Pablo & Rusty's Coffee Roasters
In a prime position on Castlereagh Street, the specialty roaster churns out hundreds of coffees every day. Locally known as 161, Pablo & Rusty’s is a meeting spot for coffee aficionados (they even host regular workshops and cuppings!). The fitout is industrial chic and the food is every little bit delicious.
In the Sydney CBD, this sustainable café serves up colourful, healthy plates that are almost too pretty to eat. After ordering from the chalkboard menu (which lists the farmers behind each dish), settle in and sip on some kombucha or grab a coffee, courtesy of former Mecca barista Marcelo Soto.
Tucked away in Albert Street, only moments from Hyde Park, Blaq Pig has caught the attention of city-dwellers with their light filled, minimalist interiors and delicious food offering. Although the indoor seating is perfect spot to settle into, their streetside seating is just as sought-after.
The Grounds of the City
The highly instagrammable coffee house, The Grounds of the City has a real old-world charm to it. Think a Barista’s Bar designed to tailor your coffee experience and tea ladies with a roaming trolley that is brimming with sweet treats and cakes, to top up for your bottomless cup of coffee.
The Tea Room
An old-time favourite and one for the traditionalist, the Tea Room hardly gets more grandiose than the ornate room on level 3 of the QVB. Making a sophisticated affair over Royal Albert china and British silverware, the Tea Room serves finger sandwiches, scones and an assortment of sweet morsels. Lounge in luxurious armchairs and take in the opulence of your surroundings. Bookings are essential.
Gumption by Coffee Alchemy
In the Strand Arcade, this espresso bar usually has a line of people happily waiting for their fix. The owner (who also founded Coffee Alchemy in Marrickville), Hazel de los Reyes, is an award-winning roaster, and it shows in the quality of coffee as well as the many brewing methods on offer.
Tucked down an alleyway in the CBD, Marlowe’s Way is a New York-style café. The cosy coffee shop is known for its sweet, smooth house blend. It’s called ‘Bankistan’ (named for the banks in the area), and is roasted by Little Marionette. When your steaming cup of joe arrives, look for an ‘M’ on your spoon or takeaway cup – if you find one, you’ll score a second coffee for free.
Skittle Lane Coffee
On King Street, this coffee shop boasts Instagram-worthy interiors. Its two shiny La Marzocco coffee machines pump out the café’s house blend. There’s a selection of single origins, as well as a pour-over bar for filter fanatics. If you’re hungry, they have a menu that will satiate any cravings.
Four Frogs Creperie - Circular Quay
Arguably Sydney’s best creperie, Four Frogs is owned by four French men who have brought the authentic art of creperie Down Under. From tehir Circular Quay outpost, they make sweet and savoury using traditional techniques from Bretagne, the French region where crepes originate.
Adora Handmade Chocolates
Sydney is home to a number of chocolatiers who turn the humble cocoa bean into a work of art. Adora is one of the best. The family-run shop’s display cabinets have a colourful assortment of handmade chocolates, all of which feature pure Belgian Callebaut. If you want to learn the tricks of the trade, Adora holds chocolate-making classes.
Bon Bon Fine Chocolate
A staple on Sydney’s chocolate scene, Bon Bon satisfies sweet cravings across the CBD at its shop in the QVB and fine chocolate café at The Strand Arcade. Both stores have a delectable array of truffles, chocolate bars, spreads, and the famous nougat, while the café keeps the cocoa theme going with hot chocolates.
Haigh’s is a homegrown hero. At its Victorian era-style shops in the CBD (QVB and the Strand), you can satisfy any chocolate craving you have – and we mean that. The milk chocolate pandas and dark chocolate peppermint creams fly off the shelves, as does the native Australian flavour collection.
Sitting inside a sandstone building, Bambini Trust is a swanky, European-style bistro and café. Chandeliers, marble accents and specials written on the mirrors give the space a glamorous touch, while the outdoor terrace overlooks Hyde Park. The eatery is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.