The best cafes for breakfast in Canberra

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Doubleshot

Doubleshot Deakin, one of Canberra’s most recommended cafes for breakfast. Photo: Daniella Jukic.

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.

Local Press Café

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 …”

Sweet Bones Bakery and Café

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!

Sweet Bones loaded banana bread

On Google, Madge Aldridge wrote, “My local fav. Best breakfast burger, best creamy mushroom sandwich, best cupcakes.”

Doubleshot

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 …”

Chatterbox Espresso Bar

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 …”

Penny University

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.”

Trevs@Dickson

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.”

Rye Café

At Rye Café, it’s all about quality and simplicity. Their fresh and delicious breakfast meals are all made with locally sourced produce, and easily cater to all dietary requirements – whether you’re after something sweet or savoury, Rye’s got something for you. With quality coffee and cold drinks, plus a bright and welcoming interior, it’s no wonder Rye Café has quickly become a local favourite.

Lisa Spencer wrote on Google, “Most delicious breakfast ever! Eggs, bacon, mushrooms, perfect asparagus and sensational crumb on top. Coffee was beautiful and service was great.”

Farmers Daughter Café

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.”

The Knox Made in Watson

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.”

EQ Bakehouse and Café

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.

See Deakin Differently

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.”

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect on the menu at a breakfast café?
Every café is different but the best for breakfast offer a wide variety of dishes. They don’t solely focus on traditional bacon and eggs, but branch out with healthy options too. They might, for example, have super breakfast bowls, smoothies and more.
Is it cheap to eat out for breakfast?
The cost depends on many factors. One factor is the café you select, with some more upmarket than others. It will cost less, for example, to eat breakfast at a “greasy spoon” than at a trendy café. Another factor is what you eat. Many cafés serving breakfast have simple toast with condiments through to more expensive and sophisticated dishes with multiple ingredients.
Do all breakfast cafés have great coffee?
Most cafés have trained baristas, but not all do. Most also source quality coffee beans. Check the reputation of the café first.
What time can I get breakfast at a café?
Most cafés that open for breakfast cater for early risers. While opening times vary, some cafés through their doors open super early, such as at 6am or even before.
Are all breakfast cafés open seven days a week?
Not all are breakfast cafés are open seven days. Some located in office buildings, for example, might dish up a dynamite breakfast but only Monday to Friday. Others may not open Sunday. Some are ready to serve seven days a week.

What's Your Opinion?


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150 Responses to The best cafes for breakfast in Canberra
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FanBerra FanBerra 6:22 pm 09 Jul 11

A Bite to Eat may have great wait staff and a few tasty morsels but the chefs are full of themselves. I had another crap experience there and I swear I’m done. Never again. Had a bagel thrown down on the table at me today from a surly “cook” after I asked for peanut butter that didn’t have chilli in it. Apparently the description of house-made before the menu listing of peanut butter implies loaded with chilli and I deserved utter contempt for troubling them for standard peanut butter. it’s not like I dissed their stinking oyster pot pie that nearly had us hurling on their stupid mismatched decor.

ant ant 10:27 am 10 Jul 09

Well if we ever get that 2nd breakfast off the ground, I guess it won’t be delissio.

chewy14 chewy14 10:09 am 10 Jul 09

SheepGroper said :

blackbetty said :

really missing the chef that left…he was dreamy…am sure his name is gee, wonder where he went 🙂

As far away from his stalker as possible?

In a shallow grave?

SheepGroper SheepGroper 10:06 am 10 Jul 09

blackbetty said :

really missing the chef that left…he was dreamy…am sure his name is gee, wonder where he went 🙂

As far away from his stalker as possible?

Jim Jones Jim Jones 9:34 am 10 Jul 09

A newbie turns up and instantly starts doing the rounds of the food threads spruiking delissio braddon.

A bit suspicious for my liking.

blackbetty blackbetty 12:18 am 10 Jul 09

delissio braddon is the best breakfast place still…love the food and coffee is great…really missing the chef that left…he was dreamy…am sure his name is gee, wonder where he went 🙂

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 12:00 pm 25 Sep 08

I think it has been mentioned in this thread before, but I’ll add another tick for As nature intended at the end of Marcus Clarke Street, New Acton.

qwerky qwerky 10:56 am 25 Sep 08

Overheard said :

qwerky said :

Ant was pushing for that one in Reconciliation Place (The Edge, Water’s Edge, something like that?) once the weather got warmer. I was toying with the idea of putting my own hand up to organise something, but couldn’t fix on a date. I’m in town on Saturday 11 October if anyone’s up for then.

Souns good Overheard; if you organise it for that date, I’ll be there.

peterh peterh 9:46 am 24 Sep 08

Overheard said :

qwerky said :

DH and I had a fantastic breakfast at Cafe Prego at Dickson (next to Hudsons)last weekend. Very reasonably priced and delicious; eggs, bacon, hash browns, cheese and onion on Italian bread. This would have to be the best yet so I had to tell you all about it! Perhaps we’re due for another RA breakfast?

Ant was pushing for that one in Reconciliation Place (The Edge, Water’s Edge, something like that?) once the weather got warmer. I was toying with the idea of putting my own hand up to organise something, but couldn’t fix on a date. I’m in town on Saturday 11 October if anyone’s up for then.

Cafe Moda’s upstairs in the older part of Canberra Centre. Upstairs from Thomas Cook travel (?) at the top of the escalators. I used to go there irregularly when I was working in a building adjacent to Canberra Centre some years ago, but it is pretty much embedded into the shopping centre. Not a good option when the weather’s fine; you’re miles from the nearest window even.

but the smokers are miles away too…

Overheard Overheard 1:04 am 24 Sep 08

qwerky said :

DH and I had a fantastic breakfast at Cafe Prego at Dickson (next to Hudsons)last weekend. Very reasonably priced and delicious; eggs, bacon, hash browns, cheese and onion on Italian bread. This would have to be the best yet so I had to tell you all about it! Perhaps we’re due for another RA breakfast?

Ant was pushing for that one in Reconciliation Place (The Edge, Water’s Edge, something like that?) once the weather got warmer. I was toying with the idea of putting my own hand up to organise something, but couldn’t fix on a date. I’m in town on Saturday 11 October if anyone’s up for then.

Cafe Moda’s upstairs in the older part of Canberra Centre. Upstairs from Thomas Cook travel (?) at the top of the escalators. I used to go there irregularly when I was working in a building adjacent to Canberra Centre some years ago, but it is pretty much embedded into the shopping centre. Not a good option when the weather’s fine; you’re miles from the nearest window even.

qwerky qwerky 11:47 pm 23 Sep 08

[cafe moda – seconded. best breakfast, and the owners understand that there is no way my 3yo will finish a really big milkshake. they have very pleasant staff as well.
Peter@home, Where’s Cafe Moda?

peter@home peter@home 11:35 pm 23 Sep 08

ogrex said :

Another vote for Dobinson’s. The quality can vary greatly on the cooked brekky, but in terms of value and reasonable food it’s always of an acceptable quality. I’m not a veggo but their veggie brekky is great in my opinion. I’ve been told that they’re getting heaters for this winter as well, which should make cold weekend mornings much more tolerable.

Another good place for FOOD but not atmosphere is Cafe Moda upstairs in the Canberra Centre (next to the Pumkin Patch). I think that the brekky food is actually quite good (excellent thick, low-fat beef sausages… containing actual meat!). Unfortunately it’s in the middle of the mall… but not necessarily a bad thing for the winter months.

Thanks for mentioning “As Nature Intended”. We’ll have to check that out.

Babar and Cream do good food, but I always find myself asking “where’s the rest of it?”. I’m not a quantity over quality guy… but sometimes I feel really ripped off.

cafe moda – seconded. best breakfast, and the owners understand that there is no way my 3yo will finish a really big milkshake. they have very pleasant staff as well.

qwerky qwerky 10:46 pm 23 Sep 08

DH and I had a fantastic breakfast at Cafe Prego at Dickson (next to Hudsons)last weekend. Very reasonably priced and delicious; eggs, bacon, hash browns, cheese and onion on Italian bread. This would have to be the best yet so I had to tell you all about it! Perhaps we’re due for another RA breakfast?

qwerky qwerky 10:19 pm 25 Jun 08

I’ve posted another thread about breakfast this Saturday 28 June at 9.30am in the city. If you email me at ACTGadabouts at gmail dot com and tell me your name, I’ll tell you where we’re meeting.

madman madman 12:21 am 18 Jun 08

Yeah well I kinda didn’t see that email but I was waiting for the so called “Topic” that was going to be posted closer to the time – I was going to RSVP then – would be my first RA event i’d go to in about 2 years of frequenting this site

ant ant 8:47 pm 17 Jun 08

Qwerky’s email for Riotact events! ACTGadabouts at gmail dot com

ant ant 8:43 pm 17 Jun 08

Qwerky said she only got one taker for the breakfast, so I think she kind-of let it die. A shame, it’s a nice idea. If anyone would like to actually do this, then email her at the email addy she posted earlier in the thread (gadabouts something). I’d be up for brekky.

Mr Evil Mr Evil 5:28 pm 17 Jun 08

Holden Caulfield said :

I went to Babar in Woden once. I won’t make that mistake again.

Certainly agree with you on that one: very slow service (in a place that was half full), got the coffee order wrong, and cold scrambled eggs!

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 4:40 pm 17 Jun 08

Cafe Essen I think uses the tiny kitchen behind the counter, but only buy coffee there so don’t care how big the kitchen is.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 4:15 pm 17 Jun 08

Isn’t Essen’s kitchen right behind their counter?

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