Winner – OEB Breakfast Co.
There’s a reason this Calgary-born brunch phenom spawned outposts throughout western Canada and in Arizona: OEB’s food is both luxurious and approachable. The star section of the menu is the list of breakfast poutines, consisting of duck-fat fries, curds, brown butter hollandaise and options like black truffle and lobster. Start with one of those on the first visit, but don’t shy away from Bennies or “scram-blettes” when you inevitably return.
2nd – The Bro’Kin Yolk
The Bro’Kin Yolk’s popularity since opening in 2015 has grown so much that it opened a third location last year in the middle of a pandemic. Its large menu includes sandwiches, Bennies, breakfast poutines and Belgian waffles, plus elevated classics that take inspiration from the cuisines of Hawaii, the Philippines and beyond. Do try the bacon, because if you love it as much as we do, you’ll order some more from the retail menu to make at home.
3rd (tie) – Blue Star Diner
Brought to you by the operators of the popular Dairy Lane Café in West Hillhurst, Blue Star Diner offers some of the best brunch around. The menu’s creativity rivals the best in the city with fusion dishes that often skew Mexican, like the unbeatable breakfast burrito and fresh-and-bright chilaquiles bowl. If you like to start your day with fried chicken or jackfruit (an exceptional vegan protein supplement), you’ll find both those ingredients used well here.
3rd (tie) – Diner Deluxe
If your ideal brunch experience includes cocktails, you’re probably heading to one of the two Calgary Diner Deluxe locations (it also operates in B.C.). The menu covers a wide swath of brunch staples and special attention should be paid to the “from the griddle” section — the rösti and bananas Foster French toast make us feel fancy. If you’re reading this when gatherings and in-person dining is possible, a DIY mimosa kit is a must for your visit.