Sydney has many faces – bustling financial metropolis, glittering theatre and club scenes – but if it’s the golden, laid-back reputation you’re most interested in experiencing, there’s no better way to do it than over a long, lazy brunch – especially if it’s near where you’re staying.
Sideways – 37 Constitution Rd, Dulwich Hill
There are many nice restaurants in Sydney, but nestled on a quirky little roundabout in the heart of the bustling Inner West suburb of Dulwich Hill is one the locals try to keep to themselves. With the best green eggs ever spooned over sourdough, it’s easy to see why table space is at a premium, and with the breakfast menu available until 4pm there's no need to rush. After recently being awarded three stars (the top gong) by the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Under $30 guide, you know it won’t be too tough on the wallet.
bills – 79 Hall St, Bondi Beach
An urban beach house serving up bills' signature ricotta hotcakes complete with honeycomb and banana. bills is the perfect place for a long, relaxed brunch after an early morning cliff walk or ocean swim, and the breakkie menu is served until midday! For those after a healthier option, the sweet corn fritters are a local favourite, as well as the 'bills greens' juice, filled with spinach, cucumber, green apple, ginger, celery, chia and coconut water. The space is light, bright and spacious, it's no wonder most of Bondi spend their morning here.
Bowery Lane - 1 O’Connell Street, Sydney
Brunch is now a thing in the CBD too! There’s a new player, Bowery Lane, where you can refuel after your jog around Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. It’s a wholesome kind of brunch, so you can still feel a little virtuous after the Friday night work drinks that went awry. Or just throw in the towel and indulge in a New York Cheeseburger and a hair of the dog. We loved the signature Scouts Breakfast of poached eggs, mushrooms, roast potatoes, crispy prosciutto and goats cheese washed down with The Cleanser juice and a Single Origin coffee. I think we hit all weekend recovery food groups. We might be back for the new Salted Dark Choconut or the New York Steak with a glass of red. What a start to a Saturday.
Marigold – Level 4-5, Citymark Building, 683-689 George Street, Haymarket
Sydney is nothing if not multicultural. The delicious Cantonese addition of yum cha has definitely earned a stable spot on the city’s brunch bucket list. At Marigold, you can expect an endless assortment of delicious dim sum to be wheeled past your table while you pick out your favourites. Patrons are offered discounted parking, but as it’s only a five-minute wander from the nearby Rendezvous Hotel Sydney Central or Travelodge Sydney, you’re better off on foot if you’re staying nearby.
Barzura – 62 Carr St, Coogee Beach
A view of the ocean certainly helps with digestion and there is no better beach view than from Barzura, which almost sits on the sand a couple of blocks from Adina Apartment Hotel Coogee. You simply can’t miss their shakshuka baked eggs with labneh yoghurt and zaatar washed down with a refreshing Good Morning Bloody Mary. They’ve also got a great healthy kids’ menu. Breakfast is served from 7am to 1pm.
Opera Bar – Lower Concourse Level, Sydney Opera House
If you’re after an iconic Sydney brunch, the Opera Bar is the place to find it. The baked egg ratatouille is always a winner, and you can’t go past the mushroom quesadilla, but with the breakfast menu finishing at 11am, this one is only for the early risers. Finish off the morning with a walk around the Sydney Opera House and take in the breathtaking views of the Harbour Bridge and Circular Quay afterwards.
The Grounds of Alexandria – Building 7A, 2 Huntley Street, Alexandria
More like a culinary event than a simple eatery, The Grounds is actually several different dining venues all snuggled together in an exposed-brick, paddock-to-plate kind of way, but it serves up some of the best food in Sydney. Look forward to a perfect pork belly slider and a rainbow of impossible-to-choose-from cocktails.
Travel secret: If arriving by car, there is free parking out the back that lots of people don’t seem to know about, but the real draw here, especially if you’ve got kids, is the small animal farm and petting zoo where Kevin Bacon – the resident pig – sits waiting.