We adore brunch. It’s our absolute favourite meal. But the trendy spots with the funky servers are not always the best fit with our new reality. We need kid-friendly food fast, in a setting that can’t be easily destroyed. Think crayons, not crystal.
So we’ve rounded up the best of the brunch bunch so that we can all enjoy the best meal ever. This counts for takeout, too! Because no, it’s not the same made at home.
Smash Kitchen: Unionville
Perfect for the east end and beyond crew, Smash Kitchen in Unionville offers up delicious food and is completely at home with feeding and serving kids. Plus, their French toast is made with actual cubes of challah and their meatloaf is woven with bacon. Omelettes are top notch, as are the crab cakes, and the vibe is very nice and welcoming.
Takeout is available and their Mother’s Day Brunch special looks divine (hint hint).
ViVetha: The Beaches
East enders will love this east-Beaches neighbourhood joint. ViVetha Bistro is affordable, fast, and the kids’ menu gets two thumbs up from our crew. They also have additional overflow seating upstairs for busy brunch mornings.
ViVetha has been the “go to” place for Beachers since 2005, and order online for fast “to go” pickup. Their Mother’s Day special looks super YUM.
Emma’s Country Kitchen: St. Clair West Village
Whenever we head to St. Clair West’s Emma’s Country Kitchen we know it’s going to be a love affair with carbs. That’s because their buttermilk biscuits are amazing, the buttermilk French toast is the kids’ favourites, and they make their own white bread to boot (yes, that tastes just as good as it sounds to mop up egg and bacon drippings). Plus there’s Lazy Daisy oatmeal cake on offer.
Emma’s has been going gangbusters with online ordering, after-hours grocery delivery, and (of course) take-out.
Wear your stretchy pants!
It’s not exactly an unknown neighbourhood spot, but we do love the variety, extensive menu, welcoming family-friendly vibe, and the fruit that graces nearly every order. Cora’s is always a win in our books.
Jawny Bakers: O’Connor Parkview
An oldie and definitely a goodie at the corner of Victoria Park and O’Connor in the city’s east end. Jawny Bakers‘ kids’ menu offers a great pita pizza, but kiddos are also quite fond of the Chocolate Strawberry toast. We adore the Santa Fe scramble and a healthy omelette with goat cheese, spinach, mushroom, and sundried tomato.
Takeout is top notch, natch.
Against the Grain: Corus Quay
Spacious eating rooms, loads of fresh fruit, Turkey Benedict, and a robust kids’ menu all make us happy. Plus, the ingredients are top notch—bread from Fred’s bread, beef from Beretta farms.
Against the Grain is open for takeout seven days a week, with a special Mother’s Day brunch to take note of .
Sunset Grill: Various locations across the GTA
Sunset Grill is another chain we frequent; we appreciate that things move quickly at this spot. There’s good fare for the kids, and we like that egg-white only orders are made with real eggs, not pre-separated liquid ‘egg’.
Call ahead for fast and fresh takeout.
Sunny Morning: Midtown and Etobicoke (+ Aurora and Oakville)
With locations at Yonge and St. Clair and in Etobicoke, Sunny Morning has been filling bellies across the city. With two additional locations, we’re delighted. The numerous pancake options are pleasing to the toddler set, and the omelettes and egg options are wonderful, fresh and amazing.
It gets busy but they move fast, so this is not necessarily a 3-hour lingering spot (which, when dining with a toddler, is a good thing).
Mitzi’s Cafe: Roncesvalles
Yes, the menu at Mitzi’s Café is short, but that has never troubled us, given that they always have some form of delicious oatmeal pancake and/or French toast, amazingly satisfying granola and fruit, plus perfectly cooked eggs to make us swoon. We love the new look inside and we’re super close to High Park to walk or play off the calories.
Takeout, then brunch in High Park sounds like a perfect day to us.
The Homeway Soda Bar & Restaurant: Mt. Pleasant
We adore Mt. Pleasant’s The Homeway so much that we’ve even popped in there on a work/school morning for a coffee just to try to recapture the brunch vibe. The chocolate chip pancakes are amazing and the bacon is always perfect. And the kids menu is out of hand—green eggs and ham and a restaurant that knows what toast soldiers are.
Aunties & Uncles: College and Bathurst
Aunties & Uncles at College and Bathurst has been open forever (since 1998) and yet they’ve resisted the fate of many other fine brunch restaurants that closed far too soon. That may be because they do brunch very well, and it’s very tasty. We love the breakfast burger and breakfast tacos, and so do the kiddos. But we’re also always happy when at least someone orders the banana oatmeal pancakes so that we can sneak a bite or two.
Open everyday for takeout.
OK OK Diner: Leslieville
We love a diner that offers not one, but two versions of an Elvis grilled sandwich (number 2 features Nutella—just sayin). OK OK Diner‘s Eggs Brunhilde is amazing and we love the pancakes here so much that we often order our own (can’t count on anyone to share!). Also, it’s refreshingly reasonably priced. Thank goodness Leslieville has been able to hold on to this gem.
*Image via blogto
Uncle Betty’s Diner: Uptown
Things we like about Y&E’s Uncle Betty’s Diner: The doughnuts. Everything else. How easy it is to add fresh fruit. The fact that when kid A wants cereal, he can actually order it. The amazing grilled cheese, pancakes, French toast, and everything. The doughnuts. As you read this we are probably there right now, eating in or picking up a doughnut to go.
Currently offering 15% off all takeout and pick up orders.
The Bedford Academy: Downtown
Not a flashy new resto, the Bedford is perfectly located for before or after trips to the ROM, AGO or Gardiner Museum. Plus, the brunch is really tasty. Kids will love the skillets (shhh, don’t tell them that they’re getting a bunch of veggies in there) as well as the sweet or savoury waffles. We devour the eggs Diablo, including the tortilla vessel (and then I ate the bowl!!).
The Bedford Academy temporarily closed during the Covid-19 pandemic.
*Image via blogto