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Unique Toronto Breakfast Recs.

Finnegan Feb 9, 2009 09:48 AM

Am looking for some unique recommendations for a sunday breakfast in downtown Toronto. Something other than the usual bacon and eggs fare. Any suggestions?

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    currycue RE: Finnegan Feb 9, 2009 09:51 AM

    I like Aunties and Uncles (www.auntiesanduncles.ca) at College and Lippincott (near Bathurst) They make a mean tuna sanwich on pan bagnat with dijon dill potatoes.

    5 Replies
    1. re: currycue
      Ediblethoughts RE: currycue Mar 4, 2009 12:46 PM

      I finally got around to trying this place today. So hard to decide what to eat! But I tried the breakfast tacos and the hash browns. Both were very tasty and very unique. Must go back to this place! (I just wish I'd known it was hidden there so close to Bathurst & College last week when I ended up having to go to Mars for breaky/brunch---not an impressive meal.)

      1. re: Ediblethoughts
        Yongeman RE: Ediblethoughts Mar 4, 2009 06:57 PM

        It's sad about the Mars. We used to go regularly 20 to 30 years ago and it was awesome...like something from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. I loved the corned beef hash, excellent home fries etc. It was always super crowded for weekend breakfasts. First place in town to make oversize muffins--the cops all used to stop there. Believe it or not, it's the same grillman, Jimmy, who works the counter now! Different owners, though. I do go on occasion, and the breakfast is still good, but no atmospere now that there isn't the same clientele.

        1. re: Yongeman
          Ediblethoughts RE: Yongeman Mar 5, 2009 07:44 AM

          I guess it depends on what you order. I found it not horrible but also not really memorable--sort of blandish omlette and so-so everything else. It's hard to compete with Aunties and Uncles!

          1. re: Ediblethoughts
            Finnegan RE: Ediblethoughts Mar 6, 2009 01:01 PM

            Was there last week. and found it just okay. Personally I go more for the experience and decor than the food...something nostalgic about sitting a the counter watching them cook your breakfast.

            1. re: Finnegan
              Ediblethoughts RE: Finnegan Mar 6, 2009 03:36 PM

              Do you mean A & U or Mars? (Because I think you might be able to see them cook at either place.)

    2. pinstripeprincess RE: Finnegan Feb 9, 2009 11:44 AM

      soba canada's soba sunday.

      delicious. wonderful. passionate chef. if you like your tofu fresh fresh and very soft, go at 11:30. otherwise take a later seating. only 30 servings available. a little pricey, but a very unique and amazing experience.

      1. y
        Yum2MyTum RE: Finnegan Feb 9, 2009 12:04 PM

        Although this option includes both bacon and eggs, I still think it's uniquely Torontonian -- Breakfast on a bun at the Carousel Bakery: Peameal Bacon, cheddar and gooey egg on a soft country roll.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Yum2MyTum
          mwalton11 RE: Yum2MyTum Feb 25, 2009 05:36 AM

          i can second that this is the best breakfast sandwich that i've ever had, simple and delicious

        2. e
          escoffier RE: Finnegan Feb 9, 2009 12:49 PM

          Might I be so bold as to suggest Sneaky Dee's? Or, if you're in a south of the border frame of mind, Tacos El Asador at Bloor and Clinton. Salvadoran brekkie to start the day off right.

          4 Replies
          1. re: escoffier
            Finnegan RE: escoffier Feb 9, 2009 12:59 PM

            Been there for lunch...what do they serve breakfast wise?

            1. re: Finnegan
              escoffier RE: Finnegan Feb 10, 2009 06:11 AM

              Tex Mex for the most part - Huevos Rancheros and the like, and it's good. It's a divey place but in a good way. Grab a booth, grab a newspaper and dig in.

              1. re: escoffier
                snackboy RE: escoffier Feb 11, 2009 11:40 PM

                I second Sneaky's . . . We're often in for breakfast on the weekends and are always happy with our meals . . .Their omelettes are great! . . . I also like their huevos rancheros and the eggs benny . . . their hollandaise sauce is not traditional as it's sort of a parmesean cheese sauce but I like it . . . Their steak and eggs are good as well. . . and for the money you can't beat it...


                1. re: snackboy
                  Ediblethoughts RE: snackboy Feb 25, 2009 08:03 AM

                  We tried going to Sneaky's today for the so-called "all day" breakfast. We arrived at 10 am to find it opens at 11am. Oh well. We ended up across the street at Mars for a not very inspired breaky... pity.

          2. j
            jamiemcdonald RE: Finnegan Feb 9, 2009 01:06 PM

            Lai Wah Heen in the Metropolitan Hotel does high class dim sum. Delicious.

            1. Ediblethoughts RE: Finnegan Feb 9, 2009 01:48 PM

              I was at Saving Grace (on Dundas) on a week day and I understand their weekend brunch is even better---I really enjoyed the week day brunch. I can't seem to find the website to show the link but I had a pumpkin quesadilla and I loved the wide selection of less than usual breads to have with the meal (included an Indian bread and a whole wheat with raisin).

              I've also enjoyed Mitzi's in the past. They do some neat stuff there.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Ediblethoughts
                Sarah Cat RE: Ediblethoughts Feb 11, 2009 01:21 PM

                Mitzi's is my go-to breakfast spot. Their oatmeal pancakes are famous, and during the week you can get these fantastic fishcakes instead of bacon. I ADORE those fishcakes. They make me want to quit working 9-5.

              2. c
                CycloneRicky RE: Finnegan Feb 9, 2009 01:57 PM

                In the west end there are some good places for breakfast that have a little different fare. Easy Diner at Queen & Roncesvalles has a pretty funky menu. Another great place is Universal Grill on Dupont at Shaw St. They make the most amazing stuffed french toast and always have an interesting menu, worth checking out.

                Universal Grill
                1071 Shaw St, Toronto, ON M6G3N4, CA

                Easy Restaurant
                1645 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6R1A9, CA

                1 Reply
                1. re: CycloneRicky
                  phoenikia RE: CycloneRicky Feb 12, 2009 07:58 AM

                  Love Easy's huevos divorciados- my favourite brunch dish in Toronto right now.

                2. h
                  Hedonist RE: Finnegan Feb 9, 2009 03:33 PM

                  I am a big fan of brunch at Edward Levesque"s, Leslie and Queen. Suggestion go early, elevenish as they don't take reservations but the line moves quickly anyway.

                  1. Muffin__Top RE: Finnegan Feb 9, 2009 05:31 PM

                    Go to Cluck Grunt and Low for AYCE Southern Brunch...
                    Beef Brisket, Chili, Beans, Pumpkin Pie, Cornbread.. definitely not your usual breakfast!!

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                      airsey RE: Finnegan Feb 10, 2009 07:14 AM

                      For something completely NOT eggs and bacon. I believe Oyster Boy serves brunch.

                      1. TorontoJo RE: Finnegan Feb 10, 2009 07:22 AM

                        I really like the brunch menu at Brassaii. While it does have bacon and eggs, it has a lot of other dishes that are off the beaten breakfast path. Note that they don't open until 10. And I do recommend a reservation, as they can get busy, especially later.

                        Here's the menu http://www.brassaii.com/brassaii_brun...

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: TorontoJo
                          Ediblethoughts RE: TorontoJo Feb 10, 2009 09:00 AM

                          That's one very enticing menu for brunch. The breaky menu also looks good (since brunch only means Sat/Sun at this place) but the brunch menu is the one that really calls to me...

                          Any idea how the parking is down there (either for brunch/breaky or dinner)?

                          1. re: Ediblethoughts
                            airsey RE: Ediblethoughts Feb 10, 2009 09:50 AM

                            Not to rain on anyone's parade but I went to Brassaii last weekend and was not impressed. Service was less than stellar: when I asked for a description of the fritata I was met with a blank stare and then a rambling description that didn't get me excited in the least. I settled on the goat cheese, tomato omelette which was bland at best. The potatos were also quite greasy. Perhaps I chose wrong but I'm not eager to return.

                            1. re: Ediblethoughts
                              TorontoJo RE: Ediblethoughts Feb 10, 2009 10:03 AM

                              Parking isn't bad on the weekends. I can usually find parking right on King St.

                              Sorry about your bad omelette, airsey. I've never had any of their egg dishes, so can't comment on them. I usually to order the double bacon BLT and fries, which is really yummy. I will agree that the service at brunch is nondescript at best. I always feel like the servers were out clubbing too late the night before and are very irked to have to be up and serving people. But we like the space and the food and they leave us alone to read our paper in peace, so it's still on our regular weekend brunch rotation.

                              1. re: TorontoJo
                                blindbunny RE: TorontoJo Feb 10, 2009 12:22 PM

                                I have always enjoyed the Brassai brunch -- good prices and very reliable. The freshly made donuts and espresso sauce are dreamy! So what if your server seems like he's coming off a coke bender? ;P

                          2. b
                            blueberry101 RE: Finnegan Feb 10, 2009 10:05 AM

                            Dessert Trends has a creative weekend brunch menu, with lots of options for those not so into the whole bacon and eggs breaky.
                            I love the potato pancake with smoked salmon, great french toast too.
                            Reservations on Sunday recommended.


                            1 Reply
                            1. re: blueberry101
                              TorontoJo RE: blueberry101 Feb 10, 2009 10:21 AM

                              Agreed -- it's one of my favorite weekend brunch spots.

                            2. h
                              HelloClarice RE: Finnegan Feb 10, 2009 10:19 AM

                              For off-the-beaten-track-breakfasts, I like Ethiopian at Lalibela on Bloor near Ossington.

                              JamieK should be around with a link in a few minutes.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: HelloClarice
                                airsey RE: HelloClarice Feb 10, 2009 11:24 AM

                                How does Ethiopian brunch differ from the dinner offerings?

                                1. re: airsey
                                  HelloClarice RE: airsey Feb 10, 2009 12:03 PM

                                  They’re offered earlier in the day, for one. Food is also more breakfasty, with dishes like firfir (shredded injera, which is like pancake, served with spices and various meats) being a pretty typical Ethiopian breakfast dish. Fatira, another typical breakfast dish, is a pancake-like dish sometimes served with eggs and eaten with honey. Throw in a glass of orange juice and - Bang! - you've got Ethiopian breakfast.

                              2. b
                                blindbunny RE: Finnegan Feb 10, 2009 12:23 PM

                                other good breakfast eateries are Toast (Queen/Logan) and Bonjour Brioche -- same area. Maggie's at Bathurst/College has a really good breakfast and the servings are pretty big.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: blindbunny
                                  Manybears RE: blindbunny Apr 27, 2009 06:11 AM

                                  I'm late to respond to this, but when was the last time you were at Maggie's? I loved it 4-5 years ago but haven't had good experiences the last two times I was there. I am greatly understating it by saying "haven't had good experiences", and I am pretty relaxed about my standards. The last time we went we actually left before being given menus (we had 10 minutes to check out the remnants of yesterdays diners before being noticed in a crowd of-- oh, just us). Too bad, it used to be a favourite.

                                  1. re: Manybears
                                    fickle RE: Manybears Apr 27, 2009 09:00 AM

                                    I was there about a month ago and I wasn't impressed. Very big portions but poorly executed. Pancakes and bacon were burnt, toast came with butter despite a special request to have it dry, eggs were decent and there was barely any garlic in the garlic home fries. I doubt I will return.

                                2. mogo RE: Finnegan Feb 11, 2009 02:54 PM

                                  Congee and char kuei!

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: mogo
                                    restaurantarian RE: mogo Feb 12, 2009 07:06 AM

                                    Love Morning Glory on King East. Breakfast Buddy Sandwich with homemade ketchup and ailoli. Great coffee. And they need some love now that Gilead opened practically next door (love it too, though).

                                    1. re: restaurantarian
                                      weekerrie RE: restaurantarian Apr 26, 2009 06:52 PM

                                      Second this recommendation. Went there for the first time on Saturday..and went back Sunday as well! The coffee is to die for - much better than run of the mill diner coffee. The food is amazing and the prices are great. I'll be back again and again. Please put the apple pancakes on special soon!

                                  2. Finnegan RE: Finnegan Feb 24, 2009 10:25 AM

                                    Sooo. We went with Edward Levesques Kitchen. Have been there several times for dinner and enjoy both the food and the laid back vibe. Not so impressed with the brunch. I had the poached eggs, cornbread and italian sausage (about $10)while my dining partner had the Full Monty...2 eggs, bangers, bacon, beans, toast, portobello mushrooms, fried tomatoe ($12.50). Service was quick and attentive, but food was luke warm and the portions were a bit on the small side. The waffles and pancakes looked much better. For the prices charged, I could have got a much better breakfast at any number of greasy diners in Toronto. May go back again cuz the waffles looked so good

                                    1. s
                                      stonewall36 RE: Finnegan Feb 24, 2009 01:23 PM

                                      I know they have been mentioned, but I go with Bonjour Brioche, that Dim Sum place at harborfront (Pearl Restaurant), and Soba Sunday at Hero.

                                      1. p
                                        piccola RE: Finnegan Feb 24, 2009 05:56 PM

                                        I love Aunties & Uncles. I had an awesome omelette last weekend -- filled with butternut squash, leeks, and bocconcini. My friend ordered the breakfast "pocket", a really decadent-looking sandwich. We all had coffee, and it came to less than $10 per person.

                                        1. o
                                          oracle347 RE: Finnegan Feb 25, 2009 03:25 AM

                                          One of my best friends in introduced me to the Crab Cake Benedict at Firs on the Eastside. I love crabcake, and I LOVE Eggs benny, so this was heaven for me. they ahve a rockin' mimosa too

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: oracle347
                                            magic RE: oracle347 Feb 25, 2009 05:48 AM

                                            Agreed. Fire on the East Side is a great spot.

                                          2. y
                                            Yongeman RE: Finnegan Feb 25, 2009 03:42 AM

                                            An interesting breakfast option is available at some of the Viet Nam take-out spots such as Nguyen Huong on Spadina. Not sure what it's called, but I think it's kind of a fry-up of turnip cakes, eggs, green onions etc. They are premade, and sitting on display with the other take-out foods, but almost always warm when you get there in the morning. You have to take out, although I'm sure there must be some dine-in places too.

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: Yongeman
                                              pinstripeprincess RE: Yongeman Feb 25, 2009 05:55 AM

                                              i have to admit that most of the time i get these at the end of the day when prices are slashed. they warm up nicely in the toaster oven... yum! just don't get the rice wrapper rolls, you can't revive those easily at all.

                                              1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                                Yongeman RE: pinstripeprincess Feb 25, 2009 06:33 AM

                                                I can't wait that long for breakfast, psp. ; )
                                                Thanks for the tip, though.

                                                1. re: Yongeman
                                                  paper_bag_princess RE: Yongeman Feb 25, 2009 06:39 AM

                                                  I really like Brassaii as well.

                                                  I also love the Gladstone Hotel. Their menu has some unusual items and they use fair trade and organic products wherever they can, if that kind of thing floats your boat.

                                                  My favourite are the pancakes topped with carmelized apples and plain yogurt!

                                                  1. re: Yongeman
                                                    pinstripeprincess RE: Yongeman Feb 25, 2009 06:58 AM

                                                    ah but it's breakfast for dinner! or even the next day!

                                                    i have no problem eating bahn mi's for breakfast ;) too bad those don't get even cheaper at the end of the day.

                                                2. re: Yongeman
                                                  Ediblethoughts RE: Yongeman Feb 25, 2009 07:58 AM

                                                  That fry-up sounds very tasty! If anyone knows any place you can get them and sit in, please do tell!

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