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
Love brunch and want to find more places to dine? Be sure to check out our killer round-up of Sydney’s best bottomless brunches. Or if coffee is more your thing, why not explore Sydney’s diverse café scene by checking out some of the city’s best new cafés and coffee roasters. If you’re looking for the best brunch in Sydney, you’ve come to the right place. Stick with Sitchu and we’ll be your personal foodie guide.