Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Feb 2, 2010 07:24 AM

cheap and cheerful brunch recs needed

Ok, we are looking for something for, parents and grandparents. It will be on a Sunday - and as long as it is not too far from a subway station and is not $$$ it will fit the bill.

any recs?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. In this situation, I'd say Cora's -- everyone will find something, and they'll be able to fit a group. If you want something cheaper, try Sunset Grill.

    4 Replies
    1. re: piccola

      The downtown Cora's has huge lineups though. I'm a fan of Karine's but it might be too casual? It's in the Village by the Grange food court - no wait to sit down, good cheap food, lots of selection, and if you get a table under the skylights it's quite nice. Or maybe Cafe la Gaffe - a restaurant on Baldwin and they have quite a large brunch menu - I think it's a bit cheaper than Cora's and didn't seem like they get too crowded.

      1. re: ggom1

        Which one? I've never waited at the Carlton/Yonge one, but I usually go early...

        If you're headed to Kensington, maybe Kos on Bellevue?

        1. re: piccola

          Oh, I forgot there was one there - I was thinking of the Cora's on Blue Jays Way, that one always seems to be crowded.

        2. re: ggom1

          I would second Karine's as cheap and cheerful and great value for the money. Also agree that the some of the seating there is suprisingly lovely with natural light from the high roof top sky lights. Kids can run around freely there as on weekends the large room with the sky lights is basically deserted. Lot's of healthy options there too in addition to the eggs homefries etc.

      2. Maybe Daybreak at Carlton & Church?

        1. Hi there, Hot House Cafe at 35 Church Street, near Front (close to Union Station), does a wonderful brunch on Sundays. It's a buffet style, at $19 per person. Items include omelettes prepared to your liking, salads, freshly carved roast beef, lasagne, chicken, museels, as well as traditional breakfast fare, and desserts. I have only heard good things about this place.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Giulia_F

            Hot House is definitely not cheap and cheerful.

            How about Insomnia at Bloor and Bathurst? Easy walk from Spadina station. Big enough menu to have something for everyone.

          2. How big a group will you be? And what time were you thinking of?

            9 Replies
            1. re: peppermint pate

              we will be 7-8 people...thinking of 11:30 or so.

              not to be picky - but I think hot house is very bland...

              i think cafe la gaffe looks interesting. does anyone know if it is child friendly?

              1. re: something_yummy

                Well, with kids and at that hour, you need some place that's going to take a reservation. Lady Marmalade and Easy are both quite yummy, and kid-friendly, but neither is off the subway. Haven't been to Senator Diner in ages but that might work. Le Pain Quotidien in Yorkville is very kid-friendly and the room is lovely - food is just okay, though. I haven't been to Cafe La Gaffe in ages. I'll keep thinking...

                  1. re: peppermint pate

                    just looked at the site for dessert trends - doesnt seem like it has egg items - a must have for the kids.

                    if it isnt too far from ttc and remains somewhat central it should be ok - what we are trying to avoid is requesting the car-less to transfer several times.

                  2. re: peppermint pate

                    Neither the Senator, Lady Marmalade or Easy take reservations...Marimba!

                  3. re: something_yummy

                    Not sure how child friendly Cafe La Gaffe is. We were seated in the back area, which I think is normally a patio - but it was covered and heated (we went during the Santa Claus parade) and had a bit more space. The front room probably wouldn't be good, it looked very small and crowded.

                    1. re: ggom1

                      Two places I remember as being cheerful, kid-friendly and offering lots of egg dishes are Over Easy on Bloor W, just west of Avenue (across from ROM), and BOOM on Eglinton W at Lascelles, a few blocks west of Yonge - 5 min walk or take bus 32, 61 or 5 from Eglinton Stn. I think both would probably qualify under the cheap category especially if you stick to the specials. But I'll qualify this rec by saying I haven't been to either place in a quite a while. I did have brunch at the Senator on Boxing Day (Monday) and was very impressed with the quality of the food there. Then there's always the Pickle Barrel with something for everyone and the Yonge/Eglinton locatoin is extremely kid-friendly.

                      1. re: cuterscooter

                        I think that Over Easy and Boom are the kind of places something_yummy is looking for - for me, the big problem is that I think the food is really mediocre at both. I really hate Over Easy, it's just so not good. I've only been to one of the other locations for Boom (College or Queen West, I think) and it was just so-so. I still think Senator might be a good option. And maybe Insomnia, I've still never tried it. I'm still thinking - it's driving me crazy that I can't think of a better suggestion for you.

                        1. re: peppermint pate

                          Boom and Over Easy don't take reservations...Marimba!

                1. We have had family brunches with kids and grandparents at my favourite brunch place, The Boulevard Cafe on Harbord. They have accommodated us very well with babies and other kids under 10. Just call ahead and if you need high chairs they will make sure they are at the table for you. Their brunch is reasonably priced.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Arcadiaseeker

                    is there an online menu for the boulevard cafe anywhere? otherwise maybe boom - it seems they have a lot of options...too bad they dont take reservations.