco has sold the business, and his sister runs Caffe Doria.

I've only been a couple of times (it hasn't been open long). Haven't had the burrito - so far only the 'standard' items (omelettes etc). But each time cooked to order and served piping hot. And toast was exactly to my liking (crispy outside, slightly chewy inside) and creditable coffee (for breakfast they don't use the espresso machine).

Indeed it may have already changed hands. Certainly no real signs of Italian influences, but I'm not really an Italian afficionado, so am not familiar with Franco's food anyway. The evening dinner has already been suspended (never got to try it - when I attempted it had already closed for dinner - but that's when I noticed the breakfast offering). And it so exceeded my expectations that I may have just been lucky. Still working my way through the offerings - but both times I was really impressed by the service - very anxious to please without being too overbearing.

It's interesting that they aren't offering espresso based drinks at breakfast these days. When I had breakfast there about 2 months ago, they served me a cappuccino. Our server was eager to please, and the service was friendlier and more professional than most breakfast/brunch places I've tried in North Toronto. And none of the attitude you might find on West Queen West or in Leslieville;)

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My Saturday lunch spot has always been Pangaea when trapsing around Yorkville.

GC: I didn't know Pangaea served brunch. What's the menu like? Any special breakfast pastries?

phoenikia: I'd love to try MoRoCo, but fear that it might be like kryptonite to me (re: my cocoa allergies). Years ago paid a visit to Death By Chocolate in Vancouver (a friend wanted cake, I just had a tea), and I learnt my lesson. Near death (well not quite, but quite sick) by chocolate, indeed! Walking into a cocoa filled shop and even having a glass of water (cross contamination) is probably not the smartest thing. Just sitting there and being "company" and not being able to sample any of the delicious looking fare would be torture. :sad:

Oh, I was also going to suggest Mildred's Temple Kitchen but didn't know if they served brunch on Saturdays (I know for sure Sundays). I also know I'll be trying to head over to School Bakery and Café to try their wares. Again, I don't know if they have brunch on Saturdays (in regards to your thread's request). :wink:

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I have been to Atelier Thuet (liberty village/king w) for brunch a few times and they have the best French toast I ever had in my life.. (although the kitchen seems a bit slow)

If you like French Toast, you should try the version at Bonjour Brioche in Leslieville. It's more like bread pudding than standard French Toast. And the nice thing about Bonjour Brioche is that you can order brunch any day of the week;)

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My Saturday lunch spot has always been Pangaea when trapsing around Yorkville.

GC: I didn't know Pangaea served brunch. What's the menu like? Any special breakfast pastries?

phoenikia: I'd love to try MoRoCo, but fear that it might be like kryptonite to me (re: my cocoa allergies). Years ago paid a visit to Death By Chocolate in Vancouver (a friend wanted cake, I just had a tea), and I learnt my lesson. Near death (well not quite, but quite sick) by chocolate, indeed! Walking into a cocoa filled shop and even having a glass of water (cross contamination) is probably not the smartest thing. Just sitting there and being "company" and not being able to sample any of the delicious looking fare would be torture. :sad:

Oh, I was also going to suggest Mildred's Temple Kitchen but didn't know if they served brunch on Saturdays (I know for sure Sundays). I also know I'll be trying to head over to School Bakery and Café to try their wares. Again, I don't know if they have brunch on Saturdays (in regards to your thread's request). :wink:

Renka: Mildred's Temple Kitchen only serves brunch on Sundays, but they do serve lunch on Saturdays. Haven't been there yet, but hope to try them early in the New Year!

Probably safer that you don't enter MoRoCo, if you're worried about cross-contamination- the scent of cocoa is very heavy in the air.

Edited by phoenikia (log)
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  • 1 month later...

Just thought I'd add some comments for some of the brunch spots around town that are open on Saturdays.

The brunch I ordered at Caren's Wine Bar was mediocre, and I wouldn't choose to return. Low-grade smoked salmon, under-seasoned home fries. The eggs were ok, and the cappuccino was pretty good, but overall the food was meh.

I loved the huevos divorciados at Easy at the SE corner of Queen W and Roncesvalles- my favourite brunch in Toronto right now. Cheap and cheerful.

Have also been enjoying the Greek omelettes at the Patrician Grill on King East lately.

Edited by phoenikia (log)
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  • 2 months later...

I was happy with a recent Saturday Brunch at Frank, at the AGO.

Great service, and good to excellent food.

Nice cappuccino to start.

The pastry basket was as good as it gets in TO, with 2 types of scones (2 sweet, and 2 cheddar herb), a pain au chocolat, a raisin pastry and a croissant. Good frites.

I liked the goatcheese souffle (heavier than I expected, but tasted fine) with the arugula and roasted beets.

Decent frites.

Shared the decadent chocolate pudding with caramel sauce.

Frank opens at 11 a.m. AGO members get 10 percent off.

Edited by phoenikia (log)
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