Restaurant Reviews

Sydney's best cafés

Marrickville and the CBD are catching up but Surry Hills continues to be ground-zero for Sydney's café scene. Here are our favourites for brews, food and everything in between, as seen in Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide, published in August 2017.

Rising Sun Workshop in Newtown, Cornersmith in Marrickville, Single O and Reuben Hills are just some of our top-rated Sydney cafes.
Rising Sun Workshop

While Marrickville and the CBD have ramped up, and good coffee can be found across the city, Surry Hills remains Sydney's café heartland.

Start with a batch brew in the sunshine at Artificer (547 Bourke St, Surry Hills), savour coffee roasted in-house at Reuben Hills (61 Albion St, Surry Hills, 02 9211 5556) or head to its sister café Paramount Coffee Project (80 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills, 02 9211 1122). Single O (60-64 Reservoir St, Surry Hills, 02 9211 0665) has had a name change, but its brews are still top-notch, as are the flat whites and filters at Sample (Shop 1a, 118 Devonshire St, Surry Hills; 75 Mary St, St Peters). At Normcore (209 Castlereagh St, Sydney) the theme is small but mighty, while Darlinghurst favourite Edition (265 Liverpool St, Darlinghurst) continues to deliver.

Marrickville landmark Coffee Alchemy (24 Addison Rd, Marickville, 02 9516 1997) flies the flag in the city at Gumption (Shop 11, The Strand Arcade, Sydney) and single-origin specialist Micro (Shop 2, 23 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo). Melbourne import Dukes Coffee Roasters (Tower One, 100 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo) brews in a sleek waterside setting. Mecca (2/26 Bourke Rd, Alexandria, 02 9698 8448) remains true to its name for coffee pilgrims. Find quality brews north of the bridge at Showbox (19 Whistler St, Manly, 02 9976 5000) and Double Cross (2/118 Willoughby Rd, Crows Nest, 02 9438 1058).

Hungry? Hit the bakery door at Berkelo (8 William St, Brookvale, 0429 531 251) for inventive snacks. In the city, head to Hills Bros (5 Martin Pl, Sydney) for coffee and breakfast congee, The Cross Eatery (155 Clarence St, Sydney, 02 9279 4280) for all-day brunch or to Boon Café (1/425 Pitt St, Sydney, 02 9281 2114) for Thai eats. Excellent coffee complements Japanese snacks, ramen and motor oil at Rising Sun Workshop (1c Whateley Street, Newtown, 02 9550 3891) and ethical eats are go at Cornersmith (314 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville, 02 8065 0844). For essential brunching over east, head to Ruby's Diner (Shop 1 & 2, 173-179 Bronte Rd, Waverley) or Three Blue Ducks (141-143 Macpherson St, Bronte, 02 9389 0010).

Want pastries? Start your research at Bourke Street Bakery (633 Bourke St, Surry Hills, 02 9699 1011), Black Star Pastry (277 Australia St, Newtown, 02 9557 8656), newcomer Saga (178 Enmore Rd, Enmore), Flour & Stone (53 Riley St, Woolloomooloo, 02 8068 8818) or Brickfields (206 Cleveland St, Chippendale, 02 9698 7880).