The scattering of cafés around the city means you’re spoilt for choice no matter which side of town you’re on. Here are just a few suggestions to suit every taste bud and every type of eater, be it vegan, organic or even if the only thing you’re looking for on the menu is the Big Breakfast.
What: Organic Feast
Where: East Maitland
Who: Vegans, health conscious
No wheat, no soy, no cow’s milk, the list of no go’s when it comes to food really goes on if you are one of the many people who have dietary restrictions. At Organic Feast you will find meals to cater for vegetarians, vegans, paleo, dairy free and wheat free. Plus the staff here understand allergies and can advise the best choices. As someone with dietary restrictions, you get use to not being able to order anything on the menu when you dine out. Forever compromising, forever unsatisfied. But wouldn’t it be great if you weren’t the odd one out? Finally this is one café that does it. The freedom in being able to pick virtually anything on the menu is the definition of happiness.
What: Seraphine Café
Where: Maitland Regional Art Gallery
Who: Families, friends
At Seraphine Café, the food is as creative as the works of art in the building it shares with Maitland Regional Art Gallery (MRAG). With brunch options like sticky Asian pork belly omelette, dukkah crusted poached eggs and a blueberry hotcakes stack that is as thick as it is high, I can say I’m feeling inspired.
The café has a fragrant garden peppered with herbs and other edibles, unique furnishings, lovely food and coffee and books to read. Being inside MRAG is a plus as you can spend time devouring the art once brunch has been digested.
What: Marmook & Poom Poom’s
Where: High Street, Maitland
With a name derived from a childhood nickname of the previous owner’s son’s (think the noise you make when you shoot a toy gun and you are on track as to the origin), this café is the all rounder. It’s got a good vibe, great décor, friendly staff and awesome coffee. Even better, Marmook & Poom Pooms has a small outdoor area that turns out to be a nice place to soak up the sun on a sunny Sunday morning. Plus an added bonus, the smashed avo won’t break the bank!
What: Savannah on Swan
Who: Perfect to cosy up with company
A quick scan of Savannah’s menu and I think everyone will find their favourite, whether it’s for breakfast, brunch or lunch. Described as simple, yet cosy, the heritage building of Savannah’s overlooks the Hunter River at Morpeth and you can take it all in from the charming courtyard. The location and menu may first grab your attention, but you may also be surprised by the surrounds of quirky art and shopping options at their gift shop. Menu tip: Pancakes are a regular favourite, but it’s hard to go past Savannah’s Special on the menu, with extras to fill your brunch hunger.
Who: Locals supporting locals
JERF offers wholesome, fresh, simple food in an atmosphere that reminds you of home. The menu is made from organic produce where possible and sourced from Cornucopia Biodynamic Farm, Udder Farm milk and cream and Fosterton BioDynamic farm. Sitting on the footpath for brunch and watching the Lorn happenings is a lovely leisurely way to spend a morning. If you dine with a local you get to see just how tight knit the community of Lorn is just about every person passing on foot stopped at our table to exchange Sunday pleasantries with our Lorn local. Menu tip: the apple and almond pancakes with coconut vanilla ice cream and salted caramel sauce could qualify as a dessert or breakfast.
What: The Orange Tree
Where: The Levee, Central Maitland
Located on the river side of The Levee Shared Zone, The Orange Tree café is aptly named, as you will find an orange tree in the courtyard. As your order makes its way to your table you’ll soon discover that what’s on the blackboard is what you get, with the big breakfast a perfect example. The coffee is hot, the meals are good value and the view of the Hunter River is what you would expect. A quaint, but all together ideal spot for brunch.
What: Heritage Gardens Café
Where: Heritage Gardens Nursery, Ashtonfield
Who: Green thumbs, families
The Heritage Gardens Café sits at the top corner of the nursery. A great place to stop once you’ve explored all the nursery and gift shop have to offer.
There is alfresco dining which overlooks the nursery grounds, as well as an air conditioned dining area inside for those who prefer their climate controlled.
The food is a hearty mix of traditional café favourites and new flavours that push the boundaries a little. But the one thing that rings true for each offering is it’s always fresh.
Story by Tess Campbell.