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Oct 29, 2012 12:51 PM

Please help with brunch for a group

A group of us will be coming to Toronto in early December for a family celebration.
My sister (the grandmother) would like to take the out-of-towners to brunch on Sunday.
Most of us will be staying at the Holiday Inn Toronto Downtown Center on Carlton Street and will not have cars.

We need a place for about 25 people - private room not necessary.
She is not looking for an ultra-swank hotel atmosphere, just somewhere decent and pleasant and better than the breakfast at the Holiday Inn.

We are Philadelphians and don't know much about dining in Toronto - though I"m looking forward to it!

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Sylvia from Philly

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  1. For 25 people you might have luck with Hot House Cafe. For Sunday brunch (which is a buffet - but good!) they bring in a little jazz band at 10 am. I'm sure you can order from a non-buffet menu as well but why would you.

    I really enjoy the food.

    3 Replies
    1. re: magic

      Another Sunday jazz brunch not far from you is The Boiler House in the Distillery District. Both are buffets. Hot House is $19.95 per person and Boiler House is $24.95. The Distillery District is an interesting place to take people from out of town - art galleries, shops, cobblestone streets.

      1. re: magic

        I so don't get the appeal. I've been forced to go more than once when a group is making a location choice and I can't say I've ever enjoyed a single item of food from this place. I also truly hate buffets and tried to order off the main menu and was seriously discouraged. I'm not sure if it is a policy or just a lazy server. Instead I just had tea and good conversation.

        1. re: JennaBean

          Appeal?! What appeal. Most CHers do not love this place.

          All I know is, I've been many times and thoroughly enjoyed my food and service nearly every time. I definitely stand by this rec. Especially for a group of 25.

      2. You may also like The Boiler House in the Distillery. It's also a buffet but will cater to everyone's tastes. It's also a lovely space and The Distillery is a beautiful area to walk around.

        1. I would suggest Le Select on Wellington or go up to Bloor and check out La Societe. Both are casual French bistro but have good solid brunch menus with egg and non egg items. There is also a kids menu at Le Select if you have under 12 in your party of 25.

          4 Replies
          1. re: JennaBean

            I agree with the Le Select suggestion. There's lots of choice for both brunch and lunch items, and there are a few French Canadian options, which might appeal to some looking for something different from the standard brunch fare.

            I enjoyed my brunch with family yesterday at Earth (Bloor West). Assuming that Earth (Yonge Street) can deliver much the same in quality and choices, it is a viable option too.

            Both are only a taxi ride away.

            1. re: 1sweetpea

              I forgot about Earth. That would be a nice casual spot as well. Very comfortable and IIRC the burger is pretty darn good.

            2. re: JennaBean

              You Toronto Chowhounders are great! Thanks so much for these suggestions.

              Are any within walking distance of the Holiday Inn, or would they be a bus or cab ride?

              1. re: sylviag

                Doh, ignore my original post, I thought you were at the Holiday Inn on King.

                All the restaurants recommended here would require a cab ride. If you prefer a buffet, I would go with Boiler House. If you don't mind a la carte, I would go with Le Select.

            3. I would also suggest Beer Bistro at Yonge and King. Don't be out off by the name - it's a great room, good service, and good food with an interesting brunch menu. Also not within walking distance though.

              If you want something sort of within walking distance, try Smith or Lola's, both on Church Street. Smith is probably a 10 minute walk, and Lola's is about 15 minutes.

              1 Reply
              1. re: CarNut

                Oh, good call on Lola's. I think it's more like 10 mins away on foot? Regardless, it's not far and the food is very good. And they do take reservations, though a group of 25 would take over half the restaurant, so do call as soon as possible.

              2. Hair of the Dog does a good brunch ( and is just around the corner from the Holiday Inn -- I would say less than a five minute walk.

                It is a pub, but is more upscale than the usual Fox & Firkin types. It's casual and cosy, but should be big enough to handle 25 people.