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Happyfield Haberfield interior

30 Best Cafes in Sydney

Sydney has defined Australia’s cafe culture with outstanding brekky sandwiches, avocado toast, and chilli scrambled eggs. The Melbournians might have us for great coffee, but we’d put the food from the cafes we’ve selected below up against the best in the world. We’ll travel near and far to test a new brekky roll or specialty breakfast meal like ‘Australia’s Happiest Meal’ at Happyfields. That’s why our expert team of foodies can be trusted to compile these independent lists. Let’s check out their favourites!

Best Cafes in Sydney at a Glance

Highlights from our list include the following options:

Now we’ve had a look at our favourites, let’s check out the complete list.

RELATED: If it’s coffee that you’re after, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite specialty coffee shops.

Pina potts point ben mckimm man of many
Pina Potts Point | Image: Ben McKimm / Man of Many

1. Pina Potts Point

It’s not every day a Sydney cafe receives the praise of a legendary chef Nigella Lawson, but that’s just another accolade to add to Pina Potts Point’s resume. This is still our favourite cafe in Sydney, and it has been since discovering the hole in the wall some years ago thanks to the keen eye of chef Big Sam Young.

In theory, Pina serves as the overflow spot for its sister Room Ten (right next door), however, it’s a special place in its own right with one of the best chilli scrambles in Sydney and a host of must-try specials such as XO tofu scramble with labneh and shallot kimchi. Our only recommendation would be to arrive early, we’ve seen some of the biggest queues here and waiting times can reach up to 45 minutes.

Address: 4/29 Orwell St, Potts Point NSW 2011
Hours: Mon-Sun 7am-3pm
Phone: 0432 445 342

2. Happyfield Haberfield

A nostalgic blend of all your old-school diner favourites and classic inner-west energy, Happyfield is Haberfield’s answer to an American eatery that you simply can’t resist. Serving up Five Senses coffee in some of the cutest mugs you will ever see, the menu here is just as alluring as their nitro cold brew. You will find pancakes (of course) and it’s up to you if you want to drench them in syrup and toppings. You can’t go past our personal favourite – the McLovin Muffin, an English muffin with chipotle aioli, chicken sausages, eggs and melted cheddar. You can also grab eggs in a variety of ways, smoothies and mushrooms on toast, among plenty more. Open for brekky and lunch and serving up beer, wines and cocktails, this addition to the streets of Haberfield is a very happy place indeed. 

Address: 96 Ramsay St, 72 Dalhousie St, Haberfield NSW 2045
Hours: Mon-Sun 7:30am-3:30pm
Phone: (02) 9716 5168

Edition Roasters interior
Edition Roasters | Image: Edition Roasters

3. Edition Roasters

Nestled within the streets of Haymarket you’ll find Edition Coffee Roasters – Sydney’s answer to Scandivania and Japan, in one! In saying this, it errs on the finer side of both cuisines, so it’s the perfect place for when you’re feeling like a fancy cafe moment.

Menu standouts include Scandinavian-style open sandwiches, takeaway bento boxes, Japanese pancakes, XO chicken and a pork-katsu burger. Our pick is the miso salmon ochazuke and the matcha, yuzu and vegan chocolate dessert.

Coffee lovers will swoon over the single-origin/estate green beans used here where you can choose from three levels of premium beans – but to be honest, we come here for the matcha lattes (that may very well be the best in Sydney). The drip and cold brew coffee also goes down a treat.

Located in: Darling Square
Address: 60 Darling Dr, Haymarket NSW 2000
Hours: Mon-Sun 8am-4pm

A.P. Bakery rooftop view
A.P. Bakery | Image: Paramount Recreation Club

4. A.P. Bakery

The main focus at this Sydney cafe is in the name – bread, baked goods and pastries are the stars of the show here. Perched above Paramount House, AP Bakery is headed by baker Dougal Muffet who likes to mill grains the traditional method, using a rustic, American-made stone mill.

Menu highlights include Aleppo pepper scrolls, the pickle bagel, fully loaded and oh-so-carby burgers and the bakers’ brekkie complete with smoked ham, pork butter, cheddar boiled egg, soft herbs, cream cheese, mustard and a fresh baguette. However, we love feating on the simple things when we come to AP – and we always leave with a loaf of sourdough, a baguette and a butter croissant in hand.

This is more than a sit-down affair and you can grab your daily bread and coffee here before work, with delicious beans courtesy of Reuben Hills.

Located in: Paramount Recreation Club
Address: L2/80 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Hours: Mon-Sun 7:30am-3pm

Address: 1a Bucknell St, Newtown NSW 2042
Hours: Mon-Sat 7am-2:30pm, Sun 7:30am-2:30pm

Bills streetview
Bills | Image: Bills

5. Bills

Bill Granger invented cafe culture in Australia and a trip to any of his Bills locations in Sydney will give you the full experience with many of his many delectable creations. Enjoy his infamous ricotta hotcakes alongside other highly considered menu items. We love the corn fritters with poached eggs, the fluffy pancakes and the silky folded eggs. For when you’re feeling more adventurous, we recommend the fish and prawn curry and XO mushroom fried rice. Pair your meal with a local coffee from Single Origin Roasters.

Address: Various locations

KASKA Eatery streetview
KASKA Eatery | Image: KASKA Eatery

6. KASKA Eatery

A classic Darlinghurst cafe, KASKA Eatery has become a Darlinghurst institution. What makes this cafe different to many other establishments that line the surrounding streets is the whole food focus – the menu consists of plenty of salads and dishes incorporating fermented vegetables and house-made sauces (think house-fermented pickles and kimchi).

Our favourites from the menu include the roast pumpkin ferment bowl and the ploughman’s plate packed with artisanal produce and sauces with ham, Maffre cheddar, pickled veggies, boiled egg, confit onion jam, apple and walnut salad and grilled bread by Fiore Bakery with a side of Pepe Saya butter.

For something simpler, they also have toasties and avo toast. Mecca coffee is also served here and the portion sizes are great so you definitely get your money’s worth.

Address: Shop 1/19a Boundary St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Hours: Mon-Fri 7:30am–3 pm, Sat 7:30 am–2:30pm
Phone: 0425 810 174

7. Devon Cafe

Having gained a loyal following at their Surry Hills outpost, Devon Cafe in Barangaroo had a lot of high expectations upon its opening (which they certainly live up to). Unlike your usual cafe experience, this cafe in Sydney offers fine dining alongside your brunch. This means ambitious and creative creations, infused with modern Asian flavours as we experienced when we headed in to try their ‘Uni Brunch’ menu for Monday Munchies.

We thought the main star from the menu is the chicken katsu sando with kimchi mayo, gochujang and cabbage, served with chips or salad. Our go-to? The insane Wagyu Sando or the Pandan French Toast Katsu – perfect for when those sweet cravings hit. 

Located in: International Towers
Address: 19/200 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo NSW 2000
Hours: Mon-Fri 7:30am-3pm, Sat-Sun 9am-3pm
Phone: (02) 9262 4660

Paramount Coffee Project outdoor overlooking interior
Paramount Coffee Project | Image: Paramount Coffee Project

8. Paramount Coffee Project

The infamous love child of Rueben Hills and Seven Seeds, Paramount Coffee Project is hands down one of the very best cafes in Sydney if you’re looking for great coffee. The team have an unbiased approach to coffee and showcases a delicious seasonal menu brimming with breakfast favourites. You’ll find everything from avocado toast to fried chicken waffles and an outstanding yuzu basque cheesecake alongside premium batch brews and milkshakes.

Located in: Paramount House Hotel
Address: 80 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Hours: Mon-Sun 7am-4pm
Phone: 0481 148 439

Focus on a cup of latte and an egg pie with Pillar interior background
Pillar | Image: Pillar

9. Pillar

We’re looking outside the Sydney CBD with this one because Pillar Cafe is worth trekking out to Burwood just to sample the exceptional coffee. Inspired by a desire to highlight lesser-known micro-roasters and producers, owners Nate Tong, Uel Lim and Edwin Luo’s Burwood coffee shop has become a haven for coffee lovers. Expect a range of options, from espresso to pour-over and batch brew, plus retail beans are also on offer, with house beans from Skittle Lane.

The food menu also packs a punch, with classic toasties (that are great for lunch) and Asian-inspired dishes such as butter mochi, gooey onsen eggs and a Hainanese spring chicken salad. Our top pick? The banana bread drizzled with maple butter (make sure you ask for it warmed up!) Pillar also serves up 15 Cenci Basque cheesecakes.

Located in: Burwood Grand
Address: 1 Unity Pl, Burwood NSW 2134
Hours: Mon-Fri 7:30am-2:30pm, Sat 8am-3pm

Benzin Cafe interior
Benzin Cafe | Image: Benzin Cafe

10. Benzin Cafe

Serving as Sydney’s permanent ‘cars and coffee’ location, Benzin Cafe is a great brekky and lunch spot in Dural that you can find us at every other weekend. It’s worth the drive out to the hills because Benzin Cafe serves up one of the best chilli scrambles (with Salmon) in Sydney alongside their self-titled coffee. Do yourself a favour and grab a batch brew because it’s always on point.

We often have a tough time choosing between the scramble and the brekky tacos packed with fried eggs, pulled beef brisket, avocado, roasted potatoes and tomato salsa with gojuchang on tortillas. Simply, outstanding.

For lunch, we can’t go past the three-cheese toastie and the Rendang nachos. Plus, the Benzin Milo is a fun and unique offering that always hits the spot.

Address: 1/242 New Line Rd, Dural NSW 2158
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-2pm, Sat 7am-3pm, Sun 8am-3pm

Valentinas Sydney interior
Valentinas Sydney | Image: Valentinas Sydney

11. Valentinas Sydney

Markville’s answer to an all-day diner, Valentina’s is just the right amount of classic USA eats, inspired by the streets of NYC and LA. Given that the owners are also the team behind Sydney’s infamous doughnut makers Grumpy Donuts, nostalgia is key to the charm here.

Menu highlights include the southern fried chicken burger, the pancakes and the bacon and egg English muffin filled with sausage or egg and cheese.

However, what makes Valentina’s one of the best cafes in Sydney is their coffee game. They use Supreme beans and they offer bottomless (unlimited refill) house filter coffee, which we can’t get enough of.

If you head in for lunch, this place also serves up beers by The Grifter Brewing Co. and an intimate selection of natural wines.

Address: 132 Livingstone Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204
Hours: Mon-Sun 7am-3pm

Kahii interior
Kahii | Image: Kahii

12. Kahii

Both a bar and cafe (depending on when you visit), Kahii combines Japanese traditions with Asian flavours for the ultimate CBD hideaway. Named after the first Kissaten, which is a Japanese cafe, Kahii aims to bring this laid-back atmosphere and we think they’ve accomplished it with great in-house roasted coffee using beans from Colombia, Brazil and Kenya.

The main attraction here is the black sesame cloud – a Korean beverage combining black sesame and coffee. Head in around lunchtime and you’ll find a menu that focuses on pastries, our favourite being the ham and cheese mooji or the Portuguese tart.

Standout lunch options include the pork katsu sando with panko-crusted deep-fried pork loin, pickled ginger mayo, tonkatsu sauce, mustard and cabbage on Japanese shokupan. By night, the place transforms into an ambient bar – our food recommendations include the miso kaji lamb riblets or the kohlrabi. 

Address: Kelco House, Lobby/364 Kent St, Sydney NSW 2000
Hours: Mon 8am-3pm, Tues-Fri 8am-5pm & 5:30pm-12am, Sat 3pm-12am
Phone: (02) 9290 1889

Dutch Smuggler Coffee Brewers outdoor
Dutch Smuggler Coffee Brewers | Image: Dutch Smuggler Coffee Brewers

13. Dutch Smuggler Coffee Brewers

Ideal for a quick bite, Dutch Smugglers are masters of simple breakfasts. They take the humble jaffle to the next level, creating something truly life-changing with the infamous “Indo-Mie Goreng Toasties.” Kimchi, mushroom and truffle, Reuben and our favourite, the Nutella banana.

Even the plain toast is delicious, the intimate cafe serving up Berkelo bread that is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Coffee is roasted with Sovereign Coffee Roasters and you can find a great cold brew (we highly recommend the cold-brew mocktail C&T with tonic). 

Located in: EY
Address: 200 George St, Sydney NSW 2000
Hours: Mon-Fri 6am-4pm, Sat-Sun 8am-3pm

Hand holding a croissant set on a table beside a menu on a paper and a bag
Home Croissanterie | Image: Home Croissanterie

14. Home Croissanterie

Immediately apparent from the name of this Sydney cafe, Home Croissanterie in Balmain is infamous for croissants. The shelves are stacked full of traditional and more innovative variations of everyone’s favourite, buttery pastry.

While we recommend trialling every croissant if you can, beyond the original, favourites include the sea salt and potato and the bacon maple – a pastry scroll with bacon from Emilio’s Butcher in Rozelle, glazed with maple and sprinkled with Olsson’s red gum-smoked salt.

The coffee here is Single O and they also serve some of the best chilled filter coffee in Sydney in our opinion.

Address: Shop 1/418 Darling St, Balmain NSW 2041
Hours: Tues-Fri 7:30am-2pm, Sat-Sun 8am-2pm

15. Baker Bleu

An artisanal backer in the heart of Double Bay, owners Mike and Mia Russell paired up with Neil Perry to bring Baker Bleu to life, located just next door to Perry’s restaurant Margaret. We come here for the bagels, baguettes, sourdough and sandwiches to-go and come lunchtime, they also serve Roman-style pizzas, focaccia paninis and salads (the margarita with pesto is next level). Most recently, we took the McLaren 750S to grab a loaf of bread and a bit of breakfast, check out the video above.

Address: 2 Guilfoyle Ave, Double Bay NSW 2028
Hours: Fri-Sun 7:30am-3pm

MISC. Parramatta interior
MISC. Parramatta | Image: MISC. Parramatta

16. MISC. Parramatta

This is an essential visit when checking out Parramatta’s cafe scene, MISC. is all about community and delicious, fresh Mediterranean flavours. The menu here is vast and ever-changing – our go-to is the mezze-style breakfast with options like smoked labneh, olives, wood-fired pita bread, spiced lamb sausage and burrata. While lunch favourites include baked conchiglia a la with vodka mozzarella and parmesan crumb, and the chicken milanese with mustard fruit and sugarloaf cabbage. You’re also sorted for coffee is roasted by Stitch.

Located in: Parramatta Park
Address: Little Coogee, Parramatta Park, Byrnes Avenue, Parramatta NSW 2150
Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-3pm, Sat-Sun 8-11:30am & 12-3pm
Phone: (02) 9030 8668

Soulmate Newtown interior
Soulmate Newtown | Image: Soulmate Newtown

17. Soulmate Newtown

While Newtown is already packed to the brim with cafes and coffee spots, Soulmate manages to make a lasting impact. Serving up Single O coffee, batch brew, cold brew and their McHenry – a batch brew with whipped cream, this has become one of our favourite spots in Newtown. Enjoy a coffee alongside an all-day menu – the house muesli, smoked salmon and potato pancake, tofu scramble and deli hoagie loaded with salami, ham, provolone, mustard pickle, mayo, tomato, lettuce on a long soft roll (add the hashbrown!) are standouts.

Address: Unit 12/39 Phillip St, Newtown NSW 2042
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-3pm, Sat-Sun 8am-3pm
Phone: 0451 386 879

Mecca Coffee interior
Mecca Coffee | Image: Adriana Abara

18. Mecca Coffee

You aren’t a true cafe lover unless you’ve visited Mecca Coffee in Alexandria. The team here are coffee roasters, brewers and above anything, cafe lovers. But, they don’t forget to feed the coffee-craving masses, with plenty of traditional brunch classics on a perfectly simple menu like the vegan bowl, poached eggs on toast and the brekky plate with iggys toast, spiced beetroot, poached eggs, halloumi, has browns and avocado. The coffee that’s roasted on-site changes often, meaning there’s something fresh to try when you come back next time!

Address: 26 Bourke Road, Alexandria
Hours: Monday- Friday 7.30 am – 3 pm, Saturday & Sunday 8 am – 3 pm
Phone: (02) 9806 3030

Ona Sydney interior
Ona Sydney | Image: Ona Sydney

19. Ona Sydney

Ona Coffee takes coffee very seriously, serving up everything from a simple latte to flavoured brews, you can’t go wrong with a visit to this Sydney cafe. Inside, there are three coffee bars – for espresso-based drinks, filter coffee and coffee mocktails. We love the Aspen moch and the raspberry candy brew. To soak up all the coffee, indulge in a delicious menu with standouts like the vegan Tasmanian pepper labneh, pulled beef brioche roll and a delicious kimchi toastie.

Address: 140 Marrickville Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204
Hours: Mon-Fri 7:30am-3pm, Sat-Sun 8am-3pm

Circa Espresso interior
Circa Espresso | Image: Circa Espresso

20. Circa Espresso

One of our favourite places for breakfast (and coffee) in Parramatta, Circa Espresso has a seasonal food menu and coffee menu that never ceases to amaze with innovative Middle-Eastern flavours. We can’t go past the wild fermented whole wheat pancake glazed with maple syrup, white chocolate crème Fraiche, peach, crushed pistachio and cocoa nibs accompanied with a basil salad.

Address: 21 Wentworth St, Parramatta NSW 2150
Hours: Mon–Fri 7am–2:30pm, Sat-Sun 8am–2.30pm

Ken’s Continental outdoor
Ken’s Continental | Image: Ken’s Continental

21. Ken’s Continental

From the team behind Bones Ramen and Farmhouse comes Ken’s Continental, a cafe and deli with a European flair. The majority of the menu consists of ingredients sourced from small Australian producers and the menu items are simple but very homely. We love the prosciutto sandwich, the chicken schnitty with cos, pickles, smoked chilli mayo and mozzarella, and their scrambled eggs are up there with the best of them.

Address: 3/40 Bayswater Rd, Rushcutters Bay NSW 2011
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-3pm, Sat-Sun 8am-3pm

kurumac interior
kurumac | Image: kurumac

22. kurumac

kurumac is a colourful brunch spot with a Japanese fusion menu. If you need a proper morning wake-up call, the vibrant colours and hip-hop music will do the job. The menu is full of all-day meal options. We suggest trying something a bit different while you’re here, like the onigiri, rice balls stuffed with pickled mustard greens. Pop by on your way to the Addison Road Markets for the perfect weekend.

Address: 107 Addison Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204
Hours: Mon-Sun 7am–3 pm
Phone: (02) 8593 9449

Lox Stock & Barrel outdoor
Lox Stock & Barrel | Image: Lox Stock & Barrel

23. Lox Stock & Barrel

Come to Lox Stock & Barrel for an authentic taste of NYC in the heart of Bondi. One of the best cafes in Sydney for bagels, you’re bound to find something that tickles your fancy on their extensive menu. Better yet, they also have brunch classics if bagels just don’t cut it for you. Try the seeds & spices bagel filled with avocado, lemon, cucumber, tomato, onion and rocket – you won’t regret it.

Address: 140 Glenayr Ave, Bondi Beach NSW 2026
Hours: Mon-Sun 7am–2:30pm
Phone: (02) 9300 0368

Four Ate Five outdoor
Four Ate Five | Image: Four Ate Five

24. Four Ate Five

An unpretentious, laid-back hole-in-the-wall, Four Ate Five is one of the best cafes in Sydney for a humble brunch feed. We love the French toast, the beetroot toast with poached eggs and the roast beef sandwich with onion relish, aioli and polski ogorki. They also have an enticing selection of cakes and coffee is always on point, plus they also have superfood smoothies if you feel like a health kick. 

Address: 485 Crown St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am–2:30pm, Sat 7:30am-2:30pm, Sun 8am-2:30pm
Phone: (02) 9698 6485

Two Chaps interior
Two Chaps | Image: Two Chaps

25. Two Chaps

A highlight on Marickville’s Chapel Street, Two Chaps has been a cult classic amongst Sydney cafe and coffee lovers alike for a while now. Serving up a robust Italian roast, their coffee is the wake-up call we all need, and the laid-back vibe of the cafe encompasses the inner city locale with ease, making you feel right at home. The food is an elevated version of the classic street cafe with a focus on Mediterranean-influenced vegetarian options. We can’t go past the cheeseburger with homemade potato skin chips on the side and the sourdough crumpets with date and eggplant puree, fine Greek salad, grilled zucchini and paprika, mustard and sage sauce. Top tip – don’t leave without taking home a doughnut. 

Address: 122 Chapel St, Marrickville NSW 2204
Hours: Monday – Friday 7 am – 3 pm, Saturday 7.30 am – 3 pm, Sunday 8 am – 3 pm
Phone: (02) 9572 8858

Rising Sun Workshop interior
Rising Sun Workshop | Image: Rising Sun Workshop

26. Rising Sun Workshop

This isn’t your average Sydney cafe. Rising Sun Workshop is a seamless merging of a cafe, motorbike workshop, gourmet noodle spot and all social enterprise. Everything on the menu is locally sourced – try the eggplant katsu sando or the breakfast ramen for the ultimate experience. And, don’t worry, the motorbikes and garage feel only add to the experience. 

Address: 1C Whateley St, Newtown NSW 2042
Hours: Mon-Fri 12-3pm, Sat-Sun 8am-3pm
Phone: (02) 9550 3891

Reuben Hills interior
Reuben Hills | Image: Reuben Hills

27. Reuben Hills

The coffee is roasted upstairs and wafts through the narrow industrial space, immediately drawing us inside from the street. Sit down or grab a takeaway – the menu is sublime, with touches of South American flavours scattered throughout. The Not Reuben is our go-to, complete with a wagyu beef brisket, pickled slaw, manchego cheese and horseradish mayo on toasted rye – delish.

Address: 61 Albion St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am–3:30 pm, Sat-Sun 7:30am–3:30pm
Phone: (02) 9211 5556

Meet Gerard interior
Meet Gerard | Image: Meet Gerard

28. Meet Gerard

An honest approach to brunch classics with an exciting twist, Meet Gerard is one of Alexandria’s best brunch spots and one of the best cafes in Sydney. Expect classics like porridge, French toast, scrambled eggs and banana bread with a sweet, flavour-filled twist, and outstanding coffee.

Address: 54 Henderson Rd, Alexandria NSW 2015
Hours: Monday – Saturday 7 am – 4 pm
Phone: (02) 8021 7211

Bloodhound espresso 1
Bloodhound Espresso | Image: Cornersmith

29. Bloodhound Espresso

The Man of Many local! We have to give a special shoutout to our Darlinghurst favourite, Bloodhound Espresso. They’ve been slanging some of the best (and underrated) coffee and breakfast in the neighbourhood for years with great cold brews, batches, and flatties, backed up by delicious food offerings. We struggle to go past the delicious chilli scramble, flipside roll with sausage patty, scram egg, cheese, and secret sauce, all finished on a Martin’s milk bun. Actually, we’re going to grab one right now.

Address: 1/230-232 Palmer St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-2pm, Sat-Sun 8am-2pm

Kepos Street Kitchen outdoor
Kepos Street Kitchen | Image: Kepos Street Kitchen

30. Kepos Street Kitchen

Sydney has a love for Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cafes and we always leave feeling happy and satisfied after a visit to Kepos Street Kitchen. While you’re here, we recommend devouring as many falafel as you can alongside tabouleh salad, Moroccan duck cigars with poached eggs, goat’s cheese and pistachios, or the Persian eggplant with burrata cheese, soft-boiled egg, volcanic salt and toast. This is the perfect spot for a brekky date with a big group or an indulgent brunch.

Address: 96 Kepos St, Redfern NSW 2016
Hours: Mon-Sun 8am-3pm
Phone: (02) 9319 3919

Why You Should Trust Our List

With an editorial team full of foodies, Man of Many has had the unique opportunity to directly sample coffee and food from the best cafes in Sydney. You can trust this list because it’s been crafted from a combination of own experience, in-depth research and customer reviews. We’re a team of expert journalists who guide people between competing products and services, and we have provided our independent opinion in formulating these selections e.g. no one has paid for a spot on our list.

Our editors have taken into account, price points, flavour choice and quality, while also making a concerted effort to highlight a few cafe spots outside of the CBD. You can review our editorial policy here surrounding how we maintain our independence in our editorial reviews.

Alternatives to These Cafes in Sydney

We try to keep our lists as succinct and easy to digest as possible (pardon the pun) that’s why we’ve capped it at a smaller number of entries for this article update. While other publishers like to include upwards of 50 cafes, we find these long lists hard to navigate so we’ve narrowed it down to our absolute favourites. That being said, there’s a handful of cafes that we need to shout out because they’re doing great things and serving great coffee and food.

  • One Another: Sitting on a quiet street corner in Newtown, this is our favourite new neighbour cafe. The team here take their food seriously, with plenty of adventurous meal options available like the avocado toast with sliced apple and mint. The interior is minimalist and calming, a perfect spot to come to do work on a weekday or catch up with friends on the weekend.
  • Shift Eatery: This deli is fully vegan and their sandwiches are more than just bread with some fillings- they are utterly delicious! The cafe in Sydney is located in the streets of Surry Hills, perfect for a quick lunch break. They also have yummy salad bowls, great coffee and the self-proclaimed world’s best vegan bacon and egg bagel!
  • Single O Surry Hills: Surry Hills knows how to make a great coffee, but their breakfast is also a standout. Yeah, their top priorities include specialty coffee with Australian native and locally sourced ingredients. After a recent refurbishment, this Surry Hills hotspot is a Sydney brunch institution. The menu is seasonal and has a subtle Asian flavour influence which will keep you coming back for more.
  • Hills Bros Cafe: Rueben Hills’ younger cousin, Hills Bros Café is a smaller version of its older cousin located in the CBD. But, this isn’t your regular office café. The menu is inspired by the flavours of Latin America and East Asia and there are plenty of healthy meal options available. The interior is industrial but sleek, perfect for a work-day lunch stop.

If you’re looking for other things to do in and around Sydney, we’ve got you covered with plenty of options. You can also check out our list of the best coffee brands in Australia with expert commentary from Australian coffee expert and Campos Chief Coffee Officer, Adam Matheson. Or, if you don’t feel like heading out for coffee, you can look to invest in one of the best coffee machines for your daily brew or french press coffee makers for a fresh brew.

Key Things to Consider for Sydney’s Best Cafes

The key factors to keep in mind when deciding where to go:

  • Where you live: More often than not, when you’re choosing which cafe to visit, distance and location are the biggest determining factors. Our list includes several options in and around the Sydney CBD, but we’ve also tested and listed some great options in the Hills District, North Sydney, Burwood, and Parramatta to satisfy your cravings no matter where you live. Still, we always recommend checking out some spots in your area as you never know what might be hiding!
  • Price: Of course, the next thing to consider is the price of the meal. You should expect to pay between $4-6 for a latte in Sydney and $15-35 for a plate of food. However, that price can increase significantly if you opt for a specialty cold brew or batch and we’ve paid up to $12 for a single-origin brew at places like Edition Roasters.
  • Food: You also have to think about what food you want to eat for breakfast or brunch. Sydney has a wide variety of options and we’ve done our best to include as many as possible on our list. Right now, chilli scrambled eggs are having their moment, as are American-style breakfasts with egg rolls and pancakes like those at Happyfields in Haberfield so expect to see plenty of these as trends change.

Your FAQs Answered

What do you wear to a cafe in Sydney?

Smart casual is the attire you should wear to any cafe in Sydney. We recommend jeans, a basic T-shirt, and sneakers. It’s not a suitable occasion to wear thongs, sandals, board shorts, and/ or bikinis, especially if you plan on sitting down and ordering food.

Can you bring your dog to a cafe in Sydney?

Yes, the vast majority of cafes in Sydney are dog-friendly when sitting outside. However, are also friendly to dogs inside, but it’s best to check with the cafe owner or manager before you bring your dog inside.