I’m on a mission to discover the best cafes in Australia. This time, I’m in New South Wales, visiting beautiful cafes in Bondi.
After a really hard couple of years of COVID. Cafes are doing it tough. They have always been a popular place for me to meet friends, catch up on the news, or just sit back and relax. Now sadly, you can walk through any town in Australia and see cafes who have had to close their doors.
I want to help in any way I can. So, I have 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 have already uncovered fabulous cafes in Geelong, amazing cafes in North Sydney and brilliant cafes in New Farm. Now, I’m in Bondi.
Located on Sydney’s picturesque Eastern suburbs coastline, Bondi offers so much to locals and visitors alike. It boasts arguably Australia’s most famous beach, a 1km stretch of world-renowned white sand and is home to an outstanding café and dining scene.
It’s all about an outdoor lifestyle in Bondi. Step out shortly after sunrise and you'll spot plenty of surfers, swimmers and locals on their way to yoga. And of course, walkers and runners tackling the picturesque Bondi to Bronte trail.
I want to go right round this beautiful country of ours and narrow in on regions, cafes and coffee roasters to find exactly where the best cafes are.
Where is the best espresso bar? There are so many in Bondi. Who serves up a killer piccolo latte? Do cafes in Bondi 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 Bondi?
I'm so excited to tell you about my all-time favourite spots for coffee and food in Bondi.
Here we go!
The Line Up
Located at 79 Hall Street Bondi. Bill’s is an absolute icon of the Sydney breakfast and brunch scene. Reflecting the Australian spirit. Bill’s is sunny, easy-going and generous.
Bill opened his first restaurant in Sydney’s Darlinghurst in 1993. It soon became popular for its amazing breakfasts, served at the famous central communal table, where locals and tourists, families and friends, continue to be welcome. Twenty-six years later, Bill’s is synonymous for a relaxed, friendly and infectious atmosphere with great fresh food.
Bill’s was one of the very first cafes who popularised avocado on toast. A dish that’s now ingrained with Australian cafe culture across the world. When I am at Bills, I alternate between the Ricotta Hotcakes with banana and honeycomb butter and the Full Aussie. The Full Aussie is scrambled eggs, sourdough toast, cumin roast tomato, herbed garlic mushrooms, pork, chilli and fennel sausage and bacon.
The lunch and dinner menus include vibrant salads, burgers and seafood, often with a subtle Asian influence.
There is also a delicious custom espresso blend from Single O Coffee Roasters and house-made lemonade.
Located at 95 Roscoe Street Bondi is Heart Café. The café aims to create a culture where locals and visitors can meet to enjoy great food in good company. If you like drinking your morning coffee knowing your money is going a little further, Heart Café is your coffee spot. Issues such as youth unemployment usually aren’t front of mind when deciding where to eat. But if you order a latte or the Bacon and Egg Detox Roll at Heart Cafe, you will be helping disadvantaged young people while having a great meal. The meals are next level amazing as well.
Roscoe Street’s Heart Cafe is part of Wayside’s Wingspan program. An initiative that gives disadvantaged youth, the support and training they need to get into the workforce and stay there. The program works with young people aged 17 to 25, some of whom will secure work at the cafe for 12 months.
There is just something extra about enjoying delicious Middle Eastern breakfast dishes, knowing it’s doing something good for someone other than my taste buds.
There is a delicious avocado and feta smash. Its avocado, cherry tomato, rocket, feta, nuts and seeds with balsamic reduction on sourdough. The Homemade Manush flat breads are also mouth-watering good. It’s slow-cooked Persian lamb and feta, pomegranate, pine nuts, mint, spinach, marinated feta, and za’atar. All flatbreads are served with rocket and fennel and lemon wedge.
Located at 180 – 186 Campbell Parade Bondi. Side Room is more of a takeaway café than somewhere to linger all afternoon. With a long list of beautiful smoothies and delicious bowls with lots of textures and flavours. This café is definitely not your run-of-the-mill Sydney Café.
There are a handful of tables to drink the delicious Mecca coffee or devour one of their bowls, which are expertly thought through and packed with flavour.
The beef brisket is one of my favourites. Made on site, the meat is slow cooked for eight hours using a master stock, then sliced and served with caramelised onion, kimchi slaw and pickled cucumber. The brisket is also available in a sandwich, with the addition of a sharp cheddar, red onion and rocket served within two slices of delicious bread.
Located at 73 Bondi Road Bondi. Bennett Street Dairy offers farm to plate food options with fresh seasonal produce. The interior is much like the made to order menu. Simple and classic.
It’s so hard to imagine Bennett Street Dairy in any other season but summer. For me, it’s all about sitting in the sun devouring delicious eats. The menu is a mixture of Australian breakfast and lunch classics with their own twist.
It includes a delicious breakfast bowl with a mix of curly kale, peas, roast almonds, sprouts, a seed-dusted poached egg and quinoa. The House Made Baked Beans are fabulous. They include chorizo, avocado, and a poached egg on white sourdough. For lunch my go to is the Halloumi Salad with rocket, quinoa, toasted almonds, chickpeas and house dressing.
Located at 140 Glenayr Avenue Bondi. Lox Stock and Barrel is a classic European-style deli with amazing comfort food. Everything is done on-site here. From baking bread every morning, pickling in-house and smoking the fish and meat.
The small day-menu offers just a few bagel options, which you can also have on bread. Bagels are baked fresh every morning and are delicious. There is the Reuban. Which is wagyu corned beef, Swiss cheese, pickles and sauerkraut. The Smoked Lox which includes onion, capers, rocket and cream cheese. My personal favourite is the Avocado which comes with lemon, cucumber, onion, tomato and rocket.
If you’re after something lighter, the salads are delicious, fresh and herby. Sustainable fish is used with tasty, cured sardines on grilled toast, or slices of albacore tuna in a panini with jalapenos and miso-dressed slaw.
Gypsy coffee is extracted by hand through a lever-powered, manual piston coffee machine.
There’s also a more substantial dinner menu with cocktails like the Pickled Bloody Mary and dishes like Slow Roast Eggplant, topped with quinoa, spiced nuts, herbs, haloumi and Turkish style tomato sauce. The Sprouted Falafel is also fabulous with horseradish yoghurt, red beetroot salsa, pistachio and coriander. If you are feeling like something sweet, go for the Chocolate Caramel and Peanut Semifreddo. It is amazing.
At 17/110 Ramsgate Avenue North Bondi, you will find Porch and Parlour. This amazing café has really earned itself a well-deserved reputation as one of the best cafes in Sydney. It combines great food and coffee with art, music and people. It really is the perfect place for a pre-swim coffee, or an afternoon snack while soaking in the Bondi sun.
Facing the northern end of Bondi Beach, Porch and Parlour serves up a daily full brekky and lunch menu. Be sure to try the Smash and Hash. It is potato rosti, Yucatan, relish, wilted greens, one egg and hollandaise with either bacon or halloumi. The Cosmic Salad is also great. It includes coz lettuce, sauerkraut, avocado salsa, sprouted crackers, fresh herbs, nori, tahini dressing and pickled beetroot. Also great is the Breaky Board. It’s boiled egg, shaved leg ham, tomato, aged cheddar, avocado, pickled onion, house relish in a focaccia.
Dinner takes a different format, with a menu designed for steady snacking. Options include kingfish ceviche with pickled shallot; rice-flour gnocchi with mixed mushrooms and feta; and lamb shoulder with baby carrots and dukkha.
Located at 2/96 Glenayr Avenue Bondi. Lox in a Box is a deli window open on weekends only. Inspired by traditional Jewish delis. It’s all about bagels and delicious deli takeaway. On the menu, there is the classic lox bagel. It’s salmon, herbed cream-cheese schmear, tomato, capers and onions. The Veggie, which is jalapeno schmear, carrot, beets, rocket, onion and cheese is delicious. The salt-beef bagel with mustard and pickles is also pretty great. Be sure to add the crinkle-cut chips and pickles to your order. They are well worth it.
You can also build your own bagel with more than 20 sides to throw into your takeaway lox box. These include Nanna’s Smashed Avo and an extra creamy potato salad. Combine your delicious bagel with a latte from Skittle Lane and you won’t be disappointed.