In Sydney, breakfast is not just another meal; it’s a social institution. Weekends are reserved for smashed avo toasts, bottomless mimosas, and good times with friends, while weekdays are spent lining up for a drop of the best coffee beans in the city and early work meetings over fresh oven-baked pastries.
That’s not all. Sydney’s breakfast scene is diverse and oh-so-good. You have your classic eggs benny, acai bowls, and bacon and egg rolls, but our multicultural playground has also opened opportunities to Mediterranean breakfasts, American fare, and European delights.
From Western Sydney to Bronte, here are Sydney’s best breakfasts.
Whether you need to pick up a fresh croissant for breakfast at home or are craving a Paris Brest, Loulou is the friendly neighbourhood French boulangerie to satisfy all your cravings. Here, the delicious aroma of take-home artisanal baguettes, croissants, batards, and baked sweets spill from the boulangerie all day, just like in Paris. Head baker Brendon Woodward and his team bake four times a day to ensure there’s fresh bread even if you pop in after work. The pastries are legendary—some of the best in the city. Don’t forget to stop by the bistro next door for a long lunch or romantic dinner.
Kahii is the city’s much-loved Japanese-inspired cafe and kissaten by day, that now also transforms into a cosy wine bar by night with a specially curated menu from Executive Chef Taka Teramoto of newly one-hatted Kuro. Kahii is one of the very few specialist coffee places in the CBD offering coffee until 5 pm (Tues-Sat), which is ideal for those roaming around after the 3 pm slump when most cafes are closed.
This all-day dining café and bar à vin begins with coffee and breakfast and ends with late-night snacks, cocktails, and wines by the glass. Channelling the charm of Europe, The Charles Bar, offers a casual atmosphere to enjoy freshly baked croissants and pastries and an extensive menu for elevated brunch classics. Expect duck eggs, toasted brioche soldiers topped with optional caviar, and eggs in Arlington with house crumpets. In the afternoon, pick from the roving dessert trolley that’s layered with house-baked cakes, desserts, and petit fours delivered tableside.
Odd Culture Newtown is the new kid on the block, who until now only served dinner. Their new breakfast service is a far cry from your usual cafe offering with no smashed avo in sight. The dedicated chefs will be making as many ingredients as possible in-house including the ‘Odd Cultured’ butter, bacon, ricotta and other soft cheeses, jams and warm smoked trout. You can grab a table out on the street or a seat at the large open windows that look out onto King Street. For a more casual breakfast, there is ‘sourdough toast with ‘Odd Cultured’ butter and jam. The bacon butty is a staff favourite, and the blood pancake with a fried egg and chilli maple is a must-try.
Peach hues, floral murals, onyx tables and a hanging floral display are just the beginning of Darlinghurst’s newest cafe. The former art deco florist front shop serves refined dishes, including caviar and truffle, but at average Sydney prices. No wonder people are lining up around the block for a seat. Fan favourites include the truffle Croque Monsieur, Mayflower Roll and Ocean Trout Gravlax. You can also pay $22 for a few shaves of truffle on any dish you choose.
Bondi’s first social enterprise café, Heart Café, offers guests delicious, fresh food and coffee served with a smile at a beachside setting. A new menu by Chef Pascale Rose (formerly of Byron Bay’s The Bay Leaf and St. Elmo) features modern Australian cuisine with highlights including the popular Heart Breakfast Bowl, Slow Cooked Persian Lamb, Fetta, Pomegranate and Heart Seared Salmon. Fresh seasonal produce includes vegetables and herbs grown in Wayside’s own Bondi Beach garden features across the menu. More than good food and great coffee, Heart Café aims to create a community, culture, and an opportunity to give back. Profits from Heart Cafe go directly back into Wayside Chapel’s Wingspan Project to continue transforming young people’s lives. For employees, Heart Café gives a long-term paid opportunity to build pathways to future employment.
Bondi, Chatswood and Elizabeth Bay
The food at Shuk is similar to what you would get growing up in Israel, with a twist created by owners Yoni Kalfus, Erez Beker, Ariel Hefer and Chef German Sanchez. Expect shakshuka, including a vegan option, cilbir bagel, teff pancakes, and a Middle Eastern tartine with babaganoush, avocado, smoked almonds, feta, and more. Don’t forget your side of falafel. There are three locations: Bondi, Chatswood, and Elizabeth Bay. You can also pick up fresh bakery items from the locations in case you want to try your own Middle Eastern breakfast at home.
Single O was a pioneer in Sydney’s coffee movement and still remains one of the best drops of espresso in the city. Sydneysiders love their specialty coffee, they even started a shop of which coffee fanatics can buy the blends and opt-in for a coffee subscription. As for breakfast, Single O Surry Hills is packed with diners munching on epic banh mi rolls, avocado toasts and a range of other creative dishes, including the mothership bowl, filled with nutritious goodness.
Bronte and Roseberry
Masterchef favourite, Andy Allen’s Three Blue Ducks is all about the no-fuss way. Ingredients are local and ethically farmed, and each location pays respect to its area, whether it’s an 80-acre farm in Byron Bay or the new intimate farm-to-table establishment in the snowy mountains. For those local to Sydney, the Bronte location offers their famous homemade vegemite with a side of the sea breeze. Other options include muesli, a bacon and egg roll with chilli jam, corn fritters, and black sausage with scrambled eggs and red currant jam.
Bowery Lane sits centre stage in the CBD, which makes it a popular choice for office workers and corporate lunches. Beware of the suits. Breakfast is either a quick grab-n-go or a sit down for the pancakes with rhubarb compote and mascarpone, eggs benedict, or the chorizo, manchego omelette with crispy leeks and chilli oil. The atmosphere is great, too with an industrial-chic fit-out resembling a New York loft.
No list is complete without mentioning the person who popularised the great smashed avo toasts. Yes, we’re talking about Bill Granger and his iconic breakfast joint, Bills in Bondi. For the sweet tooth in your life, you can’t go past the ricotta hotcakes with banana and honeycomb butter. Of course, you can try the avocado toast served on toasted rye and with an optional poached egg. There are big breakfasts and plates on the menu too. The elegant dining room, clad in marble and soft tones, works for the breakfast crowd as much as it does for the dinner service.
This trendy hole-in-the-wall cafe is mere steps from the Roseville train station, yet is not your average small street cafe. Instead, Calibrate focuses on specialty coffee and quality food. During weekdays, locals are lined up outside, waiting for orders or a seat at the beloved spot. The food is simple but executed well. Expect to find thick-cut sourdough toast with a choice of spread, crispy bacon and fried egg roll with tomato relish and chai spiced banana loaf. You can pick up a ginger and turmeric cleansing soda or a caffeine fix. The choice is yours.
Chippendale and Marrickville
For those seeking good bread, the kind you want to dip in olive oil and a touch of balsamic vinegar, then Brickfields should be on your list. Here, you can pick up a loaf of sourdough, rye, and other specialty bread while savouring a bacon sandwich. But this is no ordinary bacon roll, it comes with manchego, pickled cucumber, aioli & cavolo nero. Other popular breakfast items include the quiche with a side salad, a classic toasted croissant, and any of the gooey melts they have.
There’s a reason people drive an hour for a seat at this popular cafe. It’s either the deep dish pancake or the lamb eggs benedict. There are so many reasons to visit this small neighbourhood cafe in Western Sydney. You will find millennial pink and a floral display inside the heritage-listed cottage. As for the menu, dive into a cornflake crumbed chicken burger or take on the BBQ plate with 24 hours slow cooked BBQ style brisket, grilled chorizo, pickled onions, chips, and more. Healthy options include the Percy’s Garden Bowl, a local favourite with sweet potato falafel, pumpkin, avocado, cucumber, and tahini dressing drizzled on top.
With high ceilings and natural light, this industrial-chic cafe turns out creative diner-style -food and specialty coffee. You will find beans from local and international roasters and Paramount Coffee’s brew. The food menu has a variety of dishes from savoury to sweet and healthy. The burnt fig muesli is a crowd-pleaser; however, if you’re looking to wrap your hands around something scrumptious and a little bit naughty, the fried chicken burger with soy mayo and lotus root chips should satisfy the craving.
This cafe in Marrickville opened during a time when vegan and vegetarian options were scarce in the city. Today, it thrives on locals indulging in Mediterranean salads and sandwiches. There’s not much to this cafe in terms of size. The fit-out was curated out of second-hand finds, and their back-to-basics approach is admired. They make all their bread and pastry by hand using sustainable and organic flour. Sustainability is a major focus at Two Chaps. The menu changes, but expect to see things like kimchi and mushroom burger, chilli con jackfruit bowl, sourdough crumpets with orange labneh and coconut pancakes.