Sydney's coffee scene has come a long way in recent years with top-notch cafés popping up faster than you can say "triple macchiato with a decaf ristretto chaser". Sure, we have our old favourites (Single Origin Roasters, Reuben Hills, Ruby's Diner, Coffee Alchemy and Gypsy, to name a few), but there are some notable new additions catching our attention, too.
This Kent Street gem brings caffeinated joy to the CBD's north with filtered coffee made from specialty beans sourced via Reuben Hills and Mecca, espresso for the purists, or served with a range of milks fit for the health-conscious (almond, coconut) and creamy latte-lovers (Jersey cow's milk) both. Its mini Martin Place offshoot, Brookland's Coffee Co is handy if you're mid-city.
Zeitgeist Cuisine, B1/153 Clarence St, Sydney (entry via Kent St), NSW
Single O CBD
In another victory for the CBD, the crew from Surry Hills stalwart Single Origin Roasters have opened a hole-in-the-wall outpost on York Street. The java offering includes milk coffees made with their popular Reservoir blend, plus a roster of single-origin beans for espresso and filter coffees. Hungry? There's a menu of fun breakfast eats (cappuccino rice pudding, say, and a bacon and egg roll tricked-up with red-eye mayo and tomato-apple ketchup) to go. And if you're not in a rush, you can take your cup of Joe at the standing bar, Roman-style.
Single O CBD, 89 York St, Sydney, NSW
Artificer doesn't do much apart from coffee, so its bean repertoire has to be strong. Its owners source interesting, premium beans from around the globe, roasting them in-house and preparing with whatever method they feel suits each best. This could mean anything from batch-brewed Onibus coffee from Japan to gently filtered Colombian El Triunfo. The sharp, minimalist Bourke Street digs get some fabulous morning light, too.
Artificer, 547 Bourke St, Surry Hills, NSW
Mecca Alexandria Roastworks & Cafe
There's no stopping the coffee powerhouse that is Mecca. The brand recently opened its third venue: a sun-drenched café at its new "roastworks" on Bourke Road in Alexandria. The menu is far more expansive than what we're used to seeing at Mecca establishments - alongside interesting salads, there are bowls (a hearty chicken broth with cavolo nero) and rolls (fried chicken with kimchi), and fun extras such as house-made lacto-fermented pickles. Coffee lovers will rejoice in the nitro cold brew, and the chilli, lemon and date kefir is worth a try, too.
Mecca Alexandria, 2/26 Bourke Rd, Alexandria, NSW, (02) 9698 8448
The Cross Eatery
Given barista Marcelo Soto did time at Mecca, the coffee game at CBD newbie Cross Eatery was always going to be solid. The promise of food that's equally as satisfying as what's in the cup, however, is a welcome bonus. Office workers can upgrade their desk lunches with Maffra cheddar, ricotta and zucchini pickle-stuffed ciabatta, toasted flatbread topped with soft-boiled egg, or tahini and roasted eggplant, or eat delete hyphen in and graze on wholesome salads packed with raw seeds and fermented and roasted veggies.
The Cross Eatery, 155 Clarence St, Sydney, NSW, (02) 9279 4280
Edition Coffee Roasters
The Edition crew sources and roasts its own single origin beans, serving them alongside a Nordic-Japanese menu spanning everything from grab-and-go cinnamon pastry scrolls to hot cakes with sake-poached peaches, to the Nordic fish soup known as fisksoppa. They're experts in just about every brewing method under the sun and have a fridge full of nitro-brewed Elixir Specialty Coffee for those who err on the cooler end of the coffee spectrum.
Edition Coffee Roasters, 265 Liverpool St, Darlinghurst, NSW