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March 6, 2019

Adelaide’s best $10 breakfasts

CityMag toured the old-world delis and lunch bars across the city to find the best value breakfast in the Adelaide CBD.

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  • Words: Josh Fanning
  • Pictures: Andrè Castellucci

On nearly every east-west street in town – from South Terrace to North – you’ll find an old-world deli or lunch bar ticking over with a healthy trade of crisp white shirts and fluorescent jerseys from 6:00am until well after noon each day.

Value-for-money breakfasts, ready-to-go sandwiches and jovial banter are what these venues specialise in.


See this story in print – CityMag issue 24 is on the streets now and free to pick up wherever you find it.

In the first of a three-part series on good value food and drink in the city, CityMag reviews the value kings and queens of breakfast, and judges them for what they are, rather than what they’re not.





Ron Mildwaters

1. Lunch on Angas

264 Angas Street

Kym Mildwaters and his father Ron have owned Lunch on Angas for less than a year and have boosted trade immensely since taking over last Easter, they tell us. After many years running a similar shop in Ascot Park the family moved to the city for a change but, sadly, Ron’s wife was diagnosed with cancer last year, and the family has changed their plans drastically since the news.

Despite this, father and son continue to operate Lunch on Angas with a smile and a wink. Ron regales us with great tales of huge trade when nearby venues like the Dom Polski Centre host events. Lunch on Angas can go through tens of kilos of bacon, dozens of eggs and many loaves of bread in a weekend, says Ron. The memory makes him smile – a big toothy grin. Trade has been tough of late though. Summer is typically slow for these kinds of shops in the city as they rely on foot traffic rather than Instagram for their business.

We have no doubt trade will pick back up again, as Lunch on Angas is the value king of Adelaide. Their $10 breakfast includes a pile of bacon, two eggs, two slices of buttered toast, a fried tomato and a perfectly delicious coffee of your choice. All ingredients are cooked perfectly and taste fresh, in particular the Kicco-roasted coffee.

There’s an undeniably laconic sensibility and aesthetic here that creates a genuinely nourishing experience. Lunch on Angas is a good reminder that value meals aren’t the exclusive domain of multi-national, corporate food franchises.

2 Eggs on Toast $5.00
Small Coffee $3.50
Open 6.00am




2. Nano (tied)

23 Ebenezer Place

Stefano Cappoccia makes the bread for his restaurant, Nano, every day. It makes a huge difference to the otherwise simple pleasure of fried eggs. Building your own breakfast or opting for the ‘everything’ is entirely economical with tomato, mushrooms and spinach add-ons running you just $2.70 each – bacon, sausages and pancetta, $3.20 each. Tobasco on the tables adds zing.

Nano is the perfect everyday restaurant and it hasn’t wavered in more than 15 years of operation, with daily pasta specials and ready-to-go favourites in the fridge. Fresh-squeezed OJ from the ZuMEX machine is a point of difference, but for just $3.40, Nano is undoubtedly the best value coffee in town.

2 Eggs on Toast $7.70
Small Coffee $3.50
Open 7.00am




2. Lucia’s Pizza & Spaghetti Bar (tied)

Adelaide Central Market

Lucia’s eggs on toast is exceptional. The eggs are fried in olive oil and combining them with buttered wholemeal bread really was delicious. The former Premier, Jay Weatherill, sits one table away, blending in with the scene – Lucia’s is an institution.

This perennial favourite with its checkered floor, wood-panelled walls, and frothy cappuccinos makes for an all-encompassing experience. Hard to beat for flavour, service, value and atmosphere, Lucia’s is best enjoyed on a weekday, where you get a little longer to soak it all up as opposed to the hectic weekend trade.

2 Eggs on Toast $9.90
Small Coffee $4.00
Open 7.00am (weekdays)




3. The Ritz

3/180 Gawler Place

A long running smorgasbord on the south end of Gawler Place, The Ritz is a lavish lunch spot, owned and operated by the Mazis family for the past 25 years. Tim is the second generation and is gradually trying to get his dad to stop coming into work. Chris Verrier in the kitchen keeps the hot menu fresh and updating daily, and the big breakfast here is more than ample.

“We often get double yolkers,” says the waitress as we remark on the three yolks being set down before us. There’s a convivial buzz in the air as the café fills up with office workers. Tim is friendly and stirs-up more than a couple of his regulars with the sort of light-hearted mocking only friends can get away with. “Customers do become your friends after a while,” says Tim. “Some of them I see upwards of three times a day.”

2 Eggs on Toast $9.00
Small Coffee $3.60
Open 6.00am




4. C’est Ci Bon

133 Waymouth Street

Denise Gogos is writing a book about her and husband John’s experiences on Waymouth Street. We ask her if she’s seen a lot in her 18 years at C’est Ci Bon. “Bloody hell I have,” she says. One of her favourite stories was the time 10 or so big burly blokes came in for breakfast reeking of beer. “I couldn’t understand a word they were saying,” Denise tells us. Turned out it was a North Irish rugby team.

“We should have been called the United Nations Café,” Denise reckons due to the amount of tourists and backpackers from the hostel next door and nearby hotels. Trade is quieter now but the value for money is still as good as ever, the Big Breakfast costs $10, pictured though is the ‘Ultimate Breakfast’ $14.90.

2 Eggs on Toast $6.50
Small Coffee $4.00
Open 7.00am




5. Xpress-o

281 Flinders Street

Rimma El Banna acquired Xpress-o as recently as five months ago and has already set upon elevating the offering for the snack bar’s clientele. This is Rimma’s second business, she also owns the Marden Coffee Lounge. She says success is simple and the important thing for her customers is that everything is cut fresh, daily.

Our big breakfast is served on a board and looks a world away from some of the other venues we’ve visited but the value remains the same, with a significant spread costing just $13.90.

Changes are imminent, with more plant-based options coming. But Rimma assures us these will be additions and not impact the classics at Xpress-o.

2 Eggs on Toast $7.90
Small Coffee $3.70
Open 7.00am




6. Waymouth Cafe

242 Waymouth St

The $12.90 hot breakfast at Waymouth Cafe comes with a coffee and is served at lightning pace. Of all the delis we surveyed for this feature, Waymouth Snack Bar was by far the busiest.

Linda and Derrick Weniton run the show by themselves and they’re too busy to talk when CityMag first arrives. Once the backlog is cleared the pair are happy to share the unique aspects of their business, like the 10-inch hot dog buns they get custom-made by Rheinland Bakery.

“We know 80-90 per cent of our customers by name,” says Derrick. “This isn’t city city where we are, everyone here are friends.”

2 Eggs on Toast $6.00
Small Coffee $3.70
Open 6.30am



7. @ Grote Cafe

228 Grote Street

Johnny Rizk is only two years into his ownership of @ Grote Café and already his hot dogs have a cult following. With a background in marketing, Johnny is trying to update the snack bar’s identity but we can see it’s still the good value, low-price menu that brings in his regular trade.

“We have live music every Wednesday,” says Johnny when he sets down our Big Breakfast. He says that running a small business is hard but he loves the work and it makes him incredibly happy.

2 Eggs on Toast $6.00
Small Coffee $3.50
Open 7.30am
Review    ☆ ☆




8. Royalty Snack Bar

65 Angas Street

Bill Roumeliotis shows us a photo of he and the former Lord Mayor, Martin Haese, on his phone. Bill’s been in hospitality for 25 years, he’s owned the Royalty Snack Bar for 10 and he’s proud of his menu and most of all, his customers.

“We have SAPOL people here, lawyers – criminal lawyers – and criminals on their way to court,” he explains. “We have magistrates too, it’s kind of ironic.”

There’s nothing ironic about the solid bacon and egg roll we pick up for a mere $7.80, though we were tempted by the top selection of double cut rolls on offer, themselves an endangered species on Adelaide’s culinary landscape.

2 Eggs on Toast N/A
Small Coffee $3.80
Open 6.00am
Review    ☆ ☆




9. Café 105

105 Gilbert Street

Shirley Elshahawi greets us with a cheerful grin and the sort of genuine “How are you” that would make anyone feel at home.

As seems to be the standard, we spy Café 105’s breakfast for $9.90 with sausages, eggs, grilled tomato and toast and order up. Café 105’s prices were kept low by nearby office workers who “were pretty stingy,” Shirley says. “Fair dinkum, they complained when we put the price up 10¢.”

When the huge plate of food arrives, it’s clear there’s enough on it to feed two people and the classic Nippy’s iced coffee goes superbly with this filling meal.

2 Eggs on Toast $7.50
Small Coffee $3.40
Open 7.00am
Review    ☆ ☆



10. Smokin’ Joe’s

Da Costa Arcade

Joe wouldn’t tell us his last name but his eponymous snack bar in the back corner of Da Costa Arcade is nothing short of CBD-famous. Joe does a brisk trade here too. In the 20-or-so minutes we stopped by for two eggs, some toast and bacon, the stream of customers never ceased.

“The ageing population has kept me going,” says Joe with only the briefest glance-up from his hotplate to check we’re chuckling. “There used to be 32 people in here all smoking at 8:00am,” recalls Joe, who’s owned the business for more than 20 years now. But when we ask Joe whether he misses smoking at work he stops us. He’s never smoked, “I’ve got enough bad habits,” he says.

2 Eggs on Toast $5.50
Small Coffee $3.50
Open 6.00am
Review   ☆ ☆ ☆


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