The best brunch spots in small-town Ontario

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Ah, brunch. The meal you have when you don’t want to set an alarm, and wake up a little too late to rightly call your first meal of the day “breakfast.” Unlike breakfast, a good restaurant brunch is a little slower, a little more indulgent (mimosas, anyone?), and leaves room for a little more variety in terms of the menu. Oh, we’ll always be fans of a good, greasy brekkie, but a good brunch calls for a little more ambiance. Of course, this is only a small selection of great brunch spots in the province, you’ve undoubtedly got favourites on your list as well.  

Pat and Kevin’s on the Square (Goderich)

Pat and Kevin’s signature comic book-style menu isn’t the only thing that delights diners at this popular Goderich restaurant, situated right on the town’s historic Courthouse Square. Eggs benedict, an omelet and crepe bar on Sundays and an emphasis on local food all get high marks, as does the exceptionally friendly service and down-home atmosphere. Fun fact: owner Kevin Morrison is also Goderich’s mayor.

The Breakfast Pig BadAss Eatery (Sault Ste. Marie)

Okay, Sault Ste. Marie isn’t exactly a small town. The Breakfast Pig’s friendly staff and creative take on the most important meal of the day (served until 4 p.m.) makes it worth a visit when you’re in the Soo. A wide selection of waffles, french toast and egg dishes (featuring local pork products, of course) is ideal for folks who can’t agree whether brunch dishes should be savoury, sweet or something in between. For adventurous souls, try something from the “Distinctively Piggy” section, which features — among other concoctions — a glazed doughnut filled with an over-easy egg, bacon and cheddar.

The Courage (Wellington)

Prince Edward County has no shortage of great brunch spots, and The Courage is high on the list of local faves. Perfect for those who want traditional breakfast food (pancakes, eggs benedict and “breakfast poutine” are all on offer) or something a little more lunchy (think grilled cheese sandwiches and a vegan bowl with quinoa, kale and other healthy stuff), the Courage also features standard brunch cocktails with creative twists, including an elderflower and grapefruit mimosa.

Part II Bistro (Blyth)

Owners Peter and Sarah Gusso worked and travelled together in Great Britain for five years before returning home to Blyth to open Part II. Now with a second location in Goderich, Part II has been rated one of the Top 30 Brunches in Canada by Reader’s Digest, an accolade stemming from a small, carefully selected menu that features fresh ingredients and a nice balance of sweet and savoury selections.

Memphis Fire Barbeque Company (Winona)

Memphis Fire, located just west of Hamilton, came to the attention of locals and tourists alike when its unique, barbecue-tinged spin on a traditional breakfast menu was featured on season two of You Gotta Eat Here. Two years later, following a health scare, breakfast service was discontinued, much to the disappointment of those who were watching YGEH re-runs. Now, Memphis Fire, a popular spot between Stoney Creek and Grimsby, has brought back its breakfast selections, including the Lobotomizer, a bacon/grilled cheese pancake, and the Good Morning Burger, a massive burger topped with bacon and a fried egg. It’s only available on Sundays from 11:30 until 4, so get there early.

Wolff’s Den Cafe and Gourmet Eatery (Gravenhurst)

This European-style coffeehouse and restaurant has one of the best patios in Muskoka — perfect for a warm Sunday morning. Fair trade, organic coffees accompany traditional breakfast fare, notable for the selection of sausages available, which include weisswurst and knackwurst. You can get air-fried fries, but there’s also potato salad to complete the European experience. Add to that a large selection of baked goods, and there’s a brunch meal for everyone.

Soul Sistas Cafe (Huntsville)

If you’re not seeking out a heavy, meat-laden brunch, check out Soul Sistas’ vegetarian breakfast burritos, farmer’s scramble and organic oatmeal, or just down a fresh, organic smoothie from their juice bar. Whether you’re following a vegan, gluten-free, dairy free or just a clean-eating diet, there’s an option available. Specials change every day, depending on the what the chef concocts.

The Nook Crêperie (Pembroke)

Crêpes are delicious, but they’re a pain to make. The solution? Head to a spot where that’s all they do, and get your fill without slaving over a hot stove. Inspired by Parisian crêperies, The Nook in Pembroke offers a huge range of crêpes filled with everything from bacon and banana to goat cheese and prosciutto, accompanied by salad, seasonal yogourt or (ahem) jalapeno-cheddar waffle hashbrowns. And just to make brunch a little more special, there’s an enormous cocktail menu. Oui, oui!

 

 

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