If you subscribe to the belief that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you’ve probably never been for brunch. Combining your favourite early-morning foodstuffs with heartier portion sizes and a more festive atmosphere, it’s clearly Sydneysiders’ most-loved restaurant experience. And just because you’re trying to opt for healthier options, doesn’t mean you need to sit this one out. Here’s our pick of the b(r)unch.
Bondi’s best-loved breakfast bar and wellness centre, The Well, is the spot to get your Saturday morning fitness fix! Start with a yoga or HIIT class (and you can’t go wrong with their reformer Pilates!) and follow it up with a Berry Boost Smoothie Bowl from the gorgeous cafe. The coffee and food are almost as good as the people-watching, especially on a day when the Bondi surf is pumping. And we love their philosophy when it comes to food and wellness: truly a place to fuel a healthy body and healthy mind.
Another gem catering to the Bondi chic, SHUK serves up the best (and healthiest) cuisine that Israel has to offer. While it’s famous for the shakshuka (of course), the Çılbır Bagel is divine! There are plenty of dairy-, gluten-, and meat-free options, too, so it can truly fit into any diet. And if you’re having a hard time choosing just one, grab the Israeli Breakfast and chow down on a little bit of everything that Shuk has to offer. Fitt Tip: SHUK is dog-friendly, so bring your pooch or show up empty-handed and ready to make a new furry friend.
From humble beginnings in little old Bronte, TBD now has locations in the Inner West (Rosebery) and as far afield as Byron Bay and sunny Brisbane. Don’t get us wrong — there are some decadent dishes on the menu, but if healthy food is more your style, you’ll find a range of excellent options. We recommend the Harissa Pumpkin or Smoked Ora King Salmon, both of which can be ordered as low-carb options. And while your brunchmates chow down on lashings of bacon and butter-slathered toast, rest assured that your lighter option will pack just as much of a flavour punch.
One glance at the leafy facade of this cafe/market combo tells you pretty much all you need to know about the quality and variety of the food. There’s plenty on offer for traditionalists, with the standard bacon, egg, muesli, and fruit options (all with a healthier twist, of course!) — but we suggest you check out the ‘specials’ menu for fresh, local produce crafted into inventive dishes. Depending on the season, you’re going to have options: we love the buckwheat pancakes or the seasonal pear porridge, which pretty much tastes like a bowl of Christmas. And for something truly unique, grab a slice of the paleo bread (made from olives, eggs, capsicum, zucchini, coconut flour, and, presumably, magic) with a good dollop of house-whipped butter.
Not so much a restaurant as basically its own suburb, the Grounds of Alexandria deserves its spot in every list of… well, pretty much everything. Let’s start with the decor, which is a gorgeous sprawling rose garden vibe and incorporates a petting zoo for the kids. You’ll find scattered stalls of fresh flowers and tasty treats, two large outdoor seating areas, and a huge indoor market showcasing the best local products and produce. All this, and we haven’t even told you about the healthy food! You can dine in at one of the two unique restaurants or grab a bite/beverage from a roaming food cart of the BBQ pit in the centre of the Grounds. And between these multiple dining options, mouthwatering favourite like a free-range three-egg omelette or tea-smoked salmon are great light options. Plus, there’s a range of house-blended sodas, which are light on sugar but bursting with real fruit flavour. Fitt Tip: make the most of the weekend’s early doors (open from 7.30am) and beat the inevitable crowd.
Fabulous location. Faultless menu. Fresh produce combined in innovative ways. Four Ate Five (found at 485 Crown St, get it?) is cheap and cheerful, and there are plenty of menu options to satisfy even the most restrictive diet. We loved the 485 Breakfast Plate — sweet, salty, spicy, and all around satisfying. Or start with a couple of free-range eggs, then add from the unconventional side options like creamy hummus, sautéed kale, or chilli lemon avocado. And if have more of a sweet tooth, the cardamom and vanilla rice pudding will definitely hit the spot!
Look no further than Vine & Grind for all the characters in a healthy brunch story: avo toasties, acai bowls, eggs cooked to order… But this café and espresso bar, which is actually in the middle of Westfield Liverpool mall, really puts a wellness twist on the classics. Love a Benedict? Try the Yuzu Eggs Bene. Bagels and lox? No way. Here, you get a charcoal-activated sourdough with ricotta, cucumber, dill, and double-smoked Tasmanian salmon. And if you’re wanting a photo for Instagram, order the purple Taro-iffic Latte. Fitt Tip: for much of the same menu AND Harbour Bridge views, pull up a chair at V&G’s sister café Archie’s in Dover Heights.
Hale & Hearty, in Waterloo and Bondi Junction, serves up fantastic brunch options with minimal processing and zero guilt. It would be a travesty to visit and not try the pancakes — seriously, they’re the staple of the H&H kitchen. The Banana & Walnut stack packs a serious punch, as does the red velvet option. And there are even pancake options for the savoury-lovers, too (hello, halloumi cheese and chorizo!). Best of all, the H&H menu clearly denotes which items are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, or vegan, so you can choose the dish that best meets your diet goals. Fitt Tip: look out for Hale & Hearty on your favourite discounted food app, as it has been known to offer up to 30% off your bill at certain times. Sweet!
The Northern Beaches are a haven for health food, sunshine, and fabulous coffee — and Ruby Lane blends all three into an immersive ethical eatery. The Ruby Lane vision is to make healthy living fun, social and available, and it certainly delivers on that! With a drinks list to rivals the most exclusive inner city bar (but with a lot more kombucha and alkalising matcha, obviously) and a menu that guarantees you’ll never touch a McMuffin again, Ruby Lane is Manly’s hottest culinary spot. We can’t speak highly enough of the paleo bread with Marrowed Mushrooms... the Chia Pudding... the real-food pancakes. We literally can’t choose, which is why we love Ruby’s low-carb keto tasting plate, which has a little bit of the best of everything! Fitt Tip: as of this writing, Ruby Lane has broken ground on a new site at Mona Vale Beach!
This North Bondi paradise was born out of an idea back in 2010; a bunch of great mates with a passion for great coffee, food, art, and live music wanting to spread this enthusiasm to Bondi’s health-conscious foodies. Fast-forward almost a decade later to where P&P continues to dominate the beachside brunch scene with a load of tasty dishes and tempting beverages on offer. Our pick? The Green Pea pancakes — if they’re good enough for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (seriously), they’re good enough for us!
When it comes to a healthy brunch, no one sums up the ideal vibe quite like Heart Cafe on Roscoe St in Bondi Beach, who lives by the motto “Real food, great coffee, with love.” As the first social enterprise cafe in the area, Heart offers disadvantaged youth employment opportunities crafting their fresh, wholesome, locally sourced food. Their all-day breakfast, including incredible coffee sourced from Gypsy Espresso, is the star, touting tasty treats like an avocado & feta smash and the Middle Eastern Breakfast. Plus, they’re proving to be all-rounders by having an all-vegan menu that’s just as impressive.
There’s something indescribably wholesome about Marrickville’s Two Chaps. Perhaps it’s the living room vibes from their cosy, exposed brick-walled, plant-filled dining room. Perhaps it’s their unwavering attention to scratch-made, produce-driven meals and quality, locally-roasted coffees. It could be the Sticky Chai, their signature raw honey-soaked spiced chai tea that’s made in the nearby warehouse. But honestly, it’s all of it. From their Mediterranean-inspired brunches, like the all-vegan brekkie bowl (with pea and halloumi fritters), to their unrivaled sourdough and ciabatta, Two Chaps is so, so worth an entire morning.
Concrete Jungle, in Chippendale and out in the suburb of Kogarah, is well-known for their all-day brekkie menu, filled with veggie-heavy bowls, egg dishes, toasts, and the wondrous Blueberry and Lemon Ricotta Hotcake, garnished with edible flowers (Fitt Tip: the hotcakes take longer than the other meals to prepare, but it’s worth it). Pair anything with an organic kombucha or house blend coffee and your AM is sorted.