My favourite meal

Everyone has a favourite meal of the day and while I never turn down a boozy long lunch, family BBQ or romantic dinner there’s something about brunch that I simply adore…

A weekend will never pass without me at least brunchin on a Saturday or Sunday (sometimes both). Therefore, I thought I’d deliver some of my absolute winning brunch spots from around Sydney. Btw, there were so many, I’m making this a two part series. This write up is for the more casual diners.

Balmain

When venturing to Darling St, you’ll notice the abundance of eateries, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. Bar Contessa, is a delightful café where the interiors were fab and the food supersized (which was exactly what I felt like on my slightly hungover morning). I opted for the Brekky Burrito – scrambled eggs, grilled chorizo, cheddar, rocket, house made spicy tomato relish wrapped in toasted tortilla topped with guacamole and tomato salsa. It totally hit the spot as did my date’s, Ultimate Bacon and Egg Roll with hickory smoked bacon, fried free range eggs, caramelised onion, provolone cheese, house made tomato relish and mayo on toasted brioche (Do I have you drooling yet?) The service was quick and speedy (also a necessity on my slightly hungover morning) and of course super friendly!

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Drummoyne

Three Rosettas Espresso Bar and Cafe (three roses) was named after owners, George and Lina’s three beautiful daughters (also their roses) and the café truly is a family affair. The food is nourishing, delicious and has an authenticity to it making it exceptionally unique from your traditional café. There’s a mixture of ‘regular’ brekkie/brunch/lunch options and then there’s the dishes with a twist, like the ‘brekkie board’ which is inspired by George and Lina’s Lebanese heritage. There’s even a killer kids menu as the little people are some of George’s best customers. Now what about the liquid elixir… renowned for its coffee, Three Rosettas has been recently renovated, providing a bigger and better service area where resident barista, Alberto can do his thing. Unlike its café counterparts, where places like Bondi is known for its hipster crowd, Surry Hills for its art deco bunch, Three Rosettas is a real mix, which makes it a more enjoyable dining experience as you can watch, interact and be part of something bigger than the ‘regular’ scene you’re probably used to. Best part is George and Lina, will make you feel as though you are a guest in their own home, where they take you through a sensory journey of delights and ensure you feel like part of the family by the time you leave.

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Crows Nest

Sotto on West is a gorgeous brunch spot covered with wooden furnishings, shaded by luscious trees and accompanied by super helpful wait staff, this is one spot you’ll want to frequent over and over again. The café describes themselves as, “on a quiet corner of North Sydney you can find the vibrancy and buzz of an Eastern Suburbs café” and I’d have to say I agree! My favourite fact about this fun filled fantastical foodie haven is the name of the meals on offer. From ‘Please stop being so corny’ to ‘Get some bangalow pork on your fork’, I was in a literary foodie heaven! The “Passion for buttery eggs” (essentially an eggs beno) was my choice as I’m usually able to judge a brunch hot spot best when I order their eggs benedict. If you can’t get that right, you’re in a bit of a pickle.

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Another great option, is Fix Café is set in a super-secret side street (well maybe not that secret as I managed to find it) off the main Willoughby strip. This joint does seriously good coffee. It will sort your caffeine ‘fix’ out quick sticks! The food is also a delightful surprise and superbly scrumptious. The booths are super cute and perfect for a group of four who are keen to catch up on the previous night’s shenanigans over a cuppa joe. My brekkie was served in an adorable little bowl and was a complete mash up of all my favourite things, including prosciutto, eggs, super sweet baby tomatoes, avocado, goats cheese and more. A true smorgasbord!

Get your food fix at 'Fix Cafe'

Finally, St Malo’s Bakery. With a revamped brekkie menu and drool worthy bakery attached meant I was in foodie heaven.Opting for the Tuscan Baked Eggs, which were rich in flavour with a hint of smoky chorizo in a tomato based sauce and of course my usual side of avocado as there’s nothing better than a good schmear of avo on toast was perfection.

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Alexandria

Being a native Queenslander, yet living in Sydney, means I have a number of visitors frequent my new hometown, which ultimately means multiple trips to the airport and while I don’t enjoy the madness of the traffic there’s definitely an upside to heading to that neck of the woods and it’s called The Grounds of Alexandria. A wondrous place where you feel as though you’ve stepped out of the hustle and bustle of the city and into a scene from a chic countryside town where everyone is joyous due to sunshine, divine food and fresh lemonade! Yep old school lemonade! Located in an old pie factory from the early 1900’s, The Grounds of Alexandria is a flagship venue for its specialty coffee. The site hosts a coffee research and testing facility alongside a cafe, opening onto a luscious garden of heirloom vegetables and fragrant herbs. The team behind the wonderland have turned it into a destination – not just a place to eat but a place to taste a variety of gourmet delights, learn best practice with regards to coffee grinding, explore the garden grown delights and even stop to not just smell the roses but buy them as well. With markets held on the first weekend of each month in the quaint cafe garden, this place has it all and then some. Due to its incredibleness, don’t be surprised if you arrive and you have to wait. It’s worth it but if you are in a hurry they usually have little stalls set up and a BBQ cranking for those who are simply ravenous and can’t bear to wait for some scrumptious samples! The last time I frequented this pleasure land I had to wait for an hour, so what else was a girl to do but stroll around the sights, taste some olives, sip lemonade, purchase fresh flowers and naturally instagram the shiz out of it! When it finally came to chow time I was pleased as punch and the smashed avocado won me over. Drizzled with pesto and accompanied by roast tomatoes, olives, haloumi and micro herbs there was nothing micro about this beast and it tasted heavenly! This eclectic hideaway need not only be frequented when heading towards the airport, there’s plenty to do in Alexandria with outlet shopping, furniture store and more you can certainly make a day of it.

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Want to run away and join the circus? Think again, there’s a circus right at your back door in the form of Sydney cafe, Bread and Circus Wholefoods Canteen in Alexandria and trust me it’s a circus you’ll want to be a part of! Nestled in the heart of Alexandria, this quirky cafe is a real foodie find and with its industrial feel and updated daily menu, you’re spoilt for choice with healthy options galore and an abundance of sweet and savoury delights. I ventured there on a Wednesday and with a mothers group on one side and some hipsters on the left I could tell this was a place for all sorts. I began with my usual skim latte with one sugar whilst I sifted through the menu. A menu that is updated daily and boasts some of the dreamiest and most decadent descriptions I’ve ever come across on a breakfast menu, including my personal fave ‘breakfast with Gwyneth’ a tribute to the cookbook creator and her love of all things organic and healthy. I was in the mood for savoury (so I could turn my brunch into lunch) and went with the parmesan not-so-scrambled eggs w/ bullet chilli, shaved parmesan and served w/ avocado, tomato, baby spinach, fresh herbs and sourdough. It was just what I wanted and fulfilled the rather large void that was my raging appetite! Alexandria is fast becoming a suburb to be reckoned with and as it’s growth in posh nosh eateries expands more people from the east start trickling down to check out what’s new. So why don’t you?

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Surry Hills

Brooklyn Hide is another pearler of a place and in fact I’ve always thought Surry Hills was a lot like Brooklyn. Nestled in Commonwealth Street near fellow gourmet delights like Bottega, lies Brooklyn Hide. A hip cafe serving coffee and tea (in the cutest tea infusing device I’ve ever seen) and an incredibly large array of bagels. Did I mention the bagels? All kinds of bagels, bagels with schmears, plain bagels, sweet bagels and bagel brekkie burgers – it’s all there and more! I went with the ‘Hells Kitchen’ bagel with avocado, prosciutto (Man, I love prosciutto), feta, rocket and lime on a poppyseed bagel. Prices are great too, with a bagel brekkie burger going for $10 and keeping me full till well into the afternoon.

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Sydney is full of cute, quirky cafes where people want to be seen at as much as they want to enjoy a scrumptious brunch andBill’s is by far on top of the list.To dine at Bill’s is a must-do Sydney experience and if you venture there on a weekend you will have to line up! Is it worth it? The food is clean, creative and impeccably plated up so perfect for an instagram shot or two. The array of juices, teas and coffees are simply divine and include my personal faves, ‘bills daily greens’ – a mixture of green apple, cucumber, spinach, chia seeds and young coconut and the ‘date and almond smoothie’ made with homemade almond milk and medjool dates. Hashtag = #yum! I munched on the sweetcorn fritters with roast tomato, spinach and bacon and they were by far the most fabulous fritters that ever entered my mouth. To top off my fine feast, I had Bill’s double bloody mary (it was morning I know but I find it helps me be more creative plus it was delicious). Additionally, the service is outstanding with your water glass never failing to remain full and your mouth won’t salivate for long as the meals come out in a jiffy!

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Double Bay

Bar Indigo on Cross Street brilliant and trust me when I say it’s a hot spot. There’s even a sit down area to wait for a table – this moves reasonably quickly. The service is swift but not pushy and considering I couldn’t make up my mind what to eat – the staff were more than helpful in talking me through a decision. I opted for the open fresh Tasmanian smoked salmon sandwich on rye with chevre, caper berries, kipfler potatoes, and butter leaf, avocado and asparagus salad. A mouthful I know and trust me it was a scrumptious one. The coffee is lovely, although I was drooling over their wine list, but it wasn’t quite wine o’clock, so a caffeine fix was my next best choice. Bar Indigo doesn’t have much scenery – it’s not set on the water and you can’t see the bay but it’s the people watching that’s a pure pleasure, as you’re able to sit back, relax, and indulge in the tasty morsels and the glamourous people eating them.

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