Weekend Cafe Hot Spot: Dobinsons

Sophia Carlini 19 April 2016

Years ago, before the Canberra Centre expanded into what it is today, there was an area called the city market place, where Dobinsons first established itself as a small bakery. Dobinsons was doing well for itself and eventually the family-owned business moved to its current location on Bunda Street and became one of only four cafes in the area serving breakfast. In the last couple of years Dobinsons has grown again, knocking out the wall of the empty shopfront next door.

I hadn’t been to Dobinsons in years, so I thought I would check out all the changes. As I walked in, my eyes lit up with excitement as I spied the seven or eight glass cabinets full (and I mean full!) of pies, pastries, cakes and tarts.

Cabinet 2 Cabinet 3 Cabinet 4 Cabinet 5 Cabinet 6 Cabinet 7 Cabinet

See! I wasn’t kidding!

The breakfast and lunch menus are written up on a huge blackboard outside. I scanned the board and decided on the Persian egg stack; a layered stack of fresh baby spinach, Persian fetta, avocado bruschetta and two poached eggs on sourdough toast.


I sat down in one of the café booths and before I knew it my breakfast was sitting in front of me. It was another huge breakfast and easily big enough for two people to share. The avocado bruschetta was delicious, really light and refreshing.

What I loved the most (weirdly) was the size of the tomato and avocado pieces. You know when something delicate is cut too small and it ends up being mush? This bruschetta mix was cut to just the right size. I know, I know, I’m picky!

The eggs were also perfectly cooked and runny on the inside. I ended up eating my meal like it was a bruschetta, piling up the bruschetta mix on a piece of toast and then mushing the egg on top. Yum!


I like to talk to the café owners when I eat breakfast out. There are so many great stories behind businesses which I find really interesting and inspiring. Owner Andrew told me how, many years ago, his parents cooked and sold pies at the Sunday markets. The secret recipe was from a Women’s Weekly magazine!

His parents just loved to cook and eventually taught themselves how to bake all sorts of savoury and sweets. It’s amazing how the love of food between two people can grow into a successful growing business.

If you’re wondering … Dobinsons no longer uses the Women’s Weekly recipe. Andrew says that in fact, the recipes are always changing and improving.

Another great weekend breakfast hotspot and a fantastic bakery! It’s always a hard choice when you have to choose between eggs for breakfast or sweets. Why not get both?!

Dobinsons is located at 177 Bunda St, Canberra.

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