Winner: Morning After, West End
Picking up its second category win in as many years is West End institution Morning After. A respite for heavy-headed revellers, sprightly early birds and everyone in between, Morning After has earned a reputation for being a breakfast go-to. Morning After’s head honchos Soula and Yianni Passaris know what makes breakfast great (be sure to also check out Yianni’s new brekkie concept Yolk), with a menu that features healthy day starters (bircher muesli with granola, lychee and passionfruit), decadent dishes (peanut-butter waffle with banana ice cream and berries), savoury winners (potato rosti with thymed mushrooms, friarielli, poached eggs and truffle cheese) and the tantalisingly peculiar (breakfast carbonara with 63-degree hens eggs, mushrooms, smoked pancetta and manchego). When it comes to Brisbane’s best breakfast, our readers have spoken – Morning After is the goods, once again!
Runner-up: Willow and Spoon, Wilston
Another familiar face at the tip of this list has been maintaining its A-game since it first won this category in 2012. That’s a phenomenal tenure at the top for any venue, and is a testament to Willow and Spoon’s commitment to excellence. If you’ve never sampled the seasonal fare at Willow and Spoon, a quick glimpse at the all-day menu will clue you in to what you’re missing. You’ve got your choice between chipotle-bean chilli with lime guacamole, iceberg lettuce and corn and tomato salsa, cured pork belly with truffle scrambled eggs and malted barley toast, avocado on Pugilese toast with vegan smoked-sesame cheese, and shortbread French toast with strawberries and cream, and vanilla-bean gelato – plus more.
Runner-up: Whisky Business, Capalaba
Rocking the suburbs is macaron and brunch hub Whisky Business – a dispensary of sweetness that you’ve listed as one of Brisbane’s best spots for morning nosh. Any spot with a menu that starts with three kinds of pancakes is a winner in our book, and Whisky Business has buttermilk, lemon meringue and banoffee pancakes on its list. Throw the likes of summer berry French toast, Belgian waffles, chicken and waffles, eggs benedict, roast-pumpkin bagel and the mouth-watering doffle (doughnut waffle) into the mix, and you’ve got a breakfast spot that is well worth heading to the Redlands for.
Billykart Kitchen, West End and Annerley
Another regular fixture at the top of our best-of lists, chef Ben O’Donoghue’s Billykart Kitchen operation is a well-oiled machine of hospitality excellence. The early-morning menu bursts at the seams with flavoursome and fresh ingredients, with a cross-section of influences sprinkled throughout. Billykart’s menu ranges from simple and satisfying options (house-made crumpets with honeycomb butter) to more hearty dishes (kransky sausage with Boston baked beans, hash browns, fried egg, red cabbage kimchi). No matter which brekkie dish you opt for, you’ll be leaving satisfied.
Gramps Cafe, Red Hill
A relative newcomer to Brisbane’s cafe scene, Gramps Cafe has wasted no time endearing itself to brekkie lovers of Brisbane’s west. ‘Simplistic complexity’ is the cafe’s mantra, and though that might sound like an oxymoron at first, a quick look at the menu will clear up any confusion. Simple dish concepts are brought to life with a nuanced selection of ingredients. Take the porridge, for example. It comes loaded with house chai, roast pistachios, cashews and raspberry coulis. And the omelette? It has been enhanced by the inclusion of pecorino, dill, labne and capsicum chilli jam. Although it’s been open for just over a year, Gramps has made its mark as a bona fide breakfast star.
Chic Scando-inspired neighbourhood cafe and coffee spot Freja’s is often bustling with hungry breakfast hunters, but if you can snag a table amidst the crowd then you’ll see why people are often jostling for a spot. Dishes like the brisket croissant (that’s smoked Cape Grim brisket topped with fried eggs and macaroni layered on a buttery croissant) and the Hen’s Nest (sweet-potato hash, buttermilk-fried chicken and caper aioli) are just a glimpse at the fine-dining influenced menu, which keeps folks coming back over and over again.
Hobby Lane, Mitchelton
Blackwood Street’s bustling breakfast and brunch hub Hobby Lane is a fave for locals, but it’s also well worth the trip if anyone is looking for a quality spot they’ve never tried before. While Hobby Lane nails the classics, the kitchen team isn’t afraid to think outside the box. Ever wanted spaghetti for breakfast? Hobby Lane’s variety is made using whole-wheat organic spaghetti, tomato sugo grana padano, basil oil and charred organic pane. Also worth a try is The Brexican – a weekend breakfast-menu staple featuring avocado, blue tortilla chips, creamed corn, chorizo, dirty rice, pan egg, sour cream and green jalapeno jam. Sensational!
Touted as one of the premiere spots in Nundah to eat and drink, Blockhouse has a strong rep to maintain. According to your votes, it continues to hold its own, especially as far as breakfast is concerned! The morning menu is divided between classics and something different, broadly catering to most hankerings. If you’re feeling adventurous, try some of the latter-portion offerings, including the local tiger prawns served on a charred corn and capsicum waffle with creme fraiche, the breakfast schnitzel with poached egg, parma ham and gremolata crumbs, or the mushroom and barley risotto with soft eggs, potato, leek and garlic crumbs.
The Jam Pantry, Greenslopes
The famed flipping menu board at The Jam Pantry is an iconic piece of Brisbane breakfast culture. Every month a menu is constructed out of a small palette of complementary ingredients, with hyper-seasonal additions ensuring there’s something new to try each visit. Although the menu is likely to change between the time you read this and visit in person, some sample breakfast dishes from the flipping board includes a Reuben omelette with corned beef, sauerkraut and Monterey Jack cheese, corn waffles topped with coffee rubbed pulled pork, and cinnamon doughnut hotcakes with stewed apple and vanilla-bean ice-cream.
Little Loco, New Farm
Merthyr Road mainstay Little Loco is constantly buzzing with breakfast feasting throughout the week, and for good reason – the menu is stacked with excellent options. The newly released spring menu has some jaw-dropping winners, including the Golden Gaytime waffles and the nourishing gyros super bowl, the latter of which is filled with slow-cooked pork, red cabbage salad, avocado, house-made tzatziki, and quinoa.
If you’re keen to do a deep dive on the other EAT/drink Award categories, you can view all winners and runner-up venues here. Be sure to also check out our other top ten lists for Brisbane’s best restaurants, Brisbane’s best cafes and Brisbane’s best bars.