With busy lives, my girls and I find that breakfast or brunch is a great way for us to catch up with minimal planning and fuss, and a renaissance in the Adelaide breakfast scene makes our outings all the more enjoyable. Cool and quirky cafés are peppering the suburbs and seasoning the city as diners snap-shut tired menus in large generic cafés and turn to smaller spots with personality.
At many of these vibrant addresses you will still find a classic ‘big breakfast’ of bacon and eggs made from quality South Australian produce but there is also a new wave of more creative dishes, ranging from baked eggs with chorizo in a tomato and capsicum salsa to coconut rice porridge made with bio-dynamic rain-fed rice, topped with toasted nuts and seeds.
Our conversations, comme toujours, seem to revolve around food, and our get-togethers offer the perfect opportunity to bounce addresses off each other and relay our latest experiences. With so many new eateries opening up in the past couple of years, there is always somewhere new to try and talk about but at the risk of a very long list, today, we have each chosen one brunch favourite. Not an easy task!
Georgi: Café Troppo
On a corner overlooking Whitmore Square this bohemian, eco-friendly spot describes itself as a ‘café with conscience’ and its ethos centres around sustainability, our environment and community. The façade is created from recycled, natural materials, pot plants hang from the vertical garden and the terrace has a cool vibe. Inside, freshly baked goods and garden produce tempt from the bench and hot dishes stream from the small open kitchen. The coffee is excellent (organic and fair trade) and produce is also organic where possible. Breakfast is served Tuesday to Friday with earthy dishes such as Mushroom Fancy Toast: sautéed Swiss brown mushrooms with fried local haloumi on thick-cut handmade sourdough with rocket and toasted almonds. On weekends there is a changing brunch menu. One of Georgi’s favourite dishes is the homemade waffles, soft and fluffy, served with seasonal fruit and bio-dynamic cream.
Anni: ARGO on the Parade
Catering to an eastern suburbs’ crowd this funky deli spills its colourful tables onto a wrap-around terrace on Norwood Parade and buzzes all day long. There is a good selection of interesting breakfast, brunch and light lunch options, and with an enormous turnover you can be assured extra-fresh ingredients. Anni eats here often with her friends because, she says, ‘It is consistently good and they are never disappointed’. Her favourite brunch dish is Morocco by Day, a ramekin of Napoletano sauce with pine nuts and a hint of chili topped with Kangaroo Island free-range poached eggs, provolone cheese and rocket, served with continental bread. Sweet-tooths may prefer the Strawberry Hotcakes with berry compote and fresh Adelaide Hills cream.
Green being the new black, there is an enticing range of freshly made green juices as well as smoothies. Anni is a fan of the Ninja juice, a combination of goji berries, mixed berries, banana, apple and kale. The only hitch is the deli’s popularity and it can be quite difficult to score a seat at peak times, although service is usually super-fast.
Jane: The Pantry on Egmont
This suburban gem tucked away on a quiet, leafy street in Hawthorn is my café du moment. Small and welcoming with a relaxed, retro vibe, it’s furnished with mismatched tables and chairs, and works by local artists are exhibited on the walls.
By 8 am on weekdays the pantry is already filling fast with ‘neighbours in the know’ who drop in for breakfast or a coffee to takeaway en route to work. Beans are locally roasted, single origin and fair trade and cycled through every 3 or 4 days. This morning it was Mexican ‘Fietch’ by De Groot. There’s a small selection of alternative beverages. Orchid Daisy is a refreshing mix of apple, pear and mint juice, or try a mango smoothie or a Fizz lemonade (fresh berries blitzed with a bubbly lemonade). On a hot day an Iced Freddo hits the spot – a double shot of espresso shaken over ice and chilled milk with a dash of sugar syrup.
Servings are generous and on the current spring menu along with the ‘Big Breakfast’ and ‘Garden Breakfast’ is French Toast: sweet cinnamon-spiced sourdough served with blueberry and apple compote, vanilla cream cheese & almond crumble with maple syrup. Being a savoury girl, however, this morning I opted for the smoked salmon bagel served open with black pepper & dill cream cheese, pickled red onion and rocket. Good morning Adelaide.