Where to Go in Vancouver for Awesome Brunch

The paella at Cafe Medina; Photo Credit: Tara Lee

The paella at Cafe Medina; Photo Credit: Tara Lee

For our first date, my boyfriend and I went for brunch at Burgoo (3096 Main Street), near where he lives. The place specializes in comfort food, as exemplified by their decadent cinnamon bun French toast, with roasted apple, maple syrup, and Devonshire cream (mmmm). Since then, one of our favourite things to do is go for brunch together in the city.

Brunch is a meal that’s easy to love. We chat and eat over a leisurely meal, brunch dishes often are an indulgent hybrid of sweet-and-savoury, mimosas make things celebratory, and we get to try out a restaurant without breaking the bank. When traveling out of town, brunch especially becomes a more accessible way to dine in a city’s top restaurants.

Here are five spots that offer an elevated brunch in Vancouver:

1. Café Medina (780 Richards Street)

Photo Credit: Barry Calhoun Photography

Photo Credit: Barry Calhoun Photography

This darling of the brunch scene attracts diners with its Mediterranean-inspired cuisine and its chic bistro setting. While line-ups can get long, the trick is to arrive either slightly before opening (8am during the weekdays or 9am on weekends) or after the main dining rush, around 2pm. The airy space invites with soaring ceilings, a variety of stylish pendant lights, and a melding of the modern and old-world in its design. Start with one of their Liege waffles with your choice of topping (eg milk chocolate lavender), or the blistered flatbread with mascarpone and black pepper honey. The rare albacore tuna with white bean and quinoa salad, tahini dressing, Aleppo butter, and oven dried tomatoes is a light and refreshing pick for the summer (available after 11am).

Photo Credit: Tara Lee

Photo Credit: Tara Lee

Also unbeatable is the paella with a fried egg, orzo, spicy chorizo, seasonal veg, grana padano, avocado, and spicy charred tomato salsa. Choose from top-notch coffee, house sodas, in addition to well-crafted cocktails, and beer and wine selections.

2. Hawksworth Restaurant (801 West Georgia Street)

Sourced from the Hawksworth website

Sourced from the Hawksworth website

Hawksworth is the jewel in the Vancouver dining landscape. It’s been the recipient of numerous accolades, including Best Upscale Restaurant in the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards, Maclean’s Restaurant of the Year Award, and Second Place in Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants. Interiors are stunningly elegant, with gorgeous crystal chandeliers and dark wood accents. A more affordable way to appreciate the kitchen’s prowess is to visit for weekend brunch.

Traditional English breakfast; Sourced from Hawksworth website

Traditional English breakfast; Sourced from Hawksworth website

Small plates include house smoked salmon with cream cheese, red onion, dill, and capers on a bagel, while mains range from a classic eggs benny with caramelized ham, house potatoes, roasted tomato, and hollandaise; to crispy tempura halibut with pickled ramp ranch, asparagus, spring greens, and radish. Service is wonderfully attentive.

3. Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House (777 Thurlow Street)

Sourced from the Joe Fortes' Facebook page

Sourced from the Joe Fortes’ Facebook page

Snag a seat on the stunning rooftop garden patio and you already have the makings for a perfect weekend brunch. This restaurant stalwart, around for over thirty years, is located in the heart of the downtown core, just off of bustling Robson Street. Before hitting the shops, stop off at Joe Fortes for brunch where you’ll enjoy classic American cuisine showcasing local seafood and produce. Slurp down some freshly shucked bivalves from the oyster bar before moving onto pan fried crab cakes with lemon-basil aioli or albacore tuna tartare. A lobster benny with mushroom and leek white wine cream sauce makes for a great brunch option, as is the shrimp frittata with mushrooms, spinach, ricotta cheese, and fresh herbs. Oh, and the fried chicken with buttermilk waffles, maple brown butter, and chili glaze is the ultimate in comfort eating.

Sourced from Joe Fortes' Facebook page

Sourced from Joe Fortes’ Facebook page

4. Edible Canada Bistro (1596 Johnston Street)

Edible Canada

Granville Island is a picturesque and lively place to visit during the weekends. I could happily spend a day stocking up on produce in the Public Market, listening to the musicians on the Island perform, and browsing in the many boutiques and artisan studios. In-between your Island wandering, stop off at Edible Canada Bistro, which specializes in the diversity of Canadian cuisine, from coast to coast, as well as local, seasonal ingredients. Interiors have a rustic, welcoming feel, while the large patio offers views of the activity of Granville Island. Brunch provides a multicultural Canadian tour, starting with poutine with pulled pork, duck fat fries, Quebec cheese curds, sunny side up eggs, house made gravy, and crispy onions.

Sourced from Edible Canada website

Sourced from Edible Canada website

There’s also a west coast banh mi with crispy fried fish, pickled carrots, jalapenos, cilantro, crispy onions, ginger aioli, and organic salad. It doesn’t get more Canadian than that for brunch!

5. Tableau Bar Bistro (1181 Melville Street)

Sourced from Tableau Facebook page

Sourced from Tableau Facebook page

I used to live a couple blocks away from this top-notch French bistro, located in the Loden Hotel in Coal Harbour. Tableau, and sister restaurant Homer St. Café and Bar (898 Homer Street), offer a consistently delicious weekend brunch experience. The restaurant itself is the epitome of elegance due to its sleek bistro interiors, impeccable service, and classic menu offerings. The croque monsieur with frites transports you to Paris (option to add a free range egg). They also do a lovely omelette with wild mushrooms and oka cheese. The daily drawing board allows you to explore the creativity of the kitchen and the best of seasonal flavours and ingredients.

Sunny egg atop mushroom toast; Sourced from Tableau Facebook page

Egg atop mushroom toast; Sourced from Tableau’s Facebook page

Also, I’m a particular fan of Tableau’s lovely patio where I’ve enjoyed many a tête-à-tête over good food on a sunny summer’s day!

Comments are closed for this post

2 Responses to Where to Go in Vancouver for Awesome Brunch

  1. Pingback: Where to Go in Vancouver for Awesome Brunch – Gunboat Bay Lodge

  2. Come to the best little cafe for brunch in Vancouver in the other side of the bridges! Breakfast all day, brunch fri, sat & sun…. Dog friendly patio, bike friendly and close to city hall skytrain ! You don’t know what you’re missing… Besides the fresh, awesome food… The service is better than anywhere downtown!