Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – and it can also be the most delicious. Say goodbye to cereal and head out to these excellent local eateries to start your day off right.
Rise & Shine: SA’s best breakfasts
It’s so nice when a restaurant or cafe evokes a feeling that you are on a holiday somewhere exotic and far, far away. Hey Jupiter, owned by Christophe Zauner and Jacqui Lodge, transports you to Paris with its French-inspired menu, which starts with breakfast.
In addition to the expected croissants or brioche French toast, there is a hearty breakfast cassoulet of pork belly, smoked ham hock, duck confit, goat curd and breadcrumbs. Eggs, served any way, can be accompanied with black pudding, pan-seared foie gras, roast tomatoes, bacon or lemon thyme mayonnaise. Invite a loved one or a friend and indulge in the Petit Dejeuner (that’s French for breakfast) with Champagne. It’s a decadently-French spread of boiled free-range eggs, pastries and toast, ham, Heidi Tilsit cheese, Bonne Maman Jam, Harris smoked salmon, fresh fruit, coffee or tea, juice and a 375ml bottle of Louis Roederer Champagne. A votre santé!
My Grandma Ben
Kick off the day with an ethical breakfast at this community-spirited cafe within Plant 4 Bowden.
Owner and chef Jessie Spiby create truly seasonal menus using sustainably-sourced, local meats and fresh produce. The team also buys blemished but perfectly-good fruit and veg from local growers, which would otherwise go to landfill. Breakfast dishes may include avo toast using The Lost Loaf sourdough (also based at Plant 4), house-made caraway kraut, fermented hot sauce, poached eggs and fresh herbs or the kangaroo stack with house-made crumpets, roo bolognese, harissa, chilli jam and yoghurt topped with a fried egg.
The cafe’s curious name? Jessie Spiby’s grandma really was named Ben, which was a hybrid of Betty and Gran.
Rise and shine at this relaxing local hangout in the heart of a heritage suburb. The cafe may be set in an old-school corner store, but the kitchen team turns out decidedly modern food.
Eggs on toast? Yes, they’re here. But how about upping the ante with broccolini, green beans, cannellini bean puree, poached eggs and panna grattato or a Middle Eastern-inspired shaksuka with fried eggs, Lebanese sausage, charred pita and labneh. Breakfast is big here, particularly on weekends, and owner and hospitality veteran Abdulla Daher does a great job juggling tables and making everyone feel welcome. In keeping with the family-friendly vibe, there is a kids’ brekkie menu.
The breakfast menu at Fred provides all the incentive needed to get up early and head for the Hills. Fred is much loved by Aldgate locals but also draws destination diners from across Adelaide.
Experienced chef and co-owner Todd Langley creates menus that cause that happiest of dilemmas: you can’t choose a dish because everything sounds appealing. There is an early breakfast menu (7.30-11.45am) as well as all-day brekkie offerings (7.30am-3pm).
Langley puts a creative spin on cafe favourites such as smashed avocado, house-made Bircher muesli or mushrooms on toast. These classics also share menu space with more unusual breakfast dishes, from Indian scrambled eggs with roti and roasted cumin yoghurt to a light-as-a-feather breakfast gnocchi.
Fred keeps everyone happy, including vegans, with The Threesome, made up of maple-roasted granola, smashed avo and kale on charcoal toast, and green juice.
This buzzy cafe does get busy but has a few zones including the cafe space at the front, a cosy dining room at the back which opens to a courtyard, a mezzanine lounge/library and a private space upstairs.
Trouble and Strife
This is the kind of local cafe every suburb needs; especially at breakfast time.
Clare Lennon’s cosy, welcoming cafe attracts a diverse and loyal crowd who love the generous portions of simple, great-tasting food. Brekkie treats may feature cinnamon French toast, thyme-baked apples, honey oat nuts with mascarpone and maple syrup. How about avocado, haloumi, scorched corn, tomato and coriander salsa, spiced black beans and sourdough … need we say more?
Froth and Fodder
Kurralta Park may not spring to mind as a food hotspot, but the suburb is home to some of the best brekkies in town. Froth and Fodder, owned by Angela and Chris Davies, has a great rep for its Insta-worthy morning dishes, which are packed with local produce.
The cafe, in the street behind Kmart, has an energetic, unpretentious vibe and does a roaring trade for weekend breakfast (and then lunch).
The standard menu brims with choice but chef Chris and his kitchen team change things up regularly with seasonally-driven specials, whether it’s tiramisu pancakes, Bircher muesli with Earl Grey poached pears or panko-crumbed brioche French toast with heirloom tomatoes, goat’s cheese and house made pesto.
The cafe has an epic breakfast burger which doesn’t (and should never) leave the menu and there are four, yes four, different takes on the classic eggs Benedict.
The Froth part of the name, aka the coffee, is reliably good and made with local d’Angelo beans.
Karma and Crow
Some of Adelaide’s most inventive breakfasts can be found at this cafe set in a cleverly-converted warehouse at Richmond. Karma and Crow is a light-filled space with a good choice of seating styles, lots of greenery and a hipster-tinged, friendly vibe.
There is far more to experience here beyond bacon and eggs (although that classic combo is available). Swap the ubiquitous smashed avo on sourdough for smashed mint peas on seeded rye with chevre, pomegranate seeds, pickled ginger, pomegranate molasses, lemon and a “poachie” (the new name for poached eggs!).
It gets even more interesting with fried smokey eggplant and sweet potato dumplings, chickpea pancakes or a big breakfast of chorizo, peppers, prosciutto, avocado, salted pita, dill yoghurt and those poachies.
Don’t miss the signature dish – Australian native hotcakes with white chocolate and lavender labneh, pistachio and macadamia crumb, maple coconut ice cream, orange gel, strawberry gum, poppy seeds and lavender glass.
The K&C team know their coffee and use beans from local roasters Elementary and Monastery.
Market St Cafe
There’s plenty to love about this patisserie, cafe and deli just across the road from the Adelaide Central Market.
The light, bright space with a happy vibe is just the place to start the day with a buttery, flaky croissant baked on site or one of the best-in-town cheese toasties. Breakfast dishes regularly change but never disappoint with grilled house-made brioche with roasted portobello mushrooms, pecorino and scrambled eggs. The coffee is always first-rate courtesy of good baristas, a classic Victoria Arduino Milanese machine and beans from local roaster, D’Angelo coffee.
Nothing beats an early breakfast at the beach complete with gorgeous sea and jetty views.
Stella has been a Henley Square favourite for more than two decades and has been refurbished in recent years. Its sunny yellow and white fit-out and prime beachfront location make this an ideal brekkie spot any time of year. Start the day with a simple asiago cheese and tomato croissant or homemade Bircher muesli served with poached fruit. More substantial offerings include eggs parmigiana with poached eggs, Napolitana sauce, pancetta, shaved parmesan and toast.
Mornings can be a struggle for many and going out for an early cafe breakfast requires maximum effort. However, even the most morning-challenged among us will ease gently into the day with breakfast at this cheerful neighbourhood cafe run by husband and wife team Kate and Boyd Pattarapongkasame.
The menu offers cafe staples such as corn fritters or eggs Benedict along with Thai-influenced dishes such as the signature Piggy in Cloud which is marinated and slow-cooked local pork belly served with cauliflower puree, broccolini and a soft-boiled egg. Get an early sweet fix with the Nana, toasted house-made banana bread with caramelised banana and crispy prosciutto with strawberry, yoghurt, honey and walnut.
Most importantly, Boyd and his team of trained baristas make consistently good coffee.
The Flying Fig
This is the closest thing to a New York Jewish deli you’ll find in Adelaide. Owner Paul Serafin was inspired to open his cafe after a trip to the Big Apple.
Start your day with a bagel and schmear or try the latke (potato pancakes), buckwheat blinis with house lox (house-cured salmon) or corned beef hash with schug (a piquant green sauce). The kitchen team make a number of key ingredients in house from smoked pastrami to big, crunchy, salty dill pickles.
The Flying Fig serves great cawfee and a specials board keeps things interesting with ever-changing dishes such as chopped liver bagel, Philly cheesesteak or sweet blintzes (pancakes).
220 Mount Barker Road, Aldgate
Froth and Fodder
1/41 Mortimer Street, Kurralta Park
11 Ebenezer Place, Adelaide
0416 050 721
Karma and Crow
249-251 Richmond Road, Richmond
117 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide
14 The Strand, Colonel Light Gardens
The Flying Fig
161 Jeffcott Street, North Adelaide
My Grandma Ben
5 Third Street, Bowden
0431 122 760
2/257 Seaview Road, Henley Square
Trouble and Strife
123 Goodwood Road, Goodwood
Market St Cafe
11 Market Street, Adelaide
This story first appeared in The SALIFE Food & Wine List 2019