Cafe Sydney – The Definitive Guide

Sydney is arguably the brunch capital of Australia. Whether you’re looking for a delicious breakfast, great coffee or fine dining, there are plenty of cafes to choose from. To give you the ultimate run-down on where to grab a bite to eat or a coffee, Monzi is here with our complete cafe Sydney guide. Let’s go!

Cafe Sydney people making coffee

Cafe Sydney

Visiting your local cafe for coffee or brunch is one of the great Australian pastimes. It almost doesn’t matter where you live, there’s usually a local cafe just around the corner or a short stroll away.

In fact, cafes are so abundant in this nation of ours that Australia is often referred to as the “cafe capital of the world.”

What makes Sydney special though is the range on offer. Inner-city or the outer-suburbs, fine dining or breakfast staples, even pet cafes, there’s something for every taste and preference.

At the end of the day, deciding where to go can be your hardest decision.

To help inform your decision, Monzi has put together this guide complete with reviews of some of our favourite Sydney coffee hotspots. Get in and check them out. You’ll be rewarded with great food and even better coffee.

Cafe Sydney CBD: the top three inner-city coffee hotspots

Are you working in the city and looking for your daily shot of caffeine? Maybe you’re on your way to hit the shops and want to fuel up with a delicious brunch beforehand.

Whatever your reason is for visiting the CBD, there are plenty of cafes in and around the city that you’re going to love.

While we could have listed ten of our favourite cafes, we’re going to keep it simple. Read on for the list of our three favourites.

Ovo Cafe Sydney

  • 13/63 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst.

Sydney’s best kept secret may be the Ovo Cafe. Located in Oxford Plaza, just outside the CBD, this Brazilian cafe will knock your socks off. While the food is the main draw card, the hanging plants and modern design create a welcoming environment that you’re going to love.

If you’re hunting something to do on a Sunday morning then Ovo’s all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet is worth a look. You can spend your morning indulging in a range of tarts, croissants and cakes. Best of all, at only $25 per person it won’t break the bank.

On the other hand, if cake’s not your thing then why not sample one of Brazil’s most famous exports, the Acai bowl. Not only is it good for you but it’s oh so Instagram-able too. Expertly designed and lined with kiwi fruit, banana and strawberry, it’s among the most photogenic meals you’ll ever come across.

The Grounds of the City

  • 500 George Street, Sydney CBD.

If we were handing out a prize for the most creative name, “The Grounds of the City” would be tough to beat. However, we’re here to talk about the food and the coffee and fortunately, The Grounds of the City excel at both.

Centrally located and filled with fabulous decor, the beautifully designed cafe seamlessly transitions from a buzzing coffee hotspot during the day into a modern restaurant at night.

With a diverse menu and great coffee, the Grounds of the City will have something to offer everyone. Combining modern culinary innovation with old-school generosity and flavour, you won’t leave disappointed.

Eastern Suburbs

Whether accurate or not, residents of the eastern suburbs have a reputation for being incredibly picky when it comes to coffee.

With this, as you might expect, some of Sydney’s best cafes are found in these areas. While the list could go on and on, a few of our favourites can be seen below.

Bills-Bondi

  • 79 Hall Street, Bondi Beach.

While it may not look extravagant with its minimalist interior and basic exterior, don’t underestimate it. Bills’ will serve up some of your favourite breakfast staples at an almost unmatched quality.

On the other hand, if you’re still trying to stick to your New Year’s resolution of eating healthy then why not sample a green smoothie. Be warned though, they’re not for the faint of heart. Ingredients range from the standard mango or banana through to the more obscure aloe vera.

Given that it is located in Bondi, be warned that it can get busy, particularly on weekends. While if you’re dining alone or with a friend finding a table shouldn’t take too long, turning up with a bunch of your friends can result in delays.

If you’re looking for a table for more than eight people then you are able to book beforehand. Keep that in mind because it can save you a stack of time.

Single O

  • 60-64 Reservoir Street, Surry Hills

A quaint, little streetside cafe, punches well above its weight when it comes to coffee. In fact, back in 2003, they helped introduce Sydney residents to the wonders of single origin coffee.

Since then, a lot has changed and single origin coffee has become a favourite of many coffee connoisseurs.

Getting back to Single O and their pioneering ways, their 2019 renovation bought with it a fabulous innovation: Sydney’s first self-service batch brew bar. You have the choice of four, single-origin coffees at the touch of a button.

While it’s undoubtedly a coffee lover’s dream, Single O’s innovation doesn’t end there. Check the menu and you will find a collection of daring meals combining modern creativity with fresh and local produce.

Be prepared to encounter ingredients including strawberry gum, anise myrtle and saltbush. While this may sound a little funky, trust us, all the food is delicious.

Sydney’s north and northern beaches

While we’ve covered plenty of cafes south of the Harbour Bridge, we want to look after our friends on the northside too.

Whether you’re lucky enough to be a northern beaches’ resident or you’re just passing through, you won’t be short on places to grab a coffee. Our favourites include:

Nine Yards Coffee

  • 11 Green Street, Brookvale

Ever heard of the expression “going the whole nine yards?” That’s the inspiration and mantra of the organisation and helps influence every decision that is made. In short, it’s a commitment to quality without taking shortcuts.

Nine Yards Coffee is primarily a coffee roasting company, however, their roastery cafe produces some of the best coffee in Sydney. All coffee beans are freshly harvested and sustainably sourced.

This unrivalled commitment to excellence helps set Nine Yards Coffee apart from the rest. Get in a try a cup today.

Devon Cafe North Sydney

  • 36 Blue Street, North Sydney (opposite North Sydney Train Station)

Check the Devon Cafe website and you’ll immediately come across their philosophy. “Devon runs on love and laughter with cups of strong coffee and good food.” What more could you want out of a cafe?

With three locations covering North Sydney, Barangaroo and Surry Hills, Devon Cafe is a Sydney cafe staple. Combining fine dining with a range of casual cafe food you can order your favourite foods with a quirky twist.

The menu covers brunch, salads and bowls, mains and sweets thereby ensuring there’s something for every level of hunger. Throw in an excellent cup of coffee and you’ve got everything you need.

Western Suburbs and surrounds

Looking a little further afield? That’s okay. The inner-city isn’t the only place to find a great brunch in Sydney. If you do your research, there are some cracking cafes no matter where you’re located.

One Another

  • 131 Wilson Street, Newtown

An area renowned for its abundance of young people, Newtown is often slapped with the “hipster” tag. And what are hipsters and young people known to love: brunch.

Whether it’s avo on toast, a green smoothie or an acai bowl, the way to a millennial’s heart is through their stomach.

In Newtown, the go-to destination has to be One Another. A laid-back yet sophisticated space that’s sure to satisfy.

While the all-day break menu only contains ten items, One Another prides itself on using fresh and seasonal produce to create the best possible meals for you. Not only that, all items are under $20 which in the Sydney cafe market actually represents exceptional value.

As a word of warning, don’t get too attached to your favourite meal. The menu is constantly evolving meaning there’s always something new to discover.

Circa Espresso

  • 21 Wentworth Street, Parramatta.

First things first Circa Espresso has plenty of great food and coffee on offer. However, we’re here to talk about one meal in particular: the Ottoman Eggs.

What are Ottoman Eggs?

Well, you’ll be served poach eggs topped with burnt chilli and sage, placed on a bed of crumbed eggplant and garlic labneh. Throw in a slice of toast on the side and you’ve got a dish that reached cult status in the brunch mad city of Sydney.

While the Ottoman eggs put Circa Espresso on the map, the rest of their Middle Eastern-inspired menu has a range of dishes for you to enjoy. At around $20 a plate, these hearty, restaurant-standard meals are also great value.

Seriously though, try the Ottoman Eggs!!

Cafe Sydney: something other than brunch

While we all associate cafes with coffee and brunch, there are some cafes that offer something a little different.

Keen for dinner or a few beers?

Check out what’s on offer below.

Hard Rock Cafe

  • 2-10 Darling Drive, Darling Harbour.

What do you get when you cross rock and roll memorabilia with a range of classic American foods? You get the Hard Rock Cafe.

Any iconic brand worldwide, you can experience live music, eat great food and take in spectacular views of Sydney Harbour at the picturesque Darling Harbour location. Whether it’s ribs, burgers or cocktails, the Hard Rock Cafe is a great place to visit next time you’re in Sydney.

Bavarian Bier Cafe

  • 644 George St, Sydney CBD

The Bavarian Cafe Sydney is conveniently located on level 1 at World Square in the CBD, making it as central as it gets. There’s indoor and outdoor seating and dining and a huge bier garden that provides you with a view over World Square.

Get stuck into a pretzel or schnitzel if you’re hungry or knock off a few beers with your mates. The Bavarian Bier Cafe provides a relaxed atmosphere that you will love.

Belgian Beer Cafe

  • 135 Harrington St, The Rocks

Located in the heart of Sydney, the Belgian Beer Cafe is a place not to be missed. If you’re a beer lover that is. The cafe is located in a rustic, two story dining hall that will make you feel like you’ve escaped to a simpler time.

If you’re looking for food then trying the mussels is a must. For those of you focused solely on the beer, the cafe offers a range of draughts that you’ll love.

Fine dining

While we’ve covered coffee, brunch and beer, the cafe moniker has also been taken on by some of Sydney’s top fine dining establishments.

If you’re feeling a little fancy or just want to try some of the best food Sydney has to offer, consider checking out one of the following locations:

Cafe Sydney

  • 31 Alfred Street, Circular Quay.

In terms of iconic Sydney dining locations, Cafe Sydney is tough to beat. Perched on the top level of Customs House in Circular Quay, this cafe provides views of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House for you to enjoy.

When it comes to the food, they have established a reputation over the past 20 years for delivering exquisite meals showcasing some of Australia’s finest local produce and seafood. If you’re a wine connoisseur, the extensive list of Australian wines will have you buzzing.

In short, Cafe Sydney is a must-visit location for all you fine-dining aficionados.

Cafe Del Mar

  • Rooftop Terrace Cockle Bay Wharf, 35 Wheat Rd, Sydney

Cafe del Mar Sydney has it all. Located on a Darling Harbour rooftop, Cafe del Mar combines spectacular views with delicious, Mediterranean style food and a top-notch bar. In short, it’s one of Sydney’s top locations to eat, drink or party with friends.

Keen for a catch up with your friends? A Cafe del Mar bottomless, long lunch is exactly what you need. With plates to share and drinks flowing, it’s sure to be an afternoon filled with fun and frivolity.

Cafe Sydney with a twist: cats and coffee

  • Catmosphere: 66 Foveaux St, Surry Hills

Do you love cats and coffee? Well, let me tell you all your dreams have come true. Catmosphere, located in the inner suburbs, is the original and best cat cafe in Sydney.

Catmosphere is dedicated to supporting and re-homing rescue cats and kittens. They’re partnered with a number of cat rescue groups and provide a safe space for those kitties without a home. Best of all, some are adoptable meaning you can walk out with a new best friend.

Catmosphere offers a number of experiences and you need to book in advance. You can spend your time in the Cat Lounge, play with kittens in the Playroom or enjoy a boutique cinema experience at the Catflix Cat Cinema. It’s up to you.

Cafe Sydney: Australia’s coffee obsession

The reason there are so many great cafes to choose from is that Australia has a major love affair with coffee. And not just any coffee either. High-quality, made-to-taste coffee.

As a nation, we’ve largely shunned the large, multi-national coffee chains, instead favouring our local baristas and cafes who know what we like.

The most prominent example of this was the failure of Starbucks in Australia. While a world-wide market leader, Starbucks failed to produce coffee that matched our taste preferences.

The ensuing collapse and closure of numerous stores has become a case-study on how not to go about entering a new market.

Ultimately, Australia has developed a reputation as a nation of coffee snobs. We have refined preferences and won’t settle for less. If you try to deliver subpar coffee in Australia, you’re going to get found out.

Australia’s love affair with coffee: the stats

To give you an insight into just how obsessed with coffee we are, here are some stats.

  • More than one in four Australians believe they cannot go a single day without coffee
  • A tick over three-quarters of Aussies have at least one cup per day.
  • In an average working week, more than 80% of Australians buy a cup of coffee.
  • The Australian coffee market has an annual revenue in excess of $2 billion.
  • Australians spend, on average, $13 per week on coffee. That’s more than $600 per year!

The caffeine addiction is real.

Selecting the best cafe Sydney: why is it so hard

While we’ve tried to guide you in the direction of some of our favourite coffee hotspots, choosing the best cafe in Sydney is really hard!!

Why?

Australians are really picky when it comes to coffee. While good coffee is good coffee, the finely-tuned palate of many Australian coffee drinkers means that subtle differences matter. As such, we’re all going to have different preferences which in turn means we’re all going to favour different cafes.

So, what’s our tip? Get out there and explore. Visit a range of cafes in your local area and sample what they have to offer. If you find that you like more than one, that’s okay too. Nobody ever said you have to be exclusive.

If you’re ever in doubt, great tie-breakers include the food, comfort and how busy it is. But at the end of the day, it’s totally up to you.

Click here for more information on what’s happening in Sydney.

What does Monzi do?

So, what does Monzi actually do? Well, in short, we do not run cafes. Instead, we’re lender-finder service for Aussies looking for personal finance.

If you’re, therefore, looking for a lender, head over to our site to apply. After all, we’ll do our best to have an outcome for you within 60 minutes. The below table, moreover, includes examples of the personal loans potentially on offer:

Personal loanAmount (AUD)Details
Small loan$300 to $2,000Unsecured
Medium loan$2,001 to $4,600Secured
Large loan$5,000 to $10,000Secured
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