Bacon. It’s garnered a rocky reputation in these past few years. Unhealthy. Unnecessary. Unconscionable (pigs are as smart as three year-old humans). It’s been the target of every insult in the book. And yet, it continues its controversial reign as a staple in the All-American breakfast, the Caesar salad, and the eponymous BLT. Our love for this ubiquitous, artery-hardening substance failed to dwindle even after millennial hipsters incorporated its aromatic essence into everything from cupcake frosting to dental floss to vodka. Toronto has unsurprisingly hitched its wagon to the bacon train, and we’ve found some of the city’s best results.
Bacon Nation | 170 Spadina Avenue
Birthed from an idea between two brothers who found overwhelming success in the form of a pop-up booth at festivals and fairgrounds, Bacon Nation is now a full service restaurant at the corner of Queen and Spadina. What’s on the menu? Bacon, served in just about any style you can imagine (and some you can’t, or won’t). From the all-bacon burger (The Notorious P.I.G.), to the peanut butter bacon milkshake, to the deep-fried bacon-wrapped Mars bar, Bacon Nation is a gut-busting carnival attraction that meatheads can enjoy all year round.
The White Brick Kitchen | 641 Bloor Street West
For those who like to wash down their bacon with a splash of boozy, bacon-infused clam juice, The White Brick Kitchen has you covered. They’ve managed to perfect something delicious called the Beef Bacon Caesars – Montreal Steak Spice, hot sauce, and Stoli Vodka garnished with a strip of house cured beef bacon. Yep, brunch just got better.
Starving Artist | 584 Lansdowne Avenue
Known primarily as the place that puts anything on or in-between waffles, Starving Artist, a west-end all-day brunch house / art gallery, is actually rather subdued in its approach to bacon, but lovely nonetheless. Around here, bacon plays second fiddle to its underrated Belgian adversary in a fantastic dish referred to, quite simply, as Waffle Bacon. Sometimes the most delicious ideas are the least complicated.
School | 70 Fraser Avenue
Class is in session at this Liberty Village hideaway. Easily one of the best brunch spots in town, School consistently serves up amazing plates of extravagant comfort food from morning to late afternoon (and early evening Thursday – Saturday). For first time diners your safest choice, and one guaranteed to satisfy your cured meat quota, is the Super Cheesy Bacon French Toast—as good as it sounds.
Rashers | 948 Queen Street East
Billed as North America’s only bacon sandwich shop, the folks at Rashers, a relatively new Leslieville smokehouse, definitely know how to lay a table. Their secret weapon is the Hogtown Sandwich—tender pieces of peameal bacon on a warm bun, with the option of adding egg and / or cheese (like a McMuffin, only edible). Looking for something less breakfast-y? Try the classic British-style Bacon Butty, The Full Monty, or the fancy Bacon & Brie. Ooh la la.
(Main photo by Bacon Nation)