Brunch Bunch

Rating: NNNNNA chilled-out Sunday brunch is sometimes the best way to beat the winter blahs. Hunker down nicely at any.


Rating: NNNNN


A chilled-out Sunday brunch is sometimes the best way to beat the winter blahs. Hunker down nicely at any of these places.

LEVITY (1331 Danforth, at Lamb, 416-463-0438) Laid-back neighbourhood café and bakery dishes up straightforward sandwiches, soups and salads in a relaxed room decked out with oddball kitsch. Very Vancouver. Best: creamy veggie quiche the McLevity — a toasted poppy-seed bagel spread with sweet mango chutney and stuffed with sharp cheddar and tart green apple slices mildly curried egg salad sandwich kicked with red onion and sided with mesclun dressed with delicious poppy-seed cream house-made buttermilk scones, lemon squares and pecan tarts. Complete meals for $15 per person, including all taxes, tip and a glass of house plonk. Open Tuesday to Friday 8 am to 6 pm, Saturday 9 am to 6 pm, Sunday 10 am to 5 pm, and for brunch Saturday and Sunday till 2 pm. Closed Monday. Beer and wine. Access: one step at door, washrooms in basement. Rating: NNN

SAVING GRACE (907 Dundas West, at Bellwoods, 416-899-9186) This deceptively anonymous space — white-on-white walls, minimalist decor, 20 seats tops — offers stylish salads and sandwiches at wallet-friendly prices. Once word gets out about their no-reservations weekend brunches, west-siders will line up overnight. Best: super brunch menu of corn cakes with fiery mango chutney grilled croissant with melting Brie, pear and walnut with honey-basil-dressed greens. Complete meals for $10 per person, including taxes and tip. Open Tuesday to Thursday 9 am to 3:30 pm, Friday 9 am to 3 pm, for brunch Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 3 pm. Closed Monday, holidays and first Tuesday of the month. Fully licensed. Cash only. Access: 2-inch step at door, five steps to washroom. Rating: NNN

TOURNAYRE PATISSERIE (1856 Queen East, at Woodbine, 416-693-7997) Pistachio-hued Parisian cafe in the near-Beach serving light all-day brunches and lunches. Terrific take-away pastries, breads and tarts, too. Limited seating means midday lineups on the weekend. Best: house-made croissants stuffed with Black Forest ham and melted Gruyère, or studded with toasted almonds and filled with almond cream sweet pear, smoky bacon and blue cheese quiche with blueberry-dotted greens doused in super Dijon vinaigrette sandwiches on straight-from-the-oven baguette like roughly textured terrine with caramelized onion and arugula shortbread-crusted lemon custard tart and swoon-some pain au chocolat. Complete meals for $13 per person, including all taxes and tip. Open Wednesday to Friday 8 am to 5 pm, Saturday 8:30 am to 5 pm, Sunday 8:30 am to 4 pm. Closed Monday, Tuesday and holidays. Unlicensed. Cash only. Access: one step at door, washrooms on same floor. Rating: NNNN

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