Top 10 Breakfast And Brunch Spots In King West, Toronto

Photo of Culture Trip
8 October 2016

King West, a hopping neighbourhood filled with restaurants, shops, and bars, has an abundance of spots offering breakfast and brunch that can satisfy any craving. This guide ventures into every nook and cranny of this downtown enclave, listing the 10 best restaurants for the perfect morning meal, from lemon ricotta pancakes to chicken and waffles.

Maple Bacon Donuts | Courtesy of Beast

Beast Restaurant

Restaurant, Contemporary, $$$
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In the heart of King West lies Beast Restaurant, which has a brunch menu packed with flavor and a richness. Sweet and savory are mixed ever so elegantly in dishes like the challah French toast, which is topped with duck confit, or the breakfast sandwich, with grilled pork belly, pickled onions, sweet and smokey mustard, crispy lettuce, and a fried egg all piled high on an apple fritter. If you’re feeling adventurous, go for the famous ‘beastwich,’ fried chicken, pimento cheese, and a fried egg on top of a buttermilk biscuit and topped with sausage gravy. Simply put, you have to eat here, and don’t miss out on Rachelle’s Doughnuts, which are made in-house every weekend.

Lisa Marie

Bar, Bistro, Gastropub, Restaurant, Food Truck, Contemporary, $$$
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Just off trendy Queen West, Lisa Marie serves up street food-inspired brunch with a fusion flare like lamb shank hash, porchetta tostada, and nacho tuna ceviche. The walls of this local restaurant are simple yet inviting with the soul and vibe of a pop-up. Go for their spin on chicken and waffles (fried cornish hen and jalapeño cornbread waffles), or dive into the bacon explosion Benedict, smoked bacon ‘explosion’ patties, two poached eggs, and a spicy hollandaise all on brioche. Don’t miss the pad Thai fries, Fidel Gastro’s most popular item, or the double pancake pork burgers, which are two pork patties, crispy lettuce, melted cheese, and sliced fresh tomato all piled on top of pancake buns and drizzled with maple syrup.

Portland Variety

On the corner of King and Portland, you will find Portland Variety. Glass windows, modern décor, and hotshot baristas serving up pastries, fresh pressed juices, and dynamite coffee greet you as you enter through the door. The whipped house-made ricotta is always a hit, served with spice roasted plums, pistachios, and grilled sourdough, and is the perfect starter. Go for the fan-favorite lemon ricotta pancakes, fluffy flapjacks topped with a blueberry compote and a cream cheese mousse; or, opt for the eggs benedict served with prosciutto on a freshly baked croissant and creamy hollandaise. If you’re on a health kick, go for the smashed avocado toast topped with soft scrambled eggs, the perfect melt in your mouth combination. Don’t forget to pair your meal with a craft beer, specialty cocktail, or the house-made sangria.

Portland Variety, 587 King St W, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 368 5151

Luckee's Xiao Long Bao | Courtesy of Luckee

Luckee’s Xiao Long Bao | Courtesy of Luckee

Luckee Restaurant

Bar, Restaurant, Chinese, 0
Inside King’s Noodle Restaurant
Inside King’s Noodle Restaurant | © Glen MacLarty/Flickr
Susur Lee, famous chef and media sensation, brings his knowledge of various Chinese traditions to Toronto as inspiration for his cuisine at Luckee Restaurant. From lobster and asparagus dumplings to steamed crab claws with shrimp mousse, Lee provides a deliciously modern spin on traditional dim sum (using French techniques), the not-so-typical brunch. Go for a classic dish like the bbq pork bao, a soft, pillowy bun stuffed with tangy pork, or the savory crispy rice donut filled with chicken, Chinese chives, jicama, and shrimp. The décor, which is modern with splashes of green, cherry red, and beautifully carved wood, provides a calming yet suitable atmosphere to this upscale spot.

School Toronto

Located just inside the hip and young Liberty Village, School Toronto is a must visit for any brunch lover. This spot serves brunch seven days a week, so brunch goers can do their thing on any day they please. The menu includes dishes like buttermilk fried chicken and waffles, golden hash brown poutine, and cheesy bacon French toast, a glorious marriage of the sweet and savory. If you’re in the mood for the simply sweet, go for the ‘black ’n’ blue flapjacks stacked high,’ with a blackberry-blueberry sauce and brown sugar butter, or the s’more-inspired Belgian waffles topped with torched marshmallows, dark chocolate, and graham cracker crumbs. The inside is simple, with dim lighting, chalkboard-lined walls, dark wood, and exposed brick.

School Toronto, 70 Fraser Ave, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 588 0005

Lou Dawg’s B-B-Q

Restaurant, BBQ, Canadian
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Lou Dawgs on King, 589 King Street West
Lou Dawgs on King, 589 King Street West | © Lou Dawg's B-B-Q
If you’re looking for that ultimate hangover cure, Lou Dawg’s B-B-Q has what you need. From chicken and waffles to pulled pork eggs benedict, this Southern-inspired spot brings the heat and all within a relaxed atmosphere. Go for the famous ‘breakfast loutine,’ crispy fries topped with melted Black River cheese curds, tangy pulled pork, two poached eggs, and house-made hollandaise. But if you’re not in the mood for breakfast, Lou Dawg’s also serves up Southern classics like bbq ribs, creamy coleslaw, deep-fried pickles, and slow-smoked meats (chicken, pork, and brisket), all paired best with the smoked lemon Southern tea.

Mildred’s Temple Kitchen

Restaurant, American, $$$
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Head to Mildred’s Temple Kitchen for blueberry buttermilk pancakes
Head to Mildred’s Temple Kitchen for blueberry buttermilk pancakes | Courtesy of Mildred’s Temple Kitchen
Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, a fan favorite for Liberty Village and King West locals, offers elevated comfort foods using only the freshest of ingredients. Brunch is offered on the weekends, but ‘B’Lunch,’ the best in brunch and favorite lunch items all on the same menu, is offered throughout the week. All dishes are seasonal, and there’s a new brunch special each week. Start with a freshly baked scone or biscuit and the bungalow caesar, a zesty mix of Iceberg Vodka, Clamato juice, a spicy rim, celery, and fresh horseradish, and finish with the blueberry buttermilk pancakes drizzled in maple syrup and topped with whipped cream. Be sure to get there early as the lineup can get quite long and opt for patio seating during the warmer months.

Meal service:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch


Casual, Stylish


Bistro, Restaurant, Canadian, Fast Food
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Zoë’s, smack dab in the center of King West, is the locals’ go-to spot for a casual brunch. Everything is made in-house using fresh ingredients, and dishes include sandwiches, salads, soups, and wraps. The décor is simple (dark wood, small tables and art lining the walls) with a bistro-style vibe and there’s even an outdoor patio. This joint is a no-fuss, laid-back place for getting your breakfast fix. Beer, wine, and cocktails are available for the Sunday ‘funday’ brunchers, and be sure to try the breakfast wrap, a bacon and spicy peppers omelette wrapped with onion, fresh herbs, and melted mozzarella cheese, and topped with fresh avocado. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, opt for the strawberry cheesecake French toast with strawberry-basil cream cheese, fresh strawberries, melon, and maple syrup.

Colette Grand Café

Bistro, Diner, Canadian, $$$
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Colette Grand Café specializes in French cuisine
Colette Grand Café specializes in French cuisine | Courtesy of Colette Grand Café
Colette Grand Café, a chic bistro serving up elevated French cuisine with a modern spin, is taking King West by storm. While dishes are brilliant any time of the day, this spot shines in its breakfast and brunch menus. Featuring freshly baked pastries, challah French toast with spiced apple compote (you can also add seared foie gras), lemon ricotta pancakes with blueberries and chantilly, and croque monsieur, which is ham and comte cheese sandwiched between two slices of crispy, buttery brioche. Breakfast is served all da), brunch on Saturdays, and a hefty yet beautiful brunch buffet on Sundays. Be sure to start with a chocolate croissant, and don’t miss the popular eggs Benedict with smoked salmon and avocado, paired best with a brunch cocktail. There are healthy options (think quinoa pudding or granola with pressed yogurt and fresh berries), too.

Thompson Diner

Diner, Hotel Restaurant, Canadian, American, $$$
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Thompson Diner, Toronto
Thompson Diner, Toronto | Courtesy of Thompson Diner
If Sunday’s got you hurting, a casual vibe, laid-back atmosphere, and carb-heavy dishes make for the perfect match at Thompson Diner, located inside the well-known Thompson Hotel. Serving up classic comfort food 24 hours a day, Thompson Diner is King West’s go to for home style cooking. Don’t miss their most famous dish, the poutine, Peking duck, crispy duck skin, black sesame seeds, green onions, and hoisin duck gravy; or opt for the double mac and cheese with truffle oil. Breakfast is served daily, with choices like the basic ‘eggs how you like it,’ omelettes, eggs benedict, brunch burger, or lighter fare like oatmeal or granola with dried fruit. This diner has a ‘breakfast anytime’ menu for breakfast lovers, as well as specialty cocktails, wine, and beer for the ultimate bruncher.

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