It’s no secret that we’re big fans of brunch at ELLE Gourmet, hence our latest Spring-Summer issue theme, Brunch! It also just so happens that May 9th is the most popular day of the year to make brunch reservations – more than half of the Mother’s Day brunch reservations available via OpenTable are booked so get your reservations in now!
So, just in time, OpenTable has published their annual 100 Most Popular Brunch Restaurants in Canada list for 2023. It’s sourced from over 1 million consumer reviews of restaurants in the country that use OpenTable booking technology, but we’ve pulled a few of our favourite spots from the list for you to peruse.
Bar Sofia, Halifax
Led by Chef Anthony Walsh, Bar Sofia is a playful nod to his family’s Argentinian heritage. Its gorgeous food and decor are paradise for lovers of shared plates and cocktails, and the chefs pair an array of Latin-inspired dishes with beautiful Atlantic Canadian ingredients. The dining room highlights the artwork of Rafael Silveira, an award-winning Brazilian artist. A dedicated brunch menu includes Chilaquiles, Mushroom Birria Tacos and Coliflor Cazuela.
Homer Street Café, Vancouver
Homer St. Cafe & Bar is a contemporary neighbourhood restaurant housed in two of Vancouver’s most iconic buildings: the historic Homer Building and thee new Beasley Building in Vancouver’s Yaletown District. Classic comfort cooking takes centre stage thanks to a fire engine red rotisserie that roasts all manner of proteins. Try the Homer Street Big Breakfast, Sausage Gravy & Biscuits or the Smoked Salmon with Potato Pancakes.
Cantina Gia, Ottawa
If you’re in Ottawa but hoping for a quick brunch in Tuscany, this is the place to go. Cantina Gia is your classic neighborhood family restaurant offering Italian comfort food and a convenient wine and grocery shop. The Cantina offers pastas, open-flame-cooked meats and crisp garden flavours reminiscent of the sunlit hills of Tuscany. Brunch highlights are the Porchetta Sandwich, Smoked Trout Rosti, and of course – the Pasta Carbonara.
Marcus is perfect for the foodie or celebrity chef fan in your life. The restaurant is situated on the third floor of the Four Seasons Montreal, with a beautiful and expansive terrace, and Chef Marcus Samuelsson takes the traditional brasserie in exciting new directions. The elaborate brunch menu has something for everyone. Start with a Marcus Caesar then select from menu items including the Raw Bar, Waygu Burger, Eggs Benedict and Avocado Toast. Oh, and don’t miss the shareable Bagel Tower.
Maison Selby, Toronto
Your petit Parisian escape for brunch can happen in Toronto at Maison Selby, a timeless French bistro with a modern accent. Their breakfast and weekend brunch menus feature a thoughtfully-curated selection of pastries and savoury dishes that include Eggs Hemmingway, Roasted Peach Waffles and a Tuna Niçoise Salad.
Botanist Restaurant, Vancouver
Everything at Botanist is beautiful. Award-winning Chef Hector Laguna depicts the culinary abundance of the Pacific Northwest Region and focuses on sustainably-sourced seafood and organic ingredients. Choose from a two- or three-course brunch menu with options like Butter Poached Lobster Benedict, Lamb Belly Poutine or Fermented Chili Torched Salmon.
The Courtney Room, Victoria
With their focus on Pacific Northwest cuisine, The Courtney Room pays respect to the island’s terroir through a seasonally cultivated menu and partnerships with local farmers. Chef Brian Tesolin is passionate about working with bright flavours and elements that bring a wow factor to the simplest dishes. Brunch itmes include a Crab and Cheddar Omelet, Shakshuka and a Roasted Tomato and Truffle Frittata.
Maison Boulud, Montreal
No introductions needed for Daniel Boulud or the Ritz-Carlton – you can’t go wrong here if you’re looking for a posh and elegant brunch option. Maison Boulud offers cuisine steeped in French tradition yet inspired by Boulud’s decades spent cooking in New York City. The result? Refined yet soulful contemporary French food. An à la carte or prix fixe brunch menu is available. Don’t miss the House-Cut Beef Tartare, Duck Rillette or Homemade Smoked Salmon.
The Canteen on Portland, Dartmouth
The Canteen on Portland is a family-run restaurant on Portland Street in Downtown Dartmouth, offering a bright, cheerful space with “honest, unpretentious food made with love.” The resto is perfect for enjoying a special occasion or a more casual outing with friends. Their brunch menu changes frequently to reflecting the best of the season. Some highlights include the Fish Cake & Eggs, French Toast of the Week and the Canteen Eggs Benny.
The Royal Hotel, Picton
Executive chef Albert Ponzo works closely with PEC’s Edwin County Farms, which focuses on sustainable farming and nose-to-tail butchery. Set in the beautiful wine region of Prince Edward County, brunch at the Royal is elevated yet comforting. “The Royal Breakfast” is curated and hearty, as is the Steak and Eggs and the Short Stack. The extensive pizza menu is always available and also not to be missed.
The KTCHN, Oro-Medonte
Situated within the clubhouse at the Braestone golf club, The KTCHN features a lively menu overlooking the stunning Oro-Medonte valley. Chef and Barrie native Taylor Dow mastered live fire cooking and farm-to-table experiences working under acclaimed chef Michael Smith, and he now shares these skills using local products on his menu at The KITCHN. Brunch highlights include the Chicken and Mushroom Crepe, Avocado Toast and the signature KITCHN Breakfast Plate.
Bar George, Montreal
The old is celebrated in new ways at Bar George, a modern-day rendezvous set in the grand heritage mansion that now houses Le Mount Stephen Hotel. Chefs Kevin Ramasawmy, Donnel English and their teams cook up brilliant contemporary takes on classic U.K. fare spiked with Québécois quirks, while the bar pours time-tested tipples. Some brunch menu highlights include the Lobster Omelette, Black Pudding Potato Hash and George’s Full English.
Amal serves Modern Lebanese cuisine in the heart of Yorkville. Chef Rony Ghaleb serves up vibrant cuisine with a unique selection of generous and easily sharable dishes. All embrace Lebanon’s traditional spices and coastal flavours while showcasing their contemporary culinary vision. Of course, you need to experience their Hummus and Seared Halloumi, followed by Shakshouka and Grilled Branzino.
Invoke your desire to pack your bags and travel at Marked, a “vibrant love letter to the culture, flavours and spirit of South America in the Heart of Toronto”. If that didn’t convince you, maybe the all-inclusive brunch menu will: bottomless Prosecco is part of the game, along with dishes like Manchego Biscuit Benny, Patatas Bravas and Brazilian French Toast.
Rapscallion and Co., a vibrant, hopping and playful restaurant, brings full flavour and creativity to every dish. This spot isn’t for those looking for a ‘high-tea’ version of brunch, but for those who like to groove and dine to a Beatles-themed menu every Sunday. Friendly staff will serve up some favourites like Eggs McCartney, Cinnamon Roll Pancakes or their signature dish, Chicken Liver Brûlée.
Good Earth Food and Wine, Beamsville
Set among the farms and orchards of Niagara, Good Earth Food and Wine Co. is an oasis for the senses. The gardens, orchards and vineyards provide a spectacular backdrop for both the wine and culinary experiences – and they reflect all the good things the earth has to offer. It’s an ideal brunch setting with a great menu, featuring dishes like Pork and Waffles, Mushrooms on Toast and Steak Tartare.
Ten Foot Henry, Calgary
Ten Foot Henry is an all-day-restaurant that offers a fresh vegetable-anchored menu and fun, family-style dining. The restaurant is named after a longtime Calgary icon: Ten Foot Henry, a 10-foot replica of a famed 1930s comic strip character who was a larger-than-life muse for Calgary’s creative community in the 1980s. Head over for the restaurant’s brunch menu and try out some Sourdough Pancakes, Double Smoked Bacon and a Four Egg Omelet with whipped goat cheese.
The Lookout at Gray Monk, Okanagan
The Lookout Restaurant at Gray Monk Winery showcases the best of what the Okanagan has to offer in a casual elegant atmosphere. Executive Chef Graham Momer and team aim to delight guests with a rotating seasonal menu that celebrates and supports local farmers. A special Mother’s Day three-course brunch menu showcasing the freshest local meats, wild seafood, seasonal produce and decadent desserts is being offered.
Located at the Aga Khan Museum in north Toronto, Diwan is a restaurant that sits among artifacts and pieces of history. Elements of the dining space were hand-carved and painted in 1799 and once decorated a private house in Damascus. The menu put forth by Mark McEwan and his team offers innovative approaches to Middle Eastern, North African and South Asian cuisines.
La Vecchia, Etobicoke
A Toronto staple has now welcomed a second location: La Vecchia on the Lakeshore. It’s a new vibrant and modern atmosphere with the restaurant’s same delicious and reliable approach to Italian dining. Along with a wide variety of pastas and pizzas, the brunch menu includes Salmon Affumicato, UOVO Tigamino and Toast Alla Francese.