Brisbane’s best breakfasts…or brunches (you decide)
I’m really hoping this gourmet exercise didn’t come about entirely because of my enduring (not to mention tragic) penchant for 80’s popular culture references (despite that decade’s rather dubious gastronomy).
I would prefer to think I have traversed Brisbane and dined in numerous cafes and restaurants (*hard life*) over the past few months because I simply want to be a good little gourmet guide (and earn my keep and all that).
I want to make your gastronomic life a little easier by giving you the inside running on a couple of top spots for brekky – or brunch, you decide (I have to admit, I’m personally a brunch kinda girl).
Whatever my motivation, my allusion to a John Hughes movie and my fondness for (the slightly more ostentatious) brunch has no doubt confirmed my ‘retro-nerd’ status.
But, we shan’t let that, or the blinding glare from my best and most sparkly scrunchie, spoil a totally rad meal.
It is probably fair to say that the majority of breakfast/brunch fanatics rate their morning meal largely on the quality of the eggs (a below par poached egg is a deal breaker, I’m afraid).
I don’t disagree with this approach, however as I am not egg-obsessed, my yardstick tends to be the quality of the avo on toast (and it is amazing how badly this seemingly simple offering can be ballsed up…the same applies to the humble egg).
Aside from this ‘judicious’ appraisal process, typical measures such as food quality, coffee quality, menu scope and diversity, ambiance, service and value for money were all carefully considered when evaluating each of my breakfast/brunch experiences.
At the risk of this post being undigestably mammoth, I have decided to present it in three smaller, and more digestible, parts.
So, in this Part 1, I bring you my favourite breakfast/brunch spots located in Brisbane’s inner suburbs.
The following are not listed in any particular order and are a reflection of my (fairly) recent personal experiences (so don’t hold me to this list any time after a month from now!).
I would also love to hear about your favourites. So please share them in the comments section below.
Breakfast (or brunch) in Brisbane’s Inner City
Spring Hill Café
537 Boundary Street, Spring Hill
Breakfast all day (most days)
Kudos: This vintage-inspired café is seriously cute, cosy and charming with friendly service, fresh house made and locally sourced food and plenty of reading material! The adjoining Spring Hill Deli is an added bonus (if you fancy sneaking away with a house made bikkie or scone for ‘ron).
Wrap your laughing gear round: Shashuka – an Israeli dish of poached eggs served in a (huge) pan with spicy tomato relish, feta and parsley and served with lots of toasted sourdough to soak it all up (pictured above). There are also many carefully considered gluten free and vegan options available (in particular the gf bread is house made and organic – score!).
Double Shot Espresso
125 Oxlade Drive, New Farm
Breakfast all day
Kudos: This (for now) quiet spot near the Sydney Street ferry terminal is a little gem. I feel I could chill out in this breezy, open plan café all day – with endless rounds of coffee, a naughty (but delectable) sweet pastry and a good book (sorry, that’s the retro-nerd crooning again -obviously, I meant a kindle, smartphone, ipad…).
Wrap your laughing gear round: One of the many temptingly gorgeous home baked (yay!) French-style pastries or cakes sitting in the cabinent by the counter; or try to make a choice from the many savoury options on the ‘egg-proud’ and extensive all day brekky menu.
893 Brunswick Street, New Farm
Breakfast until 2pm
Kudos: A much lauded Brisbane noshery and a great spot for brunch. The beautifully presented dishes are always fresh and a little off beat and the coffee is consistently pleasurable. All tables in the café are cosy – although it is always nice to score a possie on the footpath or on the teeny, tiny balcony.
Wrap your laughing gear round: For a healthy start to the day, try the unique smashed peas, zucchini, fresh herbs, lemon and ricotta on sourdough topped with baked prosciutto. On the flip side, you could just tuck into one of the lush sweet options – try French toast or decadent Bircher muesli.
618 Brunswick Street, New Farm
Breakfast all day
Kudos: Years of efficiently and consistently turning out superior, flavoursome breakfast fare and a top brew (at good prices) ensures Cirque is always a ‘must do’ brunch stop in Brissy. It’s worth mooching around outside on the footpath (for 10-20 minutes on the weekends, as bookings aren’t taken) while waiting for a much coveted table.
Wrap your laughing gear round: Sweet corn cakes with smashed avocado and tomato salsa (even better if you add some bacon or chipotle and the house relish). Also pretty hard to go past the Chowdown (i.e. the traditional big brekky).
500 Boundary Street, Spring Hill
Breakfast until 11am
Kudos: A long-time favourite that serves up a consistently good cup of coffee (and also a cracking hot chocolate…or so I am told) from a small ‘hole-in-the-wall’, which is a surprisingly comfy place to chill out despite its ‘pokiness’ and the somewhat utilitarian interior.
Wrap your laughing gear round: The banana bread. That is all.
Well, it would be if I wasn’t a hopeless ‘rambler’ and conscious of the fact that a slab of banana bread (no matter how totally awesome) might not constitute a hearty breakfast for some (although, I can’t understand why…?!). That being said, Sisco’s (savoury) morning menu is fairly simple and compact, but it covers most brekky bases with aplomb.
Other honourable mentions
Shucked Coffee, 9 Creswell Street, Newstead – Quirky, chilled and a good brew.
Kitchen Sanitarium, 145 Eagle Street, Brisbane City – Stylish and tasty vegetarian fare. Yum.
Brew, Lower Burnett Lane, Brisbane City – Great little ‘hidey hole’ for chilling out (with a coffee) in the middle of the CBD.
Popolo, 3 Sidon Street River Quay, South Brisbane – this perfectly located restaurant is now open for brunch.
Next week….brunch on Brisbane’s north side.
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