Insomnia: Hungover Brunch for the Masses
Insomnia is a trendy restaurant on Bloor West, near Bathurst Station. It's a hotspot for anyone who's been out the night before, and has a reputation for being a solid brunch destination in Toronto — which is why I knew I needed to try it out!
Insomnia has a large menu, with a variety of options for any food preference or intolerance, including a vegan tofu scramble and gluten-free curried rice patties instead of English muffins for their Benedicts if you so desire.
Warning, though: if you're planning to go here, you're likely facing a long wait. We waited almost an hour when we tried to go at 10:30, and when we left there was still a long line outside. However, they do take reservations — it might be worth making one if you're planning to visit.
Insomnia has a great interior aesthetic, though it is a little dark (perfect for people nursing their hangovers?). I really liked the big window at the front (you know how much I like people-watching) as well as the tree branches spread across the ceiling. It reminded me of a faerie cave!
Since they're primarily known as a bar, my companions ordered morning drinks. The Rye and Shine was the real standout of our brunch, with a soft Earl Grey flavour and a little bit of lavender and lemon. I'd come back for drinks here just to try it again! The Cranberry Mimosa was also tasty, with the champagne sweetness and the cranberry tartness blending together well.
The first brunch option we tried from Insomnia was the Jorge Grilled Cheese. It's not on their regular menu — maybe it was a special? — and featured guacamole, tomato, and cheese. It was a solid sandwich, with a good flavour blend. However, the dressing on the salad was a little overpowering — it was hard to enjoy it because it felt a little overwhelming.
I ordered the three-egg omelette, and it was good but nothing special. Cheese, spinach, sauteed mushrooms and caramelized onions were contained inside the egg shell, and I personally found that this made the egg taste more overwhelming than the veggie flavours. I ended up eating the vegetables from inside rather than the omelette as a whole.
Plus, although the sauce on their home fries was good, I would have preferred to have it as a dipping sauce rather than included on all of the potatoes we got. I feel like that would have made the home fries a little crispier, rather than soft like they currently were.
For the meat-eaters in the crowd, fear not. Insomnia's variety of Eggs Benny have you covered! Their standout feature was the hollandaise sauce, which had a soft dill flavour that was different than other sauces we've tried. The peameal bacon was also nice and crispy. However, our comments on the salad and the fries still applied.
Overall review of Insomnia's brunch: 2.5/5
Although I liked that they had a variety of options, I didn't feel like the taste or composition of any of these options was out of the ordinary. It's overhyped, and there are a variety of other brunch options in Toronto that are worth checking out if you want a more satisfying brunch experience.
Insomnia's brunch at a glance:
- Their menu can be found here
- Good for: couples or small groups
- Good variety of options for vegetarians and meat-eaters, with one vegan option
- They take reservations
- Brunch hours:
- 8 am - 3 pm Wednesday - Friday
- 9 am - 5 pm Saturday - Sunday