Brisbane may not have the foodie reputation of Melbourne or Sydney, but it sure serves a mean brunch. So it made choosing just five spots for our fourth brunch series pretty difficult. Sure, there are dishes that hold a special place in our hearts - such as the ricotta-buttermilk hotcakes with honeycomb butter and bacon at Harveys, the spanner crab omelette at Pearl Cafe, or the impressive specials board at Au Cirque. However, every Brissie local and their dog has sampled these scrumptious menus, so we decided to look at the city's lesser-known gems. After consuming a plethora of pancakes, stacks of smoothies and oodles of eggs, we have narrowed down the field. It was a tough job but someone had to do it!
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1. Gerard's Bistro, Fortitude Valley
Serving up gourmet brunch options with a Middle-Eastern flair, Gerard's offers a spicy start to your weekend. From black pudding with manchego custard and grapes, to 63 degree duck eggs with a smoked bacon mousse, head chef Ben Williamson will take you on a exotic culinary journey. Our pick? You can't go past the Bagdad eggs - fried in cumin, garlic, mint and lemon and served with tahini - they're pretty unbeatable. With its sleek timber and marble fit out, Gerard's is the perfect locale to brunch with your pals before a spot of shopping on James Street.
14/15 James St, Fortitude Valley, gerardsbistro.com.au
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2. Mondo Organics, West End
Over the bridge, West End has always been a beacon for hippies and hipsters alike. So it makes total sense that Mondo Organics would set up shop here. Using only organic and sustainably sourced produce, Mondo's seasonal menu ensures you're only being served the best - minus the side of guilt. Our pick: the omelette with saganaki mushrooms, chorizo and chives with a serve of sourdough toast. And for those with a sweet tooth - how does sourdough cacao doughnuts, chestnut labneh, beurre bosc pears and pepita crumble sound? Yeah, we thought so.
166 Hardgrave Rd, West End, mondo-organics.com.au
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3. Riverbar & Kitchen, Riverside CBD
Occupying prime position along Eagle Street Pier, Riverbar and Kitchen's view of the Story Bridge and Kangaroo Point Cliffs is second to none. But we wouldn't expect anything less from a Matt Moran-owned establishment. The laidback, boatshed atmosphere is the perfect place to brunch, long lunch or indulge in an evening tipple. We love the baked beans with merguez sausage, eggs, spinach and manchego cheese or the pancakes with rhubarb and strawberry crumble.
14 Collingwood Street, Paddington, riverbarandkitchen.com.au
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4. Shouk Café, Paddington
The Shouk secret is out - so don't even try to get in on a Sunday without a reservation. This small Middle Eastern-inspired café is nestled among the winding hilly streets of Paddington but don't let the timid demeanour fool you - Shouk serves a killer sweet or savoury brunch. Our pick: the polish potato pancake stack with cream cheese, dill, poached eggs or the waffles with strawberries, chocolate brownie ice cream and chocolate halva. Add this to your regular's list because you're going to want to try everything on the menu.
14 Collingwood Street, Paddington, shoukcafe.com.au
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5. Moose & Gibson, Woolloongabba
Heading east, Moose and Gibson is right in the heart of Woolloongabba's burgeoning café scene. Decked out with natural textures, polished concrete floors and exposed copper piping, their approach is the perfect combination of industrial, charming and trendy. Moose & Gibson marks the second venture from Australian rugby player Scott Higginbotham and business partners Malcolm and Danielle Watts. From a menu brimming with smart modern dishes and all-day breakfast options, our pick is the baked potted eggs with a rich herb tomato sauce, locally made chorizo, olive tapenade and blood plum balsamic - yum.
77 Jurgens Street, Woolloongabba, mooseandgibson.com
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