Power Brunch: Three Yorkville midday mainstays

Brunch in T.O.’s chicest nabe


Bar Reyna’s brioche French toast with Turkish delight curd

On a recent visit to Bar Reyna, a trio of women were spotted laughing softly together and knocking back glass after glass of prosecco –– which turned out to be a bottle each –– as they dug into their brunch fare. 

It was a scene evocative of careless summer in the mid-winter lull, which is an atmosphere Bar Reyna excels at. After all, the jewel of this space is its back patio, with its canopy of Edison bulbs and murals reminiscent of faded Greek tiles splashed on wooden wall panels.

The sun shines all year round at this Mediterranean-flavoured spot, both in the enclosed patio and in its light brunch menu. The French toast features two wedges of soft brioche topped with rose-kissed Turkish delight curd, arak mulberry syrup and a generous scattering of summer berries. 

Their signature croque madame eschews the heaviness of its namesake dish in favour of house-made labneh and smoked salmon on a crisp slice of sourdough toast, topped with a fried egg. Even the gluttonous-sounding duck Benedict gets a light twist that counters the savoury punch of pulled duck on a potato rosti with tangy cabbage escabeche, resulting in a perfectly filling but never too rich dish.  

Bar Reyna offers a coastal atmosphere in the heart of landlocked Yorkville — the ideal setting for day-chugging a bottle of Prosecco.… Or three. 

158 Cumberland St., 647-748-4464

When your inner Julia Child is jonesing for an omelette, but your cast iron pan skills just aren’t cutting it, take those hunger pangs to Jacques Bistro du Parc. It’s a cosy second-floor bistro with a large window overlooking Village of Yorkville Park. 

In its homey and bucolic dining room, aproned waiters glide around offering, en français, freshly toasted slices of baguette from a wicker basket. With its floral wallpaper accented by wood moulding and snug seating, it’s the exact sort of bistro that Julia herself would have favoured if she ever tired of the kitchen. 

The Jacques specialty is executed with rustic simplicity: the omelette is a pouch of eggs, well-cooked on the outside, soft and custardy on the inside, stuffed with French ingredients. 

Their options run from the classic (Swiss cheese and spinach; Swiss cheese and onion; Swiss cheese and asparagus; Swiss cheese) to the decadent. The Bretonne is loaded with diced chunks of lobster meat and (quelle surprise!) Swiss cheese, served with a side of steamed veg and a sprinkle of chives. How much more à la campagne can you get? 

126A Cumberland St., 416-961-1893

For those who like their morning meal in a blended format or perhaps over a bed of heart-healthy brown rice and preferably on the go, the new Palm Lane in Yorkville Village is just the ticket. 

Despite its fast-casual output, this new enterprise offers the same kind of trendy, Insta-friendly, polished-brass-in-the-tropics surroundings as its sister restaurant Planta. 

Each pre-customized grain bowl and salad is inspired by a different country, like the bibimbap-y Seoul bowl and the black bean and avo-laden Azteca. 

The Bombay bowl is a colourful and curry-dusted mélange of lentils and chickpeas, sweet potato and pickled onion, with a mellow vadouvan coconut vinaigrette plus crunchy cauliflower pakoras. 

Palm Lane makes your power-walking breakfast a no-brainer. 

55 Avenue Rd., 647-349-108

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Jessica Wei is an associate editor for Post City. She has lived and worked as a journalist in Montreal, Hong Kong and, now, Toronto. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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