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

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 Peruvian black beans with plantain; brown rice, almond and miso porridge; or comforting soft eggs with hash browns.

1 Kiaora Lane, Double Bay
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A1 Canteen

Of course Clayton Wells, the wunderkind behind Automata, also has game at breakfast. At his new daytime eatery, we're into the pillowy grilled mortadella and fried egg in a milk bun, and the eggs on English muffin with chipolata-like pork sausages from neighbour LP’s Quality Meats. Revolutionary? No. Detailed? Intensely.

The Old Rum Store 2-10 Kensington Street, Chippendale

Cavalier 2.0

The most creative, well-executed menu anywhere on the Lower North Shore. Where else can you eat passionfruit tiramisu; mac’n’cheese with mushroom cream; and a house-made smoked ricotta-burrata hybrid with agave juice and Jerusalem artichoke crisps?

96–97 545 Pacific Highway, St Leonards

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 Beach
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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

The Grounds of the City

Ordinary, extraordinary and everything in between in a 1920s theme-park 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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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 breakfast rice and potato latkes (pancakes) with smoked salmon.

178 Enmore Road, Enmore

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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Efendy

$35 per person gets you a full Turkish spread, including pastries, cheeses, olives, fruit, sausages and more – thick, granular and heavily caffeinated coffee included.

79 Elliott Street (corner of Darling Street), Balmain
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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 Honduran baleada (a quesadilla, 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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Cornersmith Marrickville

Few eateries live local and seasonal like Cornersmith in Marrickville and Annandale. Owners Alex Elliot-Howery and James Grant have a real thing for local community and bygone practices such as preserving. Their philosophy presents beautifully on the plate.

314 Illawarra Road, Marrickville

Yellow

On weekend mornings it ditches vegetarian fine dining for the most decadent brunches you've ever seen. If you'd like to splash out $45, for example, you can have abalone with mushroom, egg yolk and truffle.

57 Macleay Street, Potts Point

Blackwood Pantry

Keen for cider-braised mussels at 8am? Done. Or maybe mascarpone French toast with pistachio coconut crumble and lemon verbena-poached rhubarb? Easy.

5/33 Surf Lane, Cronulla

Dead Ringer

Bottomless mimosas and grilled mackerel on weekend mornings.

413 Bourke Street, Surry Hills
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Wolfe and Co.

It's sloppy as hell, but hot damn that breakfast burger is good.

538 Old Northern Road, Dural

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
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