Toronto has a reputation for being head over heels over brunch. It’s the church we’re at, most Sundays, although the wisest of us, if you ask me, do it at home. Not only because restaurant brunch usually means standing in long lines for a table when you’re most hangry, but because it’s often the most disappointing meal on the menu. Even the most unique establishments’ brunch menus conform to expectations: eggs benny 6 ways, too many sweet things, and tired and too few savoury and vegetarian mains. Pass. Brunch at home happens on your clock–any eating on the weekend between 10am-3pm counts, I say–and best of all, the menu is custom-fit. To what? Well that depends on the occasion, doesn’t it? If it’s all about killing a hangover and/or catching up on Mad Men episodes then a bowl of fried rice will do, no thought needed. But if you have a small excuse to up that game, like finally seeing your friends and their kids at a pre-meltdown, non-naptime hour, or a big reason like Mother’s Day or a shower to throw, you’re going to want to consider one or two of these options.

brunch big and small

Pictured above, by row:

Sri Lankan hoppers are like pancakes and eggs COMBINED. That will seem even more impressive when that finally sinks in, like when you finally eat them. That combo makes them the ultimate, epic brunch food, right? Make them for just you or a whole party. You’d be standing at the stove for a while, sure, but so does every Sri Lankan who makes hoppers and it’s done all the time because it’s so worth it.

Asparagus mimosas. Ever had asparagus this way? Ever had eggs this way? That’s reason enough to make this, but also what could be better for brunch? Eggs; check. Special-looking; check. Low-key and elegant all at once, it’s ideal for causal and fancy brunches alike.

Quiche. Obviously. Make them un-boring though.

Soup and sides. That may seem obvious to you, but it wasn’t to me. It just wasn’t on my brunch radar until being served the loveliest lunches of perfectly delicious soups and simple but thoughtful accompaniments at friends houses. This isn’t the most indulgent of brunches, but it can be the tastiest, most crowd-pleasing and accommodating and the easiest (make-ahead) option too, so consider it for mixed company/diets and large groups.

Pancakes and potatoes and cake, oh my. I once published a decadent little brunch menu with lots of fixin’s–and the PLAN to get you there without a sweat. It was created with holiday entertaining in mind so it’s special enough for a shower, a birthday, Mother’s Day or Father’s day, celebrating a promotion or just the fact that you don’t have a hangover on Sunday. Go you.

Huevos Rancheros. Would that 6 options of this took the place of 6 types of Eggs Benedict on restaurant brunch menus. I might actually be tempted to venture out for this meal. You may think you don’t need a recipe for heuvos rancheros but my version happens in the oven, meaning you can make individual egg dishes for a crowd without standing by the stove.

A ridiculous breakfast sandwich is the epitome of brunch for 1. It’s hangover food. This recipe would be as decidedly low-brow as the rest if it didn’t have some technique associated with it. It’s not my recipe so I’m free to brag about it being eye-rolling-good, which is why you might want to consider making this for your best, best friends too. They’re probably also hurting the same mornings you are, after all.

Salad. I think except for that last sandwich, a salad of some sort goes handsomely with most brunches.

And booze, of course. A necessity at brunch, at least when entertaining. I don’t think you need me to lead you there.