Weaving through the leafy streets of Paddington, it’s almost impossible to resist the chic boutiques, gorgeous galleries and array of trendy neighbourhood eateries. Tucked between the city and the beach, this stylish suburb has a laid-back village vibe, with friendly patrons that remember your name.
Be lured by the smell of freshly brewed coffee and delicious gourmet goodies – these Paddington cafés are a treat for the senses. Whether you want to grab-and-go or stay for the long haul, we’ve handpicked the best cafés in Paddington for your next morning, lunchtime or afternoon coffee fix.
If you score a seat in Jackie’s sun-drenched courtyard, you’re off to a stellar start. Sitting on the stylish strip of Glenmore Road, the café is a Paddo institution. The specials change with the seasons, but locals love the parmesan scrambled eggs, green veggie bowl and crusty sourdough sandwiches. Inside, the sushi bar serves up fresh rolls and sashimi and is the place to see-and-be-seen after dark.
1C Glenmore Road, Paddington
Just like its sister spot, Scout’s Honour in Redfern, this café is all about letting the ingredients speak for themselves. The menu is made up of sandwiches, salads and buddha bowls brimming with beautiful, wholesome ingredients: think fresh veggies, lean meats, nuts, seeds and herbs. Start your day with coffee and the zucchini omelette, then loop back for a lunch of spicy fish tacos.
33 Albion Ave, Paddington
On the Woollahra end of Oxford Street, you’ll find this Scandi-chic space. Run by a husband and wife team, Four Six Eight has the feel-good factor: it showcases local suppliers, and that’s a big plus in our book. Take the breakfast menu, for example. You can sip on Single Origin coffee while noshing on Farmer Jo’s muesli topped with Bondi Yoghurt, or thick-cut toast slathered in Hank’s Jam or Pepe Saya butter. Yes please!
468 Oxford Street, Paddington
Nothing beats curling up with a book and a cuppa, and when you throw a delicious dish into the mix, that’s a win! Part of the beloved Berkelouw bookstore, Café 1812 is as cosy as it gets. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and was inspired by the European salons where creatives would meet to chat, drink and workshop their ideas. Grab a book and a buddy, and do same over a toastie or cheese platter.
19 Oxford Street, Paddington
Sitchu tip: Around the corner, Ampersand Café & Bookstore has a similar vibe. The two-storey café spills out onto a terrace, and serves brekkie, lunch and a seriously good homemade chai.
We’re suckers for a cosy café, and Bonython ticks every box. Hidden down a little laneway, it’s an escape from Paddington’s busy, criss-crossed streets. To get in, you’ll walk down a path lined with lush greenery, and there are plants aplenty inside. Chef Alex Kearn keeps the green theme going by whipping up healthy plates like porridge, omelettes, burgers and salad bowls bursting with goodness.
120B Underwood Street, Paddington
A slice of Sweden in Sydney, Köket is – in a word – lovely. Stock up on gorgeous homewares, clothes and accessories at Funkis, and then stroll outside to the café, which sits in the store’s backyard. Inspired by Scandinavian cuisine, the café serves up an organic menu of skagen (open-faced sandwiches), baked eggs, muesli and meat dishes. Whatever you do, don’t leave without trying the kanelbulle (cinnamon bun).
202 Oxford Street, Paddington
For Italian food with an Aussie twist, you can’t go past this gem. The chefs at Barbetta stay true to traditional techniques but aren’t afraid to be creative. To kick off your day on a delicious note, order the ‘carbonara Australiana’: scrambled eggs on sourdough with lashings of pecorino, black pepper and crispy bacon. Come lunchtime, stick to the café’s signatures: the lasagne and bombe (Italian doughnut).
2 Elizabeth Street, Paddington
Sitchu tip: On William Street, deli-slash-café Alimentari will also satisfy your cravings for really, really good Italian. It’s as charming as it is legit: the menu is scrawled on a chalkboard every day based on the best ingredients available.
It would be easy to walk right past this hole-in-the-wall café, if it wasn’t for the cluster of customers at the entrance. Thirty Coffee Co is teeny, but that doesn’t stop people from lining up for the signature bacon and egg roll. Stuffed between two milk buns, it’s crispy outer gives way to a gooey egg, slivers of smoky bacon, crunchy cabbage slaw and a sweet-yet-savoury mango BBQ sauce.
422 Oxford Street, Paddington
The cafés we go back to time and time again are the ones that feel like home. And that’s exactly why we like Sonder. The team took over a terrace house, and made it their own with colourful floor-to-ceiling murals, mismatched furniture, flowers, mellow music, and sun-soaked outdoor areas. Go regularly, and the staff will lead you right to your favourite nook. Once you’re settled, feast on the corn fritters or try the savoury French toast.
227 Glenmore Road, Paddington
At this baking giant’s Paddington branch, the question is: how do you take your sourdough? Do you like it slathered with a layer of house jam or avocado? Topped with poached eggs and chives? Dunked in a hearty soup? Or filled with oozing cheese in a croque madame? Sonoma does it all, though you can also switch it up with porridge, muesli, salads and tartines.
241B Glenmore Road, Paddington