HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >


Unique Toronto Breakfast Recs.

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

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. 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

      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

        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

          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

            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

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

    2. 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. 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

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

        2. 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

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

            1. re: Finnegan

              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

                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

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

            1. 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

                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. 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

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

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

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

                      1. 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

                          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

                            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

                              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

                                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. 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

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

                            2. 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

                                How does Ethiopian brunch differ from the dinner offerings?

                                1. re: airsey

                                  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. 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

                                  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

                                    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.

                                  1. re: mogo

                                    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

                                      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. 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. 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. 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. 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

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

                                          2. 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

                                              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

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

                                                1. re: Yongeman

                                                  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

                                                    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

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