If you like your eggs with a side of nostalgia, head to Operator 25, housed inside Melbourne’s heritage-listed old telephone exchange. While the surrounds recall yesteryear, the menu is hip, inventive and experimental, featuring dishes like citrus-cured salmon with yuzu compressed cucumber and pickles. The drinks menu is just as eye-catching. We didn’t know avocado coffee or iced peanutella were things until Operator 25 got all inventive and made our mornings. It will make yours, too, from 7am on weekdays and 9am on weekends.
Schmucks puts bagels back on everyone’s morning menu. Filling, fast and fun are three words that apply as easily as cream cheese goes on a bagel. All breakfast items cost less than $10 and include the usual suspects like smoked salmon, bacon, eggs and cheese. Alternatively, level up to the miso schmick tuna, with line-caught tuna, wasabi peas, kewpie mayo, pickled ginger, pea shoots and iceberg lettuce on a sesame bagel. Yes, there’s also coffee, and it’s a yawn-banishing blend with caramel notes. Serving from 7am on weekdays and 8.30am weekends.
You can get some mighty fine bacon and eggs here, but the real star on the menu is the arepa e’huevo. This is a dish to get involved with, featuring delicious Colombian corn pancakes, an egg fried just the way you like it, and zingy chilli jam. At Auction Rooms, the menu is all about pairing the familiar with the unexpected. The humble cup of tea gets its own spotlight with the Filter Brew of the Day. Try the Hunda Oli, a tea made with butterscotch, oolong tea and candied peach.
From the exposed brick walls to the charming mural decorating them, this place oozes inner-city warehouse style. Known for its all-day menu as much as it’s relaxed welcoming vibe, Mama Bear knows what you like and how you like it. Sometimes you just want eggs. No drizzles, schmears, sprinkles or shards — just the eggs, please. Mama knows. Get them here, anyway you like. In a hurry? Check out the special express takeaway menu.
Walk into Archie’s unassuming cafe with its understated dining space and be truly surprised by the diverse menu. With global influences, satisfying servings and loads of choice, it’s easy to see why this place is such a hit. It’s the sort of cafe you go to find your new favourite dish. The huevos suchios combine tater tots, fried eggs, black beans, jalapeno-spiced cheese, avocado and tomatillo salsa.
The chefs at Essence on Exhibition is dedicated to the classics, and there’s no better place to get them all with a daily buffet alongside a designer omelette menu. Design your own three egg omelettes, made to order, or splash out on the buffet. Get cereals, fruit, pastries and pancakes, along with sausages, bacon, eggs, baked beans and more. The buffet is a little pricey, but it ticks all the boxes and is served fresh daily. Open from 6.30am.
“All fab and no drab” is the catch-cry at The Gas Eatery and it’s a fair call. The Not So Crazy Fry Up, also known as fritanga, is a mouth-watering combo of bacon rashers, skewered lamb and mint sausages, marinated feta cheese, Gas house-made baked beans, a free-range fried egg and toast. At five pages long, the breakfast menu is clear evidence why this place has become the go-to for a true foodie experience. Salted caramel is now a legitimate breakfast food too, making an appearance with banana porridge. Get in early, breakfast is served until 12pm on weekdays and 2pm on weekends.
When you’re perusing a breakfast menu, you don’t expect to see the words, “Why not add a side of fries to your breakfast?” Why not, indeed? You’ll find an all-day breakfast with traditional favourites plus a little something for those who like it hot. The inclusion of chorizo, jalapenos and ancho chillies in some of the dishes will make your breakfast pop. Those with a sweet tooth aren’t forgotten — try the brioche French toast and, if you really want them, fries too. We like how you roll, Hot Poppy. Seven days from 7.30am to 5pm.
We have three words for you: gourmet jaffle menu. The jaffle is a pretty simple concept, but the difference here is the execution and the innovation. Grigons and Orr wields a jaffle iron defiantly in the face of convention, and we like it a lot. Nachos in a jaffle? Sure! What about lasagne? No problem. There are 15 combinations to choose from, and you can add a parmesan crust to any jaffle for just $1.50 extra.
The Eggs with Friends option at LBSS lets you eat breakfast like it’s going out of fashion. Designed for groups of three or more, this all you can eat extravaganza is described very simply as “all the food + coffee”. Give the servers an idea of what you like and they’ll keep the good stuff coming. The rest of the menu has a few surprises, like cauliflower hummus, house-made kim chi and pineapple relish, and this fresh approach to breakfast is drawing crowds. Find out what the buzz is about from 7.30am on weekdays, and 8am on weekends.
The food at The Common Kitchen and Bar may be simple and satisfying, but there is certainly nothing common about it. Fresh, high-quality ingredients round out the menu, which centres around eggs and various meats. There are carefully prepared accompaniments, like sautéed wild and Asian mushrooms, house cured salmon and sautéed kale. This weekday wonder is open from 6am, keeping Melbourne’s early birds fed and caffeinated with its special-blend coffee. Drop in for breakfast or grab a Premium Fraus hot chocolate, a lovely sweet way to start the day.