Best spots for an early breakfast in Joburg

15 Aug 2023
Joburg is a city that likes to get going as soon as the sun comes up, and there is no shortage of good cafés that open at the crack of dawn to service the appetites of early birds. From Sandton to the City Centre, here's our round-up of some of Joburg's best early-morning cafés.

Andiccio 24 (across Joburg)

Pizza for breakfast? If you've been out all night there's hardly a better way to cure your hangover and if you're jet-lagged as hell after a long flight across numerous time zones, pizza for breakfast at Andiccio 24 isn't a bad idea, either. They also have the best hot sauce here. With 13 branches across the city and a menu that includes butternut soup, wraps and ciabatta sandwiches, this 24-hour pizza chain lets you choose as many toppings in whatever combination you prefer. Salads work on the same principle. There are also dessert pizzas with chocolate and bananas if you need a sugar overload to get going.

Croft & Co in Parkview

Warm up with morning oats. Photo: Croft & Co via Instagram.

Located on Parkview's ever-popular Tyrone Avenue, Croft & Co is known for its good service, fresh bottled juices, strong coffee and possibly the best scrambled eggs in town. Open from 06:00 every day, Croft & Co is the early-morning hangout for Joburg's media types, opinionistas, writers, runners and cyclists, who are replaced by a later shift of Range-Rover-driving lycra-clad mums on the school run. 

Father Coffee in Rosebank and Father Coffee in Kramerville 

The perfect way to start your day. Photo: Father Coffee via Instagram. 
Father Coffee has the reputation of having some of the best speciality coffee in Joburg – and rightly so. What started out as a slick temple to coffee aficionados in Braamfontein, now consists of a trendy hole-in-the-wall opposite the Rosebank Gautrain Station, as well as their HQ in the Kramerville Design Quarter (where you'll also find a wine bar open from midday from Wed – Sun, because it's five-o'clock somewhere in the world, right?). With a phenomenal selection of blends to take home, beans are ground to order in-store. Open from 07:00 on weekdays and 09:00 on weekends, it's a popular morning meeting spot (try the excellent avocado on toast or the Swedish buns). 

Fournos (across Joburg)

A sweet morning treat. Photo: Fournos Bakery via Facebook. 

From Bedfordview to Benmore, Fournos (which means 'bakery' in Greek) is a Joburg institution. Consistently voted Johannesburg's best bakery, this deli-café franchise is a hotspot in any one of its branches, particularly over weekends. The chocolate croissants, freshly baked bread and the extensive breakfast menu are star attractions. Most stores open between 06:00 and 07:00 on weekdays and weekends, and generous portions, good coffee and fair prices make Fournos a popular early-morning spot. Pair breakfast with one of the healthy juice blends for that pre-work or start to the weekend boost.

Green Dot Café in Parkwood

Hearty and healthy breakfast. Photo: Issiboi via Instagram. 

Parkwood's Green Dot Café replaced Morning Glory, creating a welcoming, all-day spot to hang out that offers ready-to-go meals along with its menu of healthy (and halaal-certified) items. Enjoy a no-frills coffee or a more extravagant iced coffee frappe (with ice-cream!) while you work inside or outdoors. There are healthy toasties, smoothie bowls, and Mediterranean flatbreads to fuel you through the day. Open from 07:00 daily; get there as early as possible as Green Dot Café is small and gets very busy. 

Home of the Bean in Maboneng

A relaxed place to enjoy a nutritious breakfast. Photo: Home of the Bean via Instagram. 

Founded by husband and wife duo Leroy Kgopa and Itumeleng Manamela, Home of the Bean is all about a quality experience, from the beans to the Houtlander furniture. A recommended stopover on any Maboneng visit, Home of the Bean also has the distinction of being a 'coffice' for some of the city's coolest creatives. The roastery's beans are sourced from the likes of Burundi, Ethiopia, Costa Rica and Guatemala, and the carrot cake brownies are noteworthy, as are the delicious smoothies. We also love the vegan additions to the menu. Home of the Bean is open from 07:30 on weekdays and 08:00 on Sun

Motherland Coffee Company (across Joburg)

Works for breakfast or brunch. Photo: Motherland Coffee Company via Instagram. 

Motherland Coffee Company is a popular work and meeting spot. The coffee here has a kick, and features specialty-grade African single-origin or blended beans. Plus, it comes in extra-large – the famous 'Mothercuppa', and for a light breakfast there's a wide selection of pastries. Most branches open between 06:00 – 07:00 on weekdays and weekends. 

Naked Kitchen and Coffee Bar in Morningside

A no-nonsense eggs Benedict. Photo: Naked Coffee via Instagram.

Hailed as South Africa’s number-one 'third-wave' coffee bar and culinary kitchen, Naked Kitchen and Coffee Bar, which started as a sole venue in Melrose Arch, is known as one of the best places to be seen. The Morningside location upholds the global gourmet deli trend in Johannesburg by providing fresh produce, fine coffee, and home-style cooking – and all of it is to-go. Open from 07:00 Mon – Sat; 08:00 on Sun

PAUL French Bakery and Restaurant (multiple locations)

A pretty parfait à la fraise. Photo: Anisah Mamoojee.

This French-family-owned international artisanal pâtisserie and restaurant has a proud heritage dating back to 1889. Imported to Joburg, Paul offers a vast French-style menu to suit any occasion, from breakfast right through to dinner. Their breakfast offerings include French toast with pancetta and maple syrup, mushroom pancakes, toasted sandwiches, as well as quiche with more traditional savoury breakfast options. A good spot to catch up with friends, and we rate the almond croissants here as being one of Joburg's best (if not the best). All PAUL branches, which include Melrose Arch, Nicolway, and the Neighbourhood in Linksfield, open at 07:00 daily.  

Proud Mary in Rosebank

Wake up with a hearty Shakshuka at Proud Mary. Photo: Proud Mary via Facebook.

A modern eatery, the menu at Proud Mary boasts an extensive breakfast selection including a fresh fruit bowl, oats, buttermilk hotcakes and waffles, and for a more savoury palate: salmon scrambled eggs, Croque Madame and a breakfast burger that will give you the energy you need to face the day. The menu also features classic breakfast cocktails, mimosas and Bloody Marys, as well as a cranberry and orange juice mix with non-alcoholic bubbly. The adjoining coffee bar serves a good brew, too. The terrace is prime people-watching territory and the space is vast, with plenty of nooks if you're looking for a spot to flip open your laptop. Open from 06:30 daily. 

Salvation Café at 44 Stanley

Breakfast of champions at Salvation Café. Photo: Savannah Allessandra Cozzi. 

Home of Joburg's best cheesecake – as voted in 2023 – the breakfast options at Salvation Café are always excellent, turning that morning meal into a memorable experience with a choice of 'healthy', 'sweet' and 'savoury', plus breakfast burritos. This busy café at 44 Stanley is surrounded by enticing design and fashion stores (that open later) and its tables flow outdoors onto a covered veranda and into a picturesque courtyard – perfect for relaxed family meals. Ideal if you're looking for a slightly later start as the café is open from 08:00 daily. 

The Whippet Coffee Company in Linden

You'll wake up early for this! Photo: The Whippet via Facebook.

Those in the know credit this buzzing coffee shop, affectionately known to locals as 'The Whippet', with its hipster aesthetic for putting the suburb of Linden on the cool map. The food is freshly made café-style, simple and tasty, and the coffee and tea selection is top rate. The doors open at 07:00 Mon – Sat (Sun at 08:00) for delicious breakfasts, made with care and attention. The potato rosti breakfast with poached eggs and homemade hollandaise is a firm favourite. If you need that caffeine fix stat, takeaway coffee can be ordered from 06:30 Mon – Sat

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