“The first coffeehouses that originated in London in the 17th Century were called Penny Universities. People…
It’s nearly the weekend, and that’s got us thinking about breakfast. So, we’ve put our collective heads together (including those of some knowledgeable local foodies) and found some of the best offerings around the city – whether you live north, south, east or west! Here’s our pick.
Tara from In The Taratory nominates Ellacure in Bruce as her breakfast go-to, she says the bean and chorizo cassoulet (below) “is filling, tasty and has enough spice to kickstart the morning!” Michelle Brotohusodo is also a fan,loving the grilled asparagus, poached eggs, crispy pancetta & shaved parmesan.
Tara says she also loves the blueberry and ricotta hotcakes at Ha Ha Bar in Belco with their delicious All Muddled Up breakfast mocktail. Chatterbox, also in Belco, is becoming a popular spot (and is very well priced!) We love the smashed avocado with poached eggs and Persian fetta and the potato rosti, cottage cheese and your choice of bacon, ham or smoked salmon.
Since it opened mid-2014, Frankies at Forde has been getting uniformly positive reviews – for quality of food and a great experience. The menu has a great range of options, from light and healthy fruit selection and bircher muesli to fluffy blueberry and ricotta pancakes, and more savoury options like a brekky wrap with guacamole and smoked salmon stack.
Fab blogger, Grant Heino, recommends Sweet Copper for “amazing staff and delicious food. Their Plowman’s Plates are pretty epic!”, and you can’t go past Cafe Injoy for a generous start to the day in a family friendly atmosphere. Other notables are Early Doors Cafe and Central Cafe.
Rachi Perera of le-bonvivant.com has eaten a LOT of breakfasts (and somehow manages to stay slim), and she nominates The Cupping Room’s Barbudos, a traditional Costa Rican dish of string bean fritters served with roasted capsicum, fresh corn salsa, Newland bacon, a fried free range egg and garlic crema, as her favourite.
Why? “It’s a delicious alternative to the tradition corn fritters you get everywhere. It comes with a beautiful spicy roasted capsicum, the bacon is always crispy and the egg is always perfectly fried. The whole thing works beautifully with the richness of the garlic crema. What’s not to love!”
Angela Mason also has a love affair with this place, adoring their scrambled eggs with fresh cream and chives, with sides of garlic wilted spinach and feta. ” All three are simple flavours but they work so well together. The feta is the real highlight, it is whipped and creamy and delicious! But the best thing about The Cupping Room is of course the coffee-husband and I have normally enjoyed two cups each before the food comes!”
The Museum Cafe at the National Museum of Australia, catered by Broadbean Catering, is a real hidden gem. It has some of the best views in Canberra, and the food to match – Michelle Brotohusodo loves their Baked eggs with Spanish tomato sugo, chorizo and tapendade with sourdough toast and Poached eggs with baked beans, ham hock and sourdough toast (below). Check out our full review here.
HerCan editor, Amanda Whitley, loves Močan & Green Grout. It’s a tiny little space that that serves fair trade coffee, sources its produce from local farmers and grows its herbs in the planter at the front door. It really does feel like being in someone’s kitchen, as your food is cooked in compact space right in the middle of the restaurant.
Her fave is the grilled chorizo, fried eggs, corn, avocado (pictured below, at top right) but it’s not currently on the menu…but the Tripoli Baked Eggs, Hummus, Spiced Radish and Yoghurt (below, top left); and the Seared Haloumi, Poached Eggs, Cavolo Nero and Lemon (below, bottom left) are also amazing.
Oh, and we couldn’t not mention the baked eggs , pork & fennel sausage , chick peas with sourdough from Loading Zone in Odgers Lane – one of our fave breakfasts around town.
Amanda also loves the food at Kingston’s Penny University, and her current breakfast obsession is their Baked Miso Cured Snapper, served with avocado salsa, charred corn, sunny egg, toasted multigrain and toagarashi (pictured below). It may not sound like your typical breakfast dish – and it’s not – but the flavours are amazing and it’s a light way to start the day.
And she’s not the only Penny Uni fan; Sally Wagnon’s current favourite breakfast isfrom here: Avo Dish – avocado on toasted rye, charred corn and quinoa tabouleh with chevre, chilli oil and poached egg. “All Penny Uni’s dishes are interesting and well thought out, everything works well together,” she says. “I find it refreshing to go somewhere and not just see the standard: pancakes, big breakfast and Benedict on the menu.”
We also love Maple + Clove in the Realm Precinct – all their meals are cooked on the premises daily, using fresh, local, seasonal and wholefood ingredients. The team behind The Chairman Group (Chairman & Yip, Malamay, Lanterne Rooms and Lilotang) is now on board and the menu and service have had a bit of an overhaul.
Recently, Amanda had their Tomato and Lemon Ricotta, served on spelt toast – and added a side of avocado and a sausage (because, well, she really likes sausage) and says it was divine. “Really fresh and light and highlighting the pristine produce.”
Ok, for the purposes of this story, we’re calling Braddon ‘inner north’. If you’re after something a little different for breakky, then head no further than Elk & Pea in Braddon. They don’t do your traditional eggs benedict or scrambled eggs on toast; their menu is a feast for the eyes and the senses. Instead of banana bread, you’ll find pear and raspberry bread with coconut cream, mexican shortbread and vanilla syrup. Is your mouth watering yet?
They also do a fair few vegetarian and gluten free options, like black beans & corn, fried tortilla, avocado, chorizo, salsa, and herb crema, or Smashed Avocado & Shrooms – Thyme Butter Mushrooms, Smashed Avocado, Marinated Feta, Torn Basil, Poached Egg on Sourdough Toast – pictured above – (although, again, I had to have the sausage!) making it a good option for people on just about any diet.
Michelle Brotohusodo LOVES a good eggs Benny, but she also really likes the Kevin Bacon panini at Lonsdale St Roasters: scrambled egg, bacon, tomato and spinach. “It doesn’t sound fancy but it is just delicious – and filling!” Plus, you know, the coffee ain’t bad.
Giulia Porro heads to Autolyse for their Mushroom or Tomato Bruschetta – “it’s just so fresh and tasty with such simple ingredients – true italian style!- and honestly -they win me over the moment I walk in to put in my order – that fresh of baked bread….mmmm!”
WODEN + WESTON CREEK
Sally Wagnon recommends the homemade banana bread at Red Brick Espresso in Curtin for a quick breakfast on the run, saying it’s “delicious and makes a welcome change to the slabs of banana bread (read: CAKE) served by most places.”
More substantial options like Tortilla Pocket filled w free range scrambled eggs, mozzarella & spanish tomato sofrito or Shakshuka Baked Eggs w harissa & persian feta served w toasted sourdough, also hit the spot.
We recently told you about Common Grounds in Gowrie, and it’s continuing to win fans. Jane Quick loves their French, “so yummy!” but savoury options are also aplenty. ‘The Conquistador’ – chorizo, chilli, basil and goats cheese on sourdough – is amazing, and the team is happy to customise orders, like the poached eggs on toast with mushrooms and spinach pictured below.
Brew Bar (Reed Street North) in Tuggeranong also gets a mention, with Jane rating the blueberry bagel with banana, strawberry and whipped cream and Sarah Bowman declaring their hollandaise sauce she’s ever tasted. Eggs Benny, anyone?
What have we missed? What’s your favourite breakfast in Canberra?