Breakfast is the closest thing we have to a national cuisine. Here we pay tribute to Sydney’s best; places shaping the very definition of the pre-midday meal. Others we’ve selected for consistent performance – they’ve nailed the classics and learnt how to handle the crowds that follow.


Some are big, some are small. Some are secluded neighbourhood prizes, others pull customers from across the city. But they all have one thing in common: they represent the best morning dining Sydney has to offer.

Related pages:
Best Unconventional Breakfasts in Sydney
Best Coffee in Sydney
Best Bakeries in Sydney
Best Croissants in Sydney

A1 Canteen

Of course Clayton Wells, the wunderkind behind Automata, also has game at breakfast. At his daytime eatery, we're into the blue swimmer crab and XO chilli omelette with garlic rice.

The Old Rum Store 2-10 Kensington Street, Chippendale
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Cavalier 2.0

The most creative, well-executed menu anywhere on the Lower North Shore. One plate has a dollop of burrata – flown in weekly from Napoli – alongside roasted apricot jam, all swimming in curry leaf oil and served with dark rye sourdough.

96–97 545 Pacific Highway, St Leonards

Kurumac

Kirribilli’s Cool Mac crew bring cod roe melts and soba noodles to the inner west.

107 Addison Road, Marrickville

Devon Cafe

Whether you hit up the Surry Hills, Barangaroo or North Sydney location, you're in for much the same thing: rich, flavoursome food that's wilfully ignorant of the boundaries between cuisines. The menu's real mainstay is Breakfast with the Sakuma’s – a log of miso grilled salmon, a 63-degree egg, smoked eel croquettes and radish salad.

76 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills

Bills Bondi

Bill Granger didn't invent avo toast, but he's certainly responsible for popularising it. Ditto for ricotta hotcakes. His breezy, licensed cafes (also in Darlo and Surry Hills) are still some of the best places in Sydney for a daytime meal, regardless of tastes or dietary requirements.

79 Hall Street, Bondi
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Quick Brown Fox Eatery

Dressed up and unconventional all-day meals in a laid-back and sunny setting.

22 Union Street, Pyrmont

Little Jean

Even in the age of food designed for Instagram, Little Jean's artful platings stand out. The thing is, each creative dish tastes as good as it looks, whether you opt for a buckwheat crepe with seasonal fruits; or comforting dukkah eggs with hash browns.

1 Kiaora Lane, Double Bay
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Bread & Circus

Health-focused food doesn't usually taste this good, nor have a sense of humour about itself. Try the Breakfast with Gwyneth: two fried biodynamic eggs with sauteed quinoa, kale, spinach, garlic and chilli. Or maybe a beautiful fruit plate.

21 Fountain Street, Alexandria

Boon Cafe and Jarern Chai

The breakfast menu here offers traditional congee, Thai egg dishes and a selection of toasts.

1/425 Pitt Street, Haymarket

Lankan Filling Station

Lankan's morning meal is not your typical smashed avo with poached eggs. Even dishes that sound familiar aren’t really. The crisp fried egg roll, for example, is dolloped with fermented chilli sauce and pol sambol.

Ground Floor 58 Riley Street, Darlinghurst

Lox Stock and Barrel

For bagels and all kinds of pickled, cured and smoked New York deli-style dishes.

140 Glenayr Avenue, Bondi
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Saga

Andy Bowdy's chaotic, beautiful cakes will no doubt draw your eye as you enter his cafe. Do yourself a favour, though, and take some time to look at the concise menu, which features corn pudding topped with a poached egg and potato latkes (pancakes) with cured salmon.

178 Enmore Road, Enmore

Nour

If you're looking for something to disrupt your egg-and-bacon routine, this Middle Eastern restaurant is just the ticket. Breakfast is available Sundays only, but it's one of the best in town. Try the Baalbek fried eggs. Three eggs are cooked so that when poked the yolk erupts over tahini, lamb and flatbread.

490 Crown Street, Surry Hills
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Paramount Coffee Project

This architecturally striking cafe has food to match the sophistication of its surrounds. Order the classic avo on sourdough, made here with cucumber ribbons and "everything bagel" seasoning. For the less health-conscious, there's also a killer fried chicken waffle with maple bacon gravy.

80 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills

Shuk

The three owners of Shuk serve the kind of meals that they ate with their families in Israel. Which is to say, a modern interpretation with a few global influences. Great – but we still love the classic shakshuka or slow-cooked lamb with hummus.

2 Mitchell Street, North Bondi
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Rising Sun Workshop

For inimitable breakfast ramen with a buttered-toast broth, bacon and eggs.

1c Whateley Street, Newtown
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Reuben Hills

Central and South America are the jumping off points for this unusual menu, where unfamiliar but entirely delicious dishes such as "choripan" (an Argentinian hot dog, essentially) are the stars. Also, the fried chicken is a classic.

61 Albion Street, Surry Hills

Three Blue Ducks Bronte

Former fine-dining chefs lighting up Bronte and Rosebery with light, fresh and zingy takes on familiar breakfast dishes.

143 Macpherson Street, Bronte
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Blackwood Pantry

Pan-fried barramundi with crispy skin at 8am? Done. Or maybe grilled octopus with charred eggplant and za'atar flatbread? Easy.

5/33 Surf Lane, Cronulla

Dead Ringer

Bottomless mimosas and cured salmon with labneh and dill on weekend mornings.

413 Bourke Street, Surry Hills
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Brickfields

Straight from the oven to your plate.

206 Cleveland Street, Chippendale

Fratelli Paradiso

Polished Italian breakfasts on a well-heeled street.

Bakery 12-16 Challis Avenue, Potts Point

Two Chaps

Mediterranean-influenced, vegetarian breakfasts and outstanding vegan doughnuts.

122 Chapel Street, Marrickville