Finding the best coffee in Sydney can be a bit of a gamble. Whilst there’s ALWAYS a rivalry between Sydney vs Melbourne coffee, Sydney packs a punch for delivering some of the best baristas and coffee in Australia!
Luckily, our new expat writer, Tinju Thomas is a bit of a coffee connoisseur! Having moved from the beautiful Kerala In Southern India to Sydney in 2015, Tinju has spent a long time figuring out where to find the best coffee in Sydney. Fear not, he’s sharing the best coffee shops in Sydney for you. Make sure you follow his Sydney adventures on his Instagram @thomas.tinju.
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Discovering The Best Coffee In Sydney
Sydney and its love for coffee is something that fascinated me since I moved to Australia in 2015. At every corner of the city there are cafes with expert baristas to serve you the world’s favourite beverage, be it an early morning cup or a late arvo one.
Years later here I am finding myself to be one of those Sydneysiders who shares the same love not only for my everyday morning latte, but also for the cosy vibe, delicious food and the coffee culture which is instilled deep across all the cafes in the city.
I started with a love for Campos coffee and after trying many other beans and roasters, my current favourite is P&R (Pablo and Rusty) from a cafe called Baeckerei in North Sydney, where I currently live.
Each cafe in Sydney has its own character, and regardless of the beans and roasters everybody probably have their own favourite cafes. From the very touristy alleys of The Rocks to Surry Hills and through the bustling streets of CBD, whether you are pour-over, espresso or batch brew, here’s my personal go to 10 best cafes to get a coffee in Sydney.
10 Places To Get The Best Coffee In Sydney
1. The Fine Food Store
Starting with probably the best coffee in Sydney is the Fine Food Store, located in the corner of Mill Lane and Kendall lane. Their single origin home brewed coffee has been serving visitors for the past decade be it for a coffee enthusiast or for someone looking to grab one on the go.
Offering rotating seasonal blends, such as the ‘Sweet lady’ along with Melbourne’s own Sensory Lab roast, they pride themselves in serving the highest standard of coffee and one of the best cafes in Sydney CBD.
Apart from the coffee, there are also plenty options for specialty Teas – from China-the Red Mystic, Green Genmaicha from Japan and breakfast serves from India and Sri Lanka.
The food menu here is a mouthwatering treat too! Filled with wraps, chicken sandwiches, lamb quesadilla and burgers, the all day menu here has something for everyone. My personal favourite to go along with a cup of espresso, is the Belgian waffle with caramelised banana and spicy chorizo on the side. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and spice while at the same time an appetising breakfast.
If you are after a vegetarian option then give a go with the cultured mushrooms on potato hash.
Address: The Fine Food Store, The Rocks Centre, Cnr Mill Lane &, Kendall Ln, The Rocks NSW 2000 Open : Monday to Saturday 8 am – 2pm and Sunday 8am – 3pm
2. Industry Beans
At Industry Beans, the focus has always been on innovative approaches to coffee making. These pioneers who began their cafe chain in Melbourne over a decade ago, were the first ever in Australia to introduce the new under-the-counter espresso machine – Modbar Espresso AV by La Marzocco.
While all other cafes in Sydney have their coffees made behind the massive espresso machines, this one of a kind under the counter machines, allows customers to have a better look at the amount of detail and process it takes to make and pour the perfect cup, making it one of the best coffee roasters in Sydney.
The classy white coffee dispensers with machines hidden under is quite an appealing and unique sight to see and feels like coffee-on-tap. The speciality coffee that you get to choose from, starts with their Signature espresso blend, the ‘Fitzroy Street’ blend with new single origins for espresso and filter introduced every fortnight. If you are looking to explore coffee, this is the best place to start!
Expect minimalistic & sleek white interiors which is the signature design of all the Industry Beans’ cafe. The IB fried chicken burger here with beet and carrot slaw and jalapeno mayo is the perfect bite you need to lift your spirits during a busy work week.
This is an excellent cafe in Sydney CBD, making it a perfect spot for a quick business meet or just a well deserved break. Oh and don’t forget to sign up on their official app to order coffee ahead to skip the queue and earn points for each cup you grab.
Address: Industry Beans, Shop 2/40 York St, Sydney NSW 2000 Open: Weekdays 7am – 3pm, Weekends 8am – 3pm
3. Gumption by Coffee Alchemy
Gumption brings in the coffee from the award winning coffee roasters, Coffee Alchemy, to the city.
The Marrickville based coffee roaster has received many accolades such as Australian Barista Champion title, the Australian Cupping Champion title and also is the winner of many other coffee bean awards.
The Gumption cafe is located in the busy but beautiful Strand Arcade in Pitt Street Mall, with only standing room inside but plenty of seats outside in the arcade itself. In addition to offering great single origin and other meticulously sourced selection of coffees, one may also buy coffee brewing accessories, cups and many other goodies for enthusiasts.
Make sure you grab a bag of beans, from the many options available to take home. This place is all about serving a good cup of coffee for the visitors shopping in the heritage arcade and the office goers in the city who is after a moment of escape from their desk hours.
Address: Grumption By Alchemy Coffee, Shop 11, The Strand Arcade, 412-414 George St, Sydney NSW 2000 Open : Weekdays 8.30 am – 5pm , Saturday 9am – 4pm, Sunday 11am – 4pm
4. Kingswood Coffee
Kingswood Coffee in Sydney is your everyday grab-and-go coffee spot, located right in the heart of the CBD. A wooden Victorian style facade, a La Marzocco coffee machine surrounded by a couple of coffee drinkers, this place offers hot and cold drinks, a signature hot chocolate, chai, tea and a couple of sweet bites from the ever-changing selection.
They roast their own speciality coffee and for enthusiast home coffee makers, make sure you pick up a bag of Kingswood specialty coffee beans. They use the ‘Steadfast Espresso blend’ from Sensory labs and this is one coffee that you will definitely want to come back whether you are working in the city or just strolling through and your heart yearns for a coffee.
If your heart also tricks you into having a snack, then they have pastries, croissants and cronuts!
Find them at : Kingswood Coffee, World Square, Shop 10, Sydney NSW 2000 Open : Weekdays 6am – 5pm, Weekends 8am – 4pm
5. Edition Coffee Roasters
Darling Square has quickly grown to be one of the weekend favourites for Sydneysiders. The bustling precinct – just a few minutes of walk away from Darling Harbour – is popular for its architectural landmark, The Exchange and the wide range of restaurants and bars.
At the very end of Steam Lane, Edition Coffee Roasters is an award winning Japanese and Scandinavian fusion cafe with matt black chic interiors with beautiful strokes of tradition. The seating with sunken floors also known as Horigotatsu, fine dining inspired menu with Scandinavian sandwiches and Japanese pancakes along with a smooth creamy coffee, makes Edition coffee roaster a unique cafe experience.
The coffee comes in all forms from all across the world – Columbia, Costa Rica, San Francisco, Minas Gerais and the recent limited offering ‘Ethiopian – Diamond’ all roasted for batch brew, pour-over and Japanese brew!
Now if not in the mood for coffee, there is Chai, Japanese Tea and a Chung Feng Jasmine Tea from China. The food menu here comprises of Scandinavian style open sandwiches, Japanese burgers and one of the best selling ones right now from what I was told by the staff is the ‘Udon with Poor Man’s XO and korsuobushi’ which is a serve of juicy pipis with delicate flavouring and topped with soft noodles. If you have a sweet tooth then the go to option on the menu is the Japanese scuffle pancake with salted caramel mousse.
When your walks through Sydney takes you away from the hustling CBD, then Surry Hills is the suburb where you can see another side of the soul of the city. Be it morning cafes or evening bars or a fine restaurant, Surry Hills has got your covered.
Paramount Coffee Project in Sydney is housed in the former headquarters of aptly named Paramount Picture Studios. The cafe offers much more than beautiful interiors – new beans and roasters from around the world, exuberant menu, milkshakes and juices along with a variety of coffee accessories such as chemex, grinders, drippers and filters available for purchase.
PCP is a collaborative initiative that the property investor Jin Ng did with Seven Seeds roaster and Reuben Hills Roastery which shows how serious they are about their coffee.
Green Coffee beans are ethically sourced from importers and producers and home roasted. New beans are rotated every couple of weeks keeping coffee lovers keen to visit back.
The food here is no short of variety either. You can go for the basics, toast and granola bowls or if you are celebrating a cheat day, there is the fried chicken yuzu burger or the fried chicken waffle. There are many vegan and gluten free options available as well. The spacious interior, indoor and outdoor seating along with the refreshing menu, PCP is a popular choice for the weekend brunch crawlers and if you are heading there, be prepared to wait as it is known as one of the best places for coffee in Sydney.
Popular Single O in Surry Hills is all about coffee, passion and expression. The love for coffee, the passion for art and the planet, and a space to express all of these, is what Single O is all about. Formerly known as Single Origin Roasters, Single O, began in 2003 at this very location as one of the pioneers of the third wave coffee movement in Sydney. Right now they have their space in the CBD, Carriage Works and a tasting bar in Tokyo too!
The wall art here “Brew you 2020” was one of the most amusing things in this cafe, where any visitor can write in their thoughts on what has been a hell of a year. The writings on this are a hilarious read and it feels the exact right way to try a new cafe in the new year.
The food menu includes exclusives such as Single O Bae Roll, Lemon and pepperberry chicken toastie and of course covers all other options you may be after be it a basic breakfast or a heavy brunch. The vegetarian option that we tried here was called The Mothership Bowl, which is a scrumptious serve of quinoa, black rice and a variety of vegetables. For my next visit I have my eyes set on the Eggplant Katsu Roll and the Burrata & Kohlrabi.
With plenty seating inside and outside along with a casual streetside seating this is a go-to cosy brunch spot. But if you are in a grab-n-go kinda mood, then too this is the perfect place to go because with their one of a kind, “brew-on-tap”!
Available in their brew bar ‘Sideshow’, you get a coffee in fifteen seconds!
Address: Single O in Surry Hills, 60-64 Reservoir St, Surry Hills NSW 2010 Open : Weekdays 7am – 3.30 pm, Weekends 8am – 3pm
8. Concrete Jungle Cafe In Sydney
Chippendale is another area of Sydney which has a unique decor and vibe of its own and is worth exploring more of. Close enough to the city while separated from the rush and busyness of the city, this is the hub for uni-goers as well as a favourite for the working class.
Filled with art galleries, cafes, bars, restaurants and the lantern lit ‘Spice Alley’ (a one of a kind asian street food laneway), your exploration of Sydney is incomplete without Chippendale. Located at the core of the very popular Kensington street with its recently renovated and expanded, the Concrete Jungle Cafe.
Serving the very special ‘Calibrate White’ blend from Gabriel Coffee, the coffee here is smooth and creamy and leaves you with a good aftertaste. However, if you want to amuse your palette then the coconut turmeric latte is something that is definitely recommended.
As one of the best cafes in Sydney, its green and elegant decor and splash of bright colours is loved not only for ambience but also for the delicious and nutritious items on the menu. The very Instagrammable, Blue Majik Smoothie is by far one of the most delicious and healthy bowl I have had, filled with fruits, granola and blue spirulina. Another very popular choice is the ricotta hotcake topped with berries, mascarpone and edible flowers.
If you are not going here for a morning treat, then this place is reprises itself in the evening as ‘The Roar Bar’, with a variety of healthy drinks and cocktails. The bar with lavish seating tucked in at the further end of the cafe, has an elaborate menu filled dishes to share, desserts and signature cocktails.
Did you know Sydney is home to the tallest vertical garden in the world? It lives and breathes as the magnificent One Central Park in Sydney. This building in Chippendale houses behind it a mini-oasis amidst the concrete jungle. The central park has graffiti walls, restaurants, trees and graze, a public bbq station and then to the cherry on the top is the Twelve Squares Cafe.
The Twelve Squares Cafe coffee is from one of the oldest speciality coffee roasters in Sydney, Campos Coffee. This new town coffee roasters has been serving Syndey-siders for the past two decades and Twelve squares, along with their bagels, jaffles and croissants is the busiest on Sunday mornings when the sun is out.
The small cafe exclusively focused on coffee and take-away breakfast options, has a couple of tables and chairs where you can dine in if you prefer to. I recommend to grab a takeaway coffee and a delicious bagel, then sit in the Chippendale Green and enjoy the sun, kids skating, dogs playing and also watching the very interesting Halo, the tall kinetic sculpture in the centre of the park rotate. It’s a great park to get away from the hustle and bustle of the busy Broadway.
Head over to White Rabbit Gallery afterwards, which is a free awesome gallery, showcasing the personal collection of Judith Nielsen. Check out our favourite 18 Art Galleries in Sydney here for more information.
Address: Twelve Squares, Central Park Mall, 2 Chippendale Way, Chippendale NSW 2008 Open : Weekdays/Weekends 7am – 4pm
10. Henry Lee’s
Henry Lee’s is without a doubt one of the best places to get coffee in Sydney! If you are looking to take your partner for a breakfast date or if you want to get together with friends for brunch, this is one of the best cafes in Sydney. Located a few minutes away from Redfern station, Henry Lees is light filled, collaborative space serving great food and a variety of speciality coffees.
The entire cafe is outside in the courtyard, with ample sunshine, enough shade and comfortable seating. It’s also one of the most popular places to eat breakfast in Sydney, so if you want to get a seat you should get in there early. The food is good too! I tried the Benny Munro consisting of pork belly, poached eggs on topped on croquettes with hollandaise and purple slaw, and it was delicious and hearty!
They also serve coffee from the Little Marionette beans. These roasters in Sydney are located in Rozelle, and supply beans roasted in a refurbished probat roaster from the 1930s. This makes it give a more smooth and full bodied coffee.
Stick to your usual coffee options or throw in a bit of colour into it by going for the specialty lattes such as the taro flavoured purple or the turmeric golden latte (pictured above) and many others on the menu. If you are not in the mood for coffee, opt for organic tea, Indian chai or cold pressed juices.
Address: Henry Lee’s, Hart St, Redfern NSW 2016 Open : Wednesday to Sunday 8am – 3pm
Best Coffee Shops In Sydney
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What an amazing list for the best coffee in Sydney! A big thanks to Tinju for taking the time to share his favourite hidden gems in Sydney. If you would like to share some of your favourite restaurants, places to visit or hidden gems in Australia like Tinju has, simply fill out our Write For Us form below!