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SYDNEY'S BEST CAFÉS & COFFEE SHOPS

14 PLACES

UPDATED NOV 12, 2019

Like citizens of pretty much every corner of the globe, Sydneysiders love their coffee. And none of that sludgy, muddy, instant stuff — only the freshest grounds and highest-quality brews will do. Thus, here’s our roundup of all the Sydney coffee shops you’re about to fall in love with.

author

RUBY YEATS

FITT SYDNEY CONTRIBUTOR

A collaboration between some of Sydney’s preeminent restaurateurs, PCP opened its doors in 2013, aiming to bring a different perspective on coffee to the café environment. Case in point: this inviting concept is committed to establishing relationships between local and international growers, creating an educational and unbiased platform for consumers to truly appreciate the delicious beverage. The coffee menu is extensive, with an espresso of the day (served black or with milk) and iced batch brew. There’s a delicious international food menu to match, with breakfast favourites and hearty lunchtime fare. Drop into the original Surry Hills venue, or visit their café/wine bar concept, Bondi Hall, for an unrivalled beachside experience.

The friendly folk at Reuben Hills, a micro-roastery in Surry Hills, are seriously passionate about coffee. That’s why the team travels the world, meeting growers and tasting prospective crops before choosing small lots to export and serve up in their ultra-modern coffee house. And while they have a culinary menu inspired by these trips (including some innovative Honduran and Guatemalan offerings), the real star is, of course, the cups of coffee, which can be served hot, cold, and accompanied by any of your favourite dairy and non-dairy milk options. Fitt Tip: stop by on a Saturday morning at 10am to take part in their public “cupping” workshop, an educational experience where you’ll learn all there is to know about your favorite caffeinated drink.

With a constantly evolving menu of innovative drinks both hot and cold, the constant for this tiny Inner West espresso bar is their dedication to serving only outstanding coffee. All your regular caffeinated beverages are featured, but we especially love the novelty of the Sparkler (a carbonated brewed coffee served over ice). Want to recreate your experience at home? Grab a bag of speciality beans on your way out. And don’t forget to check out their sister shops: Gumption in The Strand Arcade and Micro in Barangaroo.

Formerly known as ‘Single Origin’, the Single O team accepted the classic Aussie name-shortening tradition, officially adopting the abbreviation as its moniker. More than just a swanky café in Sydney CBD, Surry Hills, and the Carriageworks Farmers Markets on Saturday, this community-focused coffee shop also operates a roastery in Botany, providing ethically- and sustainably-sourced wholesale beans for local and interstate hospitality venues. Not only that, the team here is doing their part to have as little environmental impact as possible, so they run their roasts on solar power. That means you’ll enjoy an incredible espresso you can feel good about drinking.

Coffee, tea, cold-pressed juice — open Monday–Friday in the centre of bustling George St, this café has all your caffeine cravings covered. Plus, Dutch Smuggler has some of the tastiest toasties the CBD has to offer. Pair your iced coffee and tonic with the toastie of the week at lunch, or try an apple crumble tea with a GF paleo ball for a healthy twist on your afternoon snack. And if it’s after 5pm, you can switch from caffeine to craft beers and classic cocktails.

It doesn’t get much cooler than Newtown’s hottest espresso bar Rising Sun Workshop. It’s a communal motorcycle workshop meets hip inner city café — a Sydney (and possibly even world) first. The café and workshop share a set of values, relating to buying and sourcing locally wherever possible and abstaining from factory farming or other unsustainable practices. And the other thing they’re truly committed to? Exceptional coffee! There are all the usual suspects—piccolo, latte, long black—as well as a yummy affogato served over locally produced gelato and a fizzy bubbler with spritz and lime. It’s well worth the train ride out west if you ask us!

Classic breakfast fare with a modern, healthy twist? Yes, please. TeaCraft organic loose leaf tea, fresh-squeezed fruit and veggie juices, and house-blended chai lattes? Even better. Top it off with rich, velvety coffee, plus beans roasted in-house by the talented Brewtown crew, and you’ve got yourself a perfect Sydney café. And if you become completely addicted to what they serve in your cup at their Newtown shop, grab a bag or box of beans to make each morning.

It’s not hard to find great coffee in a city as buzzing as Sydney’s, but the trick is finding the perfect trifecta of coffee, food, and atmosphere. Enter: Pablo & Rusty’s! The menu is chock-full of decadent breakfast offerings, as well as lighter options like a sweet corn and ricotta fritter or slow-cooked coconut porridge with toasted almonds. And the tea and coffee menus are just as extensive and equally diverse, including hot and cold varieties, macadamia and almond milks, and custom-blended iced coffee/chocolate creations. If you’ve got a business meeting or social catch-up scheduled, we’ve found your venue.

Mecca is a specialty importer, roaster, and wholesaler of insanely-tasty coffee that Sydneysiders can’t get enough of. And while they have locations in Alexandria and the city, they also supply their top-quality beans to stores and cafés through the state, making it easy to get your hands on Mecca’s delicious sips whenever the craving hits. Drop into one of the foundation stores to sample their specialty blends, bask in the aroma of roasting coffee, and stock up on a few bags to take home.

This Surry Hills café serves up a unique brew in an intimate space with a true locals vibe. It’s no-nonsense and low fuss, and the coffee quality is some of the best in the city. Plus, there’s non-dairy milk on offer and a (small) number of fresh baked treats. Not in the mood for coffee? They have vegan hot chocolate that you have to try at least once.

From bean to roast to brew, there’s a beautiful simplicity to the process at Artificer, a haven for the true coffee fanatic. With nothing but coffee drinks on the menu—and not much in the way of cafe seating—the vibe at Artificer feels totally devoted to the pursuit of providing top-notch caffeinated beverages. Each bean is roasted in accordance with its own unique qualities — you’ll find no hint of the mass-produced, one-size-fits-all approach that some larger chains favour. So, if your morning coffee is more meditative experience than simple sip, Artificer is the perfect location for your indulgence.

Inner City chic meets Western Sydney attitude and authenticity — Skittle Lane is your go-to neighbourhood stop on King St. It’s worth a visit for the cabinet food alone (say hello to the ‘Brewnut’, Down Under’s response to the global cronut craze), but it’s the strong, hot coffee which has hordes of Sydney’s worker bees swarming. The fitout is minimalist and clean, with little to distract from the gastronomic experience, so you can enjoy a moment’s solace from the crazy city buzz and enjoy the caffeine hit in peace. Oh, and make sure you head over to their website and order your favourite beans, conveniently delivered to your front doorstep.

It’s hard to find a truly excellent espresso served up without a side of pretension, but that’s exactly what Marrickville’s Double Tap offers up. Sandwiches and tasty cakes are whipped up fresh on-site by owner Daniel’s mother. And speaking of a family affair, the bright and airy mural in this garden café was painted by Daniel’s brother (who is also the brains behind the cafe’s seasonal menu). Stop by for a delicious drip coffee and plum torte and stay for the welcoming atmosphere.

Who says great coffee is the exclusive domain of the big city? Queenside is tucked down an unassuming street in Dulwich Hill, but cross the threshold into this caffeinated paradise and you could be in any bustling metropolis in the country. Thoroughbread toast and delectable breakfast staples rule the food menu, and a huge variety of Mecca coffee rounds out a blissful experience. Fitt Tip: you can’t go wrong with the iced black and affogato. And for non-coffee drinkers, the London Fog (iced earl grey tea with vanilla syrup) is a must-try.

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