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Brunch with a toddler

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something_yummy Oct 25, 2008 07:02 PM

We are looking for some suggestions on where we can have a nice (good quality food) brunch. It must be someplace that doesnt frown on having children in their space. (we have already got a few great dim sum places - looking for eggs, waffles and other brunch treats)

We have been to a few spots - but are looking for something new...tired of same old spots.

Here is a partial list of where we have been:

Swan - hit and miss with food, not great for children as wait can be long and space is tight
King edddy - good for what it is (who eats 50/pp at brunch?), great for children - staff very helpful
Coras - fair, ok for our son but we didnt want to go back.
Whitlocks - food it ok, ok for children
Hot House - yuck! might as well be at GG
Fresh - ok (but we really like eggs), not great for children as noise travels and space is tight
Old Nick - food is fine (better when Michelle Bellerose was there), havent taken our little one or seen other children there.
Gallery Grill - food is great, our son was not amused by the offerings
Three's Company Cafe - fair on both accounts
Abbot Pub & Fare - typical brunch food, suprisingly great for children - a pub with high chairs!

So - to all of you who share our love of brunch - help us find something new.

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  1. TorontoJo RE: something_yummy Oct 26, 2008 05:19 AM

    Homeway on Mt. Pleasant is very, very family friendly and has a good brunch menu. There was a recent thread about a bad experience there, but I personally have always had a good experience.

    1. JamieK RE: something_yummy Oct 26, 2008 06:27 AM

      Ten Feet Tall, on Danforth near Greenwood. Very kid-friendly, in fact the owner's young kids are often hanging around or helping out. Tasty yam frites with dips along with the usual brunch stuff -
      http://www.tenfeettall.ca/brunch.html

      -----
      Ten Feet Tall
      1381 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J, CA

      1 Reply
      1. re: JamieK
        burningrome RE: JamieK Oct 28, 2008 07:35 PM

        Ten Feet Tall is great, my 22 month old son has eaten quite a few of the yam fries there...and lamb pops as well. Also good is Melanie's for brunch, Danforth near Glebemount, across from East Lynn Park.

      2. robgm RE: something_yummy Oct 26, 2008 06:49 AM

        Mitzi's Sister on Queen West has a very busy brunch with many children present.

        1. m
          miranda RE: something_yummy Oct 26, 2008 10:21 AM

          Alices Restaurant on College West...welcomes kids...as does Terroni's...Miranda

          1. b
            budeeez RE: something_yummy Oct 26, 2008 01:01 PM

            We've brought our now > 2 yr old to Le Select Bistro for wknd brunches when she was just under 2 yrs old. Plus, we lug our > 6 mth old baby there too in the stroller. They've always put us at the table just left of the door where there's banquette seating. We always like banquette seating because we can corner in our child to reduce on mess and damage they can do. If you don't let your kid go wild, we've found they're pretty good. Take a look at the menu online before going to see what will appeal to your toddler. You'll get a nice meal and it's not some gross chain.

            1 Reply
            1. re: budeeez
              c
              Chocolatemama RE: budeeez Oct 26, 2008 05:11 PM

              I second Le Select Bistro! I took my 4 and 2 year olds there a few months ago and it was great. They are very kid-friendly there, offering crayons and the most unique children's menu I have ever seen! Food is excellent also>

            2. sloweater RE: something_yummy Oct 26, 2008 02:47 PM

              Have you tried Allen's on the Danforth? They are kid friendly (I have a 17 month old) and there are the usual brunch items: french toast, waffles, eggs benny and other pub grub. I have had major issues in the past with the place, but lately they have bounced back both in service and food quality.

              I was there 2 weeks ago with my wife and son. My son was getting a little restless waiting for his french toast and the waitress brought over a book with magnetic farm animals to keep him occupied. The waitress was not put off in the least serving a table with a toddler. While we were there, I saw at least 2 other families with young kids.

              As I mentioned above, I have had issues with Allens in the past, but they seem to have bounced back.

              7 Replies
              1. re: sloweater
                w
                wheresthafood RE: sloweater Oct 26, 2008 04:33 PM

                Dr. Generosity
                http://www.drgenerosity.com/

                J.J. Mugs (Woodbine Centre
                )http://www.jjmuggs.com/menu_brunch.html

                I particularly like the Sunday buffet at JJ Mugs. The faster the food is on the plate (especially for little ones), the better.

                1. re: wheresthafood
                  burningrome RE: wheresthafood Oct 29, 2008 08:03 AM

                  Went to Dr Generosity last sunday morning - great place! Got there around 9AM, I'd say maybe half of the tables had kids under 6! (Too early for any BWV hipsters....). Great breakfast and delivered INSANELY fast, like 5 minutes from ordering.

                2. re: sloweater
                  j
                  julesrules RE: sloweater Oct 26, 2008 06:12 PM

                  Allen's does not allow strollers though.
                  Since the OP seems to be somewhat in the east end - Three's Company at Pape and Danforth are kid-friendly with good brunch food. The Jester Pub is not really chowish but have decent omelettes, etc, and they do have high chairs. The staff at Euro Crepe Cafe are really super with my toddler, and she loves watching them make her crepe.

                  1. re: julesrules
                    sloweater RE: julesrules Oct 26, 2008 08:05 PM

                    I'm not sure what their policy is at Allen's, but we had our stroller with us. They stored it on the patio. They may not welcome strollers during the winter.

                    1. re: sloweater
                      j
                      julesrules RE: sloweater Oct 27, 2008 07:32 AM

                      Maybe it was an evil anti-Allen's rumour - I haven't actually confirmed it. Good to hear they were accomodating.

                      1. re: julesrules
                        sloweater RE: julesrules Oct 27, 2008 08:42 AM

                        We were on the patio that day, so they had a place to store strollers. I can't be so sure that they'll be as nice when the snow comes.

                  2. re: sloweater
                    m
                    majumdre RE: sloweater Dec 5, 2008 05:52 AM

                    I tried Allen's after reading this blog. We had a 15month and a 4month baby (for 45mins tops). Food was good. All the servers and cooks were really friendly and nice. The manager was extremely rude about the kids and grumpy. Just because of her, it makes u not want to go there. They need a manager with the ability to be PLEASANT with people (everyone plus those with kids) to do this job otherwise u shudn't be in any customer service manager position. According to the manager (not the servers who do all the work!) they were too small to accomodate families! give me a break - they have 15 tables and a patio!

                  3. Otonabee RE: something_yummy Oct 26, 2008 05:20 PM

                    We are regular brunch goers with our 2 year old

                    Some of our faves:

                    ViVetha (Beaches) - Our current favourite spot. Excellent food and understanding staff

                    Marche - Don't laugh.. Not elegant dining but if you are dining on a timeline it goes work! Good waffles.

                    Toast (Leslieville) - Spotty service but when they are good they are really very good...

                    Toba (King East) - Be warned, no high chairs. We always have our own boosters and I find the food and service to be pretty good. I haven't had any issues with attitude when we bring the kid.

                    Mill Street Brew Pub - Actually did brunch there for my son's 1st birthday with 6 adults and 3 toddlers. They were great and really understanding. Haven't been for a while though.

                    Good luck in your quest! Got to say, it is a great city for brunch!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Otonabee
                      JamieK RE: Otonabee Oct 26, 2008 05:46 PM

                      second ViVetha

                      -----
                      Vivetha
                      2485 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4E1H9, CA

                      1. re: JamieK
                        d
                        ddelicious RE: JamieK Oct 27, 2008 09:39 AM

                        Cantine and the Studio Cafe in the four seasons

                        1. re: ddelicious
                          Otonabee RE: ddelicious Oct 27, 2008 07:13 PM

                          Got to agree with the Studio Cafe. Haven't been there with a toddler but went there when my son was 6 months old. The hostess was incredibly sweet and gave my son a little teddy bear.

                          Now I am thinking we should really go back for bunch at some point...

                    2. s
                      something_yummy RE: something_yummy Oct 27, 2008 09:26 PM

                      thank you all!

                      we hope to find a few gems in the list. and hopefully they will not frown on our stroller (happened at a resto that didnt have a high chair - Cravings on Yonge)

                      a few notes:

                      JJ mugs - might as well be at GG
                      ViVetha and Toast and all others in the queen east eara - why are all great brunch places down that way?

                      we used to live out that way - and loved all the great options we had for brunch. it was amazing. now that we've move we end up packing up and trekking all over the city in search. (now live in yonge/lawrence area).

                      argh.

                      oh well, a yummy brunch place is worth it!

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: something_yummy
                        TorontoJo RE: something_yummy Oct 28, 2008 06:19 AM

                        Ah, if you're at Yonge and Lawrence, then Homeway is definitely a good bet for you, as it's on Mt. Pleasant, north of Eglinton. Also nearby is the The Abbott Pub at Yonge and Glenforest (?). It's a pub, but the food is really good and fresh. Great local spot.

                        1. re: TorontoJo
                          sloweater RE: TorontoJo Oct 28, 2008 08:00 AM

                          I have to disagree with Homeway (refer to a previous thread for detailed reasons). The service is atrocious and the food matches the service. The only reason I would bring my child there is that the atmosphere is similar to the ball room at Ikea: chaos reigns supreme.

                          1. re: sloweater
                            d
                            ddelicious RE: sloweater Oct 28, 2008 10:48 AM

                            Do not go to homeway. Awful place. If you are at yonge and lawrence you could go to United Bakers, at Lawrence and Bathurst. Not exactly a foodie destination but it is great for kids and they have decent fresh food, soups, salads, etc.

                            1. re: ddelicious
                              s
                              something_yummy RE: ddelicious Oct 28, 2008 09:58 PM

                              per my post - we've done The Abbott. We have not tried Homeway but have not heard good things from our friends. United Bakers is not very good...tried Colemans too (other side of Bathurst) it is a bit better.

                              We are looking for a good brunch not just something we can put together.

                              I guess we will have to go back to Queen east to try a few of the other suggestions.

                              1. re: something_yummy
                                j
                                julesrules RE: something_yummy Oct 29, 2008 05:52 AM

                                The Danforth is your friend.. Ten Feet Tall and 3's Company would be my top picks for great brunch and family-friendly attitude. Try the brunch poutine at 3's company - fries, pulled pork, grated cheese and... a fried egg. They do also have lighter options ;)

                      2. JamieK RE: something_yummy Oct 29, 2008 03:53 AM

                        Have you tried Safari Grill?
                        http://www.safaribarandgrill.com/toro...

                        -----
                        Safari Bar & Grill
                        1749 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M 3Y8, CA

                        1. Delish RE: something_yummy Oct 29, 2008 04:51 AM

                          Harbord House is family friendly and very tasty. Their brunch offerings are egg heavy - no pancakes, french toast or waffles - which I do find odd, but you can order off their regular menu as well. Good burgers, sandwiches, fish n chips, etc. Any meal must be finished with their sticky toffee pudding. Yum

                          http://www.harbordhouse.ca/menu.html

                          1. laurelmcg RE: something_yummy Oct 29, 2008 08:48 AM

                            My friend regularly heads to Mitzi's Sister on Queen street with her baby, they're extremely kid-friendly and the food is great and well-priced.

                            http://www.mitzissister.com/menu.html

                            1. s
                              stephintoronto RE: something_yummy Oct 30, 2008 09:30 AM

                              The Drake on Queen Street at Dovercourt always has little ones around and it is casual enough tthat it doesn't matter. It seems that the staff are helpful and ok with it.

                              1. foodyDudey RE: something_yummy Dec 5, 2008 06:22 AM

                                Why don't you try Globe Bistro for Sunday brunch, I've seen toddlers there. The food and service is good also.

                                1. j
                                  JToronto RE: something_yummy Dec 5, 2008 08:48 AM

                                  Not in your area, but if you are willing to travel I can suggest:
                                  The Gladstone - very casual, lots of space and you can even let the kids run around over in the Melody Bar if it isn't open yet
                                  Le Pain Quotidian in Yorkville is good and surprisingly kid friendly (if they behave)
                                  Also, second the suggestion of Cantine on Ave Rd S of Davenport

                                  1. j
                                    JToronto RE: something_yummy Dec 5, 2008 08:51 AM

                                    Oh and I forgot my favourite of all. Caveat: no eggs, minimal choices, excellent organic baked goods (scones, muffins), light options eg. hardboiled egg with baguette and cheese, and "lunchier" brunches like salads and sandwiches. BUT very friendly, very welcoming to kids, and some of the best coffee in the city: Ezra's Pound on Davenport just east of Spadina

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: JToronto
                                      p
                                      peppermint pate RE: JToronto Dec 15, 2008 12:02 PM

                                      I'm going to second two of JToronto's rec's. We've yet to try Ezra's Pound with our kids but I regularly stop in there for great coffee. The limited menu is quite tasty - a bit pricey but the quality is high (and let me reiterate about the coffee - I could start a separate thread about great brunch places that also have great coffee, let alone also being welcoming to toddlers - and we toddler parents need our coffee!!!!!).

                                      This week-end, we tried the Yorkville location of LPQ. Yes, I know that everyone (other than the shills - er, first time posters...) trashed the other location on this board and I never even bothered with it. But this week-end, we hit the Yorkville spot with rugrats in tow. Pros: Opens early - hard to find a brunch spot that's open by 9 that's not a diner, VERY welcoming for and mindful of needs of kids (they even have a small kids menu), decent selection of brunch items (waffles, 2 eggs with bread, pastries, granola and yoghurt, oatmeal - no bacon and I don't think there was french toast or pancakes). Also, when you go early, or at least when we did, it was more than half-empty (half-full?) so there was space for our little guys to mosey around a bit. Coffee was decent - not in the same league as Ezra's but decent. Cons: WAY overpriced - 2 soft-boiled (in fact, almost hard-boiled) eggs with some bits of different breads and a pat of butter for $7.50, granola/yoghurt/fruit parfait with 7 bites of fruit for $7.50. Also, the pastries looked meh. Would I go here again with just my husband - not likely, or at least not often. Would I go here again with the kidlets one morning? In a heartbeat.

                                      OP - please tell more about brunch at the Abbott. How was the food? Coffee?

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