I love Sunday brunch. It is one of my favourite indulgences- I look forward to it all week. It’s that portion of your week where time just stands still for a little while. It’s Sunday, around noon; you’re tired; you’re with a bunch of your friends; and, you can linger over a cup of coffee for as long as you want. My heart never beats slower than it does when I’m brunching. You get to catch up on how everyone’s doing, what their weekend plans were, and there’s always someone who has some sordid tale about the night before.
That being said, a little planning goes a long way, especially if you woke up late and didn’t eat anything because you were saving your appetite for brunch. Of course, your friends were late because they are half hung over, and you are told by the host that your wait will be up to an hour- not that that ever happens! Here are a few brunching tips from the ‘brexpert':
Timing is everything. Why is it that everyone decides to arrive at the restaurant 2 minutes before you guys got there? Most places have a rush between 11 AM and 1 PM, so to avoid being 15th on the host’s list, get up early, put on some sunglasses and go before 11 or have a banana to tide yourself over until after 1.
For how many? You’ve got to make sure that the place you choose is commensurate with the size of your group. In other words, make sure that if you’ve got a big clique, find a big place! A lot of brunch places don’t take reservations so this is very important if you want that nice relaxing brunch experience. There are loads of great little brunch places around town that you can try out if there are just a few of you, but they are not worth the up to two-hour wait to seat a large party. Yes, we’ve waited two hours for a table one Sunday, and no it wasn’t worth it!
A few of my favorites:
1) Alibi Room – This is the stand-by. My group of friends are pretty much ‘regulars’ here. And, while the food is always good, the reason why this place is so popular with us is because there is never a wait! Sometimes there can be up to 8 or more people with us for brunch, but we’ve only ever had to wait twice for a table here- and never more than a few minutes. 157 Alexander St, Gastown.
2) Medina – Honestly, I’ve been here once and it is my new fave, hands down. The ambiance is Euro-bistro, the food is incredible, and they serve these amazing lavender vanilla lattes that are as close to heaven as I have ever experienced. Yes, I’m being dramatic, but seriously: best latte E.V.E.R. 556 Beatty St, Crosstown.
3) Ouisi Bistro – Whenever I’m crossing a bridge on Sunday, I try to hit up Ouisi Bistro on the South Granville strip. It’s a great little “Southern style” brunch hangout with a decent seating capacity. When the weather is a bit warmer, they’ve got a cute little deck out back to dine al fresco. 3014 Granville St, South Granville.
4) Chill Winston– If it’s a hot Sunday in August, we are brunching at Chill Winston. This place has the best patio in town, period. There is no better place to chill with a Caesar in hand, scoping out those trendy Gastowners on Water Street soaking up the sun… *sigh* I can’t wait for summer! 1 Alexander St, Gastown.
5) The Dish– It’s quick, tasty, healthy, cheap, friendly: there’s never a wait and I can sit in or take-out. It doesn’t get much easier than that. 1068 Davie Street, West End.
Where’s your favourite brunch place?