Welcome to Thunder Bay. Would you like a side of Pancakes?
By Argus Staff
Mimosas, bacon, and a certain vague feeling of uncertainty over the previous night’s events is often how brunch is depicted in popular media. For a city on the smallish side, Thunder Bay has a surprisingly active brunching community, and a plethora of breakfast restaurants have risen to meet that demand. If you are new to this morning meal hotbed, here are some suggestions from your friendly neighborhood Argus staff.
The Hoito (Because of course. It’s the Hoito.)
On Bay Street just under the Finlandia Club, in the heart of the Bay-Algoma Historical District, is a Thunder Bay gem. Crawling into this restaurant is like descending into the grandmother’s house of all breakfast joints. Comfort food at its finest and cheapest.
The Hoito is modestly famous breakfast spot for Thunder Bay locals, and it may be the most popular place for hungover students on any given Sunday morning. The name “Hoito”, translates to “care” in English, and it’s a feeling that is consistently represented in the atmosphere and the quality of the food.
This restaurant is always an option when considering brunch. An array of breakfast foods ranging from classic bacon and eggs, toast and sausages, to the one of a kind Hoito Finn pancakes is standard, and the Hoito also offers traditional Finnish meals. Although the pancakes alone might be the only reason you need to make this spot your favourite brunch hangout. These world famous pancakes are incredibly thin, crisped around the edges, and you can add as much extra syrup as you like.
In case you’re not sold; heavenly pancakes, delightful atmosphere, and tons of brunch options are all things you can find at The Hoito. All day breakfast is also a perk at this joint so if you’re not into brunch, try Brinner. – Olivia Levesque, Staff Writer
The Sovereign Room
Brunch lovers rejoice! The Sovereign Room’s Saturday morning brunch is set to return on October 3rd after a summer hiatus, as told to us by server Sterling Scott. The menu is guaranteed to be amazing and dynamic, with changes made every week, so there are always new things to try out. The Sovereign Room (known affectionately as ‘the Sov’) is a pub favourite for many locals, and has even been featured on Food Network’s “You Gotta Eat Here!” Located in the heart of downtown Port Arthur, this cosy gastro pub is a popular spot for laidback lunches and turns into a lively and packed dinner and drinking spot when the sun goes down.
Brunch is one of the Sovereign Room’s latest ventures. Running from 10-2 on Saturdays, vinyl and music are featured from another local business ‘New Day Records’ to create the perfect brunching atmosphere. Launched in fall of last year, head chef Joe Sposato changes the menu up every week and always features affordable and extremely creative dishes, (often under $20 so your student budget will thank you). An example of a dish featured is “Bacon Croquettes,” served with basil, cheddar, Bourbon bacon, pea purée and poached eggs. “Chicken and Waffles” is another favourite of many regulars, and can often be ordered on the dinner menu as well. The Sov is well known for their awesome drinks, so skip the maple syrup on your pancakes, and order a maple whiskey sour instead, (a personal favourite of the author). –Leah Ching, Staff Writer
JJ’s Family Restaurant
My favourite greasy spoon in Centennial Square! At JJ’s, depending on your current culinary fancy and the time of day, you can enjoy such delights as the consistent breakfast plate special (bacon or sausage), or wonton soup and a club sandwich. The menu as a whole is a blend which runs from breakfast staples to diner classics to a full range of Chinese dishes, serving both coffee and alcohol. The clientele is comforting; a people-watchers bliss of hungover students, young families, and smartly dressed workers from the Courthouse, City Hall, and Victoriaville services on their lunch breaks, sometimes in chatting clusters, and sometimes a solitary diner reading through a sheaf of papers and slurping the soup of the day.
Have the breakfast special. It’s actually really nothing special at all, sausages (or bacon, but damn, I love me some breffist snausages) toast, hash browns, and eggs as you like them. It will be served with friendly indifference and will cost you only 6 dollars when you pay the cheerful owner at the till on your way out. She will enthusiastically thank you twice, once for herself, and a second time on behalf of whichever server attended you. –Shannon Anderson, Editor in Chief
May you have a happy brunch, and a short hangover. Cheers!