Walk down Queen East on any given Sunday around noon and you’ll find lines of people waiting to get their brunch fix. Looking for a quick bite to eat, the four of us quickly realized there wasn’t any hope of getting into the popular neighborhood favourites like Bonjour Brioche and Lady Marmalade. We came across Joy Bistro (@JoyBistro), located on the corner of Queen and Booth, and we were able to grab a table immediately.
Joy Bistro occupies a significantly larger spot than most of the other brunch spots in Leslieville. While the interior may only be slightly larger, they have 2 enormous ground-level patios and a second floor terrace.
They’re open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. Brunch is served on the weekends from 9am till 4pm. Their brunch menu is quite extensive with several variations of bennys, sandwiches and traditional brunch items like pancakes and omelettes.
I started off with a glass of Fresh Orange Juice ($3.50). Can’t have brunch without some freshly squeezed OJ!
I went with the Hogtown Eggs Benedict – cider braised country ham, housemade smoked cheddar and jalapeno biscuit with mornay sauce ($12.50). The benny came with one thick piece of ham which was really hard to cut through. I almost wanted to ask for a steak knife!
It was a pretty sizeable portion, with two perfectly poached eggs sitting on an enormous biscuit. The benny was topped with a tasty mornay sauce but I felt it could’ve used a bit more of it. Overall, it was a good benny but nothing special.
Mike ordered the Norwegian Eggs Benedict – smoked salmon, sautéed spinach, Yukon gold rosti with lemon hollandaise ($13.50). Similar to my benny, the eggs were perfectly poached and the potato rosti was just the right size for the amount of ingredients – each bite had a bit of the crunchy rosti. It was another solid benny.
Since our benny’s didn’t come with home fries, we added a side of Yukon Gold Potato Home Fries – with rosemary and green onions ($3.25). The chunky potatoes were fried well and I particularly enjoyed the addition of the rosemary and green onions. While we were pretty full from finishing our benny’s, we had no problem polishing off these addictive home fries.
Mike’s mom ordered the Clubhouse Sandwich – grilled Cericola farms chicken breast, maple bacon, ripe tomato, basil mayo and jalapeno havarti ($14). I didn’t try any of it but it looked amazing. Mike’s mom was quite pleased with it.
Mike’s dad went with the Three Egg Omelette – with arugula, cheddar, tomato, homefries and multigrain toast ($9.50). I didn’t try any of this either but judging by how quickly he ate it, I think it’s safe to say he enjoyed it.
All in all, we had a very solid brunch at Joy Bistro. Everything was good and we all left satisfied but given the choice between this or Bonjour Brioche, you’ll find me lining up at the latter. But if you’re tight for time, Joy Bistro is definitely a great alternative.
At a glance:
• Located in the heart of Leslieville on the corner of Queen and Booth
• Smaller lines (if any) then other nearby brunch spots like Bonjour Brioche and Lady Marmalade; Joy Bistro is a great alternative to them if you’re crunched for time
• Brunch is served on weekends from 9am to 4pm
• 2 large ground-level patios and a second floor terrace
Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 3 stars
• Service: 3 stars
• Atmosphere: 3 stars