Published Mar 4th, 2012

By Avenue Staff

Best Restaurants: Best Brunch

The three best spots for weekend brunches

Come for the brunch, stay for the nature at Culina Muttart.
Come for the brunch, stay for the nature at Culina Muttart.

First Place  >> CULINA MUTTART

The Muttart Conservatory and Culina joined to form the perfect power couple. Using local ingredients (some so fresh they come straight from the neighbouring pyramids), the restaurant’s low-key and comfortable decor (a combination of cafeteria and naturally lit kitchen) make it the ideal setting for brunch. On weekends, the restaurant breaks out a brunch menu between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., which always features a special eggs Benny, such as the tomato compote Benny with bacon and basil Hollandaise, and delicious gluten-free waffles with sautéed apples and chocolate amaretto whip. (9626 96A St., 780-466-1181) Caroline Barlott

Runner-Up  >> EMPIRE BALLROOM

On Sundays, the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald’s historic Empire Ballroom transforms into the best brunch buffet you can find in Edmonton. From fine seafood to artisan breads to a crepe station with various creams, fruits and liqueurs — and don’t forget waiters toting pitchers of mimosas — this buffet doesn’t sacrifice the gourmet touch. Think months ahead if you want to book it for Mother’s Day. (10065 100 St., 780-424-5181) —Steven Sandor

Honourable Mention >> SUGARBOWL

Just one hour into the weekend brunch and it’s pretty much bar-seating only at this 70-year-old institution. The cinnamon buns alone make waiting in line worthwhile. So hefty are these legendary pastries that they come in half orders, which makes them reasonably wieldy when joined by a bison bratwurst dish, chicken and waffles or, another classic, the Sugarbowl Benny on cornbread. Meanwhile, the handful of specials keep the menu constantly refreshed. (10922 88 Ave., 780-433-8369) Omar Mouallem

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