Ah, ye humble cafe. The steady buzz of the coffee machine, the sound of chairs pulling in and out, the smell of something being toasted and a somehow just-right, warm and wonderful atmosphere. A good cafe is like having an extra Ace in your back pocket, good at any time of day and always there when you need it.
Let’s put it out there up front however that a good cafe requires a very deft hand – when you think about it, we food folk really expect a lot of a simple ‘cafe’ – good food and menu selection at decent prices (gone are the days where we accept the slightly dry and burnt toasted ham and cheese sandwich), expertly sourced and prepared coffee and an ambience that is just fancy pants enough that we feel good, but warm and welcome at the same time.
A cafe is a tough concept to pull off, and so we rightfully pay homage to those that get it right time and time again below. Keep these go-to’s handy and you’ll always have a Plan A, B and C, at any time of day.
Check out our list of the best cafes in Sydney, in no particular order:
- FRATELLI PARADISO
We love this Italian cafe in trendy Potts Point. With its blackboard menu (written in Italian), Italian wait staff and tasty food, it’s the perfect setting any time of day.
Read our review of Fratelli Paradiso
12-16 Challis Avenue, Potts Point
- KEPOS STREET KITCHEN
Mediterranean fare with a Middle Eastern twist is served up at this corner cafe. Call it what you like. We like to call it tasty! This humble cafe serves seriously good food.
Read our review of Kepos Street Kitchen
96 Kepos Street, Redfern
- DEVON CAFE
Innovative cafe pushing the boundaries and blending Asian fusion dishes with coffee, friendly service and a relaxed atmosphere.
Read our review of Devon Cafe
76 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills
- BAR INDIGO
This Double Bay institution serves a Modern Australian menu with a European twist, using the best quality ingredients. They also make a serious cup of coffee. With friendly service and a relaxed, glamorous feel, it’s no wonder this cafe has gained such a loyal following.
Read our review of Bar Indigo
6/15 Cross Street (corner Transvaal Ave), Double Bay
Bill Granger’s cafes are Sydney institutions. We love Bill’s simple, no fuss approach to cooking. Because sometimes the simple things are the best.
Read our review of Bills
433 Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst & 359 Crown Street, Surry Hills
With friendly service and tasty fare, this cafe is a winner. Oh, and did we mention their spectacular views over Bondi Beach?
Read our review of Trio
56 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach
- SALT MEATS CHEESE
This Italian gourmet providor serves up rustic Italian fare at their cafes in Alexandria, Broadway, Mosman and Drummoyne. Pizza’s a specialty.
Read our review of Salt Meats Cheese
Alexandria, Broadway, Mosman and Drummoyne
- CAFE SOPRA
We love the Cafe Sopra chain. Serving up rustic, fresh and simple quality Italian fare – choose your most convenient location.
Read our review of Cafe Sopra
Alexandria, Potts Point, Walsh Bay, City
- THE BOOK KITCHEN
With rows of gastro-porn (ie. cookbooks) to browse on your visit, this cafe serves a small menu utilising high quality seasonal organic and bio-dynamic ingredients. Nice.
Read our review of The Book Kitchen
255 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills
- REUBEN HILLS
With its industrial warehouse interior and onsite coffee roastery, we love this Surry Hills cafe. Not your average cafe fare, with an interesting menu offered.
Read our review of Reuben Hills
61 Albion Street, Surry Hills
Want even more inspiration? Click here for all cafes.