review

Smashed Gero: The best of Geraldton’s breakfast and brunch scene

Headshot of Lisa Favazzo
Lisa FavazzoGeraldton Guardian
Email Lisa Favazzo
Journalist Lisa Favazzo sipping a coffee in front of a big wall of cute goodies at Tarts & Co in Geraldton.
Camera IconJournalist Lisa Favazzo sipping a coffee in front of a big wall of cute goodies at Tarts & Co in Geraldton. Credit: The Geraldton Guardian, Liam Beatty

What a big five months, eh?

The health care industry has banded together for the fastest vaccine rollout of our time, a reality TV show star lost control of one of the world’s biggest military powers, and another Australian boxing figure decided not to punch on with our Mayor. There’s one through-line holding these world-defining events together. Breakfast. A big day should always start with breakfast.

I’ve spent the past five months tirelessly testing different types of cappuccinos, compotes, crepes and crusts. Writing on a topic I never knew could be so divisive, I received love letters, a handful of complaints and even a strongly worded Christmas Eve email crucifying my use of the phrase “cup of joe”. Twenty meals to answer the itching eternal question — where should you go for breakfast?

The short answer? Pretty much anywhere in Geraldton and the surrounds with an espresso machine plugged in — they all do a pretty good feed. As a Smashed Gero send-off, I’ve put together a handy guide to help you find your perfect breakfast match.

Coffee from Quiet Life in Geraldton.
Camera IconCoffee from Quiet Life in Geraldton. Credit: The Geraldton Guardian, Lisa Favazzo

Best coffee

To start every morning with a double-shot cappuccino from this cafe would certainly not make for a Quiet Life. The cafe uses beans from Micrology, a small-batch coffee roaster based in Perth. Whether it’s their cold drip of espresso coffees, every cup is rich with unique flavours, setting them apart in Geraldton’s strong coffee scene.

Honourable mentions: Two Foreshore, Piper Lane, Beached Barrel, Poppies by the Park.

Pulled beef brisket, poached eggs and chipotle hollandaise from Flow Cafe in Geraldton.
Camera IconPulled beef brisket, poached eggs and chipotle hollandaise from Flow Cafe in Geraldton. Credit: The Geraldton Guardian, Lisa Favazzo

Best healthy spot

Nothing makes me more excited than hearing the team behind Flow Cafe are catering an event. I take myself out for their colourful, antioxidant-rich and inventive breakfasts as often as my budget will allow.

Honourable mentions: Go Health, Piper Lane.

Wren's Place Cafe staff Leo Nguyen and Hanah Nguyen, and Vicky Phan and Alex Nguyen.
Camera IconWren's Place Cafe staff Leo Nguyen and Hanah Nguyen, and Vicky Phan and Alex Nguyen. Credit: The Geraldton Guardian, Lisa Favazzo

Best day trip

The sleepy historic town of Northampton has a lot to offer anyone who likes to wander, including Wren’s Place Cafe. The little country store-front is doing big things with its baking.

Honourable mentions: Central Greenough Cafe, Seaspray Cafe, Poppies by the Park.

Journalist Lisa Favazzo at Piper Lane in Geraldton.
Camera IconJournalist Lisa Favazzo at Piper Lane in Geraldton. Credit: The Geraldton Guardian, Lisa Favazzo

Best atmosphere

Located in the coolest part of the West End and embellished with astroturfing and flowers, Piper Lane is the chillest place in Geraldton to enjoy a lazy morning.

It’s a pretty impressive feat considering you can’t even see the ocean!

Honourable mentions: AJ’s Cafe, Two Foreshores, Poppies by the Park, Tarts & Co.

The brekky bowl and chicken focaccia at Two Foreshore Cafe in Geraldton.
Camera IconThe brekky bowl and chicken focaccia at Two Foreshore Cafe in Geraldton. Credit: The Geraldton Guardian, Lisa Favazzo

Best $35 and under for two

While most cafes on the lower price end specialise in one or two quick dishes, Two Foreshore serves up an impressive and fresh offering.

The budget-friendly spot punches well above its weight.

Honourable mentions: The House Cafe, Remi’s French Street Food, Beached Barrel, Jaffle Shack, Central Greenough Cafe.

Seaspray Beach Cafe owner Christina Zaharopoulos.
Camera IconSeaspray Beach Cafe owner Christina Zaharopoulos. Credit: The Geraldton Guardian, Lisa Favazzo

Best culinary finesse

I am going to have to call this category a tie. On one hand, every dish at Seaspray Cafe is laced with actual love.

Smashed avocado and Persian feta on toasted sourdough, cherry tomato and rocket salad with pine nuts, and a balsamic glaze from Salt Dish in Geraldton.
Camera IconSmashed avocado and Persian feta on toasted sourdough, cherry tomato and rocket salad with pine nuts, and a balsamic glaze from Salt Dish in Geraldton. Credit: The Geraldton Guardian, Lisa Favazzo

But, over at Salt Dish, diners are left surprised by every bite of the thoughtful offering.

Honourable mentions: Quiet Life Speciality Coffee, Flow Vitality, Piper Lane, Sirocco Bar & Cafe, Tarts & Co.

The smashed avo and the Sirocco burger from Sirocco Bar & Cafe in Geraldton.
Camera IconThe smashed avo and the Sirocco burger from Sirocco Bar & Cafe in Geraldton. Credit: The Geraldton Guardian, Lisa Favazzo

Best service

Service in Geraldton often gets a bad rap, but several venues in town are invested in proving the haters wrong. Nowhere seems more committed than Sirocco’s Bar & Cafe, where staff are so personable they feel like friends.

Honourable mentions: Poppies by the Park, Skeetas Restaurant, AJ’s Beach Cafe.

Ashton Favazzo, 10, and Christian Favazzo, 12, digging into their waffle sticks at AJ's Beach Cafe in Geraldton.
Camera IconAshton Favazzo, 10, and Christian Favazzo, 12, digging into their waffle sticks at AJ's Beach Cafe in Geraldton. Credit: The Geraldton Guardian, Lisa Favazzo

Best family friendly

If you have a big family — made up of kids, pups, dads or grandmas — and are looking for somewhere to run amok, grab a picnic rug and lay it out near AJ’s Beach Cafe. There’s something for everyone, from salads, to sprinkled waffle sticks and big bowls of water for dogs.

Honourable mentions: The House Cafe, Central Greenough Cafe, The Murchison Tavern.

A chocolate and berry tart from Poppies by the Park in Dongara.
Camera IconA chocolate and berry tart from Poppies by the Park in Dongara. Credit: The Geraldton Guardian, Lisa Favazzo

Best sweet & naughty

Both Poppies by the Park’s offering and commitment to local produce is sweet as candy. The outfit serves Breadwright Microbakery pastries, delicious Spruce Juice and sells the quirkiest cute bits and bobs — the cafe’s vibe is sweet enough to infuriate Dongara’s dentists.

Honourable mentions: Beached Barrel, Wren’s Place, Remi’s French Street Food.

Two soy ice coffees, a chicken, almond, basil, chorizo, cheese, aoli and spinach jaffle and an angle-hair spaghetti pesto and cheese jaffle from the Jaffle Shack on Geraldton’s foreshore.
Camera IconTwo soy ice coffees, a chicken, almond, basil, chorizo, cheese, aoli and spinach jaffle and an angle-hair spaghetti pesto and cheese jaffle from the Jaffle Shack on Geraldton’s foreshore. Credit: Lisa Favazzo/The Geraldton Guardian, Lisa Favazzo

Best savoury & naughty

Pairing fancy indulgent ingredients with a crowd-pleasing concept, Jaffle Shack is easily one of the best naughty treat places in town. The sight of melted cheese turning to string as you pull a jaffle apart is a beauty to rival the foreshore.

Honourable mentions: Brunch Break Cafe, Murchison Tavern.

AND DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT OUR UNIQUE FLOW CHART ...

Follow our unique flow chart to help you answer the eternal question of: Where should I go for breakfast?
Camera IconFollow our unique flow chart to help you answer the eternal question of: Where should I go for breakfast?

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