Few things are more pleasurable than digging into a slap-up brunch spread – especially when you’re on holiday. In the Land Down Under, locals take a religious approach to breakfast and its late morning counterpart. Cafés and coffee shops appear on nearly every corner of the country’s cities, serving up the archetypal avocado and eggs on toast in addition to less mainstream dishes that’ll have your taste buds tingling before your first bite.
If you’ve set your sights on a trip to Sydney, follow the city’s residents up to café-saturated Surry Hills for your breakfast fix. It’s a little-known Sydney fact that this hip suburb was once a hotbed of crime in the 1920s. Nowadays, it’s a lush spot for lazy mornings spent stuffing your face with Antipodean brunch foods and browsing gorgeous boutiques lodged inside charming colonial cottages.
Rest assured: we definitely had your belly in mind when we curated the following list of the best breakfast and brunches Surry Hills has to offer.
Breakfast in Surry Hills
Whether you subscribe to the age-old adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day or not, it’s still nice to occasionally have it prepared for you. The smell of freshly brewed coffee; the sight of gooey egg yolk spilling out onto freshly baked sourdough; the comforting lull of conversation as you wait to be served. Heaven.
Luckily, Surry Hills is dripping with breakfast hotspots where you can fuel up before a day of exploration, including universally loved:
Neighbourhood Specialty Coffee
If the thought of food before midday makes you feel nauseous, elevate your energy levels with a strong cup of joe from Neighbourhood instead. It’s literally a hole in the wall on Buckingham Street with a couple of benches outside which was opened by coffee aficionado Sean McManus in 2016.
He was a former barista at Single O (scroll down for more info), so you can expect a cracking cup of coffee, whether you go for an impossibly smooth flat white or a straight-up espresso.
Susie Q Coffee & Records
Delicious dishes and awesome vinyl; what’s not to love about Susie Q? This quirky café-cum-record-store is a match made in heaven for hungry music lovers and one of our top suggestions for breakfast in Surry Hills.
If you’re a millennial cliché (there’s no shame in it), the avocado toast is exceptional and can be enhanced with crumbly feta or slivers of smoked salmon. Susie Q’s toasties stuffed with gruyere or smoked cheddar are perfect for cheat days, while the coffee rivals that of some of Sydney’s greatest roasters.
The café’s soundtrack is always on point too, plus there’s a huge photograph of mellow crowds at legendary Woodstock running along one wall for added ambiance.
Picture crab-filled croissants and matcha French Toast and you’ve got Meet Mica.
The Asian-fusion eatery is famed for its innovative dishes which take all the classic breakfast staples and give them a Japanese makeover. For something hearty on a cooler day, order the noodle soup which features chunks of wagyu steak cooked in a rich, wholesome broth.
Meet Mica’s breakfast rolls are also awesome (the miso-infused bacon is an epic flavour combo), plus they all come with a cup of coffee and two enormous hash browns.
Veggie and vegan breakfast
If you subscribe to a plant-based diet, Shift Eatery should be your first port of call for breakfast in Surry Hills once you’ve finally stopped pressing the snooze button. The entire menu is vegan-friendly, with tasty AF (their words) breakfast bites ranging from smashed avo and kale pesto on sourdough to bagels stuffed with incredible vegan salmon and cashew nut cream.
If you’ve got a packed morning of sightseeing planned, pick up one of their sarnies to go – the Buffalo Sub featuring melt-in-your-mouth pulled jackfruit and house coleslaw is the stuff of dreams.
Brunch in Surry Hills
The domain of super-sized pancakes, all-you-can-eat buffets and bottomless cocktails; it’s not hard to see why brunch is our (and probably your) favourite meal of the day. The mash up of breakfast and lunch has been whole-heartedly embraced in Surry Hills, with the following venues serving up some of the best spreads:
The scent of rich, freshly roasted coffee assaults all the senses as soon as you stroll through the doors of Single O on Reservoir Street. A real legend on Sydney’s coffee scene, the café’s been serving up some of the best caffeine hits in the city since 2003. Single O later extended its offering to food and you’ll find it tricky to fault its innovative, all-day brunch menu.
Keep it simple with some homemade banana bread topped with a dollop of espresso cream or opt for one of Single O’s brilliant brunch rolls. The eggplant katsu served in the café’s signature coffee and wattleseed bun is life-changing. Melting in the Sydney sunshine? You won’t regret ordering a frozen coconut coffee to go.
Four Ate Five
There’s a handful of cafés in Sydney offering an Israeli-style brekkie. This includes Surry Hills’ Four Ate Five where you’ll find some of the most delicious shakshuka in the city. Go for the traditional veggie version or level up with the slow-cooked lamb shakshuka that’ll have you salivating just at the smell.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, order up the French Toast instead. It comes stuffed with peanut butter and banana – always a dreamy pairing – and drenched in dulce de leche. Healthier picks include the house made bircher; a tasty blend of dried apple, macadamias and coconut flakes accompanied by your choice of milk.
Paramount Coffee Project
Both locals and past visitors to Surry Hills will probably point you in the direction of Paramount Coffee Project. It’s nestled in a stunning heritage building on Commonwealth Street and is hands-down one of Sydney’s greatest coffee joints. As well as flat whites, cold brews and flavoured coffees (including an ace turmeric latte laced with honey and ginger), PCP’s all-day food menu features every breakfast option under the sun.
Warm your cockles with a bowl of cinnamon and apple custard porridge, keep it simple with eggs on toast or tuck into the signature buttermilk chicken waffles. Topped with maple bacon gravy, pickled apple and toasted hazelnuts, the dish strikes the perfect balance between savoury and sweet. PCP’s on-trend, industrial-chic décor is an added bonus. Just get their early on weekends as it’s a pretty popular place.
If the classic Full English just isn’t your style, Devon won’t disappoint with its innovative menu. It offers up an Asian-inspired brunch in Surry Hills, with dishes varying from Japanese omelettes flavoured with blessedly salty furikake to creamy mushrooms on toast cooked in rich kombu butter for a subtle unagi aftertaste. The venue itself is also pretty cool, especially the outdoor courtyard featuring fake greenery that makes you feel like you’re sat at the centre of a maze.
Want to go bottomless? Choose Dead Ringer
Ask a local where to go for a bottomless brunch in Surry Hills and nine times out of ten they’ll say Dead Ringer. The weekend brunch menu leans more towards lunch-friendly dishes than breakfast classics. Food aside, the best thing about Dead Ringer is the bottomless drinks deals. Neck as many mimosas as you can within 90 minutes for $30 or go for pure prosecco for $50. One downside is the coffee – Dead Ringer only have filter, however they’re happy for diners to bring in takeout cups from elsewhere.
Veggie and vegan brunch
Before you go thinking we’re suggesting you eat a donut for brunch (although, why the heck not?…), this Sydney eatery actually serves up way more than just sugar-coated goodies. You’ll spot several Nútie Donuts branches across Sydney, but the Surry Hills one comes up trumps for its moreish brunch menu that’s both vegan and gluten-free. Munch down on spicy kimchi cornfritters or fill your belly with the Big Nútie Breakfast which includes fluffy scrambled tofu and slow cooked beans. For afters, pick up a vegan donut to go. Popular flavours include apple pie and delicious maple and bacon.
If all that talk of waffles and bacon rolls has you seriously salivating, placing Surry Hills on your Sydney bucket list is a no-brainer. Download the Orbzii app now to Dream, Book and Plan an unforgettable getaway to this awesome Aussie city.