Best Brunch in Sydney: Your List of Weekend Café Hangouts
For those who take their breakfast seriously, these are the best brunch spots in Sydney you have to add to your list!
When it comes to weekend rituals, nothing beats a brunch session on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Come rain or shine, Sydney’s cafés are constantly thinking up new ways to draw in the hungry mid-morning crowds, with drool-worthy plates of breakfast salads, granola bowls, twists on smashed avo on toast, and course the perennial favourite – the humble bacon and egg roll. When it comes to brunch, Sydney’s best cafés have it all. We’ve selected some of the greats to help you decide where you’ll be heading this weekend. Here’s our edit of the best brunch in Sydney*. You’re welcome.
* In light of COVID-19 restrictions, make sure you secure your seat ahead of time by booking online or via phone.
The North Shore’s go-to mid-morning hangout, The Boathouse venues are a beach lover’s dream. Shelly Beach’s all-in-one kiosk, café and restaurant delivers delicious breakfast classics in a rustic-chic setting. Look forward to the brunch bites and relaxed vibe that’s synonymous with beachside lifestyle inspired by the Palm Beach, Shelly Beach and Balmoral locations. With indoor and outdoor dining options, the venues are open for breakfast and lunch, but they don’t take reservations, so get in quick to score a waterside table.
Balmoral, Palm Beach, Shelly Beach and Patonga
A firm Sydneysider favourite since opening, The Grounds of Alexandria has gone from strength to strength. This destination restaurant and café has a paddock-to-plate approach, and will have you munching down on the likes of buttermilk pancakes, Turkish-style eggs and toasted crumpets, or tempting you with the hearty Brekkie Burger served with a side of polenta chips. There is also a bakery churning out all kinds of delicious breads, muffins, cakes and tarts. Get down early to snag yourself a seat as this popular joint fills up fast.
Building 7A, 2 Huntley Street, Alexandria
All about bringing the beauty of the outdoors in, Flower Child is set within a greenhouse-styled space laden with vines and greenery, complementing the bright hues of each carefully plated dish. The breakfast options are almost too gorgeous to eat, but the hefty helpings will keep you sated through till dinner. Our picks: the prosciutto and asparagus soldiers or the Flower Child French toast.
Brookvale and Chatswood
Inspired by European and Australian cuisines, Blackwood Pantry serves up fresh dishes packed with flavour. The all-day menu features light bites including basil yoghurt with blueberries, strawberries and macadamias, as well as hangover-cure dishes such as the Morning Glory with a soft-boiled egg, chorizo, roasted sweet potato, kale, pickled red onion, whipped goat cheese and avocado on sourdough. The dishes are very reasonably priced and can be added to with a full list of sides on offer.
5/33 Surf Lane, Cronulla
Hands down one of Sydney’s prettiest cafés, Social Hideout is an Instagrammer’s dream. Whimsical interiors dominate with walls adorned with over 17,000 flowers and a “Hello Gorgeous” neon sign that’s just begging to be snapped. Aesthetics aside, it’s the deliciously playful menu (some dishes are even served in little golden bathtubs) that foodies are flocking back for. Look forward to the likes of matcha green tea French toast or mac n cheese waffles.
Parramatta and Waterloo
This retro-themed diner focuses on serving delicious locally sourced produce and makes all of the dressings, sauces, toppings and pickled goods on the premises. The breakfast menu is available until 3pm so no need to rush over first thing, and it covers everything from breakfast salads to Turkish eggs and all the expected favourites in between. If you’re after a healthy kick, the offerings of chia, quinoa, superfoods and grains will have you mulling over what option is best.
173 – 179 Bronte Road, Queens Park
With outstanding brews from Reformatory Lab, a rotating offering of fresh cakes and pastries, as well as Puppachinos and kids’ meals, Cuckoo Callay sashayed into the Sydney dining scene like a duck to water. With a strong commitment to traceability and ethical sourcing, you’ll be able to taste the quality in every dish.
Newtown and Surry Hills
Originally established in Bronte, Three Blue Ducks has since spread its wings, and now has additional outposts in both Rosebery and Byron Bay. The crowds just can’t get enough of their delectable food offerings, and for good reason. The focus is on sustainable and locally sourced produce, so you’ll be enjoying dishes like heirloom tomato toast with goats’ cheese on Iggy’s sourdough – the much-loved Iggy’s Bakery is just a few shops down from the flagship Bronte location.
Bronte, Byron Bay and Rosebery
A bona fide foodie favourite, Cornersmith started its journey in Marrickville as an all-pickling, all upskilling community-friendly café and cookery school. Now with a dedicated site in Annandale that operates as part café, part corner store, Cornersmith continues to serve up fresh, sustainable eats, and arguably the best pickles in Sydney. Pull up a pew in their Scandi-style digs or order one of the picnic packages and take your brunch across the road to Hinsby Park.
88 View Street, Annandale
Making waves when it first opened in 2012, Reuben Hills has fast become the go-to option for those scouring the streets for artisan coffee and delicious grub. The all-day breakfast menu has a Latin feel with Huevos Divorciados soft fried eggs, red and green salsa, and charro beans joined by the Honduran Baleada with pinto beans, Mexican truffle, smoked cheese and fermented salsa. Dig into the large portions and cool off with one of the expertly crafted cold brews.
61 Albion Street, Surry Hills
If you’re of the mind that brunch isn’t brunch unless you ’gram it, be sure to pay The Tiny Giant in Petersham a visit. The impeccably photogenic dishes are as pretty as they are tasty and the Famous Brioche Toast, served with strawberries, mixed berries, Canadian maple syrup, salted caramel, mascarpone and Persian pashmak proves irresistible to most.
110 Audley Street, Petersham
This Northern Beaches favourite does simple yet nutritious meals in a coastal-chic beachside café setting. Lookout over the beach while you indulge on the Veggie Patch buckwheat crepes, which come laden with baby spinach, crumbled feta, mushrooms, avocado, and beetroot hummus. The health bowls mean you can eat like a queen and enjoy the virtues of your incomparably healthy meal.
Avalon, Brookvale, Dee Why and Manly
One of Leichhardt’s finest, this warehouse-style café comes with high ceilings and wood interiors. This cool neighbourhood hangout tries to keep it as local as possible by serving The Little Marionette coffee and Brickfields’ bread and pastries. The all-day menu is an ode to modern Australian brunch fare with some delicious fusion twists – think smashed avo croissant with poached egg, dukkah and feta.
76 Flood Street, Leichhardt
Upgrade your weekend brunch to this harbourside locale. Few cafés boast views more spectacular views than that at Celsius Coffee Co. At the end of Kirribilli Commuter Terminal Wharf, this Kirribilli café’s eastern aspect stretches from Lady Macquarie’s Chair all the way to Rose Bay. While you’ll likely be transfixed by all the action on the harbour, be sure to pay attention to the generous all-day menu.
Kirribilli Commuter Terminal Wharf, Shop 1/2 Holbrook Avenue, Kirribilli
Platform 82 takes big breakfasts to a whole new level. Stacked three, sometimes four levels high, the towering breakfast platters are epic creations of all your favourite foods, presented in one big-tiered brunch extravaganza. If you’re feeling super adventurous, ask your waiter to Pimp My Platter, and be sure to have your phones at the ready to snap up the spectacle that awaits.
82 Queen Street, Concord West
It’s lucky then, that this city is stacked with epic brunch options. We have icons, like Bill Granger’s ricotta hotcakes, we have must-tries like The Grounds, and then we have innovators and renegades like Three Blue Ducks and Nour. Some of these brunch spots are simply here to fill you up on a Saturday or Sunday morning, cure your hangover and show you how good eggs can truly be. Whatever brunch adventure you’re after, Sydney’s got you. Here are 14 of the best spots to brunch in this city.
Three Blue Ducks
BRONTE AND ROSEBERY
An easy pick for the top spot on this list, The Ducks has a strong reputation for dishing out some of Sydney’s best brunch. An icon on their all-day breakfast menu has to be the corn fritters, served with guacamole, fermented cabbage, jalapeno, herb salad, labneh, and poached eggs. Throw in a lychee mimosa or a spicy Bloody Mary, and trust us—you’re in heaven.
Quick Brown Fox
Located in a bright, breezy sandstone cottage on a quiet corner in Pyrmont, there is something for every mood you’re in at Quick Brown Fox. For a strong spin on a breakfast classic, try folded eggs with house-poached ocean trout, truffled crème fraiche, and black forest toast. For more of a dinner-for-breakfast vibe, the Koshihikari rice congee (pictured above) with chilli fried egg, enoki mushrooms, chunks of maple-glazed bacon, grilled cabbage, and chilli relish is all kinds of umami deliciousness.
The French toast is a thick slab of fruit loaf with toasted walnuts, cardamom, mandarin, and house-churned caramel ice cream—not too sweet and not too rich, but definitely as dreamy to eat as it looks. QBF has just scored a liquor license too—meaning, yes, spiked kombucha, Blood Marys, Negronis, Mimosas, and even bottomless brunches are all on the horizon.
Efendy is the hero of Sydney’s most authentic Turkish fare (they literally air-freight baklava from Turkey each Wednesday). Their $35 brunch deal is inspired by the Turkish breakfast houses in Van, Turkey, and features plates (and plates) of pastries, Anatolian cheeses, olives, spreads, house-made jams, seasonal vegetables and fruits, pastirma and other hot dishes served in a board to share together with Turkish tea, apple tea or Turkish coffee. Some sage advice: come hungry.
Nour is one of our favourite Surry Hills restaurants—for its stunning peach, pistachio, and purple interiors (by the legendary SJB Architects), for its serene approach to Levantine feasting, and for its bottomless brunch. Everything is designed to share, but if you’re having trouble choosing we recommend opting for one of the two banquet options. You’ll be treated to manoush cooked to order in the wood oven, Bekaa chicken wings, and Baalbek fried eggs, among other things. Oh, and 90-minutes of free-pour rose, espresso martinis, or Perian spritz.
A major standout here has to be the Al-muhuffin (pictured above). It’s Nour’s polished spin on a McMuffin, made with house merguez sausage, fried egg, batata harra hash brown, and toum. Divine.
What happens when you charge a fine-dining chef with creating your brunch? You get Calla, that’s what. This light and sunny spot is tucked away in the backwood of unassuming Pyrmont, and is led by Max Bean (Est, The Bridge Room) and Vicky Melitas (Palings, Bar Topa, Little Bistro). Expect house-made smoked-salmon terrine and a breakfast crème brûlée, alongside brown-butter scrambled eggs and house-made pork sausages. Back it all up with Bean’s perfect made to order brown butter madeleines, served with strawberry and quince cream
We’re also keen to sample their brand new dark chocolate and truffle thick shake. It’ll be available from Saturday 27 June, and it’s made with real black Tasmania truffles infused in cream for 24 hours. Swoon.
The first thing you’ll notice at Benzin Cafe is cars. “The core people here at Benzin are all car enthusiasts and we created this place for the car enthusiast community themselves,” says Benzin co-founder Daniel Karjadi. “A place where the groups and clubs can hang out during their meetups and get-togethers”. Even if you’re not a hot rod, Benzin is a solid spot for brunch.
On the menu, there are staples, like avo bruschetta, eggs your way, and an acai bowl with fresh fruit. But if you’re ready to branch out, the homemade green tea waffles with poached pear, green tea icecream and pistachio are, in a word, a dream.
It’s all about the good feels at this Northside brunch spot. It’s also all about a butter-roasted lobster tail bagel with poached eggs and crustacean hollandaise—exactly the sort of over the top brunch concept we’re into. Right now, their wintertime truffle menu has us drooling too.
The Grounds Of Alexandria
The Grounds of Alexandria is a must-do Sydney experience. Expect beautiful flower stalls, epic coffee, and a menagerie of farm animals. The breakfast dishes change seasonally, but a regular on the menu is a steak and eggs creation that’ll have any human weak at the knees.
Sydney’s brunch game turned up ten-fold when Blackwood Pantry landed on the scene. Go for the Turkish poached eggs with yoghurt, chimichurri, paprika, oil, and mixed mushrooms, or the sweet potato and carrot fritters.
Oceans is a spot to be wooed by the sweet and salty air of the beach over weekend brunch. Sure, if you live on the Northern Beaches maybe this is your lucky lot in life—but us city folk dream of mornings like this. As well as saddling Narrabeen Beach, Oceans has an extensive brunch menu that covers off tried and true basics like eggs bene, ricotta pancakes, and a perfect brekky wrap with runny fried egg, smashed avo, and housemade chilli jam. Our top pick? The crunchy corn and sweet potato fritters served with labne and gently roasted cherry tomatoes.
For a perfect pit stop on the way to work, Surry Hills veterans always choose Reuben Hills. The boutique coffee roaster turned café has strong industrial vibes, a mezzanine roastery, and a gentle stream of sunlight pouring in from the back lane. Order the broken omelette roll with fried shrimp, rocket, bacon jam, and chipotle aioli on a milk bun. Wash it down with Reuben’s espresso of the day for a next-level kickstart.
DARLINGHURST, SURRY HILLS AND BONDI BEACH
Bill Granger might as well be responsible for kicking off the brunch trend in Sydney. Bills is an institution—set up in 1993, the scrambled eggs here are still some of the city’s best. It’s also a place where everyone finds it acceptable to indulge in a spiced Bloody Mary at 10am (another reason it should be on this list). As well as those glossy eggs, Bills’ famous ricotta hotcakes topped with banana and honeycomb butter is one of Sydney’s most famous dishes. It doesn’t get any better than this.
Went To See The Gypsy
ALEXANDRIA AND POTTS POINT
From the masterminds behind Gypsy Espresso comes Went to See the Gypsy—an eatery that’s popped up in both Alexandria and Potts Point, serving up classic dishes with a slight twist. Step in as your nose fills up with the aroma of freshly brewed espresso and spices. The scrambled egg and bacon baguette with jalapeno mayo will send your taste buds shooting through the roof.
WATERLOO AND PARRAMATTA
And, if it’s an Instagram opp you’re after, Sydney’s famous Social Hideout—otherwise known as the Willy Wonka of cafes—is a spot for over the top feeds and ‘Gram worthy scenery. Here, you’ll find an all-day brunch that includes the likes of matcha green tea French toast with red velvet mascarpone, berries, and caramelised banana. Bonus points for their flower walls so you can get the most aesthetically-pleasing picture.
Love fried chicken? Here’s a list of Sydney’s very best juicy fried chicken.