Coffee enthusiasts are some of the most passionate people gracing the planet. We should know, Quisine’s team is full of them. This humble beverage, made from a simple bean, has captured the hearts and caffeine addiction tendencies of people all over the World. So it’s no surprise then, that Sydney folks are some of the most passionate coffee drinkers in Australia – yes, aside from Melbourne, obviously. So we thought we’d put together a list of the best coffee in Sydney for all your caffeine needs.
While we were at it – mainly to combat the ridiculous amount of caffeine we consumed – we also sampled dishes from different restaurant menus. To say we were impressed is a massive understatement. The level of creativity is second-to-none and we found a dizzying array of unique dishes that matched our brews perfectly. So whether you’re a classic flat white drinker, love a cold brew to cool down on a sticky Sydney day or keep it trendy with a batch brewed coffee, this list has something for everyone.
Oh, and if you don’t have the time to sit down (you should make time, though), make sure you bring your Keep Cup!
The best coffee in Sydney
1. ONA Marrickville
More than just a cafe, ONA is also a specialty roaster and supplier, beginning in Canberra and now brewing coffee in Sydney. Passionate about sustainable coffee, this award-winning group sources high-quality green beans via the ethical trading company, Project Origin. With beans coming from Ethiopia, Colombia, Honduras, El Salvador and more, your taste buds will be on a high. Trust us. The Marrickville location has an intimate atmosphere that allows you to speak with the barista about how your cup is brewed and where it comes from. Think of it like a wine bar – only you can sample coffee blends by the cup and expand your palate. Cool? No doubt!
Coffee: Try the raspberry candy.
Food: Their freshly baked donuts are the perfect coffee accompaniment.
140 Marrickville Road, Marrickville, Sydney 2204
Mon – Fri: 7 – 3pm, Sat – Sun: 8 – 3pm
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2. Bread & Circus
One of the most popular cafes in Sydney, Bread & Circus in Alexandria serves wholesome, veg-centric and high-quality food alongside coffee sourced from Padre in Melbourne. The space is light, filled with plants and has bright pops of colour throughout. If you happen to sample the Los Ocobos blend from Colombia, you’ll find notes of praline, watermelon and apple. This matches the dishes perfectly and leaves a refreshing feeling on the palate. This spot is ideal for a coffee and catch-up with mates or a long, slow weekend brunch in Sydney. An absolute must-try.
Coffee: Try the Los Ocobos house blend as an espresso to get the full flavour profile.
Food: The I-had-curry-for-breakfast yellow fish curry with barramundi, broccoli, carrots, organic coconut milk, ginger, chilli, coriander and basil served on organic steamed basmati rice.
21 Fountain Street, Alexandria, Sydney 2015
Mon – Fri: 7 – 3pm, Sat – Sun: 7 – 4pm
3. Cafe Morso
Situated on the Jones Bay Wharf, Cafe Morso overlooks the picturesque Darling Harbour and serves a damn good cup of coffee. You can expect espresso and single origin cold drip by Little Marionette from Rozelle in Sydney, on top of Australian-style cafe dishes. The space itself is rustic and industrial, with wooden and wrought iron furnishings complementing its Pyrmont setting perfectly. We recommend taking in the idyllic harbour views over a delightful coffee as soon as you can.
Coffee: Little Marionette flat white.
Food: Risotto of smoked pork, spinach, bacon, Gruyere cheese, 63-degree egg & hollandaise.
108/26-32 Pirrama Road, Jones Bay Wharf, Pyrmont, Sydney 2009
Mon – Fri: 7 – 3:30pm, Sat: 9 – 2:30pm, Sun: 8 – 3:30pm
Not only named among Quandoo’s top 100 Australian restaurants and one of the best vegan cafés, Shuk also knows a good coffee when they sip one. Shuk is, at its core, a meeting place for friends, family and strangers. So naturally, providing exceptional coffee for such said meetings is essential. The baristas at all the Shuk locations – Bondi, Chatswood and Elizabeth Bay – are superstars and are certainly schooled up on the art of coffee. Matched alongside a truly outrageous selection of pastries and Middle Eastern dishes, you’ve got yourself an ideal situation.
Coffee: A classic cappuccino is our choice here.
Food: The signature shakshuka cooked with capsicum, tomato, onion, eggs, olives and halloumi, served with freshly baked sourdough.
2 Mitchell Street, North Bondi, Sydney 2026
Sun – Thurs: 6 – 5pm, Fri – Sat: 6 – 10pm
Shop R03, 260 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood, Sydney 2067
Mon – Sun: 6 – 5pm
61- 69 Roslyn Gardens, Elizabeth Bay, Sydney 2011
Sun – Thurs: 6:30 – 5pm, Fri – Sat: 6:30 – 9:30pm
5. L’Americano Espresso Bar
So, you want luxe, do you? Well, you’ll be wanting to get yourself to L’Americano sooner rather than later… Or should we say latte. Housed in the uber cool Coco Republic showroom, the sleek coffeeshop combines the brand’s American style with Italy’s rich culture by using beans from Vittoria Coffee. Order your regular brew (there’s babyccinos for little humans too) or try something a little different, like the single origin batch brew, cold drip or (our personal favourite) an espresso martini. Enriching the experience is L’Americano’s top-notch food menu, which will drop you right in the middle of the Italian Riviera with delightful breakfast, lunch, antipasti and dessert options.
Coffee: Go bold and order an espresso martini with Archie Rose Original Vodka, cold drip liquor, espresso, vanilla sugar syrup & shaved chocolate.
Food: Sweeten the deal with the ricotta cannoli with honey and pistachio.
34 O’Riordan Street, Alexandria
Mon – Thurs: 7.30 – 3.30pm, Fri: 7.30 – 2.30pm, Sat & Sun: 9 – 4.30pm
6. Orto Trading Co.
Located in the heart of Surry Hills, Orto Trading Co. serves up some seriously bang-on coffee. It’s more of a no-frills approach when compared to some of the other cafes around the traps, but for us, it’s perfect. You can order whatever style you like and they also offer soy milk, decaf and single espressos. The food menu, meanwhile, is a unique fusion of American and Australian food and ticks all our boxes. Light-filled, vibrant and buzzing, a coffee and brunch at Orto is always a good idea.
Coffee: We love the double espresso or classic flat white.
Food: Bubble and squeak made with a duck egg, Brussel sprouts, chestnuts and Jerusalem artichokes.
38 Waterloo Street, Surry Hills, Sydney 2010
Mon – Fri: 7 – 4pm, Sat – Sun: 8 – 3pm
7. The Grounds
Would any article about cafes and coffee in Sydney be complete without mentioning The Grounds? Short answer: nope. It’s easily one of the most Instagrammable venues in Sydney and is set apart by its passion for sustainable coffee, an organic garden and industrial-chic interior. What began as The Grounds of Alexandria has now expanded into several other locations, where the quality of food and coffee is still second-to-none. As for the coffee, well, The Grounds has its very own roastery where the roasters are as passionate as it gets. There’s all sorts of contraptions on display, too, which impresses and delights our coffee-loving palates. Dining at The Grounds is essential. Period.
Coffee: The coffee tasting board for two which is a selection of single origin coffees made using different brewing methods. A sensory experience in every way.
Food: Brekkie burger with polenta chips made with bacon, free-range fried egg, avocado, lettuce, tomato relish, cheese and smokey mayo on a brioche bun.
7a/2 Huntley St, Alexandria, Sydney 2015
Mon – Thurs: 7 – 9pm, Fri: 7 – 10pm, Sat: 7:30 – 10pm, Sun: 7:30 – 9pm
8. Paramount Coffee Project
Mentioning Paramount Coffee Project in an article about the best coffee in Sydney is, well, paramount (sorry not sorry). A collaboration between coffee connoisseurs Jin Ng, Mark Dundon and Russell Beard, the concept is to showcase the array of different styles and approaches in producing quality coffee. It’s educational, thought-provoking and a platform for experiencing brilliant local and international roasters, without bias. Housed inside an art deco building with plenty of natural light, this coffee bar and cafe is one of Sydney’s best.
Coffee: Go for the ‘spro bros’ with the espresso of the day and batch filter.
Food: Buttermilk fried chicken waffles with maple bacon, gravy, chilli pickled apple, radicchio and roasted hazelnuts.
80 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills, Sydney 2010
Mon – Sun: 7 – 4pm
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With notes of rose water, cherry and jasmine, this natural heirloom from Ethiopia will be gracing us with its presence this weekend on our slow bar. The Ethiopia Aricha Pink is roasted by our friends at @thereforecoffeeroasters, where 'small batches, fine coffees & no compromises' is their thing!