Breakfast claims to be the most important (and delicious) meal of the day, so why would you settle for cereal and a banana? Well you’ll need to trust us on this one, leave the house and head for the west (the inner west, that is) because this corner of Sydney is a treasure trove for deliciously strong espressos, sustainable cafés and some good old fashioned community charm.
Plus, people in the west are generally friendlier (fact), which we happily credit to their delicious coffee. Who wouldn’t be happy with an endless supply of great coffee on their doorstep?
Revolver is the neighbourhood café that’ll have you coming back again and again for their breakfast menu, focused on locally sourced produce and quality dishes. All of the meat is small farm pasture fed, the eggs are organic and the fruit and vegetables are sourced with the same amount of care. Continuing with the thoughtful theme, Revolver looks after anyone suffering the curse of food intolerance, with a menu that makes it easy to choose your next meal.
If not for the hearty breakfast menu, then head to West Juliett for their massive cookies instead. Or make like us and treat yourself to both. The menu includes simple, rustic dishes made from the week’s market haul like soft scrambled eggs, cured salmon, sorrel, yoghurt and fennel on toast or the halloumi egg roll with wilted greens and chilli marmalade aioli. The coffee beans are by All Press and pair perfectly with their house made pastries, just sayin’.
The brewnuts should be enough to lure you to Newtown’s prime café, Brewtown Newtown but if they aren’t, I feel like I don’t know you at all anymore. I’ll just assume that you’ll head there for the treats, which they bake in house, by the way, along with their own coffee blend (also roasted onsite). When you walk in, you’ll be greeted by friendly faces and a quick offer of coffee, which I’m sure you will all appreciate. Then you’ll have to decide between the slow cooked quince with spelt porridge, gingerbread and liu sha custard and the baked eggs with taleggio and preserved lemon. Or you know, just order both and be done with it.
A roller garage door is all that stands between you and the seriously lovely people and crazy good coffee at Two Chaps. It’s the kind of place that buys local, cares about sustainability and manages to wrap it all up in a delicious ravioli wrapper. For breakfast you could go all out and order the blackberry crumpets with apple and rhubarb compote, sour cream, sweet pickled apple and candied pistachio. Or you could opt for something a little bit more conservative and order the avocado toast with goats feta, shaved zucchini, kale and za’atar tapenade, pops of pomegranate and fried chickpeas (ah okay, so semi-conservative). Really, the choice is yours. For bonus points pick up a bag of their coffee beans (roasted by their very own The Blind Coffee Roaster), because man, that stuff is GOOD.
Petty Cash Café
A retro breakfast experience is on the cards when you visit Petty Cash Café, with dishes like apricot and marshmallow slice and eggs benedict on the menu. They also have more contemporary dishes on offer so, if that’s more your style, you should probably order the tofu scramble with vegies, tamari, harissa, toasted sesame seeds and toast. The coolest thing here though, is that they make literally everything onsite (except for the bread) and we don’t just mean jams and dressings, but also lemonade, sausage rolls, mayo and mustard. Talk about fresh.
Marrickville & Annandale
Cornersmith is a Sydney café that you MUST visit if you haven’t already. I don’t care which side of whatever bridge you come from because Cornersmith is worth crossing them all for. No two menus are ever the same, but there is always a sweet and savoury toast option that is consistently the same level of awesome, with a perfect blend of pickle, nut, sprout and yolk porn that will make all of your breakfast dreams come true. They serve Mecca coffee and do they ever, with filter and espresso options available—each crafted with care and served with a smile.
Goblin Kitchen & Bar
Hidden in the residential area of Summer Hill, Goblin is a coffee haven headed up by Eliot Ritchie (formerly of Longrain, Onde and Jaspers). The menu changes with the seasons, but also maintains a high standard of locally sourced produce and great coffee, which is the ideal combination in our opinions. The menu errs on the heavier side of the spectrum, but definitely caters to the health conscious folk alike, with paleo granola sitting alongside ricotta hotcakes on the menu.
Camperdown & Leichhardt
With two outposts, it’s safe to say that Store Espresso has got the Inner West well and truly covered. The menu hints at their Mediterranean influences, and you can find yourself tucking in to one of their many varieties of scrambled eggs. No really, there is Italian (with crispy pancetta, diced tomato, parsley and provolone), Moroccan (with Merguez sausage, harissa chickpea, crushed avocado and fetta) or a more classic Aussie take with smashed eggs, rocket, smoked ham, aioli and cheddar. That is only the tip of the breakfast iceberg, but know this: you can always count on their house coffee blend, which is roasted locally (and regularly).
Rising Sun Workshop
Sydney’s first communal motorbike workshop and ramen bar should be a confusing concept, but when you walk into this Inner West hive of activity, it’ll make perfect sense. What originally started as a pop-up, has now grown in to Rising Sun Workshop; a community driven hub that is welcoming and frankly, just serves awesome food. They’re happy to cater to any and all of your crazy dietary requirements and take advantage of Sydney’s local roasters, smokers, brewers, growers, winemakers and distillers. Noteworthy menu choices are the breakfast ramen of buttered toast broth, bacon, egg and tomato and the Bangkok bacon and eggs, which is a deep fried egg with pork belly, green chilli, greens and rice cake.
A throwback to the Australian milk bars of the 50s and primary school tuck shops, Daisy's is serving the kind of classics that make our hearts swoon. One of the cutest cafes in Sydney, take a seat in one of their colourful booths, and order a creaming soda spider with an all-Aussie burger replete with beetroot, pineapple and fried egg. For the sweet tooths, there's an epic choc fudge sundae (Sundae Smackdown) or ice cream sandwich, which we're pretty happy about! Yes there truly is something about Daisy’s.
Keep calm and catch a carriage to Cuckoo Callay. Nestled among the handlebar moustaches in the heritage-listed site of Newtown train station, CC is an express to one of Sydney’s best breakfasts. The menu has been mastered with listings like the green eyed monster (sautéed green beans, broccolini and kale with spicy chermoula, avocado, creamy labneh, lime, dukkah and a 63 degree poached egg), pretty in pink (raspberry granola, panna cotta, pomegranate and raspberry coulis) and the AM mimosa (Paul Louis sparkling wine, fresh OJ, lemon and mint). Next stop, delicious town.
The Hunter Works
This 'burb has a lot to brag about: hotels that go by one word identities (The Lodge, The Cottage, The Exchange), famous former residents (do the names Dawn Fraser and Rose Byrne ring a bell?), the best looking-retro jersey in Rugby League history and now a cute courtyard café, with a quirky, no-kitchen-required approach to cooking. What it lacks in baking, boiling and BBQing facilities, it more than makes up with in bacon. Think a bacon and egg roll with bacon jam, poached eggs, bacon (yes, more bacon) and greens or one of the many bagel brekkies including a reuben and a smoked salmon option.
A must-visit when in Balmain, Kafeine is the perfect Sydney café to grab a delicious breakfast and coffee. With gluten-free cakes, healthy lunch offerings (crushing on the crispy skin salmon with 65 degree egg, brown rice salad, pickled ginger and asparagus) and lovely latte art - you’ll get enough Insta ops to break the internet without making an ass of yourself.
Brighton The Corner
Set your GPS to “one of the inner west’s best dining destinations” and you’ll be directed to this corner café which is (as the name suggests) settled at the intersection of two streets. While your Navman will be able to instruct you to which exit you should take, it’s our duty to point you to the best plates to pick. In our humble opinion, these include a vegetarian stack with grilled halloumi, a soft poached egg and drizzle of basil oil or the epic ciabatta with a pork and fennel sausage, caramalised onion, a fried egg, Swiss cheese, relish and mayo.
Mr. is a cafe and bar hybrid which means from 10am onwards, you can get some mid-morning cocktails to go with your breakfast. Aside from that, this place is pretty great, our top menu picks being the savoury granola topped with roasted mushroom, a beautiful little baby buratta and pickled chilli, or the Newtowner beer beef brisket (so inner west amirite?) with a fried egg and slaw. We are firm believers that what separates a good café from a great cafe, is their cake/cookie/sweet selection, and the goodies at Mr. always impress with salted choc-chip, peanut and cranberry cookies plus their special honeycomb brownies. There’s only one thing to do: go all out.
It’s likely you would have passed the Camperdown Commons (the huge community garden just near Newtown) if you’re from the inner west, but tucked inside lies the must-visit Acre Eatery. Their weekend garden breakfast menu is so damn delicious it’ll have you planning your weekend brekky date on a Tuesday. Our top picks are the coffee cured bacon and fontina toastie with bbq sauce which can (and should) be paired with their classic Bloody Mary, served with a fresh jalapeno to wake you up.
This brunch spot certainly delivers the goods, with its coffee sourced from The Little Marionette, pastries from Black Star Pastry and bread from Dust Bakery. Tucked in the Tramsheds, this is where to head when you’re craving something on the sweeter side—order the chia and black rice pudding, topped with seeds, coconut yoghurt and fruit. Double park it with a savoury dish too, we recommend the breakfast bao (because why not) with chorizo, tortilla and mojo verde.
Trafalgar Street Espresso
If you want perfect coffee and a quick bite to eat (of course you do), then type this bad boy into your Google Maps ASAP. Trafalgar Street Espresso serves The Little Marionette coffee, so you know it will be100% be off the chain. Our pick food wise has to be the humble avo on toast, which is quite literally a sliced up avo on, you guessed it, toast, but the best part is that this little number will only set you back $9. You know what that means team, extra money to purchase a house in the inner west! You ARE welcome.
Breakfast, lunch or a boozy brunch—it’s all happening at Bar Contessa in Balmain. They’re giving the people what they want with all day breakfast, handy on those particularly lazy hungover Sunday mornings afternoons. To dust off the cobwebs, order the breakfast burrito stuffed with scrambled eggs, spicy chorizo, chipotle mayo, guac, tomato salsa and cheese, or if you’re in for a late brekky (some call it lunch) we recommend the spaghetti and meatballs with handmade linguini. All in all, you can’t go wrong at Bar Contessa. And if you do… your hangover is probably the problem—we wish you luck.
Do you love breakfast as much as we do? Then check out our top picks in the CBD.
Cornersmith Annandale | Image credit: Claudia Shmueli