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

Cornersmith Annandale

Cafe

Just like the Marrickville original but with a deli, picnic boxes and a completely vegetarian menu.

88 View Street, Annandale

The Grounds of the City

Cafe

Ordinary, extraordinary and everything in between in a 1920s Orient Express like setting. We'd expect nothing less from the canny operators of Sydney's most successful cafe.

500 George Street, Sydney
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Happyfield

Cafe

Get "proper" pancakes topped with real maple syrup, “happy” eggs with an assortment of sides and a Canadian take on the Bloody Mary (complete with Clamato juice and Canadian vodka) at this sunny cafe.

96 Ramsay Street, Haberfield

Soulmate

Cafe

An unpretentious corner cafe serving all day crowd-pleasers and Single O Coffee. Batch brew on tap – served cold, hot, or topped with whipped cream – is about as fancy as it gets here. For food, try the comforting black-sausage sanga, or the vegan tofu scrambled “eggs”.

39 Phillip Street, Newtown

Kurumac

Cafe

Japanese comfort food by the Cool Mac crew. Coffee paired with onigiri, a staple Ox tongue curry, and the occasional ramen pop-up has turned this minimal joint into a weekend destination. On a Saturday morning, the footpath outside gets crowded.

107 Addison Road, Marrickville

Devon Cafe

Cafe

Whether you hit up the 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 Sakuma’s – a log of miso grilled market fish, a 63-degree egg, smoked eel croquettes and seasonal salad.

76 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills

Bills Bondi

Cafe

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

Stix

Cafe

You’ll find this cafe and grocer in an old loading dock in Marrickville’s backstreets. Behind the roller doors is a sleek space with high-vaulted ceilings and dark timber tables. On the menu, there’s something for everyone’s tastes. Apart from seafood, every ingredient is sourced from owner David “Stix” Allison’s farm just outside Sydney.

20 Chapel Street, Marrickville

Paramount Coffee Project

Cafe

This architecturally striking cafe has food to match the sophistication of its surrounds. Order the classic avo on sourdough, made here with house-dried tomatoes 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

Rising Sun Workshop

Cafe

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

1c Whateley Street, Newtown

Quick Brown Fox Eatery

Cafe

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

22 Union Street, Pyrmont

Brickfields

Cafe

Fennel-seed studded sangas, flaky croissants and pastries, and some of the best bread around. Straight from the oven to your breakfast plate.

206 Cleveland Street, Chippendale

Reuben Hills

Cafe

Central and South America are the jumping off points for this unusual menu, where unfamiliar but entirely delicious dishes such as huevos divorciados (fried egg tostadas with smoked cheese and salsa) show up regularly. Also, the fried chicken is a classic.

61 Albion Street, Surry Hills

Circa Espresso

Cafe

One of Sydney's first new-wave cafes is still going strong, with its Middle Eastern-influenced menu and consistently great coffee. The Ottoman eggs – poached eggs with crumbed eggplant and garlic labneh on house-baked bread – has been a staple since the early days.

21 Wentworth Street, Parramatta

Two Chaps

Cafe

Mediterranean-influenced, vegetarian breakfasts and outstanding vegan doughnuts.

122 Chapel Street, Marrickville

Boon Cafe and Jarern Chai

Cafe

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

1/425 Pitt Street, Haymarket

Mayflower

Cafe

Enter this extravagant cafe in a corner art deco building – featuring a striking Keeley Baird (from Something More Design) fit-out and a mural by artist Andrew Dennis – for a menu designed by an ex-Momofuku Seibo chef.

2/203A Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst

Lankan Filling Station

Restaurant

Lankan's morning meal is not your typical smashed avo with poached eggs. We’re talking sweet hoppers with whipped coconut and caramelised jaggery (unrefined sugar), and a not-so-classic jaffle brushed with curry leaf butter and filled with a weekly changing curry.

Ground Floor 58 Riley Street, Darlinghurst
Order on Providoor

Lox Stock and Barrel

Cafe

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

140 Glenayr Avenue, Bondi

Saga

Cafe

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, especially the sangas. Our favourite? The Alex B: a herb crumbed eggplant schnitzel, parmesan custard, passata, basil and melted mozzarella wonder.

178 Enmore Road, Enmore

Nour

Restaurant

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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Shuk

Cafe

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

Blackwood Pantry

Cafe

Fenugreek-crusted chicken schnitzel at 8am? Done. Or maybe grilled octopus with charred baby peppers, saffron confit tomatoes, labneh, and side of toasted za'atar flatbread? Easy.

5/33 Surf Lane, Cronulla

Bread & Circus

Cafe

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

Dead Ringer

Restaurant

Bottomless mimosas and a set menu starring dishes such as cured salmon, pickled fennel and labneh on weekend mornings.

413 Bourke Street, Surry Hills
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Fratelli Paradiso

Cafe

Polished Italian breakfasts at the leafy, Paris end of Potts Point.

Restaurant 12-16 Challis Avenue, Potts Point
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Valentina’s

Cafe

A sophisticated American-style diner that's all about the sort of fuss-free food that you’d find in a New York or LA diner: biscuits and gravy, vegan sloppy joes, fish-finger sandwiches and pancakes.

132 Livingstone Road, Marrickville

Cavalier 2.0

Cafe

The most creative, well-executed menu anywhere on the Lower North Shore. The food offering changes regularly, as does the coffee – it’s a who’s-who of the country’s most exciting artisan roasters.

96–97 545 Pacific Highway, St Leonards

Cool Mac Cafe

Cafe

Where else can you get a cheese melt with a plate of katsu or ochazuke? The dining space doubles as a gallery spruiking a rotation of Sydney artists. Anything goes at this long-standing Kirribilli joint; a Japanese through-line brings it all together.

2/ 34 Burton Street, Kirribilli

The Fold

Cafe

A family-run Sri Lankan eatery serving hoppers, coconut roti, curries, four types of sambol and a divine pastry offering.

403 New Canterbury Road, Dulwich Hill

Small Talk

Cafe

This laid-back neighbourhood cafe in Dulwich Hill has a reputation for its great coffee – but it’s the fantastic baked goods that keep us coming back. Focaccia, sugar-dusted doughnuts, plus some of the best bagels in town.

2 355 New Canterbury Road, Dulwich Hill

Room 10

Cafe

This tiny Potts Point institution counts a couple of Sydney’s top chefs among its legion of fans. Neil Perry and Josh Niland both hail its classic brunch fare and Mecca coffee – best enjoyed al fresco in the picturesque laneway.

10 Llankelly Place, Potts Point