Mildred’s Temple Kitchen: A Dog-Friendly Brunch Review in Toronto
If you’ve been a long-time resident in Toronto, chances are you’ve heard of Mildred’s Temple Kitchen. This is always listed as one of the places you must visit for brunch. An added bonus for all dog-owners, this is also a dog-friendly restaurant!
In today’s post, we share what it’s like to bring a dog for a weekend brunch at this ultra-popular Toronto restaurant.
About Mildred’s Temple Kitchen
This place has been featured countless times on popular websites like:
- Yelp — to date, Mildred’s Temple Kitchen has remained on the top page for brunch locations since opening its doors in 2008
- BlogTo’s Essential Toronto Brunch Spots
- Multiple features in Toronto Life
Nestled in the heart of Liberty Village, this restaurant offers:
- Exceptional dine-in experience (the industrial space is wedding venue worthy!)
- Delicious twists and takes on brunch classics (yes! You can order green eggs and ham!)
- Killer housemade Scotch Bonnet Hot Sauce — and I mean that both in spicy level and its equally delicious flavour
- Locally sourced and seasonal ingredients
[Sept 20, 2021 Edit]: Sorry folks — seems like my information was old! Unfortunately, Mildred’s Temple Kitchen no longer offers green eggs and ham!
What You Need to Know
Address: #104 85 Hanna Avenue, Toronto, ON M6K 3S3
Payment Options: Cash, Visa, Mastercard, and American Express
Most Ordered Brunch Dishes (according to Yelp):
Mrs. Biederhof Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes — stacked buttermilk pancakes served with blueberry compote, Lanark County organic maple syrup and whipped cream
Veda’s Choice — Mildred Temple’s Kitchen’s take on the eggs benedict. Soft poached eggs on a flakey croissant with your choice of smoked salmon, double smoked bacon or avocado. Topped with bearnaise sauce. Served with mixed greens.
Huevos Monty — A twist on huevos rancheros. Black beans refritos and sharp cheddar cheese baked in flour tortillas and topped with two sunny eggs, fresh salsa, avocado smash, and sour cream. Hot sauce additional cost.
Parking: While most folks who live in the city will likely arrive here by the 504 Streetcar, there are several parking options available for folks (like us!) that live further away.
These are the restaurant’s suggested parking locations:
- Option 1: Street parking on Hanna Avenue and Snooker Street
- Option 2: Green P at East Liberty and Hanna Ave
- Option 3: Underground Parking below the restaurant
- The restaurant was inspired by a restaurant in Ottawa to popularize the idea of Sunday brunch. Now Mildred’s Temple Kitchen is known as one of the restaurants in Toronto for popularizing Sunday brunches (previously only available at fancy hotels).
- While you might think the name of the restaurant may refer to one of the owners, Mildred is a actually reference to the 1945 film noir crime drama: Mildred Pierce. The story is about a woman who opens a restaurant and chronicles her experiences along the way
- Mildred Temple’s Kitchen Co-Owner and Executive Chef, Donna Dooher, created the Food Network show: Cookworks and has been a prominent part of Toronto’s restaurant scene since the 1980s
What to Expect When You Bring Your Dog to Brunch at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen
Liberty Village has a LOT of dogs — if you’re arriving on a weekend, expect to see 95% of all foot traffic around the area to be folks walking their dogs.
When we arrived almost every person we saw had a coffee in one hand and one or two dogs on a leash in the other. It felt like there was an unspoken rule that you needed a dog to visit or live in Liberty Village.
Expect to wait in line for 45 min or to spend 1–2 hours walking around while waiting to be seated for brunch — Mildred’s Temple Kitchen is notoriously known for not taking a brunch reservation and has been first come first service since it opened.
If you’re arriving near the restaurant opening time, expect to wait in line for about 20–45 minutes before you’re seated. Also expect to have other groups with dogs lining up with you. If your dog is like mine and loves pulling to meet other dogs, I’d recommend taking your dog to walk around the neighbourhood for a walk while someone waits in line to avoid frustration barking and disturbing other dogs around you.
If you’re arriving after 10:00 AM, expect to put your name down and spend about 1–2 hours walking around nearby before you’re called in.
Bless. The entire ‘L’ shaped patio is shaded — on hot summer days, you’ll be relieved to know that the entire patio is shaded.
The main patio is protected from pedestrian traffic — great for easily distracted dogs! — The main patio portion stretches from the main entrance area and can seat about 6 tables ranging from 2–6 people per table. This area is nestled between the main restaurant building and a fenced-off garden. Pedestrian traffic is physically blocked by the garden which is a super plus for easily distracted dogs.
The secondary patio is open to pedestrian traffic and people waiting in line — The ‘L’ portion of the patio loops around the fenced garden onto the main courtyard area where most people wait in line to enter the restaurant. This portion of the patio can seat about 3 tables in groups of four. There are no barriers between you and the foot traffic.
If you’re brunching in September with your dog — expect wasps — like most patio experiences in Toronto, September is a time where wasps will crowd and compete with you for your food. If you are dining with your dog, be prepared to face these. Head down to our ‘Eating with Wasps’ section of the post to get a good idea of what you’ll likely expect!
Considering how Mildred’s Temple Kitchen is not only one of the most frequently cited dog-friendly restaurants in Toronto, but it also frequently makes it on dog-friendly restaurants in Mississauga AND dog-friendly patios in Etobicoke lists, we HAD to make this ultra-popular brunch spot our visit patio experience with Limone to find out why.
Here’s a sneak preview of our brunch experience! Once you’ve watched the video, head on down to see what we have to say about our outdoor patio brunch experience with Limone.
There’s no getting away from the lineup on a weekend
Knowing that this brunch restaurant did not take reservations, we did the very rare feat of pulling ourselves out of bed before 8:30 AM to arrive at Liberty Village, just in time for the restaurant to open.
It was just a little past 9:00 AM and there was already a fairly long line with several families and their dogs patiently waiting for the restaurant to open. If I had to estimate based on the group sizes, we were about the 15th group queuing in the line.
COVID Safety Measures
It took about 20–25 minutes for us to reach the front of the line. Because of Covid’s safety measures, we needed to provide a name and a number for contact tracing purposes and fill out an online health assessment survey that was sent directly to our phones.
The menu was accessed via a QR code provided on the table.
Overall the lineup and the safety measure experience were fairly standard and what I expected from a popular restaurant.
We were seated shortly in the main patio area where we could very easily limit Limone’s interactions to just our nearby tables.
The Food Experience
We ordered 2 of the most popular brunch menu items to try:
- Angelo had the famous Mrs. Biederhof Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes
- I ordered the Huevos Monty with a side of their house-made Red Hot Millie Peppers Hot Sauce
As for drinks — we’re caffeine addicts so we chose coffee-based drinks like cortado and cappuccino. They were delicious and gave us the much-needed caffeine boost.
As promised and as expected, there’s a reason these dishes are popular orders here.
Let’s start off with Mrs. Biederhof Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes: The blueberry compote and their maple syrup combined with fresh whipped cream made for a delicious combination of sweet, creamy, and slight tart.
Flavour-wise it made for a pretty incredible combination and it’s very easy to see why this is quite literally a fan favourite and the most ordered brunch menu item here.
I am *not* however, a pancake fan. In terms of density, fluffiness, or chewability, or whatever factors that make a pancake “delicious and amazing”, I don’t really have much say. Some reviewers insist the pancakes are fluffy and soft, and others insist they are dense and heavy. You might need to try this out for yourselves to figure out which one it is!
Angelo, fortunately, doesn’t pancake texture discriminate. I don’t think he’s met a pancake he hasn’t liked so he was happy with his dish.
As for the Huevos Monty? Holy crap you need to grab it with the Red Hot Millie Peppers Hot Sauce.
I have zero spicy tolerance but I gave it a try and it blew my mind. Reminiscent of a sweet chilli sauce, but make it scotch bonnet pepper spicy. It hurt so good.
I am now a happy owner of a jar of the exact same hot sauce and have it regularly with my meals. Zero regrets and worth bearing the pain to enjoy the flavour of this hot sauce.
Anyway, back to the Huevos Monty — it is one very delicious, thin huevos rancheros breakfast.
From the cool sour cream and avocados to the slightly sweet and tart diced tomatoes, to the mellow flour tortillas wrapping the black bean goodness… I’m happy to report that not one ingredient outshone the rest. Everything all melded together seamlessly to deliver bite after bite of comforting breakfast flavours into my mouth.
Despite its seemingly small and flat size, this dish was *deceptively dense*. Loved every bite of it but I could only finish half of it before I had to surrender and ask for a takeout container.
Eating with Wasps — When your partner is zen with wasps eating his pancakes
We arrived fully expecting to shoo some wasps away from our meals. After all, this was not our first patio experience in Toronto. But let me tell you, this wasp encounter at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen was by far the MOST wasp-filled dining experience I’ve EVER had.
If you don’t want to see a video of wasps crawling on food or read our descriptions of eating around wasps, please feel free to skip this section. You have been warned!
Do you know how I wrote that little note in the ‘What to Expect When You Bring Your Dog to Brunch at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen’? The one about wasps in September?
Yeah… during our entire brunch experience, almost everyone who ordered the blueberry pancakes and chose to eat on the patio was eventually driven *inside*. The hordes of wasps were relentless in their quest to steal every bit of blueberry compote and maple syrup from each pancake patio victim.
Unfortunately, brunching with a dog meant that we didn’t have the option to run inside.
When Angelo’s blueberry pancakes arrived, I watched in helpless horror as 10 wasps crowded on, landed on, and started feasting on his blueberry pancakes.
Angelo, with the quiet calmness and resignation of accepting this wasp-filled fate, somehow managed to elegantly eat around the feasting wasps. I witnessed him gently nudging the wasps with his fork, and nonchalantly ignoring the wasps that climbed up his arm.
Me? I was in paralyzed awe. Should I have asked us to just pack all our food and leave? Probably! But I was literally struck by the morbid fascination that was unfolding in front of me.
Somehow, after much patient effort and deliberately slow movements, Angelo finished his pancake.
Eventually, the number of wasps dwindled down to three wasps on the plate, all of them vying for the best maple syrup spot until the waiter finally cleared it away.
Also, before you rage against the restaurant — they were pretty helpless about the situation!
We were warned that there would be wasps and because we had a dog, we would not be allowed to change our mind and get a seat indoors.
We had multiple staff come up to us to apologize for the wasps. They told us they tried multiple wasp traps. From honey traps, simple syrup traps, to even setting aside a blueberry pancake dish as a sacrifice in the garden. Unfortunately, nothing really helped the situation.
We even watched the staff set up these traps before we were seated so they really were trying their best!
However, after experiencing this we have come to several conclusions:
- Don’t order sweet things if you’re going to eat on a patio in Toronto in September
- This wouldn’t have changed our order choice, but it would have been awesome if the staff could warn guests about ordering sweet dishes if that many wasps would appear. Thankfully all the savoury dishes were left alone (like my Huevos Monty — I ate this in peace with zero wasps)
Limone’s Experience at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen
How was Limone’s experience on Mildred Temple’s Kitchen’s patio?
I’d say it was a positive experience!
We found plenty of methods available to us to secure Limone near us including:
- Securing her to the table legs
- Securing her to our chair (but only when we’re seated for added weight and security)
- Securing her to the fence beside our table
Because the main patio was nestled between a high-fenced garden and the building itself, we were blocked from pedestrian foot traffic. By keeping her close to the garden fence, she was also safely away from the staff and customer foot traffic too.
Overall I think she had a pretty relaxed time while waiting for us to finish. The patio is heavily shaded from the sun, we gave her ample water in her water bowl, and because of the relatively secluded patio space, she was able to settle down fairly quickly.
Considering it was her first-ever patio experience in the city, we were very impressed with her ability to settle down on such a busy patio. She was able to comfortably enjoy her breakfast and after sending several play bark requests to the neighbouring table’s dog, she was able to settle beside our table.
Mildred’s Temple Kitchen Review Summary
Considering how Mildred’s Temple Kitchen is located in a very dog-loving community, it’s no wonder that this ultra-popular Toronto brunch location is frequently cited as a dog-friendly restaurant in Toronto.
Even without the dog-friendly addition, this restaurant delivers top-notch quality brunches and is regularly an oft-cited must-visit restaurant in its own right.
With its partially protected patio, their patio is an ideal location to introduce dogs unfamiliar with patios to a patio experience.
For dog-owners, the fenced-in and physical garden barrier is a boon for dog-owners like us who are worried about how to manage potentially unexpected interactions with passersby.
Looking back I’m actually more surprised that I was most worried about the wasp situation than worrying about how Limone would react in this new environment. In a way that speaks volumes about the partially isolated nature of the patio, and also… just how many wasps there were during our brunch.
Would I visit this place again? Absolutely! I’d love to eat their brunch again. The food was lovely and delicious. Also, I got a peek of the inside, and the decor? I’m sold on the decor and thought of delicious brunch food. I definitely want to come back and try eating inside!
Would I come back with Limone again? Absolutely yes! But we definitely won’t be ordering the blueberry pancakes when we do! I just don’t think I can witness another wasp experience like that again.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you make Brunch Reservations at Mildred Temple’s Kitchen?
Unfortunately, the answer has and will likely be no. There are no reservations for their brunch. During the weekends, expect to line up half an hour before the restaurant opens if you’d like to be the first one seated.
By 9:30 AM, you will likely need to wait in line until the first rounds of folks have finished their meal.
It is common to put your name down on the list and stroll for an hour or two around the area before being called in to eat.
Does Mildred’s Temple Kitchen offer alcohol for brunch?
Why yes! They do! Their brunch menu also includes a drinks menu that offers everything from classic mimosas, to craft beer, to refreshing mixed drinks like their watermelon smash — a cocktail of watermelon juice, lime, and gin or vodka.
Does Mildred’s Temple Kitchen offer alternatives for dietary restrictions?
Yes — Mildred’s Temple Kitchen offers gluten-free, vegan, and halal options.
Do dogs get any treats/menus/etc.?
There is a communal water bowl near the check-in area where dogs may drink water from.
However, there are no special dog treats/ food items on the menu. If you need to provide any food, treats, or water to your dog, please come prepared with your own dog bowls. I’d suggest bringing a couple of collapsible bowls to keep packing items to brunch at a minimum.
Every single staff member we interacted with liked dogs and many will ask you to pet your dog if you’re okay with it. Bonus points for everyone always asking before reaching down for pets!
What’s on Limone?
Depending on the situation we rotate Limone through various harnesses and collars:
- Our Everyday Harness: Julius K-9 IDC ® Longwalk Harness
- ‘Photo-Op/Meeting her Grandpawrents’ Harness: Knick Knack Paddy Whack Harness in Prime *locally made in Toronto
- ‘I’m dirty, my harness is dirty, and I need a shower so I can’t wear a harness anymore’ Collar: KONG® Comfort Weave Padded Dog Collar — we bring this with us whenever we know Limone is going to get muddy or go into the water for a swim and we can’t bother with a harness
Similarly, we rotate Limone’s leash based on our needs. These are the three leashes we use regularly:
- Everyday Leash: 4 My Merles Creations — Standard Braided Leash. *locally made in Orillia, Ontario. Here are the custom options we chose if you’d like the exact same one:
- Embroidered Handle
- Poly Webbing Color: Yellow
- Fleece Color: Red
- Fleece Color 2: Royal Blue
- Embroidery Color: Black
- ‘I’m going to get dirty and drag my leash around OR I’m going to be tied onto a doggy zipline’ Leash: Amazon’s Choice Dog Training Leash with Padded Handle — 6ft in Grey
- Long Line Lead: Amazon’s Choice 20ft Long Lead in Black
Some of the information I found wasn’t listed on the website so I’ve listed out some sources on where I found that information as well 🙂
- Toronto Star — Chefs Showcase Currant Scones
How would you react if you saw that many wasps? Have you been to Mildred’s Temple Kitchen before? Let me know in the comments below!