- Joy Bistro is a beautiful, sophisticated resto just inside Leslieville on Toronto’s East side. It’s likely that you’ve heard of it, or at least driven by and noticed the huge signage. It’s become somewhat of a Leslieville landmark.
First things first, I’ve heard a lot of negative comments about this place. By the sounds of it, it’s one of those places that’s hit-or-miss and completely different from one visit to the next; amazing one time, awful the next. Because I’ve never had dinner there, I can’t vouch for evening dining, but I can say this: if you truly don’t want run the risk of being disappointed, stick with their weekend brunch. This place is known for brunch. While they may have their issues, Joy Bistro has no problems delivering an upscale brunch experience that is chock full of style.
Brunch at Joy Bistro is not really bistro-ish. The brunch food here is mostly just what you’d expect to see on a brunch menu in most Toronto restaurants, but they do their brunch stuff particularly well. Eggs benny is served up in numerous styles like Benetine (with spinach and peameal bacon), Norwegien (with stacked smoked salmon), and Teddy (with peameal bacon, roasted tomatoes, and spinach). With their near-perfect hollandaise, eggs benny at Joy Bistro is a solid choice.
That, and they’ve got a killer patio. Intimate and relaxing, their patio is probably one of the best things about this place and the likely reason that a lot of people still frequent it even after having poor experiences. Leslieville has got a few patio spots, but for sheer space, warmth, and location sitting on a busy little Leslieville corner overlooking Jimmie Simpson Park, Joy Bistro’s patio is in a league of its own. Worth the sit down in the summer.
They’ve recently undergone mass renos, which has resulted in Joy Bistro Bar. Although this may have helped the space modernize, it’s also contributed to changing their clientelle base. Neighbourhood locals that frequented Joy over the years seem to have gone looking for other spots while those looking for a more trendy experience seem to take over. I guess as Leslieville becomes more popular, Joy Bistro wants to change with the neighbourhood, and while change can be good, in most cases, if it isn’t broke them why fix it?
Despite that new clientelle, it’s still a great place for brunch. So the next time a nice, summer weekend rolls around, head out to Joy Bistro for brunch on the patio. By the sounds of it though, I certainly wouldn’t do anything but brunch.
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