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If one thing’s for certain, brunch is kind of a big deal in Toronto. Every weekend, like clockwork, hungry Torontonians eagerly flock to their favourite diners and cafes, waiting for their greasy servings of eggs benny, hash browns, and Caesars — and really, what’s not to love about that order?
But when it comes to healthier brunch options, it’s hard to know where to find the spots that are serving up the wholesome eats. So for those looking for better-for-you brunch options, you’re in luck because we’ve scoured the city and found that there are actually healthy AM options on almost every corner.
This West End eatery is Toronto’s very first Australian-style café and they’re known for their stunning food and incredible coffee options. The café offers full table service and a menu that includes dishes like the 50 Shades of Green toast that put other restaurants to shame. Picture a piece of toasted sourdough heaped with chunks of avocado and turnip, then topped with roasted eggplant and fresh labneh — yeah, definitely get it. Another menu favourite is the Chicken Schnitty Burger, chicken schnitzel topped with sesame, Japanese seven-spice blend, and a tangy beet slaw. But be warned: they’re closed on Sundays.
Garden Gangsters, in Liberty Village and the Financial District, prides itself in serving brunch to fuel the rest of your day, so you never have to worry about straying from that health-conscious path. We recommend starting with a smoothie or cold-pressed juice followed by an acai bowl, fruit, or veggie smashed toast. Want a classic? Their overnight oats feature almond milk, Greek yogurt, and fresh, seasonal fruit.
This all-organic eatery in The Junction prides itself in supporting area farmers by providing menu items made with fresh, locally-sourced organic produce. The Beet is a cozy space serving up dishes that both vegans and meat-lovers can appreciate. Popular items include Huevos Rancheros made with baked eggs on blue corn tortillas, and the breakfast bowl — two baked eggs, Quebec cheddar, pico de gallo, avocado, pork sausage, sour cream, and cilantro chilli drizzle on quinoa.
This plant-based hot spot, one in Yorkville and one on Queen, is a foodie’s paradise where popular brunch options are vegan and served with a twist. Here, you can dine on tofu scramble that’s so delish you won’t believe it’s not made with real eggs, stacks of “chickn” mushroom waffles covered in maple sriracha, Instagram-worthy smoothie bowls, and a delightfully colourful array of cold-pressed juices.
When it comes to brunch, no one quite does it like Mildred’s Temple Kitchen. Slingin’ fresh eats in Liberty Village, Mildred’s has been a brunch institution for decades and has enthusiasts coming back time and time again for their locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients. We highly recommend trying the Huevos Monty (it’s been on the menu for 25 years). We’re talking Mildred’s classic black bean refritos and cheddar baked in flour tortillas and topped with sunny-side up eggs, fresh salsa, avocado smash and sour cream — yum.
If you’re craving crêpes, make sure to pay Hibiscus a visit — they definitely won’t disappoint. Hibiscus, in Toronto’s vibrant Kensington Market and Assembly Chef’s Hall, is known for its friendly staff and gluten-free eats. If you have a sweet tooth, you’re in luck; the menu boasts an impressive selection of sweet buckwheat vegan crêpes in flavours like the unbelievable dulce de leche kiwi. And don’t leave without trying their famous homemade dairy-free ice cream!
Setting up in Toronto’s bustling Entertainment District, District Eatery is a colourful and lively eatery that’s passionate about serving clean options. The menu is friendly to vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free eaters, all while still featuring meat-filled dishes for your stubborn friends. Brunch-goers can choose from an assortment of Instagram-worthy dishes like peanut butter and banana French toast, chili sin-carne topped with eggs and avocado, or a berry-loaded smoothie bowl, to name a few.
If you’re in the mood for a healthy brunch option that you can grab to go, we highly recommend paying one of Calii Love’s locations in King West, Yorkville, First Canadian Place, and Union a visit. With a menu full of items meant to help you recharge and refuel, Calii Love has quickly become a go-to breakfast spot for locals as well as NHL All-Stars Sidney Crosby and P.K. Subban. Some breakfast favourites include the Limitless smoothie (made with wellness powder, brain octane oil, a shot of espresso, banana, cacao, and oat mylk) or the Uplifting bowl with Beyond Meat vegetable scramble, eggs, and spinach, topped with salsa and vegetable ricotta.
This vegan eatery on College, in The Junction, and featuring a "parlour" location on Queen serves up the goods from sunrise to sunset. Start your day with a filling, veganized brunch of blueberry chia pancakes topped with blueberry compote or coconut whipped cream. Or, you could go chick-un and waffles, a Southern-style quinoa crusted chick-un over their housemade basil and oregano waffle. Who said you had to sacrifice taste for health?
If you’re around Harbord St. and you haven’t checked out Harvest Kitchen’s brunch yet, you’re seriously missing out. This cozy eatery welcomes all dietary preferences — whether you’re a diehard meat-lover, gluten-free, or a conscious vegan, there is something for you on the menu. With a focus on local ingredients, a popular brunch option is the Power Breakfast, two organic eggs, twice-baked beans, pico de gallo, and guacamole on a Red Fife English muffin. Fitt Tip: set yourself up with a drink from their impressive line-up of elixirs, smoothies, and spritzers to wash everything down.
With a menu that’s designed for fast-paced, health-conscious Torontonians, Impact Kitchen’s King St. East and Adelaide St. West locations are beautiful and spacious eateries with a menu that’s 100% gluten-free. From Monday to Friday, you can enjoy smaller breakfast options like avocado toast on superfood bread, but on the weekend, brunch really gets poppin’. On Saturday and Sunday (designated brunch days), you can enjoy steak and eggs, seasonal frittatas, or paleo waffles topped with fresh fruit.
It’s a tahini takeover at this Mediterranean café, which grinds its sesame butter fresh on a large stone mill. You’ll find it jarred and for sale at the Dovercourt spot, as well as featured in almost every menu item — like the tahini smoothie made with banana, dates, walnuts, and honey. Do yourself a favour and order the herbed falafels (some say they’re the best in the city!) with a few plates of labneh and hummus for the table. Then, get ready to dig into a fresh salad or herbed frittata with goat cheese, red chiles, and tahini. Fitt Tip: no matter how full you are, don’t leave without trying some of their fudge-like dessert called halva!
Fluffy eggs topped with gooey cheese — try and tell us you aren’t craving an egg sandwich. Egg Bae takes the breakfast staple and makes it even better by serving it up brunch-style every day in Kensington Market. If you’re looking for ol’ faithful, get started with the Bae-Sic, a combo of fried egg, pork belly sausage, Muenster cheese, slow-cooked onions, and tomato jam. Want a bite of something healthier? Try the Seaside Bae made with soft scrambled eggs, house-cured salmon, potato chips, pickled shallots, and arugula. No matter what sammie you choose from the menu, it’s made with free-range eggs, comes with special “bae” sauce, and is served on a house-made egg brioche (gluten-free buns available).
**Updated by Marie Waine, February 2019