If there’s one meal that Sydneysiders can’t get enough of, it’s brunch. Sweet or savoury, with stellar coffee… what’s not to love about the first meal of the day? From fine-dining to fast-and-furious, here are suggestions on where to refuel in the morning.
Cloud-like ricotta pancakes, loaded corn fritters, soft-shell-crab fried rice… these are the dishes that gain Bills its oh-so-loyal customer base. The original outlet is in Surry Hills, but there are also posts in Darlinghurst,Double Bay and Bondi. Of course, you can't talk about brunch in Sydney without mentioning The Grounds of Alexandria, a sprawling cafe, coffee roastery, florist, bakery, market and farm all in one. The morning menu ranges from classics like smashed avo on toast to more funky plates such as spiced shakshuka and salmon gribiche.
If you prefer a Continental-style start to the day, follow the lead of the French and opt for coffee and a top-notch pastry. Bourke Street Bakery is a Sydney institution, known for its devour-worthy sourdough and pork-and-fennel sausage rolls that take this street food to heavenly levels. Woolloomooloo's Flour and Stone serves up sourdough crumpets with ricotta and honeycomb, a flaky almond croissant or a cinnamon morning bun. Meanwhile in The Rocks, La Renaissance is renowned for its breakfast brioche, eclairs and macarons.
Kurtosh is all about its Hungarian chimney cakes, Brickfields makes impossibly flaky croissants and Brewtown Newtown is the place for an Instagram-worthy cronut. Make sure to snap a pic of Social Hideout’s brightly coloured acai bowls, pastel pancakes and red-velvet croissants.
And then there’s Rosebery’s Three Blue Ducks – think of this place as the jewel in the farm-to-table brunch crown. Menu items change regularly but look out for specials like hot-smoked king salmon with green-pea hummus, or pineapple-and-passionfruit bircher.
Along a wharf in Balmoral,The Boathouse is pretty as a picture, replete with a menu featuring the likes of pea fritters and coconut hotcakes. Its sister venue in Palm Beach also boasts a dreamy waterside setting. Opt for breakfast gnocchi with bacon at The Bower Manly, while looking out over Cabbage Tree Bay. Or order buttermilk waffles and jalapeno corn fritters at Next Door, located just steps from the sand in Cronulla.
Sydneysiders have enthusiastically adopted the Chinese tradition of yum cha – clanking carts, endless pots of tea and steaming wooden baskets of dumplings, spring rolls and chicken feet to satisfy your mid-morning cravings. Try Golden Century Restaurant (Sydney’s original yum-cha spot), East Ocean Seafood Restaurant, Zilver and The Eight in Chinatown. Or, head to East Phoenix in Zetland or Golden Unicornin Maroubra. Bring your elastic-waisted pants.
Want to sample Sydney’s best restaurants, but at a fraction of the cost you’d normally shell out at lunch or dinner? On Saturdays, start your day with pastries, coffee and seasonal galettes at Fred’s in Paddington. While on Sundays you can head to Icebergs Dining Room and Bar in Bondi for a multi-course brunch menu with the best view in town. See how many dolphins you can spot. Out west, Henri Marc does refined modern Australian cafe dishes. Expect creations like fresh vine ripe tomatoes with spiced chermoula and ricotta or poppyseed waffles with orange vanilla custard and almond crumble.
In Sydney, brunch can take you around the world. Rising Sun Workshop in Newtown has unbelievable Japanese-style buns and omelettes on the menu. Lankan Filling Station in East Sydney gives you flavourful Sri Lankan faves to start the day. Shuk in Bondi is unbeatable for Israeli cuisine. Channel the Middle East at Kepos Street Kitchen in Redfern, where you can begin your day with shakshuka (baked eggs in spiced tomato sauce) or sardines on rye with pickled onions and a soft-boiled egg. Meanwhile, at Devon, you can channel Asia with coconut-jam toast and Japanese omelette sandos.
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