Searching for the Best Cafe in Sydney
I’m on a mission to discover the best cafes in Australia. This time, I’m in gorgeous New South Wales, searching for the best cafe in Sydney.
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 Surry Hills and brilliant cafes in Sydney CBD. Now, I’m searching for the best cafe in Sydney.
Sydney is filled with fabulous cafes, serving delicious coffee and mouth-watering brunch options. But we all know, 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 eleven best cafes Sydney.
I’m so excited to share. Let’s get going.
Where are Sydney’s Best Cafes
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 and house-made lemonade.
Russell Beard opened Reuben Hills in 2012. Russel’s goal was to make coffee approachable to anyone who was interested in learning.
Russell and Reuban Hills head roaster Nick Theodore have travelled all over the world developing relationships with coffee farmers. These partnerships allow them to constantly bring new beans to Sydney, but also to give back to the communities, developing infrastructure and educational programs overseas.
The menu is made up of dishes adapted from the regions where the beans are grown. It’s mostly South American, with a twist. My all time favourite dish is the fried chicken and the not Reuben sandwich. It’s wagyu brisket, pickled slaw, manchego and horseradish mayo on rye.
Lox Stock and Barrel
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.
Paramount Coffee Project
Paramount Coffee Project is built into the foyer space of Paramount House. It’s a collaboration between Paramount House, Reuben Hills and Seven Seeds Coffee Roasters.
The cafe is striking, with high ceilings, polished concrete and timber benches.
Paramount Coffee Project rotates new beans and new roasters from around the world every four to six weeks. The food is as sophisticated as the building and the coffee. There’s Brickfield sourdough with avocado, fermented salsa and cashew butter; and pearl barley porridge with apple, mandarin, rhubarb and pistachio. For the less health-conscious, there is a fried chicken waffle with maple bacon gravy; and a Philly cheese sub with brisket and sauerkraut.
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.
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.
The Grounds of the City
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.
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
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.
Originally from Melbourne where they opened in 2000. Veneziano Coffee has chosen an industrial space for its Surry Hills cafe, which opened in April 2018.
Specialty coffee is the hero here. The espresso bar’s menu features a rotating list of beans and tasting notes for guidance on selecting the right blend, whether you take your coffee white, black or filtered.
Veneziano beans are sourced from Africa and Central and South America. They serve a seasonal blend, Bond St, and a rotating selection of coffee’s with exceptional taste and characteristics. If you’re not a coffee expert just tell the friendly barista what your normal order is and the team will make some fabulous recommendation.
At Veneziano Coffee, they like to keep the focus on coffee. The food menu is small, but chosen to be enjoyed alongside a fresh brew. There are also delicious pastries and doughnuts every Wednesday.
There are also coffee-related educational events for the community, including tastings, coffee classes, and talks by growers and roasters. Customers also have a chance to bring in their single-brew machines to learn how to make better coffees. Something I definitely need to try out.