The Terrace Cafe

This iconic garden cafe has entered a new phase of life as one of the city's leafiest brunch spots.
Libby Curran
Published on February 15, 2023


The latest incarnation of the Royal Botanic Gardens' iconic lakeside venue comes courtesy of Darling Group, owners of Higher Ground, Kettle Black and Stringers. Surrounded by greenery, the all-day cafe and adjoining event space have been designed in a nod to their lush outlook, with interiors by Technē featuring plenty of botanical references throughout. Expect a palette of natural hues, with terrazzo-topped benches and an idyllic al fresco area spilling out amongst the gardens.

Elevated classics drive the food offering, starring produce-led options like the asparagus with stracciatella, fennel and snow peas ($23); an avocado and tahini ricotta tartine (French-style open sandwich) ($22) and sumac-dressed fattoush salad with toasted pita ($21).

You can aim a little less green with likes of a spiced beef rueben toastie ($15), a signature club sanga ($18), and the blueberry and ricotta hotcake ($26). Or perhaps the homemade scones — a nod to a much-loved offering from the site's previous life. Meanwhile, Darling Group's signature coffee blend stars on the cafe's broad-ranging drinks list, with two coffee carts perched at Gates A and D of the Gardens for customers on the go.

Of course, this is prime picnic turf and the Terrace Cafe's expansive grab-and-go lineup makes for an enviable rug set-up. Choose from the likes of loaded baguettes, pinsa romana (a style of fermented-dough pizza) and pastries, or a Terrace-To-Go box containing your choice of sandwich or salad, a juice and a sweet treat.

Images: Griffin Simm.


Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x