Top 10 Brunch Spots In The Junction, Toronto

Photo of Morgan Radbourne
28 October 2016

Toronto’s Junction community is abundant with cool places to eat. While some original restaurants have recently lost their post to the changing landscape, some oldies with great goodies still stand strong. Several spots rep menus with hyper-local ingredients, sourced from nearby farmer’s markets, and stock their bars with beers brewed in the neighborhood’s backyard. Here are the best spots to grab brunch or breakfast in the Junction right now — but get there fast because this ‘hood is changing quick.

Dundas and Keele streets, looking west | © Toronto History/Flickr

The Beet

This local establishment is as nutritious and delicious as the vibrant vegetable it’s named after. The menu is the brainchild of a certified nutritional practitioner and a homeopathic doctor. It includes heaps of organic, local and sustainable ingredients. The green detox juice is packed full of fresh produce like celery, cucumber, kale, apple, lemon and ginger. The all-day breakfast emphasizes farm fresh eggs and Quebec cheddar cheese and features perfectly portioned heuvos rancheros with cilantro chili vinaigrette. The baked egg breakfast bowl is filled with avocado, sausage, pico de gallo and sour cream, all served over quinoa. The Beet’s got plenty of gluten-free and veg-friendly options, but carnivores can feast on bacon and sausages too. They even make day drinking healthy with an all natural spicy Caesar.

The Beet, 2945 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON, Canada, + 1 416 926 2368

Cool Hand of a Girl Cafe

This kitschy and cool kitchen offers local, organic brunch selections that change each week. Cool Hand of a Girl grabs their produce from the nearby Dufferin Grove Farmer’s Market and sources chicken and eggs from Toronto butcher Vince Gasparro. The super-stuffed French toast is packed with pecan pie (yes, that’s right) and topped with a handful of pecans, pure maple syrup and fluffy whipped cream. For something that’s more savory, try the heuvos con mole — two eggs on corn tortillas, with avocado, feta and sesame seeds, drenched in a homemade chocolate-chili sauce — available various weekends.

Pascal’s Baguette and Bagels

Dessert Shop, Dessert, Canadian
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Café Cranberries
Café Cranberries | Courtesy of Café Cranberries
At Pascal’s Baguette and Bagels, the bagels are outstanding — crisp and less doughy than the New York-style but a bit smaller than what you see in Montreal — and topped generously with both sesame and poppy seeds. Get one toasted with cream cheese and smoked salmon for a breakfast that’s budget and belly friendly. The croque madame is made with a hunk of Pascal’s fresh baguette, ham, cheese and an organic egg.

Café Cranberries

Cafe, Canadian
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This cafe serves all sorts of breakfast fare with incredible service. They’ve just launched a new menu that’s stacked with 18 morning meals. The breakfast tacos are packed full of eggs, jalapeños, gooey cheese, onions and sour cream in three corn tortillas. Later-day brunch goers can enjoy the roasted vegetable sandwich, which has cheese so orange you’ll think you need to proceed with caution, but don’t. Keep things neighborly and dowse it in Number 7 hot sauce — a Mexican blend crafted by a local husband-and-wife team.

The Passenger

The Passenger pays homage to the Junction’s railway roots. The vibe is cool, and the minimalistic decor is retro without trying too hard. On weekends, the classic breakfast flaunts organic eggs with maple bacon or smoked pork sausage, roasted tomatoes, fries and toast. The luscious lemon ricotta and poppy seed pancakes are crowned with blueberry sauce and whipped cream. And for the brunch and ‘linner’ lover who can’t make up their mind, The Passenger offers a marriage of all meals, with their breakfast cheese (curd) burger topped with a fried egg and maple bacon. Rinse it down with an afternoon cocktail of Prosecco, Chambord and honey syrup called for no good reason.

The Passenger, 2968 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON, Canada, + 1 416 762 0777

The Hole in the Wall T.O.

Bar, Craft Ale Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
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The Hole in the Wall is true to its name in appearances only. It’s hard to spot from the street and looks like a dim (but not dingy) hallway, sandwiched between an exposed brick wall and a scotch-stocked bar. They don’t take reservations because there aren’t many places to sit, so larger groups should head there early. The Sunday brunch menu starts at noon and is different each week. One of the usual suspects is a grand English breakfast with eggs, pork belly, baked beans, crispy fried potatoes and greens. Twisted classics include a pulled pork eggs Benedict and a fancy open-faced shredded crab sandwich (the crab Madame) with béchamel and tomato and topped with a fried egg. Wash it down with one of the ten Ontario craft brews on tap like the Conductor’s Craft Ale from Junction Craft Brewing.


Pub, Bar, Pub Grub, Canadian
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Locals owe countless thanks to this saloon-style pub that lead the area’s revolt against an outdated alcohol prohibition in 2001. The Junction had been dry since 1903 when the cattle-herding cowboys and railway workers would cause a ruckus after a few too many post-work drinks. Shoxs now offers a variety of booze, sports on nearly 30 televisions, pool tables galore and an all-day breakfast menu. The traditional breakfast boasts two eggs any way you want them, bacon, toast, home fries and coffee. Other traditional options include pancakes, steak and eggs and, of course, a Western omelet.

Farmhouse Tavern

Restaurant, Canadian, $$$
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While neighborhood purists might argue that this restaurant’s farm fresh food doesn’t quite fall in the geographic margins of the Junction proper, the brunch is so delicious that they’re willing to redefine the boundaries. The chalkboard menu gets erased and rewritten often, but a focus on superlative Ontario ingredients stays put. A patio smoker produces amazing homemade bacon to accompany all sorts of egg creations and makes great smoky oysters to garnish an inimitable Caesar. True Canadians with a flair for fancier fare should try the foie gras poutine that’s made with luxurious duck liver, goat’s cheese curds and a dreamy hollandaise sauce.

The Purple Onion

Bar, Steakhouse, Canadian
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The Purple Onion’s bargain breakfast makes this the perfect spot to indulge while you grapple with last night’s bar tab. Daily specials start around five dollars and will get you two eggs with home fries and toast. Work your way up to the ‘mega breakfast’ stocked with three slices of bacon or sausage links, a choice of pancakes or French toast, eggs, home fries and toast. On the weekend, eggs Benedict paired with peameal or smoked salmon make an appearance. Dress up any dish with a side of fruit salad, strip of bacon or even a single chocolate chip pancake.

The Raw Chemist

Bar, Juice Bar, Canadian, $$$
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This juice and smoothie bar might be a wild deviation from greasy bacon, eggs and lavishly stuffed pastries, but it’s bound to have you feeling ready to tackle any task that may come your way. Their cold-pressed juices are made daily in-house and pack the nutrient dense punch you need to power through a measly Monday morning. Add shots of almost any super food or protein powder to make a custom smoothie creation, or choose from their list of cool concoctions. If you don’t know what things like reishi, camu camu or chaga are, there’s a homemade encyclopedia to flip through and read about the origins and benefits of tons of treats your body will love.

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