Melbourne may be the self-proclaimed “coffee capital” of Australia and some locals would even have you believe it’s the coffee capital of the world. No surprise Melburnians would lay claim to that lofty title given the long, harsh winters they endure (by Australian standards), made just that little bit easier by a cup of warm Joe in hand.
However – Sydney has certainly been paying attention to its southern cousin in recent years, as demonstrated by the swag of stylish café opening across the harbor city. Whilst Melbourne’s café’s tend to be cute laneway affairs or cheerful neighbourhood spaces with a strong focus on introspection or intimate chats, Sydney’s are geared towards outdoor al fresco dining, which let’s be honest, if you’ve got the year-round climate, you might as well flaunt it! Here’s a few Sydney café’s we recommend for caffeine aficionados:
6 O’Connell St, Newtown
Are the glitzy harbour-side cafés of the Eastern Suburbs and North Shore not really your thing? If you answered yes you’ll probably feel right at home in Brewtown Newtown, nestled appropriately in a late 19th century warehouse in the heart of the grungy Inner West. More than just a café, Brewtown Newtown delivers a bistro style experience to its customers who can look forward to a simple menu featuring Poached Chicken Baguette ($14.00), Avo on Toast ($16.00) and in-house roasted Blend + Single Origin Coffee ($3-6).
“The coffee here is fantastic. I’ve been three times now and there’s usually a line-up outside to get in, but people don’t stay too long so the tables turn quickly, meaning there isn’t a long wait. Plus you can look around upstairs in the store to kill some time”.
Kirribilli Commuter Wharf, 1-2 Holbrook Ave, Kirribilli
Hidden far away from the hoi polloi in super exclusive Kirribilli with commanding views over Sydney’s famed Harbour Bridge and Opera House combo is Celsius Coffee Co. Given its location adjacent to the Kirribilli Commuter Wharf, it’s only fitting this fancy café combines pick up & go coffees like their Single Origin Batch Brew ($4.00) with more ‘slow’ items to properly savour like their Super Greens Breakfast ($15.00) or a filling Angus Beef Brisket Burger ($22.00).
“Right in on the water at the Kirribilli ferry stop! Though of course, you don’t have to get there only via ferry, as you can park on the street and walk down a lane way to enter that way. Not open at night, I think. Book ahead if it’s a weekend, as this place is getting popular. They do have a waiting list, so you can wander around darling Kirribilli and return when your table is ready. Good breakfast options, yes, avocado on toast! Good coffee!”
Shop 391, Westfield Chatswood
Whilst an independent café smack bang in the middle of a shopping mall would be a risky proposition in Melbourne, Sydneysiders, or North Shore-siders to be more specific have been flocking to Flower Child which is enjoying a roaring trade amidst the hustle and bustle of Westfield Chatswood. With your typical café menu featuring filtered coffees ($4-7), organic teas ($4.00) and smoothies ($7.50) amongst other delicious treats, your tastebuds will be taken care of. But what makes Flower Child stand out is its unique, “outdoors inside” interior which takes you away from the concrete surrounds of retail and transports you directly into a verdant garden bathed in natural light.
“Love this cafe! It’s quirky and beautiful with plants hanging from the ceiling and big open windows right in the Chatswood Westfield building. The staff are lovely, they are a very busy cafe so you need to come early or be prepared to wait. Beautifully presented food and great coffee. They also provide high chairs for the little ones”.
134 Glenayr Ave, Bondi Beach
No Sydney article would be complete without mentioning an establishment close to or on Bondi Beach, which brings us to Lox Stock & Barrel Deli Diner. As you can tell from the title, this business isn’t strictly a café, however it does do serious coffee (with large cups $5.00) alongside other beverage goodies like Soft Kombucha Juice ($7.00) and Cocktails for $16.00. It’s also a short walk from the golden sands of Bondi Beach for those favouring a post-coffee swim or brisk walk to burn off the caffeine!
“Love this cafe when I’m in Bondi. Great friendly service and awesome coffee. Definitely one to put on your must try list.”
Cnr Miller & Amherst St, Cammeray
A short trip over the Harbour Bridge and just off the busy M1 on a leafy street in the North Shore neighbourhood of Cammeray is Wild Sage, a café slash restaurant serving up everything from delicious smoothies to Australian contemporary cuisine and of course, barista prepared coffee. Given this is Sydney, their prices aren’t too unreasonable either, with a chai latte mug setting you back $4.80 whilst a babycino for busy mums is only $1.50. Wild Sage have also branched out to the other side of the harbour by popular demand, opening a Barangaroo address earlier this month (November 2017).
“Certainty a nice setting on the plaza that has been created by a development of apartments and shops. Coffee and tea are good, food is consistently good, and there’s a variety of seating, indoors and outdoors too. Fair prices and good service, and it’s good to have a cafe on the north shore open at night, open until 10pm each night, which doesn’t happen very often when you’re north of the bridge”.