The true test of a city’s restaurant scene might just be how well it does breakfast.

After all, breakfast can be exactly as you expect (think eggs and toast) or deliciously eclectic. The most original Auckland breakfasts are a reflection of the diversity and depth of the city’s food scene. These are places worth getting out of bed for.

Orphans Kitchen, Ponsonby

Don’t let the simple interior of Orphan’s Kitchen fool you. Housed inside a classic Victorian villa in Auckland’s hippest suburb, this is one of the city’s most adventurous restaurants and breakfast is no exception. Think brioche with lemon curd, chilli and a slow-poached egg, or a very tart black rice pudding with tamarillo and blood orange teamed with passionfruit yoghurt. Pair these dishes with a cold-pressed juice or smooth single-origin filter coffee. It all feels very good for you, in more ways than one.

Odettes, Auckland CBD
Breakfast at Odettes, City Works Depot

The City Works Deport is a former bus terminal in the central city that is now one of Auckland’s best places to eat. At Odettes, a leafy urban oasis, you’ll want to rise early to sample game-changing cacao porridge with little edible flowers or wild mushrooms heaped on a truffle pancake with cashew cream and a poached egg.

Simon & Lee, Parnell

One of Auckland’s lesser-known virtues is its large Korean population. Simon & Lee, in the genteel inner-city suburb of Parnell, gives contemporary classics such as eggs Benedict an East Asian twist by adding tapioca crumpets, kimchi, and miso truffle béchamel. There’s also a classic congee – savoury rice porridge, wood ear mushrooms, mixed mushroom paste, mixed grains, chives, marinated egg and pork belly. 

St Heliers Bay Café & Bistro, St Heliers

Just 10km from the CBD, St Helier’s is a somnolent beachside suburb with point-blank views of Rangitoto Island in the Hauraki Gulf. St Helier’s Bay Café & Bistro has large, picture windows to make the most of its position, but by the time your food arrives you may forget to look outside at all. Think smoked fish omelette (often made with mackerel) dressed simply with a sauce vierge, or spiced lamb mince on sourdough with asadillo (Spanish-style capsicum salad). It’s simple yet triumphant breakfast fare. 

Little Bird Unbakery, Ponsonby

If raw food sounds far too healthy to be good for you, visit Little Bird Unbakery. Supposedly responsible for Auckland’s raw food obsession, Little Bird Unbakery’s culinary magic is evident in dishes like handmade sprouted bread topped with creamy balsamic mushrooms and walnut and kale pesto. Unsurprisingly, the coffee is fair trade and organic – and, in something of a trend for Auckland, filtered.