My Favourite Vancouver (and Area) Brunch Spots

Brunch. The Goldilocks and most hygge of meals. Yes, it’s Thursday morning and I’m already thinking about where to have weekend brunch.

If you’re like me, you might like to plan things out and want to make a reservation. That doesn’t always fly as many restaurants in the city don’t take resos during brunch time, if at all. This gives me mild anxiety, but the key is to show up 20-30 min before you actually want to be seated so they can take your name down. I’m not a huge fan of standing in a queue forever, but there are some restaurants that are worth it!

Here are my favourite brunch spots in and around Vancouver – most of which are #GetThrifty friendly!

Vancouver

The Distillery Bar & Kitchen ($-$$) – 1132 Mainland St, Vancouver

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The Distillery Scramble
Last weekend I was reminded that The Distillery is a Vancouver gem with its solid $10 brunch menu and very decently sized $10 Mimosa jugs! Very #GetThrifty for a neighbourhood known for pricier establishments – I like it! The food is good, the service is friendly and charming, and the restaurant itself has a really great vibe. There’s always excellent specials, the prices are good in general, and they usually play classic movies like Casablanca on their screens. The music can get a bit loud, but this is absolutely my vote for the best brunch in the city. (Note: Brunch is only served Fri-Sun + holidays, with Mon-Thu exclusively for dinner and drinks.) Reservations are recommended.

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Mimosa brunches are a wonderful thing! (For my Friends across the Atlantic, a Buck’s Fizz!)
*Make a reservation!

Belgard Kitchen ($$) – 55 Dunlevy Ave, Vancouver

Located in what is called the Settlement Building (with its big, beautiful doors and high ceilings) in an area called ‘Railtown’, Belgard Kitchen shares space with the Vancouver Urban Winery and Postmark Brewing. Their Salmon Gravlax Hash is the prettiest meal I have ever been served. No joke. The first time I ordered it, I almost didn’t want to ruin it. Common sense prevailed, but seriously, it looks like a beautiful piece of art. Reservations are recommended.

*Make a reservation!

Cafe Medina ($$) – 780 Richards St, Vancouver

Cafe Medina used to be on Beatty Street, but moved up to Richards Street a few years ago. They are known for their waffles (yum!) and having a slightly exotic take on brunch classics. It’s a popular spot that doesn’t take reservations, so there’s always a queue outside. But, I’ve had brunch there a few times and have planned a couple of corporate events in their space (excellent for private events!), and it’s worth the wait – if you have some relaxed weekend patience.

*No reservations.

WCCG Tip – For places that don’t take reservations, arrive 20-30 minutes early so you can get your name on the list! Some places are worth the wait. 🙂

Kingston Taphouse ($-$$) – 755 Richards St, Vancouver

The times where the wait time is just too long at Medina (or because I know the food is good and have wanted to avoid the queue-up business in general), I’ve popped across the street to the Kingston. It’s part of the Kingston Hotel and I suppose would be categorized as a sports bar. But it’s actually quite cozy and hyggelig with its fireplace and wood paneling. Try the Farmer’s Plate – filling and tasty! Reservations recommended on football game days.

*Make a reservation!

Edible Canada ($$-$$$) – Granville Island, Vancouver

This is a ‘treat yourself’ brunch spot. Very tasty, but on the higher end of the price scale. But with that, it’s perfect for fancy brunch with the girls or a weekend date day at Granville Island. Edible Canada’s focus is on seasonal and Canadian ingredients and they are a fun option for the city’s annual Dine Out Vancouver event. They also have a lovely gourmet food shop that features only Canadian artisan brands – make sure to pop back there before you leave! Reservations are recommended.

*Make a reservation!

Honourable Mentions: Catch 122 ($$), Ouisi Bistro ($$) and Cat’s Social House ($-$$ – $4 mimosas!), because I remember their brunch being good, but it’s been ages and I need to go back!

I’ve heard Twisted Fork ($$) on Granville Street is fantastic, but I still need to get there. It’s on my blogger friend Nina’s Vancouver brunch list – you should check it out!

North Vancouver

Before the Brit and I moved in together he lived on the North Shore and Lower Lonsdale was my weekend neigbourhood. There are some fantastic restaurants in the the area, and these are my favourites for brunch.

Lift Bakery ($$) – 101 Lonsdale Ave, North Vancouver

Lift Bakery is owned by Jane Copeland who has been the pastry chef in some of Vancouver’s and the world’s best restaurants. Her croissants are divine and the brunch meals have a nice touch of creative flair – like the parmesan lace cracker that came with my breakfast hash.

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*No reservations.

The Cheshire Cheese ($$) – Lonsdale Quay, North Vancouver

The Cheshire Cheese is a family run restaurant located in the Lonsdale Quay Market. Being a British restaurant, they have common British staples like baked beans on the menu and a grilled tomato is served with meals. The Brit tells me their bacon and sausages were actually ‘proper’, so there you go. Brunch is served only on weekends and holidays and you should get a seat by the window so you can enjoy the view.

*Make a reservation: (604) 987-3322

Finch X Barley ($$) – 250 East 1st Street, North Vancouver

Finch and Barley is a nice little North Van gem with incredibly tasty food. The FXB Hash (I really like a hash for brunch) is very good and the portions are just right. It’s a little bit hipster without being pretentious and it’s actually quiet. No loud music. And just for fun, there’s a bison head on the wall (that I’m 99% sure isn’t real – I hope). Reservations are recommended.

*Make a reservation: (604) 770-1000 or reservations@finchandbarley.com

Tour de Feast ($$) – 319 Mountain Hwy, North Vancouver

This little French bistro is located in a little bit of an industrial area of North Vancouver, right near Bridge Brewing. The menu is simple and fresh, and even though it’s not on a Paris street, Tour de Feast has a je ne sais quoi about it. We went there after hiking Dog Mountain on Mount Seymour, and it was the best way to refuel!

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Tour de Feast’s ‘Smoked Salmon Breakfast’

*Make a reservation!

New Westminster

This is a list that is going to get quite long, but for now, it only has one solid option until a bit more reconnaissance has been done.

The Castle Neighbourhood Grill ($-$$) – 319 Governors Court, New Westminster

Many moons ago,  I used to live in the Sapperton area of New West and frequented this place quite often as some good friends live just up the hill from it. Located in the Governor’s Mansion on the Old BC Pen site, The Castle is a great pub with quality and reasonably priced. Scroll down on their online menu to get to the brunch options. Having eaten a lot of it, I can tell you that their French toast is everything. Not being very near a train station or bus stop, this is a drive-to venue, but it’s worth it when you get there. The current Lower Mainland weather forecast is not patio friendly, but they have a nice patio for when it’s slightly balmier outside. The Castle is also a good place to hold a fundraiser for your team, kid’s scout trip, charity, etc.

Make a reservation: (604) 544-5020

Anywhere in BC

White Spot ($-$$) – Click here to find a location near you!

The OG of breakfast/brunch spots, White Spot is a BC institution. I’ve been going since I was a kid (hello, Pirate Packs!). The price-point has gone up a bit from what it used to be, but the meal sizes are decent and the food is unpretentious and good. The Nat’s Hearty Brunch with scrambled eggs and smash’browns is my favourite thing to order and I always ask for spinach to be added to my eggs – but I’m quirky like that.

~

What are your favourite brunch spots in the Vancouver area, or wherever you live? Share in the comments section!

For me, brunch is such a versatile meal since you can play on both the sweet and savory in your dishes.

~ Marcus Samuelsson

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