Are you meh about breakfast and blah about lunch? Brunch is the clearly superior meal, giving you the best elements of both. Fortunately, in Sydney, this in-betweener has hit the big time and our best cafes are only too happy to satisfy all your avo toast goals. From cold brew coffee to croissants, get your brunch on at these happening hotspots.
The Grumpy Baker
Famed for its handmade sourdough bread, The Grumpy Baker also does a mean brunch. The secret's out because this small café is always jam-packed on the weekends. The loaves are a prime draw – we dare you to resist the allure of the honey-laden walnut and fig loaf. The freshly baked bread is also an excellent base for delish dishes like challah French toast with vanilla bean yoghurt or a smoked salmon sandwich. Grumpy's famous breakfast roll is served on a warm, toasted brioche bun with a free range egg, double smoked bacon, caramelised onion and tomato relish. It's equally hard to resist the sweet stuff here, so you'll probably end up taking away a brownie or two.
2. Devon Café
Fine dining meets the casual café at Devon Café. Start your day living it up like a tsar with the eggs blini. Buckwheat blini is topped with cured king salmon, salmon caviar and poached eggs for a healthy yet decadent brunch. Order the signature 'Breakfast with the Sakuma's' to dine on miso marinated salmon, eel croquettes and an egg poached at the ideal 63 degrees, or taste the bacon katsu sandwich. It's the ultimate brunch experience, so go on and spoil yourself.
3. The Commons
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If you've woken up feeling a bit less than civilized, brunch from The Commons will sort you out. The menu combines European traditions with Aussie ingredients. This means they work with local suppliers whenever possible, so the menu changes seasonally to match what's freshest. Brunch is served between 10am and 3pm, with standards like French toast and eggs Florentine hitting all the right buttons. There's also more unusual brunch fare to tempt you, like a kale and coconut pumpkin salad or house-made corned beef hash.
4. Blackbird and Co
Don't worry if you've hit the snooze button a few times – Blackbird & Co serves breakfast right up until the prime brunch territory of 12:30pm on weekends. It's worth getting your order in before midday to get in on all the Asian fusion action here. There's a bacon and egg banh mi, a simply genius concoction made out of bacon, a fried egg, homemade pickles, herbs, pate and Vietnamese-style BBQ sauce. It's a guaranteed hangover-killer. The avo on toast is unlike any other in Sydney, which is no small feat in a city overrun with the green stuff. Here it's layered with smoked eggplant, chimichurri, garlic mushrooms and a poached egg on rye. For the more delicate appetite, try the lovely homemade granola or kale and corn fritters.
5. Café Oratnek
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Café Oratnek is a bold new solo venture from Bills' former Head Chef, Kenny Takayama. His passion for seasonal, local food is clear. There's an onsite herb garden, and Kenny prepares all ingredients in house when possible, with bread supplied by local bakers Brickfields. The food's a blend of Asian and modern Australian, with delicious results. Dig into the brekkie burger, which is substantial enough for brunch with its smoked salmon, eggs and wasabi hollandaise. The matcha French toast is pretty as a picture, all earthy green matcha mousse and bright red strawberries. And the coffee and tea list is extensive, inviting you to take your time and linger a bit.