Brunch defines weekend relaxation. Best to share with good company and a great view, it can be sweet or savoury, a meal that perfectly crosses the bridge between the lightness of breakfast and the more serious helpings of a decent lunch. Richmond has no shortage of great brunch spots. For some, an elegant, well-plated meal of locally sourced product is paramount; for others, it’s budget or location that comes first. Here are a few of our top favourite restaurants that serve an extended, leisurely brunch.
Here are a few of our top favourite destinations that serve an extended, leisurely brunch-like meal:
The Flying Beaver has a great brunch menu with spectacular views from its waterside tables. (PHOTO: LAUREN KRAMER)
The Flying Beaver
An institution at Richmond’s South Terminal, the Flying Beaver (4760 Inglis Dr.) has been around 20 years and remains a local hotspot that’s never lost its charm. In large part, it’s the Beaver’s location – perched literally on the Fraser River and offers floatplanes, squawky herons, beavers, otters and eagles for diners’ entertainment. Suffice to say, there’s eye candy in abundance here and if you’ve managed to nab a waterside window on one of the two heated indoor decks, well, life easily begins to feel great.
The Short Rib Skillet at Flying Beaver Bar & Grill is a decadent brunch treat with two poached eggs, pulled short rib, caramelized onions, peppers and mushrooms served over hash browns and dosed with melted cheese and hollandaise. (PHOTO: LAUREN KRAMER)
We had the Short Rib Skillet ($12, pictured above), a plate of soul-warming comfort food that includes pulled short rib, caramelized onions, peppers and mushrooms, amply dosed with mixed cheese and hollandaise served over hashbrowns.
Kids will enjoy Flying Beaver’s Belgian Waffles, served with strawberries, syrup and whipped cream. (PHOTO: LAUREN KRAMER)
There were healthier options like the Veggie Frittata ($10) and sweeter choices like Belgian Waffles with strawberries and whipped cream ($11, above), but all of the items on the brunch menu were under $13 and most include hashbrowns. Brunch is served from 9 am to 1 pm on weekends (9 am to 11:30 am weekdays), you can be pretty certain a table will be available. And based on the skillet and smoked salmon benny we tried, Chef Matej Ircha has a firm grasp of ‘delicious.’
Pier 73’s Smoked Salmon Omelet is a healthy dish containing salmon caught on the vessel Pacific Provider, with roasted garlic, sweet peppers and scallions. It’s served with hashbrowns and salad greens. (PHOTO: LAUREN KRAMER)
We’d no sooner sat down at Pier 73, the restaurant at the Pacific Gateway Hotel (3500 Cessna Dr.) when the couple sitting close by leaned over. “You can’t go wrong here,” they confided, adding they’d been regular weekend brunchers for at least four months. “The food is phenomenal, the service is great and you have to try the brioche French toast!” It’s always great when a meal starts with this level of enthusiasm!
Morgan Lechner, Pier 73’s executive chef, is a big fan of supporting local farm suppliers and lists them proudly on his menu—Golden Ears Cheese Crafters in Maple Ridge, Gelderman Farms bacon out of Abbotsford and Barnston Herbs in Surrey, to name a few.
Brunch is served from 11 am to 3 pm on weekends and when we stopped by on a Saturday afternoon we had the place to ourselves, and a window table from which we could watch seagulls wheeling above the river.
The Fraser River Eggs Benedict at Pier 73 is artfully decorated with nori and served on deliciously rich house-made chive scones. (PHOTO: LAUREN KRAMER)
Chef Edison Antejos gave us samples of the chive scones and banana bread, both hot, moist pastries that were buttery rich and divinely decadent without being too sweet. The smoked salmon in my Smoked Salmon Omelet ($14) was caught by Rick Burns, a local OceanWise certified fisherman who owns the vessel Pacific Provider. My husband’s Fraser River Eggs Benedict (pictured above) also featured pink salmon on herb scones, with a yuzu base and slices of nori adding a playful, decorative touch to a beautifully presented meal.
Those with a sweet tooth will enjoy the Brioche French Toast at Pier 73, accompanied by a blueberry compote. (PHOTO: LAUREN KRAMER)
The Brioche French Toast with blueberry compote ($13, above) was also a work of art, its assembly speaking volumes of the chefs’ attention to detail. Brunch menu items range from $12 to $15 and include Prawn and Scallion Frittata, Gelderman Bacon Pancakes and Duck Confit Eggs Benny with goat cheese and béarnaise.
Kove Kitchen’s French Toast comes three slices of bread, a small side of fruit and hash browns. (PHOTO: LAUREN KRAMER)
Brunch in Steveston
Steveston has several great options for brunch. If you’re in the mood for an affordable brunch with heaps of hashbrowns, start at the Steveston Hotel, a modest establishment where wait times are minimal and you’re likely to bump into locals. Also affordable are the all-day breakfast menus on Sunday at Cimona Café, where a healthy Egg White Wrap with grilled veggies and feta can be found for just $9. Cimona offers breakfast dishes until 3 pm Monday through Saturday and there’s nothing on that breakfast menu over $10.50. For finer dining, or perhaps a special occasion, Tapenade Bistro offers a French-inspired West Coast brunch fare menu on weekends between 11 am and 3 pm. If you’re not in the mood for an egg-based dish, there are a ton of other sophisticated choices, including the Arctic Char with celeriac puree and sauce vierge ($21).
The BC Eggs Benny is one of four types of eggs Benedict on Kove Kitchen’s menu. Other options include crab cake, bacon eggs or ham eggs. (PHOTO: LAUREN KRAMER)
We headed to Kove Kitchen (140-3900 Bayview St.) on the waterfront a few steps from Blenz Coffee. Kove opened in July 2014 and the large eatery serves brunch 10 am to 3 pm on weekends, with a smallish menu that focuses on the usual classics: four types of eggs Benedict, French toast, and steak and eggs. The view is gorgeous—we watched logs floating on the river and cormorants slipping effortlessly below the surface as they fished for their own brunch. We were happy with our French toast and BC benny, consumed in a stylish, well-lit space where there was no wait for a table. Brunch prices range from $12-$22.