Brunch in Toronto is serious business and the competition is fierce.

Saturdays and Sundays can mean braving the lineups at the city’s latest hotspots and scouring critics’ reviews to find hidden gems. For the spiciest Caesars and the frothiest lattés, here is a roundup of some of Toronto’s best brunches.

Leña

This downtown restaurant by chef Anthony Walsh brings the best of South American cooking to Toronto with traditional yet innovative cuisine. The weekend brunch features light plates like aged Serrano ham; a traditional Spanish tortilla with layered potatoes and sweet onion; and roast chicken soup. Heartier options include breakfast beef empanadas with chimichurri, steak frites, or “The Full Gaucho” with herbed fried eggs, blood sausage, pork shoulder bacon, mushrooms, and griddled potatoes. If you have a sweet tooth, the dulce de leche parfait is not to be missed. The cocktail menu is a work of art, featuring unique ingredients like xocolatl mole bitters, chili liqueur and citrus-infused terreré. The spacious, tasteful interior and careful lighting make the location a great choice for leisurely Sunday nibbling.

Mildred’s Temple Kitchen

This Liberty Village hotspot is unquestionably one of the best places to go for an authentic Toronto brunch. Locally sourced, fresh, seasonal ingredients let quality shine through. Highlights of the brunch menu include Huevos Monty – refried black beans with sharp cheddar cheese, soft tortillas, fresh house-made salsa and a smashed avocado; deliciously fluffy pancakes with wild blueberry compote, organic maple syrup and whipped cream; savoury tarts with Monforte goat cheese and caramelized onions, and crunchy house-made granola. For bigger appetites, try the Manhandler – a sliced flatiron steak with arugula on sourdough bread. And if you want to splurge, cuvée rosé mimosas are just the ticket.

Bannock

Just a short walk from the Hotel Victoria, this all-Canadian favourite serves up brunch classics with a twist – like Eggs “Bannodict,” with spinach and peameal bacon, and breakfast poutine. For lighter fare, try the avocado toast with baba ghanoush, tomato jam and crispy shallots for an extra punch of flavour. The brunch menu spans the full spectrum, with pizza, roast salmon, and warm s’mores pie also on offer. Part of the highly successful Oliver & Bonacini group of restaurants, Bannock is the perfect place for out-of-town visitors looking to experience traditional Canadian cuisine.

Le Select Bistro

Le Select is a brunch favourite among the Entertainment District crowd. The restaurant takes pride in its locally sourced ingredients, with chefs roaming the countryside for the freshest meat, eggs and produce privileging organic ingredients and small, traditional farms. The oh-so-French brunch menu features classics like buckwheat crèpes with house-cured ham, Emmental and celery purée; quiche Lorraine, and Croque Monsieur. For a touch of class, try the terrine de foie gras paired with a Sauternes or another selection from the Bistro’s extensive wine list.

Over Easy

With two locations in Toronto (including a location in the Hotel Victoria lobby!) Over Easy features classic breakfast comfort-food favourites. They are particularly well-known for their perfectly-cooked Eggs Benedict – with homemade hollandaise sauce, of course. This all-day breakfast restaurant also features a selection of sandwiches, soups & salads on the menu for the later brunch crowd.

No trip to Toronto would be complete without experiencing the city’s thriving brunch culture. Remember – it’s the most important meal of the weekend!

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