Get Your Brekkie on with These Best Toronto Breakfast Restaurants

Breakfast certainly does get the shaft when it comes to meals. Toronto food bloggers take extreme closeups of decadent desserts and long simmering meats - the kind of foods that warrant a Sunday afternoon at home. Oatmeal, cereal and eggs just aren't as pretty or as impressive. We all know how to boil an egg. Yet how often do we do such things now that life is more geared towards the pace of our upgraded Smartphones?

Lest you surrender to a lifetime of cold milk and cereal, we do have an alternative (and it doesn't have a Golden Arch in sight). Grab yourself a breakfast that gives your soul more than a reheated egg burrito. These restaurants are geared towards providing you with hot and tasty ways to start your day on the right foot. The next time someone chirps at you, "Good morning!" you may be tempted to reply, "It certainly is, isn't it?"

These Toronto restaurants set you up with the kind of breakfast you would make for yourself if your morning wasn't so hectic. From Mitzi's Cafe in Roncesvalles, where the coffee is always flowing and the pancakes are substantial, to Bonjour Brioche which will have you dreaming of croissants, there are so many opportunities to do the morning right.

Brunch is great and all, but there are so many more chances to do breakfast. Go on. Become a morning person.


East Toronto

For those who didn't excel in high school French, Le Petit Dejeuner means, quite simply, breakfast. This Belgian-Canadian style eatery has been busy cracking eggs since 2003 with hefty portions of everything that you are craving or ever will crave. The Hungry Gal has two eggs, toast, potato rosti, apple coleslaw and bacon. Crepes and waffles come sweet or savoury. The waffles are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. There are also the Croques: Monsieur, Madame and Bolognese. Within walking distance to the St. Lawrence Market, this is is a good place to fuel up prior to a long day of sampling. (No matter what day of the week you happen to be there.)


Vegan pancakes dusted with cinnamon? Eggs smothered in hollandaise? Gluten free waffles drizzled in chocolate? Karine's has it all. A hodgepodge of flavours, menu items borrow from Mediterranean and Lebanese cuisine, while providing the breakfast standbys that Canadians have grown to know and love. Vegan French toast is stuffed with house-made mixed berry preserve. Eggs Benny options offer Mediterranean sauces if you want a break from the traditional Hollandaise. It is a satisfying all day breakfast that is heavy on the portions - so much so that it may last you all day. So that's what "all day breakfast" really means.

Grapefruit Moon is certainly a prime University of Toronto spot, which means that the tables get as cluttered by textbooks as they do by food. This restaurant supplies its customers with ample laid-back comfort food. Their all-day breakfast that will have carnivores and vegans alike coming back for more. Get cozy and order a morning glory burger, piled high with sausage, Monterey Jack cheese, smoky bacon and a fried egg. The vegan morning is also impressively filling, with tofu scramble, sauteed vegetables and vegan cheese on toast. Served from 10:30am, if you like what you taste come for even more selection on their Saturday and Sunday brunch. Vegan poutine with caramelized onions and a fried egg will be sure to soak up any remnants of a hangover.

Little Italy

Open 9am to 3pm every day, Aunties & Uncles takes the guesswork out of breakfast. It also takes out the boredom. People stand in blizzards on weekends in the hopes of this French toast. Banana oatmeal pancakes rouse similar cries of happiness, as sandwiched between the pancakes are thickly sliced bananas and savoury oatmeal. Aunties & Uncles does remind you of the kitchen of your funky aunt and there is limited seating. In the summer, a patio opens up to give more people the opportunity to gorge on cheesy eggs. There is amazing house-made ketchup that you might find yourself licking off your fingers. Order conservatively, as the massive portions and thickly sliced challah toast will fill most bellies the first time around.

If school were always this fun, there would never be dropouts. School has giant clocks to remind you of the time, but by the throngs of businessmen and women ignoring it, you know that it is more for decor than function. Weekdays never looked so sumptuous, with pancakes stacked one on top of each other, like books used to be in your first version of school. The black and blue blueberry sauce tumbles over the top, drowned in brown sugar butter. Super cheesy bacon French toast doesn't shy away from gooey cheddar cheese (thank goodness, with the word "Super" in its title). On the weekends, they add more options, but they also get more patrons. Your call.

East Toronto

Even after Toronto breakfast favourite Lady Marmalade closed, the restaurant did not lose its popularity. Reopening in Broadview in September 2018, patrons can expect more of what they coveted, with daily breakfast as conscious as can be, with free range eggs and meats, organic bread and local produce. Get down and dirty with some AM poutine smothered in miso gravy or hollandaise, poached eggs or veggie pulled pork or just some classic bacon. For the more virtuously inclined, there is a fresh fruit crepe made of organic buckwheat, with tangy lemon yogurt and house-made cranberry almond granola. There are also sure to be a few new surprises.

High Park/Roncesvalles
Mitzi's Cafe
Photo courtesy of Courtney Sunday

Mitzi's Cafe is the type of place you go when you have time to linger. If you are pretty sure you are lost in the middle of a residential area, you are in the right spot, as Mitzi's is tucked onto an offshoot of Roncesvalles. On weekends, you will see hipsters congregating outside the doors in eager anticipation for an unrushed experience of mismatched mugs and phenomenal food. Space is limited but a small patio does open in the summer. Menu items change daily so you can't go in with any expectations, except to have some of the fluffiest of pancakes and most inventive egg dishes of your Torontonian life. Consider the seasonal oatmeal pancake with eggnog creamed cheese drizzle & gingerbread cookie crumble. It is rare to see a crumb left on a plate.

West Toronto

The Good Fork has a splendid breakfast every morning of the week (because why should you save all the good stuff for the weekends?). Tucked into a nook in Bloor West village, there are no reservations, so it is best to secure a table on a weekday if you don't want much of a wait. The wait is warranted, however, as breakfast items are creative with the titles to prove it (Not Yo Momma's Eggs, which had their name before Jennifer Lopez's song). Spanish hash comes with chorizo, roasted red peppers and onions, two poached eggs and a river of hollandaise (if only rivers were made of hollandaise...). The red velvet pancakes have a cream cheese frosting and are almost too good for words. So we will try one word: yum.

In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austin wrote, "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." We believe that it is a truth universally acknowledged that a good person in possession of some spare time, must be in want of a brunch. Emma's Country Kitchen doesn't just save the goods for the weekend, but has an all-day breakfast that may have you reconsidering your day job. (That's what personal days are for!) You can get your bennys on fluffy homemade biscuits or you can choose their house roasted granola parfait piled high with berries. Even if you don't eat a doughnut there, it is a must to take one of their many beauties home.

On a small corner in Leslieville, the little Bonjour Brioche Bakery Cafe brings the taste of a true French patisserie to life. Known mostly for its brunch menu options, Bonjour Brioche is a great choice whether you crave a piece of quiche or the sandwich du jour. Try something decadent like the Croque Madam sandwich with toasted brioche, ham, gruyere cheese and a fried egg. Or, consider a lighter dish like scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and horseradish cream. With quiche du jour, omelette du jour and a lot more du jour, you could come back often and never get bored. End your meal with sweet decadence in the form of one of the pastries made in house. From the service to the setting, everything here is simple and relaxed.


Meet Courtney Sunday

Courtney Sunday has lived in England, Switzerland, Canada and the US, finding her way into the professions of freelance writing and yoga teaching in between travel opportunities. She learned...  More About Courtney