Sydney, the capital of New South Wales in Australia, is home to a creative café scene from Cronulla to Palm Beach and everywhere in between, with chefs using local produce in many nutritious and naughty dishes. What used to be the specialty of whole foods cafés is now found on virtually every menu, balanced with some amazing cakes and pastries including the croissant-doughnut hybrid from Brewtown. You’ll also find the best coffee in Australia included here:
1. The Grounds of Alexandria
Sydney’s most diversified venue is a café/restaurant/bakery/coffee roastery/garden. Located in an old refurbished pie factory from the 1990s, this massive flagship space hosts a grand café and restaurant alongside coffee research and testing facilities. It’s a fantastic fairytale site with a vibrant atmosphere and a vast garden including a small petting zoo with chickens, sheep and swine. A popular wedding venue, they also have a great paddock to plate concept menu, with chefs reinventing classics to create dishes with perfectly combined flavours. If you can’t get a seat, order a takeaway.
2. Bourke Street Bakery, Surry Hills
Bourke Street Bakery is a Sydney institution, where lining up for the morning loaf is a local ritual. Small, rustic, homely and timeless, this is a cafe-bakery with the vision of making comfort food that locals can indulge in everyday.
3. Black Star Pastry, Newtown
Black Star Pastry is all about the old-ways of baking. With taste as the café’s primary motivation, foods are simplified yet married in a combination of interesting flavours otherwise thought impossible. The café is famous for its strawberry and watermelon cake. Their burnished lamb shank and red wine pie are good too.
4. Devon Café, Surry Hills
The original Devon Café on Devonshire Street serves food with an Asian influence. The dishes are visually stunning. A slightly edgy café you must visit when in Surry Hills. Try the tenderly marinated salmon, the Devon’s style fish cake or porky pig.
5. Bills, Bondi Beach
Bills is a modern Australian restaurant/café that reflects the Aussie spirit: sunny, casual and generous. Its wide space and communal tables provide an environment adored by both locals and tourists and is one of the best Sydney spots with its mix of food and ambiance.
6. Cornersmith, Marrickville
One of Sydney’s best loved neighbourhood cafés. The owners believe in sustainable and ethical foods revolving a seasonal menu with locally-sourced produce from small-scale growers and makers. The Cornersmith menu is minimalist, yet with intricate details underlying its simplicity. The owners also create home-made pickles you can buy to take home.
7. Gumption, CBD
Inspired by the coffee beans her grandmother used to grow in her backyard in the Philippines, owner Hazel de los Reyes has brought her passion for coffee to Sydney. Coffee beans are hand-picked, roasted in-house and on demand, so take your pick of espresso, pour over, cold drip or “the sparkler”, which is pulled from a beer tap.
8. West Juliett, Marrickville
Simple rustic food and coffee for eating in or for takeaways. With outdoor seating, this café is popular among all demographics. The emphasis is on local suppliers and bread and pastries baked in-house. The Allpress coffee is made with care and tea is steeped and served with the leaves removed.
9. Brewtown, Newtown
A bustling neighbourhood café and micro coffee roastery. Whilst the coffee is enough to draw you to visit, Brewtown also serves meals with a seasonal menu philosophy of bringing paddock to plate, as fresh as possible. Freshly baked goods, including their famous cronuts, showcased in the small glass display tempt customers with a takeaway bag.
10. Campos Coffee, Newtown and Alexandria
Founded in Newtown in 2002, Campos is now one of Australia’s most trusted coffee brands. Their flagship stores in Newtown and Alexandria feature cupping rooms upstairs for tasting sessions, as well as limited edition blends such as Geisha, originating from Ethiopia.