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Oct 27, 2008 08:29 AM

Casual brunch west Queen west

Where to go for a casual, not too expensive brunch around Queen and Ossington? Sunday. Don't want to fight crowds - just decent food, not overly trendoid nor excessively grungy.

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  1. Levack Block, on Ossington a couple of blocks north of Queen, might do the trick:


    Google "Levack Block brunch" for reviews, there are a couple out there on the intarwebs.

    1. I live closer to Bathurst than to Ossington so my casual brunch spots in the area reflect that. There are several good options. My choices would be (in no particular order):

      Swan on Queen near Clinton is tasty but no good if there are more than 4 of you as most of the seating is at booths that can't seat more than 4.

      A bit further west on Queen near Manning - Squirly's is a very casual, cheap, reliable place. Not a typical Chowhound destination, a bit (but not excessively) grungy, but a decent, inexpensive, neighbourhood place.

      Fresh (Queen at Shaw, next to Swan) is not the most comfortable, the patrons are young and covered in Lululemon, and it is vegetarian so no bacon with your eggs but the food is good, especially brunch. I like it but have trouble convincing El Presidente to brunch without bacon.

      If you can venture up to Dundas and a few blocks (really, not far) east of Ossington, there's Musa at Euclid. I like their grilled fruit and egg plate and have had good brunch experiences there.

      Amazing Grace (Dundas around Bellwoods) has yummy food but is very popular, small and can be too much of a wait so don't bother if you don't want to fight crowds.

      The Palmerston (on Palmerston at Dundas, north side) is more of an Italian cafe - not trendy in the West Queen West way, clean, good food - would meet your criteria though I can't remember if it is a typical brunch menu.

      Very trendy and popular but fun are the bluegrass brunches at the Dakota - on Ossington a couple doors north of College. Family style eating - they bring big plates of whatever is on the menu that day for the whole table. I think it's about $12 a person. Lots of small children and young, hipster parents. Not excessively grungy but not excessively clean, either. Go early or you'll be fighting crowds.

      Skip the Drake - OK food but too pricey, too trendy, and too popular. Though it is good if you just want to grab a muffin and coffee in the coffee shop.

      And, finally, I have noticed the Lakeview Lunch on Dundas at Ossington is being cleaned up and was about to re-open. Has anyone been by recently? Heard anything? If it is open, it might meet your criteria and in a great, retro, diner atmosphere.

      1 Reply
      1. re: VP of Feeling Groovy

        Still missing Sugar, the ultimate West Queen West brunch spot. VP, would the Dundas and Bellwoods spot in your post be "Saving" Grace, by any chance?

      2. The Gladstone is perfect. Fresh and delicious baked goods as well. Top quality. Casual and well priced.

        1. Thanks for those suggestions. I think we may do either the Dakota (my son's favourite bar) or the Gladstone. Not sure I'm up for bluegrass with my brunch, but it could be fun.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Nyleve

            A warning... the Dakota brunch is all you can eat, but its as simple as you can get, no substitutions from the scrambled eggs, potatoes and bacon.

            Levack Block and the Beaver serve pretty well priced and delicious brunch menus.

            1. re: jayseeca

              Thanks for the warning. It may not take much to dissuade me from dealing with bluegrass before the sun goes down. Will re-think.

              1. re: Nyleve

                Gladstone really does fit the description. Nice room too.

          2. One of my favorites is 'Luna cafe'. I don't think they have a sign or anything. It's two short blocks north of Queen on Dovercourt rd. It's a very nice antiquated building on the corner, and their brunches are quite nice. It's never very packed, nor is it overly trendy. Just decent brunch, nice atmosphere and well-made espresso. Hope it helps.