The Best Cafe in Sydney CBD for a Coffee Catch-up or Brunch

by Kate Stewart

Searching for the Best Cafes 

The Grounds of the City Sydney


I’m on a mission to discover the best cafes in Australia. This time, I’m in gorgeous Sydney, searching for the best cafe in Sydney CBD.   

After a really hard couple of years. Cafes are doing it tough. You can walk through any town in Australia and see cafes who’ve had to close their doors.

I want to help in any way I can. I’ve decided to dedicate my blog, to finding the best Cafes in Australia and shine a light on them. It’s time to get out and support these wonderful cafes.  I’ve already uncovered fabulous cafes in Bondi, amazing cafes in Manly and brilliant cafes in Lane Cove. Now, I’m searching for the best cafe in Sydney CBD.

Sydney is bursting with great cafes, serving delicious coffee and incredible brunch options. The city has a growing cafe scene to rival Melbourne. But not all cafes are created equal. There’s nothing worse than heading out for a delicious brunch and being disappointed with what you receive. So, I’ve done the hard yards. I’ve visited cafes all over Sydney, from the lively spots to the hidden gems. After so many lattes, bacon and egg rolls, pastries and avo on toasts, I’ve narrowed it down to the six best cafes Sydney CBD.

I’m so excited to share. Let’s get going.

Where is the Best Cafe in Sydney CBD?

Industry Beans

Industry Beans Sydney

Located at Shop 2/40 York Street Sydney. Industry Beans' first Sydney venue is housed in an architecturally designed space in the CBD. This 20-seat cafe is sleek, minimalistic and signature white like its Fitzroy store in Melbourne. With a focus on great food and even better coffee, Industry Beans is a great place to grab a quick takeaway coffee on the way to the office. Alternatively, I like to take a seat in the front window, sipping on the fabulous coffee, or enjoying some of their wonderful eats.

Industry Beans, roast the most delicious single origin beans. Aside from the regular milk-based and black coffee, there is a cold-brew bubble cup, which combines cold-brew coffee, coffee-soaked tapioca pearls, and a house-blended condensed-soy milk. There is also a popular Iced coffee, made with cold-brew coffee, milk and wattle seed and panela syrup.

The food at Industry Beans is also phenomenal. The menu changes seasonally and some of the dishes have been borrowed from their Fitzroy Cafe, where they are firm favourites. The Evergreen Omelette is fabulous. There is also Smashed Avocado, Pandan Bubble Waffles and a Native Grain Salad.

The kitchen at Industry Beans is also cleverly using molecular gastronomy to incorporate coffee into their dishes. A coffee-rubbed Wagyu burger is available at lunch, and for breakfast, coffee caviar comes served with the cinnamon-dusted brioche and the crazily-named fruit sashimi.  

Order ahead with the Industry Beans Cafe App

The Grounds of the City

The Grounds of the City Sydney

Located at shop RG 12, 500 George Street Sydney. The Grounds of the City serves up delicious pastries, perfect coffee, and the freshest brekkies. The owners have gone to town with the fit-out. It looks super expensive and is a tremendous take on the old school hospitality era of the 1920’s. There are salvaged timber floors, marble accents, antique pendant lights, hand-crafted stained glass, antique crockery, knick-knacks, books and furniture.

The Grounds of the City is a great place to start your day with a delicious breakfast. On the menu there is a delicious free ranged egg omelette, a fruit salad, baked eggs and freshly cooked pancakes with peaches and raspberries.

For lunch, you can enjoy a sumptuous dine-in menu, featuring fresh seasonal produce. On the menu there are healthy salads and green bowls, steaks and burgers. But my favourite dish on the menu is the Fresh Linguine with Swimmer Crab and Clams. It comes with hazelnuts, black cabbage, mushroom, garlic and crustacean oil.

You can expect amazing coffee at the Grounds of the City. But if coffee is not your thing, there are other wonderful options including tea, juices, smoothies and even breakfast cocktails.

Make a reservation

Dutch Smuggler

The Dutch Smuggler Sydney

Located at 200 George Street Sydney. Dutch Smuggler has incredible food, amazing service, and delicious coffee all in the one spot. Hidden from site in an architectural feature, down some stairs and behind an office block. It isn’t the easiest place to find. But when you do, you won’t be disappointed. Dutch Smuggler is best known for its great coffee and phenomenal jaffles. They small-batch roasts their own A-grade beans with Sovereign Coffee Roasters and mix things up with cold-brew-coffee mocktails.

There are so many delicious jaffles to choose from. There’s a Mushroom Truffle jaffle, the Nacho Libre, one they call Slab Tha Cheesy and their famous Indo-Mie Goreng toastie. There’s also a stellar bacon-and-egg roll with chipotle aioli, a delicious avocado on toast and Banana Bread.

Fossix Coffee

Fossix Coffee Sydney

Located at 56 Pitt Street Sydney. Fossix Coffee is an Artisan Specialty Coffee House, based in the heart of the Sydney CBD. They are all about quality and flavour. Their passion for great coffee is matched only by their love for wholesome, fresh, flavoursome food.

They only source their produce from local suppliers, and they bake all their mouth-watering cakes, slices and sweet treats in-house every day. The menu is seasonal, so it changes based on whatever fresh produce is in season. On the breakfast menu expect delicious dishes like egg wraps and sliders, mini rolls and bagels. There is a pork and fennel sausage roll and a spinach and fetta mini roll.  

For lunch, there is a Smoked Beef Brisket and a fresh Autumn Vegetable Bowl. But its all about the mini sliders at Fossix Coffee. There are so many delicious options to choose from. There are Roast Beef sliders, Buffalo Chicken, BBQ Pulled Pork, Roast Mushroom and Vegan Pumpkin.

There’s also a punchy toastie with garlic-fried enoki mushrooms, double cheese, aioli and optional bacon. The café uses the smooth St Peter’s Roast for milk coffee blends and single origin for filters and espresso.

Order ahead with the Fossix Coffee App

Joe Black X

Joe Black X Sydney

Located at 2000/70 King Street Sydney. Joe Black is a perfect café if you are on the go. It’s tucked in a tiny alcove behind the heritage Louis Vuitton building. It’s all about one thing here, coffee made with love. There is no seating, and the café is takeaway-only, with everything except the desserts made to order.

The menu, which is scrawled on butcher’s paper behind the counter, includes so many great options. If you’re in a rush and feeling hungry, you can start you day off with a delicious house-baked cinnamon and maple muesli topped with yoghurt, honey and mixed berries. Or a breakfast panini with boiled egg, avocado, tomato and basil. For lunch, there are free-range roast chicken salad boxes, plus sandwiches filled with tuna, artichokes, olives, preserved lemon and rocket.

The delicious house blend is sourced from the incredibly talented people at Toby’s Estate. The coffee is smooth with fabulous hints of caramel.


Regiment Sydney

Located at 333 George Street Sydney. Regiment is a fancy specialty coffee bar and eatery. The fit-out is striking. There are wonderful marble walls, light timber benches, brassy furnishings, round tables and timber furniture outside.

The menu at Regiment is outstanding.  A delicious poached chicken sandwich, with mint, watercress, and a spicy peanut sauce makes for a solid takeaway option, as do the organic sourdough crumpets, smeared with cultured butter and honey.

If you’re sitting down for breakfast, there is a Pork Belly and Egg Burger, a Curried Creamed Egg Bagel, and a delicious wild mushroom dish with sheep’s curd, aged provolone, and chive sourdough. For lunch, there are amazing salads and poke bowls, a Lobster Roll and a Wagyu Beef Bagel with house kimchi, cheese and sriracha mayo.

To drink, Regiment serves Veneziano Coffee blends, rotating single origins for filters, Mörk hot chocolate, kombucha on tap and refreshing sodas.