Pokémon Go, my freaking goodness. I resisted the urge as much as I could until the last week or two, and I knew the resulting addiction was a formality. I’m not as bad as most casual street walkers in and across CBDs in Australia, and at the moment I am still trying to get out over hunting down an Onyx – although the latter becomes more tempting with each Pokestop visited.
So surely there is a way we can have both right? A dreamland where you go out for breakfast, lunches, drinks with mates and still be able to hunt some of the best Pokémon roaming the land? You’re damn straight.
Happy hunting, happy brunching.
The Boathouse, Manly
Grab a cheeky ferry across the harbour to Manly to what is becoming a hotspot for some rare pocket monsters. Head over to The Boathouse in Shelly Beach for some killer seaside views, and a brilliant boozy lunch menu. The simple avo and tomato on toast is to die for, burgers are sizeable and The Boathouse Salad is an absolute fan favourite. Perhaps more importantly, the Australia only Kangaskhan has been sighted in the area, as have multiple Ponytas and Vulpixs. If you go for a bit of a wander you might even stumble upon a Magnemite doing the rounds.
Gardner’s Lodge Café, Victoria Park
If you’re looking for some good vibes within the hustle and bustle of Sydney’s second CBD, head on down to the end of Broadway and grab a table at Gardner’s Lodge Café in Victoria Park. It’s a cute little spot with fabulous pancakes. The food is pretty staple café, with your regular breakfast servings and burgers – we love the Aboriginal artworks inside the venue too. Victoria Park is a sweet spot for the likes of Golduck, Pinsir and Tentacool – and if you go for a little wander you’re bound to find a few Grimers lurking around.
Eastbank, Circular Quay
The touristy and scenic Circular Quay is littered full of wonderful cafes and bars. Eastbank does some of the best Italian on the Quay – although you will have to pay for it. Their signature pasta is baked in paper and is an absolute must have, and the Trio Di Ravioli is fab. Dark Chocolate Crème Brulee Brûlée is a definite for any sweet toothers out there, too. As you can imagine, the wine range is top notch and no matter the course, there are plenty of options. Roaming the streets are fan favourite Pikachu, while Rhyhorns, Shellders and Growlithes have appeared across the Quay. If you’re lucky, you might even stumble upon a mystical Gyarados right on the harbour.
North Fitzroy Social Cafe & Panini Bar, Fitzroy
Head down to North Fitz for one of the best locals in town. Great service, speedy with arguably the best coffee in the city. Naturally the Paninis are delightful and fun, and if you’re more of a healthy eater the breakfast museli is your fresh avenue. Personally, the Cloud Egg Souffle is another menu favourite and not something you see everywhere. North Fitzroy is huge for rare Pokémon too, with everything from Bastoise and Hitmonlee spotted in the surrounds. Scythers are also frequent and if you’re lucky Magmar will pop his fiery head up.
Riverland, Federation Square
If you want to really booze up, Riverland is your spot. Stunning weekend views are guaranteed with the Yarra River a close neighbour. A great range of local and tap beers, and if you do go with the brews, pair it up with the Poutine and Popcorn chicken – fried chicken and beers, is there even another option? If chicken aint your thing, the Scotch Egg is good, while the Mac N Cheese Croquettes are a guilty pleasure. Whip out the smartphone and you should easily find a Slowpoke or two, a Seel or a Lickitung. Venture down to the Yarra for even more finds, including Gravelers and Haunters.
Lane’s Edge, Melbourne (closed Sunday)
Head onto Bourke Street to Lane’s Edge for some lovely, low-key banter. The bamboo-inspired beer garden is made for a cheeky Sunday Session, and just end your menu conundrums by getting the sharing platter. Meatballs, cheese sticks, dips, bread – seriously get two if you have too #worthit. You’ll find Snorlax, Dragonair, and Seels in the area – Gyarados has also been spotted in the area.
Southbank Beer Garden, Southbank
Straight up one of the best bar locations in Australia, forget just Brisbane. The Reuben is quality, and you definitely need to start with a side of some chips and onion rings to add to the beers and cocktails that will no doubt flow. Try Spicy Chorizo Pizza that comes with sweet corn and feta; awesome for sharing around the fam. You can spot a Seaking across the Parklands, Magmars are also around, as is the rarer Kabuto. Meanwhile, you can spot everyone’s favourite cobra Arbok within walking distance – maybe even sitting.
LTD Espresso and Brew Bar, Fortitude Valley
If you want solid coffee vibes, get on over to FV for a brew. As the name suggests, they have quite a few brewing options for their coffee so experiment; it’s rare you even get a chance. Not only that but you can purchase and even take home some cold brew coffee bottles which is a big recommendation. It has your café basics when it comes to food, but it’s all about the drink. Fearows fly around quite a bit of the Valley, and a few Tentacruels have been spotted near the bar. Slowbros and Dodrios also swarm the streets.
Ha Ha Bar & Dining Room, Belconnen
Great spot for whatever the occasion. Degustation, quick feed or full drinking session, all can be achieved at Ha Ha. Lamb Shanks and Pork Belly is great, while they also offer some different takes on breakfast staples like the Goat Cheese Brekky Pizza which is worth a go. Pair it up with some Mimosas all around and you will be well on your way. Rhyhorns are frequent in the area, as are Magmars, Jigglypuffs and Slowbros.
Perfect spot for brunch on a vibrant weekend morning. Heaps of area and space to sit outside under trees which makes the setting very easy to like. The décor inside is great too, and the food is fresh. The Grilled Barramundi was a succulent and sizeable and if you’re in breakfast mode, try the Acai Bowl for something a bit different. You probably won’t get your greasy bacon and eggs, so just be mindful of that when getting the guest list organised. Vulpixs are common in the area, but Poliwrath is the one you really want to keep a lookout for. Cubones also do the rounds quite frequently.
Bar 9, Rundle Mall
Boutique coffee at its finest. While the coffee line is usually always busy, grab a Piadina for some grub, and with breakfast on the menu till 3pm, try the Truffle Mushroom Ragu for something filling. And if the Pokémon didn’t have you feeling nostalgic already, why not side up with a Spyda (yep, ice cream with your choice of soft drink) for maximum feels. Arboks are around, so are Gravelers and even the more elusive Jolteon.
The Robin Hood Hotel, Norwood
For a more relaxed weekend feel, stop over at the Robin Hood in Norwood. It’s a staple pub where you’re likely to find everyone from couples to groups and even the odd family. The outside beer garden is a winner, and if you’re in a solid group give the Meat Platter a go. Featuring pork belly, cheese burger sliders, lamb should and more, it’s perfect for any weather. The fan favourite Salt and Pepper Squid which is also good, and surprisingly large for most pubs these days. Meowths, Mankeys and Onixs are on the streets. While Aerodactyl, Rapidash and even a Charizard have even been spotted sneaking around these areas so keep those eyes peeled – hot spot.
Bluerock Cafe.Bar.Restaurant, Queens Garden
Tapas. Tapas. Tapas! A great place to potentially start your weekend off, share around a few dishes on the tapas menu, especially the Salmon, Pork Belly and Goats Cheese Arancini. The wine range is good and perfect for either small or big groups, they also serve a nice range of cocktails and Liquor Coffees, including Irish coffee is that floats your boat. Electabuzz has showed up a few times here, and Dratinis roam around a lot of wider East Perth. If you walk down to the close Langley Park, Venomoth and Lickitung are likely to pop up.
Old Faithful Bar & BBQ, CBD (closed Sunday)
A nice little place on King St in the CBD, Old Faithful is perf for large group read for big bantz. If you’re on a health kick or something of the like, probably stay away – because the BBQ is to die for. Chicken wings are a must and good for a solid afternoon of Poke-chasing. If you’re with a group of four or more, they also offer a lunch spread for about $37 per head which includes a proper meat feast, salads and snacks. Goldeens are swimming around the streets, a few Pikachus have been sighted, as have Eevees and there are some rumours Porygons are around.
So go on, catch them all.
Images sourced from Lifehacker.com, FiveSenses.com.au, Siane Ellett, In the Taratory, Elaine Cheng and GirlPlusBeer.com