There are few things that an epic brunch joint requires that breakfast, in fact, does not.
Firstly, the atmosphere must be nothing less than electric. Maybe you’ve pulled an all-nighter or alas, maybe you’re trying to bounce back from an endless line-up of Fireball shots from the night before regardless, our point still stands—there must be unstoppable energy in the air to pull your shell of a soul from the depths of your doona.
Secondly, it goes without saying, an all-day menu is a definite plus. Lastly, the third and final tier of Sydney’s best brunch spots are in a calibre of their own—we’re talking licensed cafes whipping up mimosas to knock back a waffle stack or two.
Now, read on for the best spots in Sydney for brunch.
The Best Brunch In Sydney’s North
Chilli crab omelettes, acai bowls and damn good cups of coffee. It’s no coincidence this corner cafe is a short stroll from Manly Wharf, making it a bible pitstop for those who have taken their fresh morning walk across the Esplanade. Vini’s Cafe ticks all the boxes when it comes to hailing in as one of Sydney’s best brunch spots. Sporting an all-day breakfast menu, a vibe to boot and sweet selection of fresh acai juice, orange and cold-pressed juices to help you swing out of any hangover.
Vini’s Cafe is currently open for takeaway.
Is it the housemade banana loaf (with whipped vanilla and bruleed banana)? Is it the rainbow bowl packed out with hummus, zaatar, roasted pumpkin and vegan crumpets? Is it the one-pan with fried eggs, charred bacon and house sauce? The answer is, all of the above. Goodfield’s Eatery is an absolute shrine of deliciousness at all times of the day but the vibe and menu really hits the spot just before lunch officially starts. It’s the perfect place to sit down for an overdue catch-up or breakdown last night’s episode of Love Island.
Goodfield’s Eatery is currently open for takeaway.
If you haven’t been to Celcius Coffee for brunch yet, you’re pretty much missing out on the best views of Sydney Harbour. If you’re not from the area, you’d probably miss this sweet spot since it pretty much blends into Kirribilli’s ferry terminal. The rustic cafe looks nothing more than a private boatshed of sorts, with weathered boards and barely a sign to say this is, in fact, Celsius Coffee. Inside, you’ll find a collection of food hall-style seating, subway tiles, suspended ferns and an iridescent blue glow from the harbour waters. The menu is filled with ‘McMuffins’, fruit sourdough, vegan sandos and pulled lamb toasties.
Celsius Coffee is currently open for takeaway.
The Best Brunch In Sydney’s Northern Beaches
When you want crowds, a buzzing atmosphere and time are on your side—The Boathouse at Palm Beach is a holy shrine of acai bowls and pretty people with pretty boats and cars. This waterside metropolis is a no-brainer for anyone who’s kicked off this weekend with a hike up to Barrenjoey Lighthouse or a bike ride along Barrenjoey Road. Fill up on buttermilk scones, smoked salmon fritters (with caviar because you’re fancy like that) and make damn sure you walk out of there with a freshly cracked coconut to sip on.
The Boathouse Palm Beach is temporarily closed.
Dee Why, Brookvale, Manly, Avalon
From the beautiful interiors to the wholesome foodie creation, it really doesn’t get much better than Girdler’s. At the base of everything here is a sustainable consciousness—Girdlers’ is a home for local suppliers, earth-friendly packaging and an all-around organic approach to its coffee blend (free from pesticides, herbicides and pretty much any nasty chemicals). The menu fit will give you a breakfast menu available all day so with that said, you’ll need to make sure you order up the cauli shakshuka, a deliciously flavoursome combo of poached ggs, cauliflower rice cooked in bell pepper sauce and goats feta.
Girdler’s is currently open for takeaway, pick-up and delivery. You can order from here.
Barrel One Coffee Roasters
We know you’re here for some serious brunch game but let us digress for a moment because Barrel One Coffee Roasters just about steals our heart when it comes to stocking some epic cafe merch. From ‘hot coffee’ hoodies to retro tote bags, there’s a few bits and bobs you should be throwing your hard-earned money at. The slick crew here is known for their coffee and bagels and well, if you ask us, that’s a recipe for the perfect brunch feed if we ever did see one.
Barrel One Coffee is currently open for takeaway.
The Best Brunch In Sydney’s CBD
Straight off the bat, there's not much SOUL Deli doesn’t do but in the way of brunch and seriously tasty food, this cafe-meets-deli-meets-homewares store is a serious prodigy. The sibling restaurant to SOUL Dining, this cafe pays homage to Korean twists like omelette ‘caviar’ and KFC hotcakes. Start your mid-morning with a bite on the leafy streets of Campbell Street and then kick on for some op-shop retail therapy on Crown.
SOUL Deli is currently open for takeaway and delivery. Order yours from here.
If dining al fresco for brunch is high on your agenda (perhaps featuring a four-legged companion too), you’ll want to lap up the fresh eats at Chippendale’s 101 Kissa. With a menu bent on bringing the best of Japanese and Asian fusion, dig into this cafe’s famous jumbo lobster and scallop roll because it’s the juiciest in Sydney. When you’re here on the weekend, take a short stroll and turn a few corners to hit Glebe Markets or the Sydney Fish Markets.
101 Kissa is currently open for takeaway.
Social Brew Cafe
If Sydney were to have a ‘brunch capital’ it would, without a doubt, be Social Brew Cafe in Pyrmont. The concept here is to order big and work your way through everything with some extra long chats. This cafe will probably resonate hard with anyone who likes to whip their phone out and snap all the things because yes, every dish here looks like a work of art. Hit the crispy pork belly on sourdough with housemade grape and chilli chutney or slam your tastebuds with the likes of a mushroom and parmesan bruschetta (a big favourite on the menu).
Social Brew Cafe is currently open for takeaway and delivery through its sister cafe Birdy’s Rotisserie. Order yours from here.
The Best Brunch In Sydney’s Inner West
A shock to no one, Henry Lee’s has one of the greatest carefully curated and locally-sourced menus in Sydney. Blaring good music, a fit-out designed by architect Andy Carson and serving up dishes like crab claw croissants and truffle crumpets (also known as ‘scrumpets’), this brunch heaven zero to none on design flaws. The cafe is located inside a converted warehouse so you’re in for some very high ceilings a whole lot of natural sunlight.
Henry Lee’s is currently open for takeaway.
Two words—licensed cafe. This edgy brunch spot goes hard on Italian and American dishes. Frothing up cups of goodness with beans from The Grounds, Contessa is a Darling Street establishment that has been buttering up locales since the 90s. The idea is that no one leaves hungry and if you’re meeting up with a bunch of friends, bring their cousins and aunties too (the more the merrier). The much-loved plate here looks like the Italian eggs with meatballs which looks like eggs folded with basil pesto, provolone and parmesan cheese topped with housemade pork and veal meatballs. Contessa also does a boozy brunch affair with Espresso Martinis, prosecco, mimosas, Bellinis, Bloody Mary’s, beer and wine all on offer.
Contessa is currently open for takeaway.
If you’ve never delved into the deliciousness that is a Mexican brunch, let us enlighten you. Headed by Juan Carlos Negrete (ex Three Blue Ducks), Maiz Street Food is an ode to the best of Mexican street fare, sans the Westernised taco and margarita. The star child here are the sopes—a thick corn tortilla-like masa cake usually loaded with a variety of savoury toppings. At Maiz, you’ll find finishes like beans and braised hibiscus flower and Yucatan-style chicken and pickled onion.
Maiz Street Food is currently open for takeaway and delivery. Order yours from here.
The Best Brunch In Sydney’s West
The Wood’s Pantry
Oh yes, The Wood’s Pantry most certainly does an all-day breakfast packed out with gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options. First up, we need to draw your attention to the knafeh French toast, an obvious brunch selection. This beauty mirrors a cheese-filled brioche with crushed pistachio, rose syrup and strawberries. You’ll also be able to wrap your hands around heftier feeds as early as 11:30 with The Wood’s dedicated brunch menu boasting big bowls of pasta and the likes of a thick Southern fried chicken burger.
The Wood’s Pantry is currently open for takeaway, pick-up and delivery. You can order yours from here.
Neon lights, hanging plants and dessert tacos—a brunch trifecta if we ever did see one. This groovy cafe feels half middle-of-the-Amazon and half cool co-working space and we absolutely dig it. The brunch line-up here is just as bright with everything from Lotus Biscoff pancakes and yuzu eggs benedict to fried chicken sandwiches and kofta plates. Brunch here also calls for some pretty tropical concoctions including watermelon margaritas, blueberry sours and cloud apple martinis. Elsewhere you’ll find all sorts of wine, beers and spirits plus a pretty nifty suite of bubbles.
Urban Jungle is temporarily closed.
The Best Brunch In Sydney’s South
Black Elk Espresso
Black Elk Espresso has a winning brunch combo of quality coffee, dishes for all tastes and a warm vibe that’s hard to beat. The entire approach at this brunch joint is low-key, dogs are welcome and athleisure wear even more. Your go-to has to be the teriyaki salmon rosti stack otherwise, we’re going to really need to you hit the waffles, a sweet and salty combo of syrup, popcorn, fresh fruit and vanilla ice cream.
Black Elk Espresso is currently open for takeaway.
We love a good cafe pun so unsurprisingly, South Paw has our tick of approval. Another legendary spot that bears an all-day brunch menu, this joint is a sit and stay kind of place. This is the type of cafe where you’ll want to pay particular attention to the specials menu while you debrief on your latest book recommendations with mushroom quartets and pistachio dukkah with spiced eggs having both graced the menu here before.
South Pour is currently open for takeaway.
The Best Brunch In Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs
Cicco Zetland, formerly known as Cafe Vité, has been a thriving Italian hotspot since 2014. The family-owned and operated cafe and roastery was established by the legendary man himself, Tony Pacitto, and recently re-opened under the new management of Tony’s son, Alex.
What does this mean? It means a whole new cafe-by-day and trattoria-by-night concept that’s all about embracing your more indulgent side and yes, serving the brunch gods some serious nosh. Flaunting an all-day menu, you’ll be able to dig into all kinds of goodness come brunch time including paninis, breakfast burgers, ricotta pancakes and lasagna.
Cicco Zetland is currently open for takeaway and delivery. Order yours here.
Bondi, SURYY HILLS, Darlinghurst, Double bay
They say you haven’t really lived the Eastern Suburbs until you’ve dug into pancakes and washed it all down with a soy latte from Bills. They’re not wrong. Bill Granger might as well be responsible for kicking off the brunch trend in Sydney and having set up this institution in 1993, the scrambled eggs here are still some of the city's best. It's also a place where everyone finds it acceptable to indulge in a spiced Bloody Mary at 10am (another reason it should be on this list). As well as those glossy eggs, Bills' famous ricotta hotcakes topped with banana and honeycomb butter is one of Sydney's most famous dishes. It doesn't get any better than this.
Bills is currently open for pick-up and delivery. Order yours from here.
The Best Brunch Across All Of Sydney
WATERLOO AND PARRAMATTA
And, if it's an Instagram opp you're after, Sydney’s famous Social Hideout—otherwise known as the Willy Wonka of cafes—is a spot for over-the-top feeds and 'Gram worthy scenery. Here, you’ll find an all-day brunch that includes the likes of matcha green tea French toast with red velvet mascarpone, berries, and caramelised banana. Bonus points for their flower walls so you can get the most aesthetically pleasing picture.
Social Hideout Waterloo is temporarily closed, Social Hideout Cafe Parramatta is currently open for takeaway.
More of an early riser? Check out Sydney's best breakfasts.
Image credit: SOUL Deli, Celsius Coffee, Barrel One Coffee Roasters, Social Brew Cafe, Maiz, Urban Jungle, Bills