A walkthrough of some of Sydney’s quirky Inner West cafes.
It used to be that Sydney city only came alive when the sun set. In the dying light, its restaurants and bars overflowed with people enjoying these warm and unique settings, good food, drink and company. But now, with the rise of Sydney’s cafe culture, the good times are set to roll from sunrise to sunset. To help you get the most out of your daylight hours, we have put together a hit list of some of the cutest brunch spots where you can always get a decent espresso shot, and always in the most unique settings.
From the outside this cafe doesn’t look like much – a shabby building with graffiti plastered across one of the doors – but once you step inside, the grungy-green couches, old Persian rugs and flaking wallpaper brings this cafe to life. Friendly staff greet you in coffee-covered vintage overalls and the strong aroma of freshly roasted java in the cafe’s roastary smacks you in the face. The whole things makes you feel like you’re in a cosy loungeroom, complete with an extensive second hand book collection. The one downside is if you’re after a large meal, you will be disappointed as the café only houses a small selection of cakes and cookies, but as a positive, they are all delicious and freshly made by the talented bakers from Black Star Bakery.
What to order: Coffee: any style $3.00-$5.00 depending on size and milk choice.
Located in one of the side streets off Glebe’s main road, this cafe is best described as hipster and minimalistic. It utilizes an incredibly small open plan space, reminiscent of an industrial style studio apartment, and is always overflowing with customers keen for a taste of award winning coffee. The menu is off kilter, but delicious – think peanut butter infused salted caramel on banana bread and pulled pork and spiced cheese sandwiches. On weekends it’s worth getting there early to avoid the line of brunch hungry crowds, which could delay the first sip of your morning brew by 15-30 minutes depending on the day.
What to order: Peanut butter and salted caramel on banana bread $7.00, coffee any style $3.50-$5.50 depending on size and milk choice.
If getting crafty while enjoying freshly brewed coffee and nibbling on locally-sourced baked goods are your thing, you are in for a treat. Coffee and a Yarn is a unique and welcome addition to Sydney’s cafe scene. The walls are covered in an array of multi-colored balls of wool, most of which are fair trade and organic, transforming them into a hue of warm, friendly colors – a description that can also be applied to the cafe staff. Patrons can purchase knitting kits that can be made either in-store in a group or taken home for a solo craft project. This means that even though the coffee can only be described as marginally above average, it somehow tastes better for the quaint setting in which it is served.
What to order: Affagatto $5.00 and fruit and nut cookie $3.00
Juxtaposed against the massive industrial buildings that line Riley St, Surry Hills, is an unassuming and tiny white cottage boxed in with a quaint white picket fence. This is Robocog café and it is your slice of simplistic coffee and food heaven. Once you step inside you will feel like you are entering a time warp, modern and vintage are seamlessly intertwined . The café draws it’s namesake from the differing types of robot toys that peak out from behind corners, bookcases and oversee the café activities from high reaching places. The menu is simple, but wholesome and still manages to cater to whatever your hunger level. The real standout on the menu however is the wood roasted breakfast trifle, which complements perfectly with the rich flavored and full bodied coffee or the expansive loose leaf tea selection.
What to order: Wood roasted breakfast trifle $11.00 with loose leaf green tea $4.00
Modern, with a dash of country chic is probably the brief given to West Juliett’s designers. Honey-coloured wooden floors, high white ceilings, stylish black tables and chairs scattered about all add up for a minimalistic but welcoming look. Although the real standout is not the decor, but the food. The café hand-makes all its own breads, cakes and cookies . Even the yoghurt is hand crafted by the staff. The café also sources its eggs, honey and tomatoes from a local farmer. The food is served with a rustic flair and a raw, unapologetic realness that makes West Juliett a must for all lunch and brunch enthusiasts.
What to order: poached eggs with avocado, fetta, lemon, parsley, cress and dukkha $14.00, chocolate chip cookie$3.00. Prices may vary. – Radha Sternbeck
Top Photo from: SnappyStreet Photography’s Facebook page.