Coffee Culture: Top Five Cafes in Sydney, Australia

Over the past few years, the cities of Australia have been experiencing a coffee boom. Great cafes are cropping up across the country, even in the smallest of towns, such as the sleepy Tasmanian city of Launceston. But one of the finest coffee hot spots in Australia is Sydney.

With no offense intended towards Canberra, I’m never surprised when non-Australians assume Sydney is our capital city. Big, bustling and beautiful, Sydney is overflowing with picturesque sights to see and iconic places to visit. While as a native Melbournian I am bound to take sides and argue my home town’s case as coffee capital of Australia, I’m the first to admit that Sydney has an excellent cafe culture.

Head to these top cafes in Sydney to indulge in that Australian coffee staple, the flat white:

cafes in sydney

Photo courtesy of Baker Bros.

Baker Bros.

Right in the heart of the CBD, on bustling York Street, Baker Bros. is sleek, cool and well versed in the art of the espresso. Run by two Italian Sydney boys, this little cafe also doubles up as a wine bar, so it’s perfect right before, and right after, an inner-city work day.

cafes in sydney

Photo courtesy of The Grounds of Alexandria.

The Grounds of Alexandria

Housed in a repurposed industrial space, The Grounds of Alexandria is one of the city’s finest coffee shops and fine food purveyors. With an onsite roastery and even a so-called “Coffee Academy”, the people at Grounds of Alexandria truly know their coffee. Though they also boast a beautiful, relaxed bar and event space, the place is particularly special for breakfast.

cafes in sydney

Photo courtesy of Brewtown Newtown.

Brewtown Newtown

Another brilliant Sydney micro-roastery, Brewtown Newtown offers up rich, creamy coffee and some rather fabulous breakfasts and lunches in its vibrant space. Located in the inner-west suburb of Newtown, the site also hosts the lovely home wares and clothing shop, O’Connell Street Merchants, so you can make an outing of it.

cafes in sydney

Photo courtesy of Paper Cup.

Paper Cup

If you’re looking for great, simple coffee and pastries in Sydney’s inner west, then Paper Cup might just be the place for you. A sweet little space in the suburb of Stanmore, this cafe’s name is not the only adorable thing about it. They also do a pretty fantastic $10 take-away breakfast deal of a coffee and “morning roll”, with combinations like ham, scrambled egg, tomato relish and pecorino cheese.

cafes in sydney

Photo courtesy of Bootsdarling.


Nestled in a cosy, ramshackle space, Bootsdarling has a great atmosphere and even greater coffee. Take a book and settle into a comfy seat at this little Darlinghurst cafe. The bircher muesli and a latte can’t be beaten at breakfast time, either.

*This article is part of an original Epicure & Culture series, Coffee Culture.

What are your favorite choices for cafes in Sydney? Please share in the comments below.

By Gemma King

Also Check Out:

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Gemma King

Coffee Connoisseur Columnist
Gemma King is an Australian francophile living between Paris, Melbourne and Richmond Virginia. A PhD student in French cinema at Melbourne Uni and the Sorbonne, she's also an eternal nomad, a film buff, a French lecturer, a coffee reviewer, an English teacher and a travel writer. As la muséophile, she spends her Sundays exploring and reviewing the lesser-known museums of Paris at


  1. Thanks for sharing the list. I am currently living in Auckland which also has a booming coffee culture and weather that suits it. I’ll be relocating to Sydney in few weeks. Will surely check out these cafes.

    Can you share something on best Museums in Sydney/Australia…

    1. Thanks for reading, Desi! I’m actually a museum blogger, too (see so I can help you out with museums. My favourites are the MOS, Macleay, Nicholson and, of course, the Museum of Contemporary Art. There are many wonderful galleries in Melbourne, too- the NGV and Heide are highlights.

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