The Best Brunch Spots in Vancouver

We are serious about brunching in this city. And these places deliver. 

May 31, 2019

By Barb Sligl / Photo: Amy Ho

Whether you’re after morning fortification or post-binge prescription, Vancouver offers a gastronomic world tour of must-try brunch dishes.

La Mezcaleria

Chilaquiles verdes, please. This traditional brunch of tortillas, salsas (verde or roja), refried beans, eggs and fresh crema is a casual comfort-food mainstay. As chef Mariana Gabilondo says, “It won’t be a true Mexican breakfast without chilaquiles.” 1622 Commercial Dr. and 68 E Cordova St.

Lobby Lounge RawBar

Head to the swish lobby of the Fairmont Pacific Rim for next-level sushi. The chef’s-choice omakase long-table sushi experience is a family-style feast of Ocean Wise fare (maki rolls, sashimi, nigiri, oysters) served on a locally crafted driftwood longboard. 1038 Canada Pl.

Tableau Bar Bistro

Paris meets Vancouver in the croque madame (avec frites, bien sûr): ham, gruyère cheese and Mornay sauce (béchamel with more gruyère—always a good thing) sandwiched, grilled and topped with a fried egg. The result is “one of the most classic, sensuous and satisfying of all sandwiches,” says GM Olivier Bureau. Pair with a glass of sancerre: bliss. 1181 Melville St.

L’Abattoir

The breakfast burger at L’Abattoir (a quarter pound of beef with, yes, a hashbrown patty and fried egg) has been on this Gastown institution’s brunch menu since it began—and it’s here to stay. Chef Lee Cooper thinks he might have started a trend: soon after his debuted, imitations appeared at other restaurants. We only recommend the original. 217 Carrall St.

Nelson the Seagull

Avocado toast seems ubiquitous now, but the first—and arguably best—iteration in Vancouver (sliced atop delicious house-baked bread) may be found here. “Avocado toast was always a staple in our house,” say co-owners Lee and Jonathan Snelgar [me1] of growing up in South Africa. And it’s become a tradition here, too: “People are not happy at all when we run out.” 315 Carrall St.

Credit: Noah Kent

The Red Wagon

The pulled-pork pancakes at Red Wagon Cafe (three buttermilk pancakes with Jack Daniel’s–spiked maple syrup and all that shredded protein) are a local celeb of sorts. People have travelled from across North America to sample this dish after seeing it on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Vancouverites need only trek to East Van for the all-day-breakfast must. 2296 E Hastings St.

Yolks

Poached-just-right eggs in a benny you build yourself is its own form of brunch bliss. And Yolks’[me2]  flowchart-like menu (first offered at the original breakfast cart and now at two brick-and-mortar spots) can result in this must-have mash-up: portobello mushroom with aioli and arugula on truffle-lemon hashbrowns topped with grated aged cheddar. Yes, please. 1598 E Hastings St. and 546 W Broadway

Credit: Amy Ho

Café Medina

The Liège-style waffles at Café Medina are a no-brainer brunch mainstay (topped with crowd-favourite salted caramel, of course). But before diving into this sweet treat, consider trying a savoury fricassé with eggs. The signature, bestselling vegetarian version (fricassé champignons) is so good that it’s featured in the Vancouver Eats cookbook. 780 Richards St.

Jam Cafe

The Charlie bowl at Jam Cafe is named after the owner’s youngest son, who prefers every meal in a bowl. One of the last items to make it on the menu, it quickly became the most popular—and Charlie takes full credit for the blockbuster concoction of crumbled buttermilk biscuit, hashbrowns, tomatoes, bacon, sausage and cheese—all topped with gravy and eggs. 556 Beatty St. and 2153 W 4th Ave.

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