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Where to get brunch in the CBD

While the city is rich in breakfast foods, the CBD doesn’t always like to party on the weekend. Here are our top picks for Saturdays and Sundays in the city

Photograph: Amanda Summons

Whether you're up for a food forage at the market, fancy an artery-hardening fry-up or desire something more civilised to break your fast (caviar and soft boiled eggs anyone?), we've got you covered. 

If you're out and about in town, you may as well check out Melbourne's best CBD bars. In fact, why not make a weekend of it and stay in one of our swanky boutique hotels?  

The best brunches in the CBD

Bowery to Williamsburg

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.

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Melbourne

Cumulus Inc

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.

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Melbourne

The European

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.

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Melbourne

The Grain Store

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. 

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Melbourne

The Hardware Societe

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. 

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Melbourne

Manchester Press

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.

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Melbourne

Middle Fish

Middle Fish kicks it Southern Thai street-hawker-style.  They've put a twist on your standard café breakfast here, uniting som tum with great coffee. Get the roti with avo, barley, tahini yogurt and fried eggs – or you can brunch on traditional Thai like kao tom; brown rice in chicken broth with asian herbs and a poached egg.

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Carlton

Operator 25

Take the rare chance to alight at Flagstaff Station for the best morcilla sausage in the city, served with eggs, buttery cornbread and house-made baked beans. Or cut straight to the veal osso bucco – tender meat, rich jus and perfectly cooked kale. The Code Black coffee is killer, but there are Sample beers if you’re so inclined.

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Melbourne

Shark Fin Inn

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. 

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Melbourne

Threefold Foodstore and Eatery

The little venue on Flinders Lane is all rustic wooden benches, overflowing planter boxes, and bookshelves artfully stacked with jams, wines and cookbooks. Boiled eggs, no longer the sole domain of five year olds and spinsters, are on the menu. They come with fingers of chewy parmesan bread for dipping into the golden yolks. There are tarts, pies and huge mountains of pulse-packed salads for lunch, but we're suckers for a simple toastie, stuffed with smoked mozzarella and tomato. 

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Melbourne

Queen Victoria Market

We're big fans of grazing our way around the Queen Vic markets on a Saturday. Grab a coffee from the new Market Lane stall in the deli hall, (or the original near McDonalds outside) then pick up either an almond croissant or a doughnut from the jam van or the Doughboys stand next to the Mercat. Come 11am, we'll back it up with a bratwurst.

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Melbourne

In the 'burbs? Try these instead

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