Canberra loves breakfast – whether smashed avo on toast, freshly ground coffee, poached eggs, or smoothies are your favourite way to start the day, it’s no secret that Canberra is bursting at the seams with quality cafes offering delicious breakfasts to help you rise and shine.
There are easily enough cafes around Canberra with delicious breakfast menus that you could visit somewhere new every morning – so how do you decide where to go? Between the quality of the coffee, catering to dietary needs, location and affordability, there’s a lot to consider.
That’s where we come in! In this article, we’ll outline the qualities to consider when choosing a café for breakfast, and give you a helpful guide to some of Canberra’s favourite destinations.
What makes a great café for breakfast?
With so many different cafes around Canberra to choose from, it’s important to know how to separate the good from the great. Try keep the following in mind next time you head out for brekky:
- Amazing coffee. Coffee lovers understand the importance of quality coffee, made by expert baristas. Choose a café well known for its coffee (and teas).
- Great menu. Quality cafés design their breakfast menus around variety and taste. They cover classic dishes, heartier feeds, super healthy options and more creative meals that set the café apart from the rest. Choose a café that ticks all your boxes.
- Speedy service. If you want to eat and get going with your day, you’ll want a café with speedy service. This might not be so important if you’re wanting to lounge about for a leisurely brunch.
- Friendly staff. Starting your day with a smile is essential. Choose a breakfast café with friendly and efficient staff.
- Fair pricing. No-one wants breakfast to break the bank. Check pricing online for a café that suits your budget.
The best cafés for breakfast in Canberra
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
The National Library is an iconic landmark in Canberra, responsible for the custodianship of nationally significant literature from throughout our history. Along with their amazing facilities for students and researchers, the Library also features the Bookplate Café.
Bookplate’s delicious-yet-casual all day menu has something for everyone, from eggs benedict to sushi bowls. Enjoy the gorgeous interior surrounded by fresh florals and stained-glass windows, or the breezy outdoor terrace for the stunning views across Lake Burley Griffin and Patrick White Lawn.
When you’re finished your meal, you can wander through the Library, explore their exhibitions and relax to read a book or two.
On Google, BJ Pierce writes, “Great location. Good for brekky or brunch after a walk around Lake Burley Griffin.”
Farmers Daughter Café is a down-to-earth, quirky café open early for breakfast. A wide range of savoury dishes and sweet treats are on offer, as is excellent coffee. Whether you’re after toast with spreads or eggs any way with your choice of sides, Farmers Daughter has something for you.
Christopher Nelson wrote on Google, “The service was quick. The coffee was strong, hot, and delicious. The meals were fresh and creative.”
With a rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic and a friendly, local vibe, Sweet Bones Bakery and Café is a vegan café located in the heart of Braddon. Sourcing as much local and organic produce as they possibly can, the team at Sweet Bones is dedicated to food that is vegan, cruelty-free, delicious, and can be enjoyed by everybody!
On Google, Madge Aldridge wrote, “My local fav. Best breakfast burger, best creamy mushroom sandwich, best cupcakes.”
Friendly baristas and outstanding coffee are hallmarks of Chatterbox Espresso Bar. This café opens early to dish up tasty breakfasts, served with a smile. Vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free and regular breakfasts are on the menu. Dishes include toasted banana bread, a Paleo breakfast and the “full plate” for those with mighty appetites.
Murray McCulloch wrote on Google, “The food (breakfast) and service were excellent. Food is quite decadent. Good coffee too …”
Local Press Café, on the Kingston Foreshore, is a health-conscious, rustic eatery that plates inventive modern Australian food, including an all-day breakfast menu. The café’s goal is “healthy body, healthy planet,” and so all their dishes are made with unprocessed and preservative-free whole foods. Their delicious menu and unbeatable views on the Foreshore make this a perfect breakfast destination for a sunny morning out.
On Google, Rizia Asuncion wrote, “Coffee and food is consistently great at Local Press. They also have fast service! I would 100% recommend this place …”
Owner of Trevs, Trevor McGrath, is an experienced chef who has worked at the Lodge for a Prime Minister. The breakfast lineup at Trevs, in the heart of Dickson, includes sweet and savoury options and tops off with the hearty “Trevs Brekky”, for those who like the lot. Healthy options include granola and fruit salad.
Fiona Maher wrote on Google, “Just had the best breakfast at Trevs. Incredible, friendly service. Amazing food and coffee.”
EQ Bakehouse and Café is open early for breakfast seven days. The extensive menu has something for everyone with breads and pastries baked onsite. Breakfast includes toasted artisan bread, eggs benedict and the big “EQ breakfast”. Freshly pressed juice, shakes, smoothies, quality coffees and teas are available.
On Google, Susan Hoffman wrote, “Terrific cafe, plenty of seating and well shaded outside for sunny days … this time I had the ‘Zone breakfast’ with a lovely cup of coffee.”
Penny University is named after the first coffeehouses that originated in London in the 17th Century, that only cost a penny to enter. While coffee may set you back a touch more than a penny these days, you can expect the same honest and welcoming atmosphere that has something for everyone. With a constantly evolving all-day menu including one of the best smashed avos, Penny University offers plenty of delicious breakfast options and top-notch coffee.
On Google, Seha Sahin wrote, “Great place to start the day. The staff is super friendly and helpful. Ordered green eggs with ham.”
Open bright and early, The Knox is a local hub for families and friends to relax and enjoy excellent food and beverage. The Knox is passionate about great local produce and coffee, only making their meals with locally-sourced ingredients and even selling items from local artists and businesses in their retail store. If you want to enjoy a delicious breakfast and support local business, The Knox is the place for you.
Karl Meehan wrote on Google, “The eggs bene was delicious. and the coffee and food came very quickly even though it was so busy. Will definitely come again.”
Open seven days from 6am, Doubleshot is a contemporary cafe with a relaxed vibe. The extensive line-up of breakfast items promises customers a healthy start to their day – think acai dishes, oven-baked granola, smashed peas and avo, breakfast burger, and the “Healthy start” dish. With plenty of seating in the cool interior as well as the well-shaded outdoor area, Doubleshot is a great spot for large groups and family outings.
On Google, Evan Williams wrote, “Always a lively place to meet with excellent coffee …”
If you’re looking for more information on places to grab something to eat in the mornings in Canberra, you might like our articles on the best bakeries, best coffee shops and the best high teas Canberra has to offer.
Your experience with cafés for breakfast in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the breakfast cafés listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.