Just in Time for Mother’s Day: The 75 Best Brunch Restaurants in Canada

Best Brunch Restaurants in Canada

With Mother’s Day around the corner, we’re excited to make it easier for Canadians to find the perfect place to celebrate mom with the 75 Best Brunch Restaurants in Canada. The awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 275,000 restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for approximately 1,700 restaurants across Canada.

The 75 Best Restaurants for Brunch list includes award winners from five provinces. Twenty nine Ontario restaurants, 18 Alberta restaurants, 14 British Columbia restaurants, ten from Québec and four from Manitoba made the list.

In addition to naming the 75 Best Restaurants for Brunch in Canada, OpenTable today released two sets of data on the Mother’s Day habits of Canadians. One set of findings is based on an online survey of 1,568 Canadians conducted between April 18, 2016, and April 21, 20161, while the other is based on reservations made for Mother’s Day 2015 in Canada through OpenTable.

Mother’s Day Canadian Online Survey Findings
Based on an online survey of 1,568 Canadians conducted between April 18, 2016, and April 21, 2016, OpenTable found that:

  • Forty-seven per cent of Canadians who celebrate Mother’s Day will dine out to celebrate this year, on the second busiest dining day of the year across the country.
  • Thirteen per cent of Canadians who celebrate Mother’s Day and dine out try different cuisines/restaurants in their own neighbourhood, while another 13 per cent surprise Mom with a different restaurant every year.
  • Compared to Canadians aged 35 and older, millennials (18-34 years old) who celebrate Mother’s Day are most likely to find at least one part of the day stressful (70 per cent versus 52 per cent). As well, among Canadians who dine out, millennials are most likely to read reviews before selecting a restaurant for Mother’s Day versus Canadians 35 and older (17 per cent versus four per cent respectively).
  • The most common stress experienced by Canadians who celebrate Mother’s Day is finding the perfect gift for mom or an activity that will make mom happy (25 per cent), followed by coordinating schedules so everyone can celebrate together (10 per cent).

OpenTable Canada Findings
Based on Canadian diner reservation data from Mother’s Day 2015, OpenTable found that:

  • Canadians love brunch on Mother’s Day. According to OpenTable diner data, Mother’s Day is the busiest day of the year for brunch reservations. It’s also one of the busiest Sundays of the year to dine out, with three times more reservations booked as compared to an average Sunday.
  • Canadians are procrastinators. Sixty-four per cent of Canadians wait until the week before Mother’s Day to make their reservation. Fifteen per cent of Canadians book their table on Mother’s Day.
  • Mother’s Day is a family affair: It’s the largest group dining day of the year, with an average reservation size of four guests.
  • Canadian OpenTable diners are adventurous on Mother’s Day. In 2015, 78 per cent of Canadian diners made a reservation on Mother’s Day at a restaurant that they had not booked on OpenTable before.

The 75 Best Brunch Restaurants in Canada are amassed from more than 275,000 restaurant reviews collected from verified OpenTable diners who dined at Canadian restaurants between April 1, 2015, and March 31, 2016. All restaurants with a minimum “overall” score and number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then sorted according to a score calculated from each restaurant’s average rating in the “brunch” category.

Based on this methodology, the 75 Best Brunch Restaurants in Canada according to OpenTable diners are as follows (in alphabetical order):Continue Reading

How to Holiday High Tea in the Pacific Northwest

Maybe you already high tea annually during the holidays, or maybe you’re eager to try out this tradition. Either way, these spots offer both classic favorites and innovative twists that make for a festive — and filling! — holiday experience. Read on to find out where to enjoy holiday high tea in the Pacific Northwest.

The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Vancouver, British Columbia
Seeking a side of glamour and grandeur with your tea? This is the place. Right smack in the middle of downtown, with a view of Vancouver’s skyline, the Fairmont’s Nutcracker Tea (December 20 + 21; $64 per person, $27 for children) includes delicate honey yogurt panna cotta, curried chicken finger sandwiches, crab cakes, and a live pianist playing favorites from the score of the ballet. And while you enjoy a glass of port, Prosecco, or wine, kids are treated to the Prince or Princess tea service with bubblegum tea, scones, and Black Forest ham and cheddar sandwiches — all in a building that genuinely looks like a castle. Someone cue the sugarplum fairies!

Holiday High Tea in the Pacific Northwest

Neverland Tea Salon, Vancouver, British Columbia
Neverland’s whole vibe is about whimsy, accessibility, and excellence. Accordingly, the High Tea service respects some traditions (the tea tower, small portions) and upends others (servers wear jeans and t-shirts and sport a relaxed attitude). Also central to the Neverland experience: food worth eating. “We’re not a place where the ambiance outshines what’s being served,” co-owner Terri Tatchell says. “Our food is actually worth indulging in.” To that end, the Holiday High Tea (offered through December 31, at $38 per person) features flank steak on focaccia with green peppercorn aioli, an insane macadamia and salted caramel brownie, and gooey sticky toffee bread pudding with brandied caramel sauce. Pots of tea are never-ending, and Neverland takes gluten- and dairy-free options seriously. In fact, the special order towers so closely resemble the standard ones that customers often think their requests haven’t been honored. “We want those with special needs to enjoy the full Neverland experience,” explains Tatchell. So while the ingredients have been tweaked, the taste is just as dreamy.

High Holiday Tea in the Pacific Northwest

The Butchart Gardens, Victoria, British Columbia
Here, the setting’s the thing. There are 55 acres of lush gardens, plus the dining room is located in the Butchart family’s Craftsman-style former residence. Admission tickets to the garden are required for tea, but they’re worth it because they grant access to ice skating, strolling carolers, and a proper carousel. The traditional High Tea (served through December 22; $33.75 per person) features classics including egg salad sandwiches with watercress and Cornish pastry. But it’s the Flavours of Christmas High Tea from December 22-27 ($39.50 per person, $18.95 for children) that really screams happy holidays. Heavy on regionally sourced items such as Salt Spring Island goat cheese brioche and a Dungeness crab salad sandwich, the festive high tea can also be paired with wines from three Vancouver Island wineries to make it a hyper-local experience. Pro tip: Make a late afternoon reservation for tea, but arrive early. That way, you get to appreciate the garden during daylight hours and also see it dressed up at night.

Holiday High Tea in the Pacific NorthwestContinue Reading

Vote for Canada’s Best New Restaurant

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 12.39.05 PMAirCanada’s enRoute invites you to choose the 2014 People’s Choice Award for Canada’s Best New Restaurant. Cast your vote and enter for your chance to win a trip to the gala event in November. Food writer Andrew Braithwaite will narrow down the list to his top 10 in the November issue of AirCanada enRoute magazine. Eligible restaurants must have opened between June 2013 and June 2014 to be considered for this year’s list, with intelligence gathered from a panel of the country’s leading food professionals.

The 30 nominees for Canada’s best new restaurants 2014 include:

Ayden Kitchen & Bar

Bar Buca

Black Pig Bistro

The Blacktail Florist

Byblos

The Chase

Cinara

Farmer’s Apprentice

Fat Pasha

Le Serpent

Luckee

Wolf in the Fog

Woodwork

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Trending on OpenTable Restaurant Reviews: Uni

uni-slanted-door
The wild-caught uni at The Slanted Door in San Francisco.

Uni, or sea urchin, has typically been a staple on fine sushi menus, but it is fast becoming ubiquitous at restaurants serving all types of cuisines. Its rise in popularity, however, doesn’t mean it is beloved by all. In fact, uni can be downright divisive. Go ahead and ask your friends if they like uni. You’ll likely hear one of the following responses: “Love it!” or “Ugh!” or “Only if it’s fresh.” or “What *is* it?” That sums up much of what we heard when we asked the OpenTable Facebook community their opinions on uni. There are different grades of uni and a sole experience with a lesser grade could make you swear off the stuff forever; however, fresh (as in just-harvested from the sea urchin) uni is highly regarded by chefs and foodies alike and could make even the most cautious of diners into converts. Find out what your fellow OpenTable diners are saying about this rumored aphrodisiac in recent restaurant reviews.

* 15 East Restaurant, New York, New York: “The second course was the grilled gindara (koji sake-marinated black cod in uni sauce),  which was amazing!”

Arami, Chicago, Illinois: ” Don’t miss the uni shooters.”

Bestia, Los Angeles, California: “Outstanding meal. Diver scallops, veal tartare, calamari salad, and uni pasta were all unbelievably delicious. Making another reservation right now.”

* Chef Mavro, Honolulu, Hawaii: “Unbelievably food and wine pairings; appetizer was one of the best ever (basmati rice, raw ahi topped with uni sauce, and uni).”

JoLe, Calistoga, California: “Each dish had the right amount of flare and sauces to offset, complement, and highlight the flavor of the main ingredient. We chose the Kampachi with uni and olive tapenade, snapper with chilled mussels, the sweetbreads, and some veggies to share. All terrific.”

Kata Robata, Houston, Texas: “I would definitely come back for the live uni, ramen, and pork belly bun.”

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