I don’t know about you guys, but brunch to me means EGGS. I will admit that I have always been a “savoury-tooth” as opposed to a sweet-tooth. I mean, if someone offered you bacon and fries, would you really give that up in exchange for a blueberry pie? I didn’t think so…
But all that aside, brunch cannot be considered brunch without the inclusion of eggs. For some time, brunch was on a confusing downward spiral to lunch, where restaurants started launching brunch menus that included salmon gravlax and quiche dishes to exercise their brunch creativity (or laziness)…yes, I know quiche has eggs in it but it still should be classified as a lunch item. Thankfully, in the past few years in Vancouver, there has been a serious shift back to real breakfast items on restaurant menus.
And here I wanted to recap the best of brunch in each Vancouver community, starting with my adopted ‘hood: Kitsilano. I have spent quite a bit of time and calories researching these spots and have laid out the thought process behind my decision making. Each one of these 5 brunch spots offers scrumptious food but also excels at something beyond just the food…
#5 – Evelyn’s Cafe (2176 West Broadway)
A place like Evelyn’s has probably never made a blogger’s best of list or been the topic of conversation for new brunch places to try. However, I felt it deserved to make it to the list because it offers good, healthy home-cooking with all-day breakfast at more than reasonable prices. In fact, Evelyn’s is a local favourite that’s packed throughout the day. This is my recommendation for a solid, “cheap eats” breakfast in the Kits area but do not expect innovative dishes or a vibrant atmosphere. You will get friendly service and good home-cooking at very a low price. Try the Cafe Hash!
#4 – Epicurean Caffe Bistro (1896 West 1st Avenue)
Even though it’s been around for some time, Epicurean remains top-of-mind for local Kits brunch-goers with its unique Italian take on breakfast. Using high quality ingredients like organic greens and Italian pancetta, Epicurean has managed to make even their Classico breakfast more interesting than most places. Not to mention, they are located right by beautiful Kits beach with a sweet patio to take in the sights. For a really unique experience, try their breakfast pizza called Pizza Buongiorno. Yup, that’s breakfast pizza – not pizza for breakfast.
#3 – Fable Kitchen (1944 West 4th Avenue)
Farm to Table is not just a trend or a sound bite at Fable. They really do take farm fresh ingredients and transform them to tasty dishes served at your table and their brunch is no exception. A little on the pricier side but you’re getting Top Chef Canada quality food. The runner-up of Top Chef Canada, Trevor Bird, has made Fable a food institution in Vancouver in the short time that it has been open. I recommend the Fable stew – I love hearty dishes topped off with eggs!
#2 – Linh Cafe (2836 West 4th Avenue)
OK, this place is a bit of an anomaly. It’s difficult to explain so you kind of have to go there and experience it but basically Linh Cafe is a French-Vietnamese restaurant that isn’t necessarily fusing the cuisines together but have fused the two cultures’ dishes into one menu. The menu ranges from $11.99 pho to $60 whole lobster. The atmosphere is very cute and cozy, much like a French cafe. Actually this spot used to be a French cafe called Cafe Regalade until it closed and transformed to Linh Cafe. But with the transformation, some of the brunch dishes from Cafe Regalade made it onto the Linh menu, like the Toulouse breakfast: creamy white beans with succulent pork confit, bacon, and house-made sausage topped off with two soft-poached eggs. The dish is served in a lovely skillet accompanied by a bright salad and fresh baguette. It’s definitely hearty but beautifully balanced in that you won’t feel sick after, even if you finish it all (guilty). The service and the food were so good at Linh that I actually went there twice in one day – pho for dinner and I have to say, the pho is unbelievable…but that’s the subject of another blog.
#1 – The Oakwood Canadian Bistro (2741 West 4th Avenue)
Just on the other side of the street and a block from Linh, is in my opinion, one of the best indy restaurants that’s opened in Vancouver in the past few five years or so. The food is amazing, almost everything is made in-house from scratch, and it isn’t served with a pretentious attitude. The brunch is mid-range in terms of price but you definitely get more than you pay for with organic eggs and some very innovative twists on brunch dishes. I took my family there for Mother’s Day brunch and although most of us got their take on the standard eggs and bacon breakfast (I don’t think they offer this anymore), it was one of the most memorable meals we’ve had. The ketchup was house-made, the hot sauce was house-made, the bacon was house-cured…basically, everything (maybe apart from the bread…or not?) was made in their kitchen. I was so impressed with their dedication to quality food (which carries through to their dinner menu), that I decided I could try anything on their menu and be pleasantly satisfied. So…I won’t give you a brunch dish recommendation for this spot and tell you to be adventurous and try something you wouldn’t normally choose – because you can’t go wrong.
I hope this list will prove useful to some of you…I welcome your input and feedback!
Have an eggy brunch!