Hotel Gelato in Toronto: Go for Brunch, Stay for Dessert

As soon as you enter Hotel Gelato, you’ll want to check in and stay a while. The hotel-inspired decor nods to boutique hotel chic while observing practical clean lines that stand up to even the messiest gelato eaters. It’s a place you’ll want to enjoy with your kids, your sweetie, your colleagues, or on your own.

An Elegant Brunch Menu

This has been one of my family’s favourite brunch spots on Eglinton Avenue West since they first started serving brunch in the fall of 2010. The menu includes something delicious for the sophisticated palate, the picky eater, and everyone in between. My picky eater enjoys the multigrain waffle served with caramelized banana (hold the banana), Quebec maple syrup, and sweet butter. The waffle is of a generous proportion, enough to satisfy a hungry adult or two little ones.  Another favourite is the lemon ricotta pancakes served with raspberry compote and Quebec maple syrup. The generous stack of pancakes is light and fluffy with just a hint of lemon to compliment the sweet maple goodness. My favourite dish, though, is the Eggs Benedict: two perfectly poached eggs with peameal bacon served on potato cakes and topped with hollandaise sauce. The crispy potato cakes are a nice variation on this brunch special, and the hollandaise sauce is the best I’ve ever had.

The coffee is organic and fair-trade while the espresso is locally roasted. And for the young ones, and the young at heart, you can’t miss with the hot chocolate, served in individual pitchers topped with whipped cream.

The café has equally impressive menus for all-day, breakfast, and lunch and will be rolling out a dinner menu this fall.

Sometimes It’s Just About Dessert

The Cordon Bleu-trained pastry chef bakes up new bakery creations every day. And because everyone deserves a treat, gluten-free, vegan, and organic desserts are also brought in from local bakeries.

And then there’s the gelato. Touted as a healthier choice than ice cream (it’s made from milk rather than cream), the gelato that gives the shop its name is made fresh on the premises. The display behind the glass will make your mouth water. The gelato is whipped up into beautiful peaks that are almost a shame to disturb. Almost. We’ve tried quite a variety of flavours, from the usual lemon, forest berries, and strawberry to the less conventional roasted almond and vanilla sponge toffee. They are all delicious. At holiday times they’ll offer specialty flavours – try their pumpkin spice for Thanksgiving!  Sugar-free flavours are always on offer as well. The gelato is served in cones (small or regular) or cups (3, 5, or 7 ounces).

There aren’t many restaurants that can cater to a wide variety of clients – from young families stopping in for a treat, to professionals on a business lunch, to couples having a quiet rendezvous – Hotel Gelato appeals to them all, and not just for their icy treats.

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532 Eglinton Avenue West, Toronto, 416-932-2663

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Tamara Sztainbok

Tamara loves children’s books, running, and pie. After nearly a decade working in children’s publishing, she launched Puzzle Box Communications - an agency offering editorial services to small businesses. Running her own business affords her the luxury and pleasure of walking her two children to school, and gives her the opportunity to rediscover her Midtown Toronto neighbourhood.

  1. I love this place too! The staff are warm and friendly and the place has a great vibe. You’re right, it fits many different types of patrons and everyone is made to feel welcome. I will try their brunch now!

    1. Oh yes, the staff are great. Now that it’s getting cooler out, I’m really looking forward to their new dinner menu.