Where to Find the Best Breakfast in Sydney
Head to your local cafe, bakery, deli or bagel shop to find the best Sydney breakfasts.
October 20, 2023
WHERE TO FIND THE BEST BREAKFAST IN SYDNEY
Head to your local cafe, bakery, deli or bagel shop to find the best Sydney breakfasts.
The best breakfasts in Sydney are as diverse as the city they're made in. Sure, you'll find Vegemite on toast and every conceivable iteration of smashed avocado on the menu at these Sydney breakfast spots, but with this list we've endeavoured to look beyond the obvious and expand your gastronomical horizons for The Most Important Meal Of The Day. After a breakfast burrito? We have you covered. Japanese-style brunches? They're well represented here. Hungover and desperate for bacon and bloody marys? Let us take care of you in your hour of need. We even have a few healthy options where the sugar and fat might be left out, but flavour and fun still reign supreme.
And the best breakfast in Sydney isn't necessarily found in a cafe — although many are. You'll also uncover some of the best early-morning treats in bakeries, bagel shops and delis. We have all bases covered in this guide. Read on to see where you'll next be fuelling up before work or relaxing during a long, lazy Sunday morning with mates.
Without further ado: here are our picks of the best breakfasts in Sydney.
Yes, Pilgrims is a vegetarian cafe but even carnivores should feel compelled to visit this Sydney breakfast spot. Vegetarians and meat-eaters alike will be impressed by the generous portions and creative combinations on the menu. In fact, Pilgrims is so popular that it has two homes, one at Cronulla Beach and the other in Milton so you can get your hands on those superb buttermilk pancakes when journeying to the south coast.
All morning and afternoon, choose from an expansive but classic selection of brunch fare — everything from the aforementioned pancakes to roasted mushrooms on toast and breakfast burgers. A heap of dishes can also be made vegan and gluten-free, so a dietary inclusive feast is guaranteed.
Hidden behind Enmore Road in a sleepy backstreet, Soulmate stands out in the stacked Inner West cafe scene. The work of the accomplished team behind some of the best cafes in northwest Sydney — Good Fella and The Tuckshop — this Phillip Street spot is a go-to for good coffee and loaded sandwiches. Grab a cup of tap-poured cold brew before digging into one of the best breakfasts in Sydney.
All sorts of ingredients are sandwiched between or served on top of every type of bread imaginable but our pick is the Deli Hoagie which loads up a soft hoagie roll with salami, ham, provolone, tomato, mustard, pickles, guindillas, herb mayo and shredded lettuce. It’s a certified banger, just like most dishes slid across the Soulmate pass.
This all-day diner and aperitivo bar opened in Bondi in 2022 from the team behind The Shire’s beloved eatery Blackwood Pantry — and it quickly claimed a position as one of the best breakfast spots in Sydney.
The brunch menu is available from 7am until 4pm daily and spans from breakfast classics to more hearty options for the lunchtime crowd. Blackwood’s version of smashed avo comes with goat’s cheese, pickled beetroot and chilli on sourdough with za’atar, while the spicy bacon and egg roll is topped with sriracha and lime mayo as well as crispy shallots. These are a significant step above your standard breakfast classics.
Organic and sustainable ingredients are carefully curated to create a Scandinavian-inspired menu at Funkis Köket, which mirrors the calming minimalist aesthetic of this Paddington haunt. Straddling the line between cafe and garden, this eatery offers a range of delicious items.
Our favourite choice from the short but sweet breakfast menu: the Skagen-inspired salmon consisting of creme fraiche, smoked salmon, dill, and mayo — all whipped together — alongside lemon-soaked zucchini slices and freshly toasted sourdough bread. We recommend adding a poached egg if you want to make it extra brunchy. Seasonal granola, avocado on toast and simple eggs on toast round out the brekkie options.
Image: Cassandra Hannagan.
If your breakfast game is in need of a little shake-up, you’ll find yourself in excellent hands at Pyrmont’s Quick Brown Fox. Continuing to infuse Sydney’s cafe scene with some fresh ideas, the eatery is dishing up tried-and-true classics alongside a slew of crafty, contemporary creations. Many ingredients are made in-house, too, while the remainder are sourced locally.
An all-day menu features dishes like sardines on toast and a Korean fried chicken waffle, as well as the signature XO Congee made with Koshihikari rice and finished with a fried egg, glazed speck, spring onion and spicy XO sauce. Even the standard smashed avo has been reimagined here with the ‘Not So Avo Toast’ featuring dashi dressing, crispy tofu and yuzu-infused sesame.
On a Saturday mornings nabbing a table at Contessa Balmain proves an almighty challenge. The Sydney cafe has been an institution on Darling Street since 1992 making it one of the suburb’s oldest residents. And its popularity comes with good reason. The menu fuses American classics with traditional Italian flavours with generous servings and ice cold spritzes.
For those looking to indulge after a big Friday night, the ‘ultimate’ hickory-smoked bacon and egg roll will do the trick. A selection of omelettes, savoury croissants, and breakfast bowls packed with seasonal fruit also feature at this Sydney breakfast haunt.
Image: Arvin Prem Kumar
Burnt Orange has a fascinating history. It was originally a golf club before being converted into a clubhouse during the Second World War for the army stationed at the nearby barracks. Now, it’s a cafe, boutique shop, and one of the best places to come for high tea in Sydney.
Bring your loved ones for macarons, Belgian chocolate mousse and house-made scones with jam and cream — all with incredible harbour views. And if high tea isn’t your jam (pun intended), Burnt Orange also dishes up top-tier breakfast dishes like banana hotcakes served with berries, fresh ricotta and praline.
After spending “many hours kicking the footy or pushing the kids on a swing and wishing we could get a good coffee nearby,” Caleb and Belinda Maynard decided to make their hopes a reality by creating this lovely Sydney cafe in the outfield of Ashfield’s Yeo Park.
The menu is, conveniently, a modern take on picnic fare, with a touch of green on every plate. There are hints of native ingredients like lemon myrtle and a focus on gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options. There are also bagels, toasties and fritters topped with poached eggs at this community-focused Sydney breakfast spot. An absolute Inner West delight that’s a neighbourhood favourite.
Image: Kimberley Low
Are you guilty of taking photos of your brunch before taking a bite? No judgement here, just a friendly piece of advice: make sure you add The Mayflower to your hit list. The aesthetically pleasing cafe is a social media fiend’s dream, from the fit-out — millennial pink walls, onyx stone tables, pendant lights and lush floral installations — to the menu.
We’re talking hazelnut french toast with Cointreau curd, croque monsieurs dripping with melted gruyere and bechamel sauce, and a luxurious truffle mac and cheese. Keen to make your brekkie boozy? The Mayflower has a revolving list of cocktails and champagne available at all times.
Bar Mammoni was the final piece in Circular Quay’s expansive Hinchcliff House — home to Grana, Lana and Apollonia (which is on our list of the best bars in Sydney). The 30-seat cafe and bar hidden within the Quay Quarter Lanes precinct offers coffee in the morning, cocktails in the afternoon and snacks throughout the day. It’s an all-day winner.
Breakfast-wise, items like pain au chocolat and almond croissants are baked overnight at Grana and walked across to the laneway venue each morning, where they’re offered alongside larger options like bacon and egg rolls and glorious slabs of pizza — all made with Grana’s signature bread. The food is tightly edited but excellent and the setting is laidback and buzzy, making it one of the best breakfast spots in Sydney’s CBD.
Alex Elliott-Howery and James Grant are the partners behind Cornersmith, which, apart from the cafe, also includes a picklery and a cooking school. Their holistic focus on ethical and sustainable production of food and business practices is exemplary. They don’t just talk the talk — they walk the walk, too.
The most accurate comment you can make about the food here is that it is honest — the dishes are prepared in a simple, straightforward manner that lets the produce provided by local producers and growers really shine. As the menu is forever evolving, we can’t guarantee what you’ll find, but most dishes at The Cornersmith highlight the cafe’s deliciously briny pickle fetish.
Image: Anna Kucera.
Good Ways Deli has built a cult following for its fresh, piled-high sandwiches and standout coffee since opening in Redfern in 2021. Despite arriving in a suburb known for top-notch bakeries, the brainchild of Jordan McKenzie and Tom Pye has carved out a beloved niche with kangaroo mortadella sandos, nostalgic baked goods, milo mochas and a selection of great pantry items.
Just over one year later, Good Ways expanded with a new location in Alexandria. Similarly to its Redfern counterpart, the Buckland Street cafe is located in a heritage-listed corner shop adjacent to a leafy park — helping draw in dog owners needing a morning meal while resting with their four-legged pals.
Image: Nikki To.
Kick-start your day, or enjoy a post-workout energy boost with Bare Naked Bowls. Fresh and nourishing, the eponymous bowls are packed with açai, yoghurt, smoothies or rice (depending on the bowl you choose) and topped with colourful fruit and veg to fuel you for the day ahead.
The superfood cafe empire was started in Manly by Josh and Ashley Porteous. The couple is passionate about nutrition and sustainability — all produce is sourced locally, and the almond milk is made in-house. A fave among locals? The Manly Bowl with organic açai berries, bananas, strawberries and apple juice, topped with granola, goji berries and bush honey.
From Nutie and Bourke Street Bakery to Paramount Coffee Project, Surry Hills is home to an overwhelming number of great cafes. One of the neighbourhood’s hottest spots, SOUL Deli, is offering something different. It’s a Korean cafe and deli, slinging deli goods, terrific dine-in and takeaway cafe food, and a range of products made by local Korean community members.
For those who want to try some of the best breakfast in Sydney, excellent options abound. The menu stretches from cafe classics like bacon and egg or Korean fried chicken rolls to exciting creations such as kimchi cheese pulled pork sandwiches, Korean chicken porridge and buttermilk hot cakes with maple syrup and cultured butter. Change up your morning routine by heading to SOUL Deli.
Within the same warehouse space as Koskela, you’ll also find Three Blue Ducks. This is the second Sydney outpost from the Ducks and is headed up by Masterchef Australia judge and former winner, Andy Allen. In keeping with the Three Blue Ducks ethos that tracks across its now five locations, seasonal produce and sustainability are at the core of its offering.
The breakfast menu changes regularly, but you might happen upon the likes of kingfish pastrami with sweet potato hummus, poached eggs and za’atar on toasted sourdough. There’s also a smoky theme throughout the menu thanks to a woodfired oven, charcoal pits and an Argentinian grill in the garden — so be sure to try whatever comes fresh from one of these bad boys.
Image: Monica Buscarino.
Looking to start your day with something a little different? Head to the southern end of Newtown’s King Street where you’ll find fresh and unexpected ingredients being piled onto Brickfields bread or between soft, fluffy milk buns at Rolling Penny. After announcing it would be closing its doors in October 2022, due to popular demand (which more closely resembled mass public outcry), the team returned better than ever.
This casual dining spot in Sydney has built a cult following over the years through its commitment to local produce and interesting takes on breakfast classics, including its stellar brekkie rolls that go far beyond your standard bacon and egg affair. These delicious dishes help put it towards the top of our best breakfast in Sydney list. That and the brilliantly brewed coffee from The Little Marionette.
Lavender Bay hot spot Loulou offers Sydneysiders a taste of everyday French life. The bistro-bakery-delicatessen hybrid is a local favourite on the lower North Shore, with the team providing everything from a morning coffee and smoked ocean trout to a champagne lunch paired with hand-cut steak tartare.
For breakfast, follow your nose to the boulangerie, where you’ll be enveloped in the delicious aroma of artisanal baguettes, croissants, tarts, kouign-amanns, danishes, pain aux raisins and pain au chocolats. Sometimes an exceptional baked good is all you need to be utterly satisfied.
At upper North Shore spot Goodfields the good feels abound. From 6am daily, the coffee window is open and the machine up and running, tempting early morning commuters with brews from Five Senses.
Meanwhile, the kitchen is turning out a memorable all-day brunch offering that sits classics alongside fun, modern revamps. There’s an indulgent lobster benedict with roasted lobster tail bites, grilled garlic brioche, spinach and hollandaise — one of the best and bougiest breakfast dishes in Sydney.
This Sydney cafe, located just a five-minute walk from Parramatta Station, fuses Middle Eastern influences with modern Australian eats resulting in hearty, flavour-packed brekkies, brunches and lunches. Our favourite dish? The Ottomon eggs with crumbed eggplant, garlic labneh, burnt chilli, sage butter, poached eggs and seeded sourdough. It’s a celebration of taste, texture and culinary creativity that elevates it far beyond your standard Sydney breakfast fare.
At coffee time, forget about your usual cappuccino or latte. Circa gives you a choice of white, black, hot brew and cold brew. Simple. All beans are carefully selected by the owner Aykut Sayan and roasted in small batches. The small touches and attention to detail help make this one of the best cafes in Sydney.
The Marickville cafe combines classic diner stylings and southern dishes with the best of Australian cafe culture to create one of the most hyped brunch spots in Sydney’s Inner West. The eats on offer can be broken into three sections — all-day breakfast, ‘not breakfast’ and dessert.
Get around fluffy pancakes, omelettes and a series of breakfast buns before tucking into toasties and sandwiches in the arvo. The impressive dessert cabinet is also filled with Grumpy Donuts, slices of pie and snickerdoodle cookies. Either come for these takeaway sweet treats or sit in for the full American diner experience here in Sydney.
Bondi is already a hub for top-notch cuppas and smashed avo, but that didn’t stop the Sydney suburb from scoring a second outpost for North Sydney’s Glory Days located within the revamped Bondi Pavilion. The new beachside spot has rolled out an expanded menu designed for both a quick takeaway bite or a relaxed long brekkie.
Before midday, there’s a seasonal fruit plate, pastries from Infinity Bakery, acai bowls, dutch pancakes and the breakfast burrito that comes with scrambled eggs, bacon, oaxaca cheese, tater tots, jalapeños, black beans, chipotle mayo and salsa — this one’s made for your hungover mates who somehow made it to brunch.
On any list for Sydney’s best breakfasts you have to include the reliably lovely Bill’s. With that sun-kissed dewy-skinned legging-clad Bondi crowd, this is not a place to contend with an intense hangover. However, if you’re feeling fresh, soak in the beautiful ambiance and feast on Bill Grainger’s excellent classics — you really can’t go wrong.
Try the now-famous ricotta hotcakes with banana and honeycomb butter (a fluffy dream); or opt for another signature dish, the sweet corn fritters that come perfectly balanced with a citrusy avocado salsa (hot tip: add bacon). And, if you’re looking to really try your luck, wash it down with a spiced bloody mary. The perfect start to a good day.
Image: Anson Smart.
Sydney’s Room Ten has achieved the zeitgeist of the Melbourne-style laneway espresso bar: excellent coffee served with unpretentious chic in an impossibly trendy Potts Point back alley. Weekday or weekend, two- and four-legged traffic flows through the alley and congregates around the coffee machine tucked inside the small Sydney breakfast spot.
The resourceful team have made good use of the limited space behind and in front of their tiny hole-in-the-wall shopfront. The kitchen pumps out clever breakfast options like Farmer Joe’s organic muesli with stewed rhubarb, yoghurt, fresh fruit and honey, as well as “Room 10 Breakfast Rice” with red rice, black quinoa, toasted nuts and seeds, fresh fruit, yoghurt and stewed rhubarb.
Image: Destination NSW
Two Chaps is one of the best things you’ll find behind a garage roller door in Sydney. The Chapel Street cafe has a strong following among vegetarians and pastry lovers, and for a good reason — everything on the menu is vego, and the kitchen bakes all its own bread and pastries. Plus, almost everything can be done vegan or gluten-free.
Then on Friday and Saturday evenings, the team serves up a special dinner menu, championing homemade pastas and local cheeses. It is that dedication to quality and craft, as well as the incredibly feel-good neighbourhood vibes, that makes this Marrickville local one of the best breakfast spots in Sydney.
Happyfield is a relatively new addition to Sydney’s cafe scene, but it has already become home to the best breakfast in Sydney. It takes inspiration from the classic American diner with bright yellow interiors and a menu packed with US breakfast and lunch staples.
The ‘proper’ pancakes come stacked high, slathered in Pepe Saya butter and drenched in Canadian maple syrup. There’s no elaborate fuss like hazelnut soil or whipped ricotta — its focus is clearly on the classics. Drinks-wise, you’ve got coffee from Single O, milkshakes (an obligatory menu item for any diner), fresh juices, house sodas and a bunch of boozy beverages.
Top images: Happyfields.
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