A Darling Street coffee and brunch stalwart that hits the mark every time.
Lucinda Starr
Published on July 02, 2023
Updated on October 09, 2023


On a Saturday morning, 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.

Expect freshly baked bread alongside Contessa's take on Sydney's brunch staples. For those looking to indulge after a big Friday night, the 'ultimate' hickory-smoked bacon and egg roll will do the trick. As the day rolls on, the house-made pasta, burgers, and salads are sure to keep you fuelled and firing.

Bacon and egg roll with hash brown served at Contessa Balmain

From the dedicated omelette section of the menu, order a classic smoked salmon omelette with shallots, caramelised onion, Tasmanian salmon and fresh dill.

For something a little larger, either opt for a big tuna salad, a burger from the cafe's quartet of a protein options, or one of the particularly insane meatball melts which only the brave should attempt to conquer. There is also a really decent range of pastas, toasties and cocktails on offer.

Contessa's got the lot. And it never fails to do it all well.

The main dining room at Contessa cafe in Balmain.

Images: Arvin Prem Kumar


Appears in:

Where to Find the Best Breakfast in Sydney 


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