6 of the Best Brunch Spots in Dunedin

Brunch combines two daily meals, which means it’s got to be doubly good. These Dunedin cafés and restaurants do it best with a range of classic dishes, modern takes and plant based options that all hinge on supreme quality and taste.

A plate of brunch on a table at Buster Greens.

Words by: Olivia Sisson
Photos by: Nancy Zhou

Many of these Dunedin brunch spots work with local and organic produce as often as possible, to bring diners a brunch that’s sustainable, memorable and truly local. So grab the gang and head on down to any of the following haunts. If you’re liable to get ‘hangry’ call ahead, as many of these hospitality favourites take bookings to ensure everyone can get their fill.

A brunch plate on a table at The Swan in Dunedin.

The Swan

23 Bath Street

Brunch at The Swan is always laid back and consists of seasonal dishes that’ll satisfy your taste buds, fill your belly and leave you wanting to come back again soon.The lentil herb rosti, for example, comes with basil cashew pesto, beetroot cream, pickled beetroot, fresh greens and zippy orange fennel dressing, topped off with edible flowers from The Swan’s garden (which you can also dine in).

Daily soups feature flavours like cauliflower, fennel and shiso and are a flavour journey all their own. Nearly everything is made on site and the team’s commitment to freshness and taste is evident on every plate.

A plate of brunch on a table at Buster Greens.

Buster Greens

466 George Street, Dunedin North

When Buster Greens says they’ve got something for everyone, they mean it, but not in the ‘we have a gigantic menu’ kind of way. Here it’s all about balance.

The menu features dishes that satisfy bigggg appetites and the most conscious consumers all at once. Buster Green’s eggs benedicts all have a twist. The fried chicken benedict, for one, comes with housemade kimchi, chojang sauce, pickles, poachies and holla, atop a homemade sourdough crumpet. Other favourites include the sauteed seasonal greens with maple roasted vegetables, hummus and toasted seeds.

All the spreads, preserves, pickles, sauces, bread and baked goods are made in house, and Buster Green’s cold pressed juices are the perfect compliment to any dish.

A customer ordering at the counter.

Heritage Coffee

43 Jetty Street

Heritage Coffee boasts a super cool, heritage fit out and a homemade menu that is brimming with brunch options we can’t go past.

Heritage only uses free range meat, eggs and dairy products in their dishes, and always have an impressive array of gluten free and dairy free dishes available too. The menu’s notable french toast is made up with brioche, hokey pokey, dulce de leche, banana, cacao nibs, vanilla bean mascarpone and maple. Add bacon to it if you love a salty sweet combination.

Dine inside at any of Heritage’s cosy booths, outside in the sunny courtyard or on the street front.

Eggs on toast.

Morning Magpie

46 Stuart Street

With a relaxed feel, excellent coffee, homemade baking and savoury brunch options, Morning Magpie offers a winning combination.

Their famous cinnamon pinwheel is a noteworthy nibble, and the corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss pickles and mustard, organic sourdough toasty with crisps, redefines what it means to be a great toasty. Morning Magpie also offers tasty smoothies, juices and barista beverages.

Be on the lookout for John, the owner’s wrinkly Shar Pei and the café’s mascot, who can usually be found lounging around.

A customer eating waffles.

Catalyst

286 Princes Street, The Exchange

A brunch at Catalyst is a brunch you can feel good about. Items like the buckwheat waffle bring the yum factor, while being sustainable and completely dairy free, we might add. This dish comes served with spiced walnuts, seasonal fruit, Ocho dark chocolate, freeze dried fruit and generous servings of organic maple syrup and coconut whip. It’s got a sweet bite but still fills you up.

At Catalyst you can try plant based plates like this one without sacrificing even a smidge of flavour. Most dishes can be made gluten free and all waste from the café is used by a local farm for compost. Get amongst big flavour and real sustainability at Catalyst.

A man sorting loaves of bread.

Side-on

326 Moray Place

Tucked away on Moray Place you'll find Side-on: a light, calming bakery and cafe that offers an enticing menu with a strong toast game.

A favourite among locals boasts haloumi with fried cauliflower, watercress, cream cheese, pumpkin seeds, pickles and curry vinaigrette, but if toast isn't your thing, there's an abundance of baked goods to keep everyone happy. Think cardamom bun, pear and chai loaf, basque burnt cheesecake and rhubarb German custard buttercream cake. With everything made in house, single origin filter and barista coffee, you may have just found the new daily ritual.