Does Brisbane do the best breakfasts in the country? Locals certainly think so, heading each weekend to their favourite spots. Cafe owners compete for their custom, mixing it up with everything from traditional eggs benny to Baghdad eggs; chia puddings to spiced pumpkin and salted caramel waffles. Here are 10 of our favourites.
Bare Bones Society
"Crowd pleasers done well" could be the jingle here, where the breakfast list caters to a diverse audience. This menu pulls a proper yoga stretch from a "goodie bowl" of acai and other berries with paleo granola, to things more hearty such as a breakfast burger with double smoked bacon, free-range egg and hash browns sauced up with lashings of the barbecue kind.
22/34 Goggs Road, Jindalee, 07 3715 5571
What a beautiful thing it is that Jerome Batten, of Sourced Grocer fame, has bestowed on Grey Street. Genuine commitment to sourcing quality produce and handling it with skill are evident in a menu unafraid to wander into new terrain. This understated space has fine architectural bones and the all-day menu floats out inspired pairings of the ilk you'll be hard pressed to find anywhere else. Fresh baked breads and sweet miracles, all produced on site, line the counter.
77 Grey Street, South Brisbane
Stylish and sophisticated in a leafy laneway yet still able to impart a welcoming warmth, Gerard's kicks Saturdays and Sundays into gear with some interesting and refreshingly different breakfast offerings. This restaurant has won local devotees with a menu that crosses Middle Eastern borders into North Africa and beyond. Think rosewater rice pudding with sour peach and pistachio; or Baghdad eggs wafting cumin, garlic, mint and lemon.
14/15 James Street, Fortitude Valley, 07 3852 3822, gerardsbistro.com.au
Breakfast gentry still, this old favourite for many Brisbanites continues to surprise. Pull up a bentwood chair inside the old brick-walled space or sit out the back for breakfast in a rustic timber-decked setting. Integrity sweeps through the menu, there for example in honey that couldn't be more local, harvested from hives on the roof. Brioche french toast comes with quite an entourage: rhubarb, pistachio, mascarpone, fresh berries, raspberry coulis and toasted almond flakes.
53 Mollison Street, West End, 07 3844 2241, thegunshopcafe.com
This designer nook with its polished allure sweetens things further with attention to detail and freshly baked cakes just out of the oven prettying up the counter. The all-day brunch list lets colourful seasonal produce take the lead. French toast might arrive with local stonefruit and vanilla pod yoghurt or caramelised white figs with a spiced ricotta and candied macadamias.
27 Russell Street, South Brisbane, 07 3844 3609, merriweathercafe.com
Pearl's European vintage vibe is matched by a breakfast menu that reveres quality. It's good to know that the house-smoked fish is from a sustainable supply and that the eggs beside it are free-range, and good also to see house-made butter and even Pearl's own morcilla on the menu. This is the kind of traditional extra mile that never gets tired.
23 Logan Road, Woolloongabba, 07 3392 3300
This is what happens when a talented chef gets busy in a cafe drive by an earnest credo – celebrating local food and the producers that make it happen. With subtle handling, Michael Hoare lets pristine produce shine as it should in a menu that proudly shouts the provenance of good things grown near to Brisbane, such as colourful tomatoes from Kalbar put with poached eggs, potato hash and his much-loved carrot jam.
284 Montague Road, West End, 07 3255 3330, plentywestend.wordpress.com
Putia Pure Food
Chef Dominique Rizzo sprinkled fairy dust around the poinciana on this once-sleepy corner of Banyo, and up sprang an enchanting breakfast spot, an instant community hub that blends contemporary cool with home-grown honesty. There's a garden out the back to supplement carefully sourced and deftly treated produce. Even humble waffles are elevated to something more; a spiced pumpkin version perhaps, with salted caramel sauce and mascarpone.
Shop 4, 17 Royal Parade, Banyo, 07 3267 6654, putiapurefood.com.au
Brisbane's smartest laneway cafe, Strauss, has many strings to its bow, including pouring the kind of coffee into the city's heart that could have been only dreamed of a few years ago. And doing it with style: cue career baristas in collar and tie, and bricky austere surrounds. The menu is small yet generous and abundant, liberally dotted with fresh, seasonal finds.
189 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane, 07 3236 5232, straussfd.com
The breakfast choice of gardeners and nature lovers, Wild Canary sings to its own original tune, driven by botanical surrounds. Being next to a garden nursery helps, but there's also an impressive dedicated kitchen garden spilling the freshest possible greenery, herbs and petals onto the plate. Poached free-range eggs are artfully snuggled up with golden tomatoes, haloumi, basil and macadamia pesto on rye toast.
2371 Moggill Road, Brookfield, 07 3378 2805, wildcanary.com.au