Montreal has a heap of dizzying choices for anyone seeking a classic brunch experience, and I’m as much a bacon and eggs girl as the next person, but sometimes I find myself wanting something more exotic, some sweet spices to take me on a gustative tour of the planet. When such a craving occurs, here are some of my favourite go-to places.
Kaza Maza: Middle Eastern brunches are a rare thing in Montreal, which is really too bad because they are truly delicious and hearty. The brunch at hip Parc Ex restaurant Kaza Maza is no exception.
Some of my favourite childhood breakfast dishes like lamb confit with eggs and fattet humus (a layered dish of chickpeas, yogurt, tahini, garlic, grilled pita and nuts) are part of the varied menu along with other delicious options that will keep you satisfied all day long. End your brunch on a sweet note with a homemade mamounié (semolina, Akkawi cheese, rose water and pistachios) or a selection of Middle Eastern jams including a delicate rose one.
Park: Chef Antonio Park is of Korean descent, grew up in Argentina and went to culinary school in Japan. All of these culinary influences are apparent in his cuisine, whether he’s cooking dinner or brunch. His Korean roots are apparent in the breakfast bibimbap that is pretty and delicious and the kim chee BLT that’s an absolute delight. Park is a great, sunny and kid-friendly restaurant to brunch at with the whole family.
Julieta Cuisine Latine: Julieta is a recently opened tiny little place filled with kitschy, vintage accent pieces and the wonderful aromas of its Nuevo Latino cuisine. Julieta – a veteran of some of Montreal’s most famous kitchens including Olive & Gourmando – is the one dishing out the beautiful and tasty brunch concoctions, hailing from all parts of Latin America, from deliciously authentic huevos rancheros to sweet breakfast cachapas. This is a great place for anyone who’s gluten-intolerant since the only flour used here is corn flour.
Omma: “Omma” means mom in Korean, which is the best word to describe Mi Kyum Kim’s home cooked Korean cuisine at this lovely bistro on Bernard. Get yourself a table on the sunny terrasse and enjoy a lovely brunch to the sounds of the birds in the trees above you. If you are a kimchi aficionado like me, you will enjoy mama Kim’s homemade version that’s not too spicy to be enjoyed on its own. The pajun – Korean pancakes with spring onions, chives and carrots – are a delicious and satisfying brunch choice as are the mandoo (Korean dumplings), which you can order steamed or fried.
Rumi: “The idea of Rumi is to welcome people as they were welcomed always along the silk road: with love; with happiness.” Tucked away on a quiet corner of Fairmount Street in Outremont, Rumi feels like the perfect exotic – and quick! – getaway. With flavours borrowed from the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, Rumi’s traditional brunch will take you on a voyage along the spice road. I like ordering their Mediterranean Plate piled high with fresh veggies, homemade jams, warm naan and dark tea. Their brunch tagines are delicious and so are their omelets (do try the sweet date and akawi cheese omelet). The best thing about Rumi’s brunch is that it’s available on weekdays as well as weekends!
Kaza Maza, 4629 Parc Avenue, (514) 844-6292
Saturday & Sunday: 11am–3pm
Park, 378 Victoria Avenue, (514) 750-7534
Julieta, 67 Beaubien East, (514) 507 5517
Saturday & Sunday: 10am–2:30pm
Omma, 177 Bernard West, (514) 274-1464
Saturday & Sunday: 11am–3pm
Rumi, 5198 Hutchison, (514) 490 1999
Tuesday to Sunday: 11am–3pm
Mayssam is the food and travel writer behind the blog Will Travel for Food. Born and raised in Lebanon, she’s lived in New York City before settling on Montreal as her home. She roams this fair city of hers – and the planet! – for delicious culinary discoveries. From Michelin-starred restaurants across the planet to the latest hole-in-the-wall down the street, she wants to taste it all!