60-64 Reservoir St., Surry Hills
Surry Hills is a neighborhood with a strong coffee game. We would recommend spending at least two mornings in this area, engaging in the café equivalent of barhopping. Start your hop at Single O. The café is as dogmatic about its single-origin brews as it is about the quality of its inventive breakfast bowls. Open since 2003, Single O has expanded with two other locations in the city (in the CBD and Carriageworks districts), but we're fond of the original. Not least because the roastery is next door, guaranteeing those beans are fresh—but also because it’s opened a specialty brew bar next door for even more-fastidiously prepared coffee, ideally drunk sitting on the curb outside with the rest of Surry Hills’ bright young early risers. Image courtesy of Tom Ferguson.
547 Bourke St., Surry Hills
Artificer leaves an impression, even on our most discerning coffee-obsessed friends who could not stop talking about the café after a recent trip Down Under
Celcius Coffee Co.
Commuter Wharf, Holbrook Ave., Kirribilli
There is no prettier spot for a coffee in Sydney than Celsius. Perched on the edge of Kirribilli Wharf, the café is more of a fisherman's shack, floating on stilts above the water, reachable by ferry.
485 Crown St., Surry Hills
Trade eggs Benedict for shakshuka speckled with feta and paired with plenty of flatbread to scoop up the spicy sauce with at Four Ate Five.
314 Illawara Rd., Marrickville
Cornersmith has built its reputation on coffee and pickles, two crazes we can easily get behind.
The Grounds of Alexandia
2 Huntley St., Alexandria
The Grounds of Alexandria is more than a café—the expansive space is like a compound dedicated to food, flowers, and community. But you're here for the coffee and pastries.
61 Albion St., Surry Hills
At Reuben Hills the coffee is house-roasted, and the menu favors the Central American flavors the founders fell in love with on coffee-buying trips to the region.
433 Liverpool St., Darlinghurst
You can’t talk about breakfast in Sydney without mentioning Bills. The ricotta pancakes are, quite rightly, world-famous. At the outposts in London’s Notting Hill, across the ocean in Tokyo, and here, in Darlinghurst in Sydney, lines form for those perfect, warm, light-as-air stacks of lemony goodness. Everything at any Bill Grainger enterprise is excellent. The coffee is always warm; the eggs are softly scrambled; the greens are crunchy and fresh. Really, the only downside is that ever-present line on a Sunday morning, but for brunch at Bills, we’re willing to wait.
Flour and Stone
53 Riley St., Woolloomooloo
Flour and Stone is the exact bakery Nadine Ingram wanted to open after years cutting her teeth at top London institutions like Le Gavroche and the Ivy. These aren’t New Age cakes and gluten-free confections. The pastries at Flour and Stone are the nostalgic sweet treats you might have eaten at your grandmother’s on Saturdays. Victoria sponges with rings of jam in the middle, apple tarts, lemon drizzle cakes, sometimes, if you’re lucky, the gone-in-three-bites gingerbread men of your childhood. To re-create this sugary magic at home, do what we did: Buy Ingram’s cookbook.
122 Chapel St., Marrickville
Sustainability dictates every decision at Two Chaps. The flours for the fresh-baked breads are ground from Australian wheat, coffee beans are roasted up the road at Microlot Roastery, and everything that can be made from scratch is. No dish is simple here—they cram as much flavor as possible into every bite. Chia bowls come with black sesame and mango; ricotta is spread on slices of sourdough, topped with tart, macerated cherries; the blackberry crumpets come with dollops of fresh peach compote. And then the drinks. Turmeric lattes, raw cacao hot chocolates, iced tea in every flavor imaginable, and the most soothing sticky chai with local honey.