Top 14 Cafes In Sydney You Should Try
Sydney is the capital of New South Wales in Australia. The city is popular with its iconic landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. On top of the landmarks, the city is actually a food paradise.
We were invited by Destination New South Wales to Sydney recently and we went to many food places. One of the stories we wrote recently is the 14 Dessert Places in Sydney Locals Won’t Tell You (read it if you haven’t).
The café scene in Sydney is huge and there are many popular cafes located in the Sydney CBD and nearby suburbs. With over a week, we went thru the streets and back lanes in Sydney CBD and nearby suburbs to find some of the best cafes. The cafes are recommended by our local guide and it took us eight days to discover them all. The cafes not just offer aromatic coffee and good food but also an ideal place to chill out too.
We compiled a list of Top 14 Cafes In Sydney You Should Chill Out and most of them are located in the CBD (city area) or nearby suburbs.
1.Circa Espresso Parramatta
Circa Espresso is located in the suburb of Parramatta, slightly far from the Sydney CBD area, The café has been around for a few years and made its name as the Best Café in the Sydney Morning Herald’s ‘Good Food Guide’ in 2015 and since then they have attracted many coffee and brunch goers.
The restaurant is located near the southern side of Parramatta station and it is a terrace converted café. To be exact, they are located at 21 Wentworth St, Parramatta NSW 2150, Australia and there is a multi-storey carpark located nearby.
The café is often packed and what we love about this café is their unique decorations and interior. It is a hipster like café and there is a hidden section within the cafe. The ambience is cozy with low light. You feel like dining in a library with comfortable leather seats and round shaped marble tables.
Their version French Toast comes with poached rhubard, fresh berries, strawberries, cinnamon, spiced honey syrup and crushed pistachios. We love the ideas of the fruits and nuts with the toast as it offers a different taste and texture.
For more info, you can visit their official website at http://circaespresso.com.au/
Monday: 7:00am – 3:00pm
Tuesday: 7:00am – 3:00pm
Wednesday: 7:00am – 3:00pm
Thursday: 7:00am – 3:00pm
Friday: 7:00am – 3:00pm
Saturday: 8:00am – 3:00pm
Sunday: 8:00am – 3:00pm
*Kitchen closes daily at 2:00pm.
Circa Espresso Address:
21 Wentworth St, Parramatta NSW 2150, Australia
2.The Book Kitchen
Located in Devonshire Street Surry Hills, the Book Kitchen is one of the must visit cafes in the area. With more than 10 years under its belt, the café is often mistaken as a book shop.
The first impression of this café is it is very clean and casual. Within the café you can find one section of exposed brickwork and there other section is a book section. The books are free to read and they are for sale too. You can find many good cook books here.
You can find many locals chilling here with their laptops or reading their books while sipping with a cuppa coffee. The café offers classic breakfast dishes, coffee, beer and wine. Need a pit stop while venturing in Surry Hills? The Book Kitchen is an ideal spot.
The Book Kitchen Address:
255 Devonshire St, Surry Hills
NSW 2010, Australia
3.Bourke Street Bakery
When you talk about good food in Surry Hills, Bourke Street Bakery is at the top of the list. The history of this place is unique and it is the story of two bakers and chefs who started a bakery café in Bourke Street in 2004. Now, there are 10 bakeries in across Sydney and they still offer quality and good food in their bakeries. They are one of the most successful bakeries in the country.
We visited their first bakery in Bourke Street Bakery a few times for their pastries. It is a small beautiful corner lot bakery and you can easily spot them with the long queue as well as the tables and chairs on the pavement. They are well known among the locals and hence the long queue.
They have a few popular pastries such as the bread, the tarts and the sausage rolls. Since we are not a big fan of their sausage rolls, we recommend their signature meringue passion fruit tart and their ginger crème brulee tart. You won’t be disappointed for sure.
7am – 6pm Monday to Friday
7am – 5pm Saturday and Sunday
Bourke Street Bakery Surry Hills Address:
633 Bourke Street, Surry Hills (corner of Devonshire and Bourke Street)
Tel: 9699 1011
Located on the other side of Devonshire St of Book Kitchen is the Devon Café. The café is another hidden gem in Surry Hills. Popular with its breakfast, brunch and lunch menu, the café is very popular with the locals with their east meets west fusion food. At a glance, it looks like ‘just another café’ in the neighbourhood but the food is as pretty as art and very Instagrammable.
The presentation of their food is second to none. Each and every single dish is plated to perfection and it didn’t compromise the quality and taste of the food.
We were there for brunch and we ordered some of their popular dishes which include Breakfast with the Sakuma’s, Porky Pig, Devon’s Style Fish Cake and Eggs Blini.
The Breakfast with the Sakuma’s is miso-grilled king salmon with smoked eel croquette, 63 degree poached egg, radish petit salad and Kewpie mayonnaise. The taste is well balanced and we love the texture of the king salmon.
On top of their brunch menu, we ordered one of the signature desserts called Cookies N’ Cream and we were totally wowed by the presentation.
The Cookies N’ Cream comes with a muesli cinnamon base, freeze-dried raspberries, viola pebbles, crystals with sugar, waffle crumb and topped with gold dust, gold flakes and glitters for presentation.
This is the work of Chef Jacqui Ektoros and she put lots of efforts in this plate of dessert. This is how its looks like for everyone and the amount of work and technique requires should be applauded.
Be mindful of long queues but a trip to Devon Café is definitely worth it, whether for its desserts or brunch menu. Just remember to bring your camera and smartphone as the food here looks gorgeous.
Monday to Friday, 7.00am to 4.00pm
Saturday to Sunday, 8.00am to 3.30pm
Public holidays: 8.00am to 3.30pm
(Kitchen closes at 3.00pm)
Devon Café Address:
76, Devonshire St
Surry Hills, NSW
Devon Café Tel: 9211 8777
This is the fourth café in Surry Hills and Kürtősh is recommended by locals. Kürtősh is a Hungarian café popular for its pastries. The name Kürtősh comes from Kürtőskalács, which is a traditional Hungarian pastry better known as the Hungarian chimney cake.
What to have here is their authentic Hungarian chimney cakes. It comes with a few flavours and they only made to order so you get the fresh chimney cakes off the oven. They will do a live cooking session and the whole process will take around 15-20 minutes including baking. Once you smell the fragrant aroma from the oven, you know the chimney cake is ready.
The cake is fragrant and it is compliments well with coffee. Our advice is to eat while it is hot. If you never tasted a Hungarian chimney cake, Kurtosh is the café you should visit. We chat with some of their customers (from Europe) and they gave the cakes big thumbs up.
Monday to Friday, 7.00am to 10.00pm
Saturday to Sunday & Public Holidays, 8.00am to 10.00pm
Kurtosh Kürtősh Address:
604-606 Crown St, Surry Hills NSW 2010, Australia
Phone: +61 2 9319 7701
6.Hakiki Turkish Ice Cream
Hakiki Turkish Ice Cream is a Turkish dessert restaurant located in Enmore. They are just a stone’s throw away from another popular dessert place, Cow % The Moon. You can find authentic Turkish desserts such as Turkish ice cream and baklava.
Why are we promoting Turkish Ice Cream? On top of their delicious Turkish ice cream, their Turkish pastry Baklava is a must try. They offer Baklava with different flavours and it compliments well with coffee. The owner is a nice guy to talk to and we enjoyed ourselves with Turkish Ice Cream and their gorgeous Baklava. If you want something different, you drop by for some Baklava and Turkish Ice Cream.
Sunday to Thursday, 11.30am – 10.30pm
Friday to Saturday, 11.30am – 11.30pm
Hakiki Turkish Ice Cream Address:
63-71 Enmore Rd, Newtown NSW 2042, Australia
Tel: +61 2 8040 1676
Brewtown Newtown is one of the most talked about cafés in Sydney. The café is located in Newtown, a cool suburb with many different boutique shops, restaurants and cafes. Brewtown Newtown is not just a café as it is also a micro roaster, a brew bar and they even have a retail floor of O’ Connell St Merchants on the upper floor. What you can get in O’ Connell St Merchants are local Aussie-designed apparels and other items.
The impression of this café is like an old school industrial outlet with a bare brick wall, and with a very vintage experience. With such interiors, it is definitely a playground for photographers and Instagrammers.
You can get really good coffee here with single origin beans and you can find many coffee lovers here.
The concept of their food is all about freshness, quality and health. Some of the common things you can find here include free range, organic and pasture-fed produce. Talking about good and healthy food, this is the place you should visit.
Some of the highlights of the brunch we had are the Vegan Bircher Muesli that comes with coconut and ginger with mango, passionfruit salsa, with dehydrated strawberries.
Whether you are a coffee lover, healthy food person or Instagrammer, Brewtown Newtown is definitely is top of the cafe list in Sydney.
Daily, 8.00am to 4.00pm
Brewtown Newton Address:
6-8 O’Connell St, Newtown NSW 2042, Australia
Meanwhile in Marrickville, we found comfort in this small but lovely café called Cornersmith. The café is run by a couple and it also offers house-made pickles.
The beauty of this café is the owners believe in locally produced food especially from small scale growers and makers. This is something that is missing from our restaurants and cafes in Malaysia.
Some of the food you must order is their version of Sweet Toast. It comes with Poached quince (a kind of pear), almond butter, ricotta with star anise. Interesting ingredients but the taste is quite well balanced.
You should also check out their own produce sauces, jams and other food products.
Mon-Fri, 9.00am to 5.00pm
Sat, 8.30am to 4.00pm
Cornersmith Picklery Address:
441 Illawarra Rd, Sydney NSW 2204, Australia
There is another café we visited in Marickville, West Juliett. This is another beautiful ‘neighbourhood’ café with white walls and wooden tables and chairs. We love the concept of simplicity of the café.
It is not hard to understand why the café is packed. You can find locals chilling and chit chatting here with cuppa of coffee.
For the food, we tasted the Poached eggs, Twelve hour pork and Lamb shoulder. The Poached eggs come with avocado, feta cheese, parsley, cress, lemon and dukkah on toast. This is one of the most lovely poached eggs we tasted in Sydney. The Twelve hour pork comes with fennel, sharp cabbage, apple, kohl rabi, parmesan while Lamb Shoulder with truss tomatoes, freekeh, burnt chili, cashews, currants and tahini yogurt.
Lovely ambience, good food, worth the visit!
Mon-Sat, 7.00am to 4.00pm
Sun, 8.00am to 3.00pm
West Juliett: 30 Llewellyn St, Marrickville NSW 2204, Australia
The story behind Bills is quite interesting. Founded by Bill Granger at age 24, he opened his first café / restaurant in Darlinghust twenty years ago. His concept of restaurant reflects the spirite of ‘Australian’, sunny, easy-going and generous.
There are three Bills outlets in Sydney and also in Seoul, London, Tokyo and Honolulu Hawaii. We visited their outlet in Bondi as we wanted to visit the beach and also do the Bondi Coastal Walk.
Bills is popular with their version of scrambled eggs. They use organic eggs with sourdough toast with smashed avocado. This is probably one of the best scrambed eggs we tasted for some time and we are not joking. It is really that good.
Ricotta hotcakes with banana and honeycomb butter. The hotcakes are soft in texture and fluffy, never has something like this before. It goes really well with banana and honeycomb butter, this is gorgeous.
The brunch will be incomplete with their Full Aussie. It is like our version of big breakfast and it comes with scrambled organic eggs, sourdough toast, cumin roast tomato, bacon, miso mushrooms, pork chilli and fennel sausage. Totally in love with this. Need to say more? Just visit Bills for their awesome food.
Operating Hours (Bondi Outlet):
Daily, 7.00am to 10.00pm
Bills Bondi Address:
79 Hall St, Bondi Beach NSW 2026, Australia
11.Porch and Parlour
Porch and Parlour is a small café in North Bondi. It is within walking distance from the Bondi Beach. This is a lovely café will old rustic walls and wooden tables.
It is all about healthy food here and The Green Brekkie Bowl is a great example. The Green Brekkie bowl comes with Kale, Spinach, Quinoa, Corriander, Mint, Parsley, Poached Eggs and Avocado. If you are a health conscious person, Porch and Parlous is the ideal café you should visit in Bondi.
Do check out their fresh juices as they have cold press juices and smoothies. Thus, their healthy breakfast wraps are good to take away while chilling out in Bondi Beach. If you plan to do a picnic on the beach, you can get some food from Porch and Parlour.
Mon & Tue, 6.30am to 3.00pm
Wed to Sun, 6.30am to 10.00pm
Porch and Parlour Address:
17-18/110 Ramsgate Ave, North Bondi NSW 2026, Australia
Chanoma Café is slightly different than your usual coffee. It is a modern Japanese tea house and popular with its ‘matcha’ (green tea) drinks including latte, desserts and hot dogs. The café is located right smack in the middle of the Sydney CBD area in George Street.
The café is small and packed with customers. You can easily spot the café with long queue but the service is fast like fast food restaurant.
The Matcha Float which is ice green tea latte with green tea soft ice cream is a must order. The taste is immense with green tea flavour, it is strong and fragrant. The photo didn’t do justice but if you are a green tea lover, you should drop by for their green tea latte and their green tea soft serve ice cream.
Daily, 10.00am to 10.00pm
Chanoma Café Address:
1/501 George St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Phone:+61 2 9266 0667
BlackStar Pastry is one of the most talk after café/restaurant in Sydney. Like many other popular eateries, they have a star main dish that attracts the customers and for Blackstar Pastry it is their Strawberry Watermelon Cake.
The Strawberry Watermelon Cake is nothing you tasted before. It is made of two layers of almond dacquoise, rose-scented cream, watermelon, strawberries, pistachios and dried rose petals. The taste is fresh, light, fragrant and refreshing. The combination of the cake’s presentation and flavours gives us a very long lasting impression. You hardly find a similar cake with such creativity design, presentation and taste.
You can find their famous strawberry watermelon cake at their Newton outlet or their new outlet in Kinokuniya CBD (opposite QVB Building). The cake is very pretty and Instagrammable.
Operating Hours (Newtown outlet):
Daily, 7.00am to 5.00pm
Blackstar Newtown Address:
277 Australia St, NEWTOWN, NSW 2042
Tel: (02) 9557 8656
BlackStar Books Kinokuniya (CBD) Address:
The Galeries Level 2, 500 George St, SYDNEY, NSW 2000
(02) 9557 8656 (head office)
10am – 6:30pm Monday-Wednesday, Friday–Saturday
10am – 7.30pm Thursday
11am – 6pm Sunday
14.The Grounds of Alexandria
We saved the best for last and the last recommended café/ restaurant goes to The Grounds of Alexandria. Located in an old refurbished pie factory, the Grounds of Alexandria comes with a huge compound with a beautiful outdoor garden, a small farm and a restaurant.
The small farm is a mini petting zoo for the children with chickens, a lamb (Bradley) and pig (Kevin Bacon). Kevin Bacon and Bradley created national news when they were kidnapped a couple of years ago and a massive pig and lamb hunt ensued. They were subsequently found in Victoria.
You can find many people sitting in the garden as the restaurant is often packed. Sometimes the garden will turn to venue for corporate events and functions and weddings too.
Weekend brunch will take at least half an hour of waiting and you can find many locals bringing their family with strollers. This is one of the best places for families for brunch.
This is my second time visiting the restaurant as our cousin brought us here a few years ago.
We ordered couple of food which includes Grounds Baked Eggs, Chef’s Brekkie pan and Berry Hotcake.
The Grounds Baked Eggs comes with two free range eggs baked in a skillet with rich tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella, white bean, dried cherry tomatoes and salsa verde. This is the big breakfast you need to try in Sydney.
The Chef’s Brekkie Pan and Berry Hotcake is as good as it looks. Colourful with berries and edible flowers.
There is also a grill station on the outside offering wholesome and delicious Aussie breakfast with eggs, bacons and sausages.
The Grounds of Alexandria is a compulsory visit in Sydney and you won’t regret bringing your family here.
Mon to Fri, 7.00am to 9.30pm
Sat & Sun, 7.30am to 11.00pm
The Grounds of Alexandria Address:
7A, 2 Huntley St, Alexandria NSW
We have listed 14 Top Cafes in Sydney You Should Try with a good mix of different food and cuisines. Except Circa Espresso Parramatta, which is a little further out – about 40 minutes drive, other recommended cafes are all within the CBD or nearby suburbs. The beauty of visiting the various precincts will be for you to discover some of these unique places and not just limit your visit in the city centre only. We hope this list will help you on your visit to Sydney and hope you enjoy the places we recommended. Share this story if you find it helpful.
Flying to Sydney
For flying to Sydney from Malaysia, you can check out Singapore Airlines. Singapore Airlines operates 31 weekly flights to Sydney on their Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 777-200ER, Airbus A330 and Airbus A380 aircrafts. Thus, must not forget also their KrisWorld inflight entertainment system and top class cabin crew services.
We checked in the SilverKris Lounge in KLIA which is reopened recently on 5th February 2016. It is a quiet and comfortable lounge with food, snacks and drinks.
We had a little snack at the SilverKris Lounge while waiting for our Singapore Airlines flight. Thus, we also enjoy the cozy sofas as well as the long tables good for savy and business travellers.
For more info, please visit singaporeair.com/mysydney