District Cafe & Bakery
With brunch being all the rage in Edmonton this past year, the judges’ discussion around the not-quite breakfast, not-quite lunch options was a passionate one, but one thing was apparent: No one on the panel could find a single flaw in the execution of District’s brunch service.
The recently renovated space has grown from a simple bakery and coffee spot to a full-fledged cafe-and Edmontonians are the better for it. While the coffee is still worth the trip on its own (with Bows & Arrows coffee beans used for espresso based drinks and Timbertrain coffee roasters for its brews), the brunch menu (available on Saturdays and Sundays only) is where District now shines. Dishes like the Waffle Benny is a delicious take on the classic eggs Benedict, swapping an English muffin for a crispy-on-the-outside, soft-in-the-centre Lige waffle, and replacing Canadian bacon with crispy bacon strips. The Benny, served with a side salad, drips in District’s own hollandaise, which is easily among the best in town. –Cory Haller
10011 109 St., 780-705-7788, districtcafe.ca
Disclosure: The mention of Cafe Linnea caused great division amongst the judges. There were those who said the new eatery, brought to life by the growing Duchess empire, was the best of the brunch bunch. There were others who felt that some of the hiccups that come with the opening of a new restaurant were too hard to ignore. The plan was to have a soft opening and for the new restaurant to ease into its brunch service. But, with the Duchess reputation, no opening can really be soft, can it? The lineups were evident from day one. But, the brunch I had there was great; the menu reflects French country breakfasts, and the Oeufs-en-Cocotte, runny eggs served in an iron pot in a mushroom broth, hit the spot. –Steven Sandor
10932 119 St., 780-758-1160, cafelinnea.ca
The floor to ceiling windows that comprise almost an entire wall of Workshop Eatery make it the ideal venue for a leisurely, sunny brunch. The brunch menu leans heavily on the savoury, with only one sweet option, but you won’t be disappointed – it isn’t your typical eggs and bacon. The Huevos Benedicto is an intriguing fusion of two brunch classics, with two rounds of moist jalapeo cheddar cornbread in place of English muffins, and a hollandaise that is spiced up with ancho chiles. Topped with expertly poached Four Whistle Farms eggs, it’s tough to choose which element in this dish is the true star – they’re all delicious. –Adrianna Szenthe
2009 91 St., 780-705-2205, theworkshopeatery.com