There are too many brunch places in Toronto to label one as a favourite. When it comes to early morning fried chicken and waffles though, I haven’t had any better than The Stockyards’.
If you follow the blog, you already know how excited I am that Jollibee has named St.Clair West as the location for their first Toronto outpost. The overlooked stretch of streetcar lover’s lane has harboured old gems (Albert’s Real Jamaican, Dutch Dreams) and welcomed newer tenants like Gourmet Gringos and Starving Artist more recently. Sandwiched between is the still newish Stockyards Smokehouse and Larder. Stockyards isn’t exempt from the peak-brunch line experience, but it’s one made entertaining by chatty staff and a full view of their bustling diner-style kitchen. What better way to decide on an order than while watching them pump out a menu’s worth of Carolinian breakfast food (though the waffles are Belgian) before you even sit down. After several visits, the star of the show remains the fried chicken, but I’ll just point out that their house-smoked thick cut is the best I’ve had next to Benton’s from Tennessee. What we ate:
- Fried Chicken & Waffles w/ chili maple molasses citrus glaze
- Griddle Cakes w/ whipped citrus butter, maple syrup, and bacon
- The Stockyard (deep-fried poached egg, bacon and cheddar on a biscuit)
Since March, they’ve announced the fried chicken will now be served daily :)
The Stockyards: Smokehouse and Larder
699 St Clair Ave. W. | Website
Previously: Aunties & Uncles, Bristol Yard, Lady Marmalade, Rose and Sons
Checking in on an old favourite within a sprawling roster of breakfast outlets – Rose and Sons in the Annex:
Rose and Sons has been a darling in the brunch circuit since opening back in 2012 – that circuit has grown considerably since, but judging by the lines, Rose hasn’t lost its foothold in the boom of haute-comfort spots.
If you prefer a lighter brunch fare, Rose might not be for you. No concessions found for the diet-conscious on a menu consisting of up-done diner foods and a focus on the meatier plates. The portions are compact in size but the richness of everything put us into an early afternoon lull. The tidy side streets of Dupont made for a nice walk along the foot of Casa Loma to stave off some calories, perfect way to cap off an indulgent brunch. What we ate:
- bread pudding topped with wild blueberries and bacon
- fried chicken on “sexy” grits and poached egg
- griddled brie cornbread topped with brisket, fried egg, maple syrup, chili sauce
Once it warms up, we’ll be back to try Big Crow, their more recent backyard BBQ addition.
The signage shot was from my Olympus XA. Instagram credit to Thisis_Angelo for the food shots on the grid above.
Rose & Sons
176 Dupont St. | Website
Previously: Aunties & Uncles, Bristol Yard, Lady Marmalade
Next Toronto Brunch Club: The Stockyards
Classic run-on-breakfast fare at Aunties & Uncles, and that moment when you admit to yourself “I’m brunch people now”:
At some point in your mid-20s, you outgrow all-day breakfast from student dives that daylight as would-be greasy spoons and the chain restaurants that replaced true ones. So perhaps it’s the location between UofT and Sneaky Dee’s, that makes Aunties & Uncles something of a rite of passage for those about to brunch in Toronto. The kind of place that marks one’s graduation from person who “loooves all-day breakfast” to full-fledged brunch-person.
Aunties & Uncles ONLY does breakfast, brunch and lunch – so don’t count on getting there after 3pm. We arrived early and rounded up an order of their more diner-y plates:
- Cinnamon French toast, with poached pears (the fruit changes by season)
- Breakfast Pocket, scrambled egg and peameal bacon sandwiched between focaccia buns
- Aunties & Uncles Club, a chicken club on challah bread
Aside from my French toast falling on the dry side and needing the entire demitasse of maple syrup to revive, our meal was solid. This was also my first time trying the house potato salad, which may be the best ever – loaded with dill flavour, the perfect side for anyone with a large enough appetite to require one.
Bonus: there’s enough vintage Canadian kitsch on A&U’s walls to fodder a whole season of Vinyl Café. Note though, the child’s room décor is a bit of a misnomer as the tight seating (and long wait) is better suited to couples and smaller groups than toddler toters. Count on their patio to be packed come warmer months and a guaranteed 30+ minute wait year-round on weekends.
Instagram credit to Thisis_Angelo for the top two photos on the grid and for sharing that bacon.
Aunties & Uncles
47 Lippincott St. | Website
Previously: Bristol Yard, Lady Marmalade
Next Toronto Brunch Club: Rose & Sons