Vancouver restaurants putting a twist on French toast

For those with a sweet tooth, breakfast is your first chance of the day to indulge. And nothing satisfies that craving quite like a couple of pieces of golden brown, grilled-to-perfection French toast. These breakfast joints are putting their unique twists on this brunch staple, all to glorious, delicious effect.

The Templeton

1
1087 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1L4

The beauty of this cozy diner on Granville Street downtown is that it’s a perfect blend of great food and excellent atmosphere. Seemingly an old-school greasy spoon, it actually caters to vegetarians with its veggie bacon and sausage sides (it also offers real meat too). But find a booth or stool at the counter, queue up the jukebox and order their Cinnamon-Raisin French Toast. Simple but tasty, this is unpretentious yet high-quality grub. Amp up your morning with a classic milkshake to boot.

The Elbow Room Cafe

2
560 Davie St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2G4

Don’t expect much respect at this Davie Street diner, where the shtick is rude wait staff à la 1980s New York. It’s charming and fun, though, so bring your sense of humour. And your appetite. They have three variations on French toast. One, straight up, that they call their Pain Doré – the French-Canadian version; another made with banana walnut pound cake that will satisfy your caloric intake for the day; and finally The Sandra — raisin bread French toast to which you can add fresh fruit.

Forage

3
1300 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6E 1C5

Forage is all about using locally sourced ingredients to bring a taste of the season directly to your plate. The menu changes frequently, but the French toast on their breakfast and brunch menus is always worth a try. Theirs is made with brioche, ideal for soaking up the egg and cream batter, and then topped with a cinnamon squash purée, candied bacon and more roasted squash. The subtle sweetness of this root vegetable is a perfect complement to the bread and bacon — a sweet-savoury combo to get your day started right.

The Oakwood Canadian Bistro

4
2741 4th Avenue W, Vancouver, BC V6K 1P9

Leave it the Oakwood to really shake up your basic French toast. Here they crust theirs up with shaved coconut and top it with tart rhubarb compote and decadent crème anglaise. Control the sweetness level with your side of pure maple syrup and you’re on your way to sweet breakfast heaven. Take it one step further and consider pairing this divine meal with a morning Pimm’s cup or mimosa. This is how you do the weekend.

Fable Kitchens Ltd

5
1944 4th Ave W, Vancouver, BC V6J 1M5

Chef Trevor Bird developed his farm-to-table concept when he tested it out on Top Chef Canada’s “restaurant wars” episode. And while he didn’t win the ultimate title, he did win that battle. And Vancouver reaped the rewards. His Kitsilano restaurant now serves excellent of-the-season dishes and brunch is not to be missed. Simple but perfect French toast is topped with candied walnuts, berries and a whisky syrup. We’re giving it top marks.

Jethro's

6
3420 Dunbar St, Vancouver, BC V6S 2C2

If choice is what you’re after in your French toast journey, head to Jethro’s Fine Grub. Offering four scrumptious variations on the fried bread delicacy, you’re sure to find a favourite. Their basic is made with sweet, eggy Challah bread and it only gets better from there. Try the Apple Cobbler with cinnamon crunch batter and apples or the stacked Nutella layered with the hazelnut spread and whipped cream. Need more decadence? Their chocolate-chip banana bread French toast topped with caramelized bananas is pure bliss.

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