Top 5 Brunch: Beyond the Benny

1) Patria 480 King W, at.


1) Patria 480 King W, at Brant, 416-367-0505, patriatoronto.com, @PatriaTO

Though club kings Charles Khabouth and Hanif Harji’s critically acclaimed tapas bar is a zoo by night, this stylish lounge moves at a sleepier pace come the cold light of day. What better time to pay attention to executive chef Stuart Cameron’s shareable Spanish-inspired plates instead of the scene?

Order this: pizza-style flatbread cocas on cracker-thin crusts topped with white anchovies, green olives, salsa verde and spicy piquillo peppers ($11).

Brunch Sunday 10:30 am to 2:30 pm. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: barrier-free.


2) Karelia Kitchen 1194 Bloor W, at Brock, 647-748-1194, kareliakitchen.com, @KareliaKitchen

It’s not just mid-century Scandinavian furniture that’s back in vogue. Leif Kravis and Donna Ashley’s Bloordale café brings back the popular open-faced smorrebrod sandwiches last seen locally at the Colonnade’s chic Copenhagen Room back in the 70s. They’ve also just introduced a $25 prix fixe brunch.

Order this: Swedish-style Pitti y Panna potato hash thick with house-smoked loin bacon topped with an over-easy egg and artful pea shoots ($12).

Brunch Saturday 11:30 am to 3 pm, Sunday 10 am to 3 pm. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: barrier-free.


3) Bar Buca 75 Portland, at King W, 416-599-2822, buca.ca, @bucatoronto

One-time McEwan acolyte Rob Gentile reproduces the luxe Italiana of mothership Buca as a casual and moderately priced all-day caffe with a kitchen open daily from 11 in the morning till 2 in the morning. Expect a lineup!

Order this: the migliaccio, a cinnamon-scented pork-blood crepe sided with boozy poached figs in chocolate sauce and crème anglaise made with buffalo milk ($10).

Brunch Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 4 pm. No reservations. Licensed. Access: barrier-free.


4) Beast 96 Tecumseth, at Whitaker, 647-352-6000, thebeastrestaurant.com,

@BeastRestaurant

Formerly home to Susur Lee’s fabled Lotus, Scott Vivian and Rachelle Cadwell’s snout-to-tail beast-ro is home to one of the most locally focused kitchens around, and never more so than at their insanely popular midday weekend nosh. Don’t miss Rachelle’s donut du jour.

Order this: the Beastwich, a great whack of southern-fried chicken thighs layered with pork-sausage gravy, pimento-studded cheese, house pickles and a runny sunny-side-up fried egg, all on a house-baked buttermilk biscuit ($14 with deep-fried potato wedges).

Brunch Saturday 11 am to 3 pm, Sunday 10 am to 3 pm. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: one step at door, washroom on same floor.


5) Bristol Yard 146 Christie, at Pendrith, 647-716-6583, @BristolYardie

Britpop DJ Davy Love recreates a proper UK-style back-alley caff complete with curated 60s soundtrack in an unlikely storefront just north of Christie Pitts.

Order this: the homage to South American soccer superstar Maradona, aka fried bread topped with poached eggs, medium-rare grilled steak and garlicky Argentinian chimichurri sauce. Goal ($13)!

Brunch Monday to Friday 7 am to 4 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 4 pm. No reservations. Licensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms on same floor.

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