Located next to the station is Wollstoncraft Cafe. For locals, lucky it’s a good one because it’s the only café in the suburb! The charming café does fresh juices, takeaway sandwiches and excellent coffee. They’ve got the quick service down pat, which is perfect for those stressful am-I going-to make-the-train coffee pit stop situations.
Botanica Garden Cafe
Sitting back off Bay Road in a serene garden-like setting, Botanica Garden Café is homely and oh so inviting, with its bright garden interiors, covered outdoor seating and koi pond. As for the food, they have classic café dishes with an Asian twist and plenty of child-friendly options.
Helping you along your way during your morning commute, Third Rail Café brews 5 Senses Coffee before the sun is even up. Steps from Waverton Train Station, their menu is influenced by their Italian heritage, and they use fresh produce from their Nonno’s garden in nearby Willoughby.
The Grumpy Baker Waverton
For fresh out of the oven sourdough, The Grumpy Baker is up before the crack of dawn baking, and they don't stop throughout the day. Their pies and sausage rolls sell out fast, and their breakfast and lunch menu unsurprisingly has an emphasis on their sourdough bread. The Grumpy Baker also have house-made frozen meals for you to take home.
An enduring favourite for many locals, Waterview Café is a casual hangout with rustic charm. Exposed brick interiors, bench seating and wooden tables create a warm ambience and the curbside seating along Bay Road is just as inviting. Café classics fill the menu with an all-day breakfast offering and a great selection of sandwiches and wraps.
Monte Alto Eatery
Monte Alto is kind of a jack-of-all-trades eatery. By day, you’ll find creative brekkies served alongside Toby’s Estate coffee, and by night, an extensive cocktail menu and an up-market dinner offering. We’re pretty sure this is the largest collection we’ve seen of Whisky and Gin on the North Shore, so if gin is your thing, then Monte Alto is a must-try.
Not Bread Alone Restaurant & Cafe
This Crows Nest gem is not serving bread alone, and they’re doing it all day. That’s right, you can get your toast with a side of eggs and smashed avo from 7am until well past lunchtime. With café favourites and house-roasted coffee, Not Bread Alone will make you become a regular after just one visit.
Xenos is a popular Greek café and restaurant just off the main strip of Crows Nest. It’s a destination in itself though, serving up brekkie, lunch and dinner to 'Crows Nesters' for nearly 50 years. Here you’ll find anyone from office workers getting their daily dose of Vittoria to long-lunchers, seated outdoors, diving into their souvlaki.
The Social Room.
Social Room café is exactly that, it’s a social space perfect for catching up with friends over an insta-worthy meal. Photos aside, the space is so aesthetically pleasing you'll feel relaxed just being there. Think white walls, white tiles and fiddle-leaf-figs atop wooden benches. On the food front think dessert-like breakfasts adorned with edible flowers.
For award-winning espressos with a side of barista banter, start your morning at Bean Drinking. The cafe roasts its beans on-site and offers a range of brewing methods, like cold-drip, pour over and syphon, but its pride and joy is the Slayer Espresso Machine – one of only 40 in the world.
Cavalier 2.0 brings touches of fine dining to the Lower North Shore cafe scene. This quiet and cosy alleyway restaurant has set a new benchmark when it comes to brunch, dishing up thoughtful and refined dishes and low interference wines. To up your brunch game, order the smoked ricotta, jersulem artichoke and hazelnuts.
Sotto On West
Nestled on North Sydney’s leafy West Street, Sotto does laidback café fare impeccably, and you can be sure that your weekend pace won’t be interrupted by lingering waiters keen for you to free up a table. Lap up the sun as you graze on seasonal fare washed down with a Single Origin brew.
Fresh Crows Nest Cafe
This café’s motto is “Eat well, Be well” and we think they make it pretty easy to do both at Fresh Crows Nest. Located just off the main strip of Willoughby Road, we think this cosy café is one of Crows Nest’s best-kept secrets. With a strong focus on organic and biodynamic food, they serve up breakfasts and lunch that will help with your healthy eating game.
Double Cross Espresso Bar
An Asian/French fusion eatery in the heart of Crows Nest, Double Cross Espresso Bar serves up everything from katsu to croquettes and all that fits in between. The café is casual and minimalistic, with relaxed streetside seating perfect for soaking up the ambience of this buzzing eating strip.
St Malo Bakery
Situated amongst bustling Willoughby Road in Crows Nest, the Parisian bakery inspired, St Malo, has shelves piled high with glazed pastries and deliciously sweet gourmet delights. Everything is gluten-free and organic, and the alfresco area out back is the perfect setting on a sunny afternoon.
Small Bar Crows Nest
A slick yet cosy bar that specialises in Australian and New Zealand drops, with a few European wines thrown in for good measure. The fairy-lit terrace is a popular hangout and the Small Bar’s tapas share plates always pair nicely with their wine selection. If you can’t wait until evening, they’re also open for breakfast and lunch.
The Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability
Part of Waverton’s Centre of Sustainability, Coal Loader Café sits inside the former mechanic workshop, a heritage sandstone building that overlooks Balls Head Bay and Berry Island. Their menu is full with dishes made of fresh seasonal produce, and for those with a green thumb, you can swap your homegrown produce for cups of coffee.
Bourke Street Bakery North Sydney
The store is tiny compared to the bakery’s other Sydney establishments, but the hole-in-the-wall cafe plays into its artisan appeal. Pop past for a coffee and pastry on the go, or snag one of the seats inside to savour the moment (and treats). Our advice, get in early on Saturday to stock up for the weekend.
An appreciation for quality coffee is required here, with The Roots using Single Origin coffee beans and offering pour-over and siphon options. A carefully curated selection of sandwiches is available and the industrialised fit out is light-filled and raw, moving the focus back onto their main game - good coffee.
Charlie & Franks
Good quality burgers are teamed with ethically sourced coffee which make the office workers of North Sydney flood into this hip hangout come lunchtime. You'll find their Pablo & Rustys blend used in your espresso shot or if you’re after another type of shot, try their cold-pressed tonics for a dose of health.
The Greens North Sydney
A bowls club with a twist. The refurbished bowling club is perfect for brunching as well as drinking. A café-slash-bar-slash-bowling club, with a garden party like feel. A sunset bowl is possible, and the Screen on The Green nights every Thursday make for a perfect date night.
Tucked away in Naremburn, Sprout Wholefood Café is a health lover’s idea of heaven. The menu is full of nutrient-driven dishes that taste great and make you feel even better. And don’t hesitate to bring the kids! The kids menu is sneakily healthy too. Feel like a bit of post-brekkie pilates? Head upstairs to their pilates studio.