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fluffy pancake at Edition Coffee Roasters
Photograph: Anna Kucera

The best breakfasts in Sydney

Because breakfast in Sydney isn't just a necessity, it's a way of life

Written by
Time Out editors
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Sydney's love for breakfast knows no bounds – we’ll queue for ages, seek out the most photogenic dishes and fight the corner of our favourite brunch spot with a passion. This is a city where the choices are many, but these are the dishes that are a cut above – think classics done right, new spins on eggs, coffee like liquid gold, menus that break new ground, and service that'll have you happy you rolled out of bed. Presenting Time Out's guide to the best breakfasts in Sydney.

More of a night owl? Check out the best new spots in Sydney to grab a drink.

The 29 best breakfasts in Sydney

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Parramatta
  • price 2 of 4

Order the: Ottoman eggs
This breakfast – fit for kings, queens and sultans – is all about texture: a base of garlicky labne, surrounded by brown butter and fried sage, is topped with a disc of eggplant fried in a katsu-like shell. It’s crisp and golden on the outside, meltingly tender on the inside and topped with two spot-on poached eggs and a nest of fried leek for crunch. House-baked focaccia takes it firmly into all-day breakfast-brunch territory. Throw in Parramatta’s best coffee and it’s a place to go back to, over and over.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Surry Hills
  • price 2 of 4

Order the: Avo Show
Single O has always been about pushing boundaries, be it championing single-origin beans way back when, or introducing a self-serve batch-brew bar stocked with four rotating single-origin coffees. The brew bar is part of a renovation that brings more seats and a menu overhaul that twists classics in new directions with native ingredients. There’s the crocodile “Croc-ettes”, for example, served with Japanese curry sauce, but the highlight is the avo show. We know that avocado toast isn't anything new to Sydney but this rendition of caraway seed rye, achiote cashew cheese, pickled jicama, seasoned crumb, chilli oil, and sweet lemon aspen gets our vote.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Newtown

Order the: Mushrooms on toast
This isn't your usual mushies on toast, oh no. The rich and buttery mix of portobello, king brown, enoki, whipped ricotta, garlic confit, white truffle oil all served on Brickfields rye is outstanding. The real kicker though is the mushroom “jerkey”, slow roasted, pressed leather of seasonal mushrooms are salty, chewy and give a killer umami hit.

  • Restaurants
  • Newtown

Order the: Tuna sandwich
If we're being honest, our favourite thing about a tuna sandwich is the mayo. The ratio of mayonnaise to fish at this Newtown favourite is outstanding; a two-hander that will require more than a few napkins and best eaten with impolite company. Wash it down with a Loggerhead cold brew and you've got a little bit of heaven, friend.

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  • Restaurants
  • Haymarket

Order the: Soufflé pancake
Taking inspiration from the ultra-light and fluffy Japanese spin on this classic breakfast dish, Edition’s cloud-like soufflé pancake is a must-order at the Scando-Japanese stalwart. Ultra-whipped, and rising high, the toppings change with the season – it might be mango, peach and cream cheese in summer, or sencha cream, rhubarb and elderflower in the spring. Whatever the flavour, the dish never fails to impress, nor does the dark, moody space or the exceptional coffee. Win. 

Kepos Street Kitchen
  • Restaurants
  • Redfern

Order the: Shakshuka
Kepos knows full well that in Sydney breakfast goes on well past midday, so the soft-baked eggs and tomato shakshuka headlines both the breakfast and lunch menus. Smart move. Two eggs with just-set whites and runny yolks land in a sea of spiced tomato and capsicum sauce sauce topped with generous spoonfuls of tahini and coriander. Believe us, order a second slice of toast. You’ll want it to mop up every last bit.

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  • Restaurants
  • Newtown

Order the: Breakfast ramen
Half motorcycle workshop, half café, Rising Sun Workshop does breakfast, lunch and dinner with a Japanese bent. That means katsu burgers and noodle soups at lunch, steak with ramen butter come dinner and a glorious bowl of ramen for breakfast. Said ramen starts with a big beautiful base of rich bone broth infused with buttered toast, then adds firm, stretchy noodles made to Rising Sun Workshop’s own specifications, and tops it off with a just-set onsen egg, shards of crisp bacon and charred tomato: savoury and ultra-comforting.

  • Restaurants
  • Chippendale
  • price 1 of 4

Order the: Broccoli sandwich
Brickfields supplies sourdough to a bevy of cafés around the city, and there are good things to be had on a slice of toast or two, but the broccoli sandwich is an institution for a reason. Fat roasted florets tossed through chilli oil, lemon and parmesan all served on a ciabatta roll sauced with chilli mayo. And of course there’s no leaving without ordering a Persian love cake, fragrant with spice and orange blossom. Breakfast dessert FTW.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Annandale

Order the: Scando breakfast
Do you prefer your morning meal to be as precise and segmented as an edible Lego set? The Scando breakfast at Cornersmith, everyone’s favourite community-focused café, is for you. A big wedge of gentle, creamy and slightly nutty Maffra cloth-bound cheddar, a piece of seasonal fruit and a dish of sweet apple and quince jam are joined by two finger-scalding boiled eggs, thinly sliced rye bread and a pat of Pepe Saya cultured butter. Approach it like a cheeseboard, turn it into eggs and soldiers, or treat it like a three-course toast tasting platter – there’s no wrong way to graze. And why not grab a jar of pickles for the road while you're at it?

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Sydney

Order the: Mi Goreng toastie
Dutch Smuggler is a hole in the wall that specialises in transforming slices of Infinity Bakery’s traditional tin loaf into killer toasties that demonstrate the stretching potential of good cheese. The best is the Mi Goreng, a genius collision of two great late-night snacks. Dutch Smuggler’s version squeezes in noodles, a fried egg, spring onions, a double meltdown of cheese (oozy mozzarella and sharp cheddar) and a mysterious “magic sauce” between crunchy triangles of bread. Originally a special, it now has permanent status on the menu. We reckon it deserves it.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Enmore

Order the: Raekwon sandwich
Saga is worth visiting for the outrageously beautiful cakes and pastries alone, but insane sandwiches are where it's at. Namely, the Raekwon. Glazed Ham, roast pork, habenero mustard, Swiss cheese, dill pickles, sweet pickled chilli, on toasted ciabatta is the Cubano that'll puthair on your chest with just the right amount of heat and zing from the layers of chilli and mustard.

  • Restaurants
  • Bronte
  • price 1 of 4

Order the: Sourdough chocolate croissant
A Sydney institution, Iggy’s is as renowned for its dark-crusted, moist-centred sourdough as it is for the queues out the door. But as much as we love tearing the end off a still-warm loaf on the way home, the sourdough croissants at the site of the original bakery make an even better breakfast. Flaky, seeping butter and with a crisp caramelised base, they're one heck of a mouthful, made more lush when the chocolate is still setting inside the warm shell. Add a filter coffee from the counter, then hit the ocean pool down at Bronte.

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  • Restaurants
  • Manly

Order the: Toast skagen
It's a good thing the menu at Fika is all-day, because it would be hard to wait until the afternoon to get your hands on one of Sydney's most sought-after iterations of something-on-toast. Here, a slice of sourdough comes loaded with prawn meat tossed in lemony mustard-mayo, studded with chives and fresh sprigs of dill and finished with a crown of radishes and a bright orange roe. What a wake-up call. 

  • Restaurants
  • Bondi Beach

Order the: Green pea pancake
This little café up the north end of Bondi Beach is always busy, but it’s well practised at handling the queues outside on weekends. While the chilli labne eggs are an honourable mention, the green pea pancakes are where it’s at. Will Smith is said to be a fan (if taking breakfast cues from the Fresh Prince is your thing), but we say you should order it for the crisp green base, the whipped feta, the house relish, the runny-yolked poached eggs and the ultra-fresh topping of avocado, snow pea shoots and herbs. Feeling dusty? Add a Bloody Mary. Garnished with cucumber, celery, pickles, tomatoes and lemon, it’s basically a meal in itself.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Alexandria

Order the: 'Milk and Honey' panna cotta
This corner spot understands the importance of condiments on a haloumi and egg roll. Not only is the bun spread with herby aioli to go with the fried egg, cheese and greens, there’s also a swipe of blackened tomato relish to brighten the whole situation. After something more adventurous than a brekky roll? Gerard has the answer in a signature dish of wobbly yoghurt panna cotta surrounded by a sea of berries, honeyed puffed rice and granola – call it breakfast dessert.

  • Restaurants
  • Marrickville

Order the: Green bowl
The signature waffles get a lot of airtime at this perenially packed, family-friendly corner spot in Marrickville, but there's a lot to be said for the zen-inducing green bowl. Shredded snowpeas, poached salmon, wakame and wasabi dressing are enough to atone for any number of sins. Undo that good work and grab a housemade chocolate chip cookies sprinkled with pink salt to finish.

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  • Bars
  • Bondi Beach

Order the: Bacon and egg roll
If you just want a simple, hand-held brekky it doesn’t get much better than a bacon and egg roll, and they make a very good one at the Shop, a little café and wine bar on Curlewis Street that’s the size of a walk-in-wardrobe. The kitchen is tiny, but they’ve got their systems sorted so that by the time your coffee is ready they’ve warmed up a soft, fresh brown roll, slapped aioli on both sides, daubed it with chipotle relish, crossed it with two bacon rashers and capped it off with a fresh poached egg.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Rosebery

Order the: Blood sausage with scrambled eggs
If you ignore the fact that you're essentially eating offal, the blood sausage with scrambled eggs, dill yoghurt and red currants by the Ducks is well worth it. A super hearty dish with the richness of the sausie and eggs is lightened by the herbs of the tart yoghurt and the sweet tang from the currents. It's been on the menu for years and we'll be the first to revolt if it ever comes off.

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  • Restaurants
  • Ashfield

Order the: Pork hash
It’s been years since we first went to Excelsior Jones, a café in the quiet suburban streets of Ashfield, and ordered the pork hash breakfast. That dish was a revelation. Pulled pork hock, crisp potatoes, eschalots and herbs topped with a poached egg. The latest version keeps the essentials but with a twist. An onion purée underscores a pile of salt-roasted potatoes and crisp pork meatballs topped with fresh herbs and that single perfect poached egg. Still as strong as ever.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • North Sydney

Order the: Omurice
Devon has something of a reputation for big flavours and Instabait (think truffled soft-serve with fries for breakfast), but there’s no denying the comfort factor in a plate of buttery, garlicky tomato rice topped with a just-set open omelette drowned in a savoury mushroom demi-glace. Too little? Add some chicken karaage for some crunch and heft. Too much? The green bowl holds the key to your breakfast pleasure.

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  • Restaurants
  • Surry Hills

Order the: 485 Breakfast Plate
This satisfying Middle Eastern plate of sour, salty and spicy things comes with a warm bagel or pita, which proves to be essential. Dip the dough of your choice in the small bowl of eggplant and capsicum baba ghanoush, labneh, marinated olives, pickles, a half boiled egg and pilpelchuma – a Libyan-Jewish chilli sauce.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Petersham

Order the: Brioche with Persian fairy floss 
You’ll see it stationed on every other table, and all over Instagram. And there are good reasons why the brioche piled with fruit, flowers and hot-pink fairy floss is the pin-up-pretty number that everyone wants to order at this Petersham café. Yes, it’s designed to rack up double taps and approving emojis, but this dish is actually delicious. Served like French toast, the brioche slices are dusted with crumbled pistachio and partly sealed with mascarpone. A ring of mixed berries, Canadian maple syrup and salted caramel surrounds the toast like a security detail. And the crown of Persian fairy floss tastes like pure rosewater, not the oversugared frizz you’ll find at carnivals. For a dessert with an OTT presence online, it’s a surprisingly balanced mix of sweetness, nuttiness and well toasted carbs.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Newtown
  • price 2 of 4

Order the: Fried brussel sprout salad
Salad? For breakfast? You bloody betcha. This wintry number is stick-to-your-ribs fare that will start any Sunday off right. Fried sprouts, green apple, lightly toasted hazelnuts and an Ortiz anchovy cream dressing makes this hearty dish an umami-packed flavour sensation.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Potts Point
  • price 1 of 4

Order the: Toast with sides
Room Ten is the place for when you just want breakfast straight up, no tweezers, no edible flowers, no fuss. That maybe goes some way to explaining the queues outside this local haunt that snake down Llankelly Place on weekend mornings. The toast with sides is another reason. Choose your bread, then add whatever takes your fancy: smoked trout, prosciutto, soft-boiled eggs, rightly seasoned smashed avocado, fresh tomatoes, feta... the list goes on. Yes, there’s a line, but the staff know how to move it, slotting punters into stools in the pokey place and reciting weekend specials with practised efficiency. Throw in good coffee, and this is the kinda place that made Sydney breakfasts such an international sensation in the first place.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Redfern

Order the: Lemon myrtle cured salmon
These guys understand that you can mess with the classics, but not too much – there are certain expectations when it comes to a café breakfast. Of course, you want silky scrambled eggs on sourdough, but here they are topping them with silky strips of lemon myrtle-cured salmon. The side salad of leafy greens, fennel and pickled cabbage sits like a healthy shrub on top of a sour swipe of natural yoghurt. In one dish you get the things you want as well as the things you need. Smart. 

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