Sydney has one of the most beautiful and iconic waterside settings in the world. There are many things to do in Sydney, around its natural harbour, where its iconic landmarks draw people in and boats and ferries move people around the city.
Sydney’s culture is deeply ingrained with its harbour and the sea, and people flock to the waterside for leisure and to enjoy the stunning scenery. It is of no surprise that many of the city’s most popular places to eat are those with a water view, ranging from harbour side restaurants with views of the Opera House to relaxing beachside cafes perfect for a coffee while watching the waves roll in.
Whether you’re a Sydney local or staying in a hotel in the circular quay area on holiday, one of the best ways to start your day is with a nice breakfast at one of Sydney’s waterside cafes or restaurants. Here are some of the best spots to eat breakfast by the water in Sydney.
The Boathouse, Shelly Beach
The Boathouse is all about waterfront dining, and they have a couple of cafes on the city’s beaches, but one of the best spots for breakfast is at Shelly Beach. This tiny Sydney beach is a neighbour to the ever-popular Manly Beach to the north, and provides the perfect setting for a waterfront breakfast.
The Boathouse at Shelly Beach is just about right on the sand, with a gorgeous setting overlooking the water. It is the sort of place where it is impossible not to feel relaxed, perfect for a morning coffee with breakfast.
Pilu Kiosk, Freshwater Beach
Another excellent and popular beachside restaurant is Pilu at Freshwater Beach. This place is renowned for its excellent Sardinian-inspired menu, but in the mornings, the attached kiosk makes the perfect spot for a beachside breaky.
Their simple breakfast menu provides you with the opportunity to sample Pilu’s fine food for an affordable price, with options such as the Egg and pancetta roll with provolone, aioli, tomato relish and rocket; and Smoked Ora King Salmon with ricotta, bottarga, beetroot, soft boiled egg and sour dough. Best of all, the little patio where you eat provides a stunning vista overlooking the beautiful Freshwater Beach.
The Nielson, Vaucluse
One of Sydney’s most picturesque breakfast spots on the harbour is the café in Nielson Park. Known as The Nielson, this long-time favourite in Vaucluse is a great little café located in Nielson Park, surrounded by green grass and shady trees, with a stunning view over Sydney Harbour.
There are two parts to The Nielson, with the restaurant serving breakfast favourites such as eggs benedict and smashed avocado on sourdough, as well as lunch and dinner options; while the outside kiosk offers cheap takeaway style options where you could grab a bacon and egg sourdough sandwich or a croissant and coffee and enjoy a picnic breakfast in the park.
Watsons Bay Tea Gardens Café, Watsons Bay
Another wonderful Sydney harbour side suburb is Watsons Bay, which provides stunning views back along the harbour to the CBD. Watsons Bay Tea Gardens Café is an excellent choice for a family breakfast overlooking the harbour, with a wonderful grassed area for the kids to run around on outside.
The café is family owned with an Italian style menu, but all the breakfast favourites are on offer, including Belgian waffles. If you can manage a morning tea afterwards, people rave on about their homemade scones with fresh cream and jam.
Gusto on the Beach, South Curl Curl
If you love your coffee, a visit to Gusto on the Beach is a must. Gusto produce their own brand of espresso coffee that has really made a name for itself in Sydney. Their café, located on the beautiful Curl Curl Beach, provides the perfect venue to try their coffee while enjoying the stunning views of the waves rolling onto the beach.
Gusto on the Beach is not just about the coffee though; they serve up a good breaky as well, and they are dog friendly if you are visiting with your four-legged friend.
Bathers Pavilion, Balmoral
Balmoral is one of Sydney’s most popular beaches and is home to many wonderful cafes and restaurants. Bathers Pavilion, situated in a beautiful old building, has been converted into the fine dining restaurant of Serge Dansereau. Bathers Pavilion is split into two parts, with the restaurant on one side and a café on the other.
The café is the place to go for a delightful breakfast with views overlooking Balmoral Beach. The food here is excellent, with some typical breakfast options, plus some unique chef’s creations – the Poached egg tart with spinach purée, green peas, broccoli, leek and pancetta; or Serge’s father’s oven baked beans with smoked ham hock and tomato are both a must!
The Avalon on the Beach, Avalon Beach
Avalon Beach is a more quiet and secluded beach amongst some of the big northern Sydney Beaches, with a long stretch of sand where you can still find a spot to yourself. If you’re after a nice breakfast in the area, it is hard to beat the location of The Avalon on the Beach. A newer beachside restaurant and kiosk, The Avalon on the Beach is a part of the Avalon Beach Surf Life Saving Club.
Like many similar venues, this place is split between two options when it comes to eating. On the upper decks, the restaurant serves up an excellent breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings, while the kiosk downstairs is the perfect place to grab a takeaway coffee with a breaky roll or toasted banana bread to enjoy on the beach.
MCA Café, Sydney
If you’re looking for a late breakfast or brunch option with views of Sydney Cove, the café at the Museum of Contemporary Art in the Rocks is a wonderful choice. Situated in the museum’s sculpture garden, this café is the perfect spot to enjoy a coffee and a meal while looking out over views of Sydney Cove, the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, or to just to take a break from viewing the wonderful art pieces in the museum.
Enjoying a meal by the water is a wonderful way to start your day in Sydney, and with so many excellent waterside cafes and restaurants on offer, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to finding the perfect waterside breakfast.