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Continental Breakfast at Bespoke Wine Bar & Kitchen at the Oval Hotel
Photograph: Supplied/Adelaide OvalContinental Breakfast at Bespoke Wine Bar & Kitchen at the Oval Hotel

The best breakfasts in Adelaide

As the sun hits the spires in the City of Churches, early rising Adelaidians flock to the town’s favourite eateries to welcome the day with these breakfast rituals

Marianne Waller
Written by
Marianne Waller

Don’t come to Adelaide if you don’t love birds. A zillion adorable alarm clocks will have you up at dawn in search of outstanding coffee, halloumi, smashed avo, spelt crumpets and berry-studded pancakes in cafés on the leafy streets and in parks. Adelaide is a city of tree walks and nature trails – even the CBD and suburbs are stuffed with parks and gardens. And cafés. At the end of each brave pre-prandial hobble or electro-scoot about town, there’s a lovely breakfast spot for all seasons. 

Any café worth its black lava salt can do a perfect poached egg over sourdough and house-cured bacon, but is there a potoroo snuggled at your feet, or a chortling maggie praising your bed-head while you sip your acai smoothie? And if you’re outdoors, you’ll still get to enjoy the endeavours of chefs and cooks who celebrate exquisite, sustainably grown local produce. Here are 11 of the best breakfasts you can get in Adelaide.

Start your Adelaide day the right way

  • Things to do
  • Markets
  • Adelaide Central

Best for: Every. Damn. Thing. 
Eat this: See above.
Perks: It’s undercover, free, and Chinatown’s right next door.

After a long night on the Barossa reds you may feel 150 years old. But make the effort. This Adelaide institution has been around just as long and blasts away morning-after malaise better than a Berocca and a lie-in. Shouty vendors will sell you a glowing tangerine or a fancy banana from more than 70 stalls with the freshest fruit and veges. Nibble unctuous Brie, sweet balsamic figs or a stick of spicy cabana while you stock up on fresh kataifi from the Providore. Embrace the laminex aesthetic at Asian Gourmet for the alpha and omega of laksas and watch the world forage. Grab a seat at Lucia’s or Zuma or Big Table for exceptional coffee and a gourmet fry-up. Walk and wonder with Sunmi’s spring onion pancakes, or half a dozen fresh local oysters from Angelakis. Open every Tuesday through to Saturday, Adelaide Central Market is an earlybird feast for every sense. They even do a two-hour Breakfast Tour that'll show you all the good stuff.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Adelaide Central

Best for: Modern Australian food that’s artful yet authentic.
Eat this: Raisin toast with whipped ricotta and stewed rhubarb.
Perks: It’s just a 5-minute walk to the Central Market.

Not every former bank in SA is a crime scene. Crack Kitchen’s light-filled, Scandi-fabulous spaces serve perfectly poached eggs, great coffee, and delicious, exquisitely styled plates of seasonal produce, creatively reimagined. Their sourdough vanilla waffle will make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck (in a good way) with its milk sorbet, chocolate and salted caramel topping, and warm and informed staff will even bring you bubbles if you fancy. 

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Glenelg South

Best for: Fiercely local all-day breakfast and groceries.
Eat this: Beet on rye with sticky balsamic and roasted walnuts.
Perks: Sunny garden dining, followed by a virtuous beach walk.

This renovated Victorian corner house provides Adelaide’s planet-loving morning people with local, ethically grown fare magicked into modern breakfast staples that satisfy every corner of your soul. Owner Lee Boys has created a bustling, dog-friendly community-with-a-conscience for vegans, vegos, and ’vores of every stripe without a hint of earnest Birkenstock. We can’t get over the pancakes with berry compôte, sumptuous mascarpone and a fresh flower sprinkle. Big ticks for the virtuoso baristas and the option to add a nip of SA Ginny Pig gin to your juice. 

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Belair

Best for: Pre- or post-bushwalk breakfast, all day.
Eat this: Field mushrooms with Onkaparinga pesto chèvre.
Perks: A five-minute walk to historic Belair train station and park trails.

A train runs every 30 minutes up the hill to Belair National Park. On arrival, eager ramblers fuel up first at the Sheoak. Sit for avos smashed with pea purée, grilled asparagus and saltbush dukkah paired with fresh-squeezed juices. Then go walkies with a breakfast bagel stuffed with the eggs, salmon and veg of your choice. On the return trip, pop in for an excellent coffee or restorative smoothie of the day. The hills, and you, are alive!

  • Restaurants
  • Vietnamese
  • Woodville

Best for: No-frills late breakfast soup.
Eat this: Broken Rice Combination.
Perks: Trackie dacks and flip-flops welcome.

The western suburbs are famous for pho, but it’s the outstanding broth in this busy, family-run restaurant that makes every bowl a deeply flavourful start for late risers. Try the Phnom Penh Soup with its little quail egg treasure tucked in among juicy prawns. Also freshest, pillowy bao, stuffed with crackly pork or tofu, crisp herbs and homemade pickles. Pair them with an avo smoothie or a nice pot of hot tea and you’ll feel right at home wherever you’re from.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Mile End

Best for: Thoughtful, inventive seasonal food.
Eat this: Mixed berry porridge with poached whole saffron pear and banana ricotta.
Perks: An outdoor happy space to dine with kids and pups.

A go-to for devoted, easy-going breakfasters, Mr Sunshine’s offers bubbles, Bee Gees, Wild Cherry and Bloody Marys along with bacon and eggs and their famous halloumi and tomato sandwich. The eclectic, vintage quirk that defines its playlist also inspires the décor inside. The owners support a variety of good causes such as RSPCA Adelaide and Sea Shepherd. Expect great tunes, decent coffee and good vibes every day of the week.

  • Restaurants
  • Modern Australian
  • North Adelaide

Best for: Impressing yourself at an early hour.
Eat this: Pancakes with wood-roasted fruit compôte, curd and salted caramel.
Perks: Awe-inspiring VIP views inside the legendary Adelaide Oval.

This is a swishy, hushy new hotel, with imported statement lights and subdued musique. Breakfast is what you might expect – signature eggs benny, shakshuka, continental and full. So far, so so. What gives it the edge over other high-end hotel breakfast nooks is the sweeping, gobsmacking view of the Oval. You’re inside floor-to-ceiling plate glass, curled around the eastern stand, with a small, open-air lounge area among the corporate elite seats. If you can afford to stay on match days, it must be fabulous. But even when the Crows aren’t at home, it’s worth a gander. 

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Netherby

Best for: Coffee, coffee, coffee.
Eat this: Chilli-spiced eggs with halloumi and sumac lemon yoghurt.
Perks: No need to dress up first thing.

Don’t let appearances fool you. In the little hub they optimistically call ‘Highgate Village’, nestled among dentists and physios, is Mad Good Café. Impeccable sources insist that their talented baristas craft, hands down, the most “spectacular” coffee in the land. Go for the righteous Buddha Bowl, and stay for the eggs or the ridiculously good pancakes. 

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • West Richmond

Best for: Fancy seasonal food in a working-class ex-warehouse.
Eat this: Coconut sago with tangy raspberry gel, passionfruit and pistachio.
Perks: Big fridges stacked with local cult wines and pet nats, plus luxe coffee syrup.

If you can drag yourself away from the wine-label eye candy on the way in, or the brownie sandwich cookies stuffed with honeycomb buttercream, you’re a better person than we. This roomy, light-festooned spot is a hard favourite for those whose morning glory includes inventive, beautifully presented Mod Oz. Browse the succulents and groovy houseplants at Little Pricks, part of the “studio collective” housed behind the café. 

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Hackney

Best for: Glorious vegetation and abundant birdlife.
Eat this: Buttery fresh croissants.
Perks: Entrance to the Gardens is free.

Struggling to find your spreadsheets/lanyard/purpose in life? Fifty hectares of lush green magic and a slab of homemade banana bread might help. A decent coffee taken under an ancient oak or next to a glass Victorian palm house can work wonders. Simpson’s Kiosk (aka the Gardens Kiosk) sits at the heart of the perfectly formed, 150-year-old Gardens, right next to a super-birdy lake and marvellous architectural succulents. And it’s all just eight minutes’ walk from Rundle Mall. Forego the morning shower and forest bathe away the blues every day of the week.

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