East Vancouver’s Best Breakfast and Brunch

Vancouver's Main Street, and east thereof, offers some great traditional brunches as well as some quirky twists.

It’s not hard to beat the crowd to great brunch spots on Main Street, as long as you’re up before noon

East Vancouver’s best breakfast and brunch places | Main St, Commercial Dr, Hastings, Broadway

As a follow up to my favourite brunch spots in Kitsilano, here's another list of the best places for a morning chow down, this time on the Eastside.

For 2014, here's more brunch picks.

Lucy’s Eastside Diner has already had a write-up of their own, so I won’t list them here again but do check out their hash—which is real hash, not just potato cubes—and their zesty hollandaise sauce.

East Van brunch spot #1: The Red Wagon Restaurant

Red Wagon is my new favourite brunch spot. The place is low key and unpretentious, without being low-end and unhygienic. The square dining room is well-spaced with comfortably large tables (you can open a newspaper without dipping your sleeve in your neighbour's sunny side up), and the requisite red wagon sits by the door with a collection of books and toys.

Red Wagon is probably not a place I'd recommend to vegetarians or vegans, however. My two favourite menu items are the pork belly benny—partly because I can never say no to pork belly and partly because the dollop of tomato relish cuts through the grease so deliciously—and the pulled pork pancakes. Pulled pork pancakes sound a little ridiculous I admit, but the combination of pork and maple syrup (think of maple smoked bacon, mmmm) is phenomenal. It reminded me, ever so slightly, of that sweet and savoury combination often found in Chinese cuisine.

Red Wagon


2296 E Hastings St, Vancouver

604-568-4565 | Map

East Van brunch spot #2: Habit Lounge

Habit is the ideal spot for catering to all tastes; seating varies from large booths in the darker parts of the restaurant, café tables by the large front windows and the bar-style seating out front for those in need of fresh air and people watching. The staff are generally rushed off their feet but are experienced enough to know what you need and when you need it.

The Habit brunch menu is the epitome of the classic brunch—egg bennys, buttermilk pancakes and yogurt parfait—with a few twists that you may not find elsewhere, like creamy breakfast perogies. Habit makes it onto my list not because it's gastronomically astonishing but because of its consistency.

There are no surprises, no disappointments, just the brunch you're craving; and, like the drunkenly loud crowd outside the Biltmore, it's there every weekend without fail.

Habit Lounge


2610 Main St,Vancouver

604-877-8582 | Map

East Van brunch spot #3: Seb's Market Café

Approached from east or west, along Broadway, Seb's feel like any other restaurant, but when approached from the south, through the leafy suburban streets, Seb's feels more like the neighbourhood eatery that it is. It's a little off the beaten track of Main Street, so it's sometimes described as a destination eatery. But it's not that far away, so it still gets a steady stream of regular clientele. Come early it you don't want to wait.

The bright art on the wall and various artifacts give the cafe a kind of jazz vibe, part French, part Louisiana. Some evenings you will even find live jazz on offer.

Seb's is a restaurant that dreams of being a bakery. Inherent in that is the pride of making food from scratch and using fresh ingredients. Their menu options are more adventurous than most places—not adventurous-stupid but adventurous-that's-a-cool-combination-I-think-I'll-try-it. The omelettes in particular offer tempting taste sensations (strawberry and camembert being a memorable one). And you'll find meats not usually found on breakfast menus, such as seared elk medaillon and caribou.

Seb's Market Café

Seb's hard-to-find website

592 E Broadway,Vancouver

604-298-4403 | Map

East Van brunch spot #4: Little Nest

Little Nest is a mind-blowing brunch spot but you have to be the type of person who embraces the vitality of life. The large windows, light spacious room, communal table and baby-babbling buzz do not cater to hangovers and sleepy-heads.

Little Nest is unabashedly child-friendly. I don’t say this with the usual derogatory overtones. Children love being at Little Nest so the noise is a bubbling brook of kiddy chatter, rather than the cacophony of whinging and whining you find at the supermarket or other “child-friendly” establishments.

While Little Nest caters to children, first and foremost it caters to foodies. I go there for the food—whether I have infants in tow or not—and you are as likely to see kid-free-foodies as you are foodie-families.

The ever-changing eggs on the blackboard menu ensure that there’s always a fresh reason to go to Little Nest. Two of the staples that keep us coming back, which thankfully don’t change, are the super-fluffy baked polenta and the brioche French toast.

Little Nest


1716 Charles St.,Vancouver

604-251-9994 | Map

Slickety Jim's

I've checked out the much-anticipated new Slickety's but haven't had a chance to brunch there yet. Its new home up on 18th and Main is, sadly, further away from my house but revives much of the eclectic mood of the original.


It now also serves dinner.


3469 Main St,Vancouver

604-873-6760 | Email | Map