Explore | LLN’s Favourite Brunch Spots!

Happy Friday lovely readers!

Today I want to share with you three of my absolute favourite places to hit up for Sunday brunch. Growing up, I wasn’t much of a breakfast person. But one thing I did look forward to was weekend breakfasts where my parents would fry up a feast of scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, golden toasted… toast (?), all accompanied with a nice cold glass of orange juice. Of course, once you get older and move out for University, weekend breakfasts become more of a greasy hangover breakfast from an iffy breakfast chain. Or wait, was that just me?!

Well, the old adage “with age comes wisdom” must be true because now that my uni days are behind me, I’ve come to appreciate a well-made breakfast using local ingredients (everything tastes better when using local food). Which is why the following three restaurants top my list for fav brunch:

  1. Gabriel’s Gourmet Café

Now, I KNOW, y’all have heard of Gabriel’s Café before. I mean, this place is like a Nanaimo institution! They pride themselves on providing the most mouth-watering dishes possible – and that starts with sourcing their food locally. In fact, wherever possible, Gabriel’s sources their ingredients directly from the farmer (usually local, small-scale, family farms). In fact, you may have heard of a few of their suppliers –  Fredrich’s Honey, Cedar Beef, Columbia Bakery, and The Farm at Cedar Woods (to name a few).

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The number one thing that I look for in a good brunch is how are the hashbrowns? My whole breakfast can be completely ruined if those hashbrown’s aren’t golden, crispy, and seasoned just oh-so-right. Thankfully, Gabriel’s has mastered those pillows of potato goodness.

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I’m a creature of comfort so I always order the number 5. Thankfully, I have friends who are a bit more adventurous and order dishes like the weekend Benny special (always something different but always tasty) or the coconut milk pancakes. I tried those pancakes and OK THOUGH. Those are the most tasty flap-jacks I have ever laid eyes (or mouth?!) on. Dang.

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If you haven’t gotten around to visiting Gabriel’s for brunch yet, they serve breakfast everyday until 3pm so get movin’!!!

Bonus: If you’re saving money but still want a taste, Gabriel’s does a Ham or avocado and egg English muffin with chipotle mayo for only FIVE DOLLARS. That’s $5. (five. dollars.). You really can’t go wrong there, my friends.

2. Bread & Honey Food Co.

This husband and wife-owned restaurant is relatively new on the scene – Bread & Honey re-opened June 24th with new owners Michael and Angela. Chef Michael was inspired by the original owners farm-to-table style and knew that he wanted to carry on that tradition when he and his wife took over.

Breakfast is served daily from 8-11am but on weekends they brunch! From 8am-2pm, you can pop in to Bread & Honey to treat your tastebuds with delicious plates of eggs, bacon, and hash. Michael also makes a mean breakfast sandwich (actually he makes six of them). If you’re a kid at heart (or want to treat yo’ self) you must try the Orange Creamsicle French Toast. It’s even served with vanilla ice cream. I mean, hey, you’re an adult. Who says you can’t eat ice cream with breakfast!?

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You already know I order the 2 eggs with hash and toast. With this dish, I come for the bacon but stay for the hash. The bacon is so flippin’ amazing and the hashbrowns are just UNF. I normally am not a fan of shredded hashbrowns but Michael cooks ’em just right so they’re nice and crispy. This is a no-soggy hash zone!

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Bonus: I LOVE their vanilla latte. Also Angela is the sweetest person you’ll ever meet.

3. Realm Food Co (formerly Radius Food Co)

Last but by no means least, is Realm Food. WE LOVE REALM. First, the owners Kyla and James are the bee’s knees. They have such a passion for what they do. They love supporting other local businesses (which is why all of their suppliers are small-scale local farms/bakeries/etc). It’s also incredibly inspiring that such a young couple has made such a successful impact in only a few short months.

Me, Kayla, and Sarah!

Me, Kyla, and Sarah!

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Secondly, their food is to. die. for. My go-to is the Douglas Fir (choice of bacon or sausage, two eggs, fried tomato & seared potato). I mean, of course. As with Bread & Honey, the bacon here is life itself. I think it’s that locally sourced-ness that makes it so good. You don’t get those dinky, squiggly pieces of bacon that look like they’ve been microwaved. No, here you get nice thick pieces of bacon that’s not too crispy but not too soft.

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Again, as with Gabriel’s, I want to thank friends and family for always ordering dishes other than your standard eggs and bacon. I haven’t tried them myself, but I have it on good authority that the Arbutus Benny and the Tall Tree Taco’s are a++.

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Brunch at Realm is on Sunday and Sunday only. In fact, on Sunday you can only order from the brunch menu. Be sure to get here early as it’s a popular spot (and they don’t take reservations). Brunch is served from 9am-1:30pm.

Bonus: Realm just started to exclusively serve Regard Coffee and YOU KNOW WE LOVE REGARD.

Where do you love to get brunch? Have I missed one of your favs? Let me know in the comments below!

Sean :)

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