Are Cafes in North Sydney the best Cafes in the City

by Kate Stewart

The Search

Where are the best cafes in North Sydney? Is it the nearest cafe to your office? Are you lucky enough to have it right downstairs in your building? Or do you prefer to walk a few blocks and explore what the best cafes in North Sydney have to offer?

Ask any Sydneysider and you will get a different answer. Cafes in the city are fabulous! Delicious coffee can be found all over Sydney. Amazing coffee shops hide down laneways and alleys. Sydney is home to some of the best cafes and coffee roasters in Australia.  But who has the best cafe in Sydney?

When I think about Sydney’s coffee scene. Lively inner-city neighbourhoods like cafes in Surry Hills and Darlinghurst spring to mind faster than anywhere else. But take a closer look and you will find there is a fabulous cafe culture north of the Bridge. 

Where is the best espresso bar? Who serves up a killer piccolo latte? Do cafes in North Sydney have a better recipe for chai latte than cafes in Surry Hills? What’s the answer to the age-old question; cappuccino verses latte? Who serves the best bubble tea in Sydney?

I’m returning to my discovery of the best Australian cafes.  I've discovered fabulous cafes in Hampton. Amazing cafes in South Yarra. This time, I'm visiting cafes in North Sydney. I’m narrowing in on areas, cafes and coffee roasters to find exactly who and where it is. Will it be Humm Coffee Roasters? Will it be Home Espresso?

I'm so excited. I can’t wait to find out!

The Contenders

Humm Coffee Roasters


Humm Coffee Roasters North Sydney


Located at Shop 2B 211-223 Pacific Highway, Humm Coffee Roasters are definitely one of my favourites in the area. They have a really unique under bench coffee machine. They were the first cafe in Sydney to get one and its worth going to just get a look at it. The only clue that coffee is even being made is three visible spouts with curved wood handles.

But it’s not all just about the coffee machine. Their coffee is on point too. Humm Coffee roast their own coffee at a shared space in Alexandria.  Coffee is sourced from a wholesaler and is then blended, roasted and packed by the Humm team. While coffee is clearly the focus here, the food is excellent too.

The menu is typical Sydney without feeling cliched or overdone. There’s a fancy bacon and egg roll with yuzu-sesame coleslaw and Kewpie mayo. And crumpets made from fermented batter served with pineapple salsa, brulée banana, cream cheese frosting and salted-caramel syrup.

The cafe has a lovely neighbourhood vibe with large trees which shade the outdoor seating. It’s a great place to sit and relax and enjoy your coffee.

Glory Days Coffee


Glory Days Coffee


At 100 Mount Street North Sydney, in the foyer of the Dexus building, you will find Glory Days Coffee.

The menu is deliberately pared back and set up for workers to take away on their lunch breaks. There is sourdough bread, pastries and cakes from Chippendale’s Brickfields. Refreshing cold-pressed juices and tonics are available from by Cali Press. Because coffee is a big focus here, bespoke coffee is roasted for the cafe by Mecca in Alexandria. There is also a big glass case with a selection of amazing looking pastries and other baked treats.

The front coffee bar which also serves Prana Chai, Tea Craft teas and Mörk hot chocolates hides a tiny kitchen which does delicious, toasted bagels with cream cheese and topped generously with smoked salmon, tomato and capers, or with chilli and chives. There’s also coconut chia with berries and granola, and my go to, which is delicious oats stewed with fruit, yoghurt and coconut.

The Greens


The Greens North Sydney


Located at 50 Ridge Street, the Greens is a lovely sunny space, surrounded by palm trees and harbour views. The Greens is a summer haven created by husband-and-wife team, Lilly and Nathan Fasan.

In the morning they serve up porridge, hot-smoked trout and delicious omelettes. As the day rolls on, share plates take over. One of my favourite things to do at The Greens is to sample lots of smaller dishes such as the wood-roasted bull-horn peppers, oxtail croquettes and heirloom tomatoes. They are delicious.

Mains include a Wagyu beef burger or a whole baked snapper for two. The substantial salads are next level, while the succulent lamb spit roast is to die for. Homemade chutneys and jams are available beside the barista bar, where an exclusive blend is supplied by Marrickville’s Double Roasters.

The manicured turf hosts yoga-on-the-green mornings from Friday to Sunday and screen-on-the-green nights on Thursdays.

Home Espresso


Home Espresso North Sydney


Hidden at 107 Mount Street North Sydney, few people stumble across Home Espresso by accident. An unassuming exterior couldn’t be less on trend. Home Espresso is at the ground level of a corporate high rise.

This relaxed position is perhaps a clever front. If you visit Home Espresso during the morning peak, it will mean battling with a long line of coffee mad customers to get your caffeine fix. If Home Espresso got any busier, they would need a third coffee machine and traffic controllers to manage the crowds.

If you’re a local or just in town visiting for a few days. I’ll bet after a couple of visits, the baristas at Home Espresso will remember your name and coffee type. They are really that good. From the humble flat white to a high-intensity double ristretto, the priority here is not only knocking out orders at high speed, but also maintaining an excellent standard. There is always a line out the door, but you can be sure every pour is consistent, and the grind is regularly checked.

The menu features quinoa porridge with vanilla bean and cinnamon poached apple and maple syrup. Scrambled eggs with truffle oil and fresh fennel salad on brioche. For lunch, my tip is the Korean fried chicken bao with chilli sauce and Asian slaw, or a salad of grilled haloumi and chicken, pumpkin and shaved fennel.

Northside Bunker


Northside Bunker North Sydney


Located on the corner of Mount and Walker Street in North Sydney. Northside Bunker is a hole in the wall cafe offering delicious coffee and a break from the mid-week bustle of North Sydney. Their beans are from The Grounds, which are utterly delicious and the locals clearly agree. This place is always packed. Northside Bunker opens really early at 6.30am each weekday to cater for those people up and on their way into the office. This whole in the wall coffee stop is a popular coffee pit stop, with long lines snaking out the door and down the footpath any day of the week.

The breakfast menu at Northside Bunker is so good it keeps the locals coming back again and again.  It’s a breakfast, brunch, lunch & coffee stop you won’t be disappointed from. Their delicious food and friendly service is definitely worth popping in for.

Bacino Espresso


Bacino Espresso North Sydney


Located at 2/83 Mount Street, Bacino Espresso is serious about its coffee. Six staff work in close quarters behind the bar at any given time. Not only do they punch out amazing coffee throughout the morning rush. But they also trust their amazing customers, to place their money into a tray and take their own change when paying for their cup. It would be worth heading to Bacino Espresso just to experience this alone. But the coffee is next level, so it keeps people going back.

Established in 1998, Bacino Espresso brings great quality food and coffee, while creating a warm atmosphere and a sense of community. Over the years, Bacino has become famous for its locally roasted coffee. A quick bite to eat and a good chat with their friendly and very professional staff.

The food is delicious and includes a bacon and egg roll, with crispy bacon and egg on a soft bap roll with provolone, BBQ sauce and aioli.

My go to when I am at Bacino Espresso is the BLAT. It is bacon, rocket, avocado, tomato and aioli on a toasted ciabatta. Yum.

The Roots & Next Door


The Roots Next Door North Sydney


Located at Shop 8 Elizabeth Plaza North Sydney, The Roots Next Door has some of Sydney’s favourite coffee on constant rotation. Think Reuben Hills, Seven Seeds, Dukes Coffee, and Single Origin Coffee Roasters. The Roots Next Door is also now open on Saturdays. North Sydney locals no longer must go without their weekend coffee made at their favourite weekday café. As far as the food goes at Roots Next Door. It is simple but oh so delicious.

A glass cabinet is filled with jumbo choc chip cookies and am assortment of other fabulous pastries.

Ten Espresso


Ten Espresso North Sydney


Hidden amongst North Sydney you can find Ten Espresso. Ten Espresso isn’t just a coffee shop. Espresso is their jam, but they also serve a mean cold drip, batch brew, five hour cold drip and 16 hour cold drip served over ice. If coffee isn’t your thing, then you really have no business at this serious coffee merchant. But if this is the case, they also have a number of specialty chai options which are great. At Ten Espresso they are as serious about their food as their coffee. On the menu you can find delicious toasties for lunch and an all-day breakfast which is next level amazing.