Queers Love Brunch: Where to get the best brunch in East Vancouver
By Emory Oakley
They say that the gays love brunch, but who doesn’t? It’s the best reason to get day drunk, and you’re still home and in bed in time to make it to work Monday morning. And what better way to end off a weekend than gossiping with your friends over drink specials and strips of salty meat ;)
Whether or not brunch is gay it is the best meal of the day. There is so much freedom in brunch. Are you an early riser kind of gay and want your brunch at 10am with your first beer or mimosa? Or maybe you grab yourself a sandwich while your pals have their eggs? Or are you a just crawling out of bed at noon and still want some eggs kind of gay? No matter what you want brunch is versatile and it has got you covered.
Where are the best places to brunch in Vancouver? According to me.
East Vancouver, specifically commercial drive, is personally my favourite area of the city. It is where are the misfits and weirdos end up and it seems that most of us look a little queer.
Commercial and William (right beside Grandview Park)
Before we even get to the fabulous food at Biercraft let’s talk about the venue. Inside is big enough there never seems to be an issue with getting a table and despite its size it never seems to be too noisy. Outside there is an adorable little patio that faces out on to Grandview Park, which is almost always bustling with people and sometimes even great music. At Biercraft brunch is served between 10am and 2pm, which is quite reasonable even for those late in the day brunchers. Their brunch menu offers a number of great choices from steak and eggs to eggs benedict, and they offer a tofu scrambler for our vegan brunchers. And of course they have their basic brunch for boring gays like me with eggs, hash browns, toast, and your choice of meat. All of this comes at a very reasonable price (though it is on the slightly more expensive end of the brunch places listed here). The beer menu at Biercraft is extensive and features craft beers not only from all across the lower mainland but from all over the province, whether or not you like an ipa or if you’d prefer a fruit beer in the morning Biercraft has got your back. And of course for brunch they always have mimosas and caesars on special.
Biercraft not have enough options for your little queer heart? Want something a little more sweet? Or have omelette on your mind? Try Tangent Cafe.
Commercial and 5th
Tangent Cafe has a great cozy atmosphere and a somewhat rustic vibe but smaller venue typically means a longer wait (though most times I’ve been there wait times haven’t been bad). Their menu is a little more comprehensive than Biercraft if you’re looking for more choices. They have the brunch desserts for those of you with a sweet tooth; french toast, waffles and pancakes. As well as a variety of omelettes and eggs benedict; like an avocado and bacon benny or a veggie omelette. They also offer vegan and vegetarian options. Their prices are similar to Biercraft but bonus their brunch goes until 3pm, a whole extra hour of brunch goodness. They also have some great beers taps that show of some of what the craft beer scene has to offer. Their list is just slightly less comprehensive than they have at Biercraft. What are you coming for, the drinks? Or the food?
If you are looking for a more vegetarian and/or vegan focused menu consider checking out Cafe Deux Soleils or Bandidas Taqueria.
Cafe Deux Soleils
Commercial and 5th (right across the street from Tangent Cafe)
Cafe Deux Soleils is an adorable little cafe just up from Commercial Broadway, it has a generous amount of seating with an adorable tiny patio bar that looks out onto Commercial Drive. Cafe Deux Soleils is one of the cheapest options for brunch on commercial drive with their basic breakfast which includes eggs, toast and hash browns costs only $5.80 and their most expensive breakfast totaling less than $10. Their entire menu is vegetarian with many vegan and gluten free options and it is delicious. For me their french toast is a particular stand out, not only is it super tasty but it is small enough I can actually consume the entire plate. Their brunch starts as early as 8am for those early risers and goes until 3pm. They have a small beer list and they also serve wine but their smoothies are particularly fabulous and are available with dairy substitutes. This is a must try on commercial drive regardless of whether or not you’re vegetarian.
It is also worth noting that Cafe Deux Soleils has three gender neutral single stall bathrooms.
Commercial and 12th
Bandidas Taqueria is a Mexican style vegetarian brunch that is so special. Inside they have some incredible wall art as well as art pieces featured by local artists. Bandidas specifically caters to those folks with different dietary needs by making most of their menu items customizable to make items, vegan, gluten-free or dairy-free without compromising on taste. Some of the unique things they offer are: a Mexican breakfast (Two free-range eggs, pinto beans, apple salsa, purple cabbage, guacamole, and two handmade corn tortillas), as well as breakfast burritos and breakfast tacos. They also provide a Mexican twist on some of our favourite brunch classics; for example the eggs benedict, Banditas tops theirs with your choice of ranchero sauce or salsa verde and instead of English muffins, they use their house-made cornbread muffin tops and they are served with pinto beans, roasted yam and potato hash, and purple cabbage. My personal favourite is the Morgan Taylor Breakfast Burrito of course because it has potatoes on the inside. Their brunch goes from 9am until 3pm and their prices are also very reasonable, especially when for someone like me I can take half my burrito home with me and have it for a midnight snack. Though their beer list is a bit lacking they have some incredible, and brunch appropriate cocktails like the dark and stormy and their weekends specials are mimosas on Saturdays and bloody marys on Sundays. Looking for a unique take on brunch? You definitely need to check out Banditas on Commercial Drive.
And of course there are other great stand outs on Commercial Drive alone, not to mention the rest of this city, but I don’t have time to talk about them all. Honourable mentions are Fets Whiskey Kitchen, Jam Jar, and La Mezcaleria. East Van is only one area of the city, Vancouver has a lot to offer when it comes to brunch and we will always make it queer.
Emory Oakley is a trans and queer writer from Vancouver, BC. They write poetry, fiction and non-fiction and have competed nationally and toured internationally for spoken word poetry. They focus on writing about queer identities and queer love, mental health, and stigma. They have been published in various literary magazines including but not limited to Sea to Sky Review, Pearls, and Oratorealis.
We’re excited to welcome Emory to the What’s On Queer BC writing team!