The best brunches in the CBD
Here dashes of inventiveness characterise head chef Nate Wilkins’ day menu (ranging from $8.50 for toast to $26 for a Japanese fish broth). Avocado on sourdough is dressed with citrus salt, scrambled eggs come with curry leaf and housemade flat bread and a semolina porridge features dried plum and sesame. The kale salad is beautiful. Frilly kale – roasted to a gorgeous nuttiness – mingles with broccoli florets, mini brussels sprouts and flawless segments of avocado, the whole green melange sitting atop a creamy almond hummus.
It’s a classic and hard to get into, but we’re still suckers for the big bright space, the sweet salvation of fresh-baked madeleines or hefty bacon baps, and the availability of a good coffee – and better Bloody Marys.
Lots of natural light, large wooden tables and menus written on blackboards all work to give Sun Moth Canteen and Bar a relaxed, rustic vibe. It helps that it’s a big space tucked away from the main roads – it never feels crowded, even during the lunchtime rush, which is no small feat given the attractive powers of good coffee and free Wi-Fi.
Forget polystyrene boxes and trestle tables – Pickett’s Deli is a very cool customer, offering a wildly different class of market dining with marble benches and a herringbone floor. Breakfast gets cracking at 7am. Early birds can catch egg and bacon butties (the bacon is house-cured and smoked), ricotta hotcakes and even a breakfast ramen with a 63 degree egg and house barbequed pork.
Dusty days call for Sarawak cuisine. They’ve got a huge authentic Malaysian menu from fried noodles and fried rice to handmade kampua mee. Definitely give their 'Teh C special drink' a try; the three-layered milk tea is a local Sarawak favourite – with a base of palm sugar syrup, covered by evaporated milk and topped with red tea.
This is a go-hard-or-go-home breakfast situation. They have a dedicated dessert-brunch menu promising baked-to-order choc chip cookies and milk, or beef cheeks and vanilla parsnip puree at the other end of the spectrum.
You can't go past the Hardware Societe for all things gigantic and European. The Spanish-cum-French eatery was fire damaged last year, but they're back, with pans blazing, turning out your eggs with a casual side of trout en croute (wrapped in pastry) with a creamy lobster bisque. Y'know, standard stuff.
It’s all about the bagels for us at Manchester Press. Nutella, hazelnut and banana on a dough ring is about the best fist sized breakfast going – and you’ll need it if you plan to spend your Saturday queuing up for H & M.
The "original" Shark Fin restaurant has been offering up authentic Chinese food to Melbourne's city-goers since the '80s. Brunch on dumplings, dim sim and prawn toast at their daily yum cha.
Start your day the American way, with potential cardiac arrest. Challah – that egg-based golden braided bread – is fried and smothered in whipped peanut butter, roasted pear and candied popcorn. Or how about maple baked beans with a slab of bacon and poached eggs? Even the hot chocolate here gets peanut buttered – the way we like it.