Sydney coffee – a few favourite things

It’s okay to have favourites, isn’t it? Favourite food, favourite show, favourite child… I wouldn’t dare rule on the best cafes in Sydney – that’s very much a matter of personal taste. It’s a bit like commenting on the best band. And while I’m a Nine Inch Nails fan, there’s always a Mumford & Sons weirdo out there, somewhere. But, despite your tastes, some bands – and cafes – are undeniably better than others. I’ve also noticed my coffee preferences are geographic – I might drink a macchiato at one, an espresso at another, a piccolo at a third. Variety is the spice of life after all, is it not? Here are some of my current favourite coffee haunts in Sydney.

Campos in Newtown

Campos in Newtown

Campos in Newtown is the original, flagship store. Yes, you may have had campos in another cafe, but that’s a little like visiting a church and thinking you’ve been to the Vatican. Campos sources some excellent single origin beans, but their house blend – Campos Superior – really is superior. The service is efficient and exacting, and their macchiato is a work of art. Food is limited (so as not to interfere with the coffee smells), but the pastries are tasty. Go here. Now.

Brewtown in Newtown

Brewtown Newtown

Brewtown Cronut

Brewtown Cronut

The gnome marks the spot. If you follow me on twitter (and if you don’t, maybe you should..), you’re probably sick of my cronut tweets by now. But Brewtown is more than the sum of its cronuts. Lovely coffee, a great breakfast and lunch menu, with a great fit out and friendly service. The free sparkling water is a bonus. If you’re not full from the cronuts, try the affogato bar upstairs which is excellent and deserves more attention – especially from the mob outside waiting for a seat downstairs.

Paramount Coffee Project

Paramount Coffee Project

Paramount Coffee

Baked fruit @ PCP – my current obsession

The Paramount Coffee Project (PCP) in Surry Hills is a stunning space. Think of it as a collaborative project, not just in ownership but in the coffee they bring in – not just international single origins, but roasted by different cafes locally and overseas. One week it may be the Coffee Collective in Copenhagen, then Square Mile in London. The food menu is worth dipping your fingers into as well.

Reuben Hills, Surry Hills

Reuben Hills, Surry Hills

Before there was PCP, there was Reuben Hills. I loved Russell Beard’s cafe in Mosman, The Source – good coffee, always open, friendly stuff – and followed him to Surry Hills when he opened Reuben Hills. The fit out is impressive, the music is pumping, and again the food menu compliments with excellent coffee. Just beware on weekends, the queues build quickly – even if a lot of coffee geeks have decamped to PCP.

Sample Coffee

Sample Coffee, Surry Hills

Sample Espresso is a small, and easy to miss, but they serve good coffee (from Mecca, last I checked), and have some tasty snacks if you’re feeling peckish. Another plus, they’re seconds away from Movida in Sydney…

Single Origin

Single Origin, Surry Hills

Single Origin Roasters always dependable, excellent coffee, a dedicated take away section and some great food to boot. This is a favourite, though I pass by less than I like.

Mecca Espresso

Mecca Espresso, King St

Mecca Espresso on King St is my favourite Sydney CBD spot. A few loyalists have probably decamped to Gumption nearby (the Strand arcade is quieter to be fair), but a Mecca coffee is stronger, and they’ll serve sparkling with the coffee which is always welcome.

Sydney Cafes

Sydney Cafe Montage – Toby’s Estate, Coffee Alchemy, et al.

Then there are a number of cafes I love but don’t get to quite as often as I’d like: Gumption, Coffee Alchemy, Don Campos, Excelsior Jones, Gypsy, Room 10, The Bunker, Workshop Espresso, Toby’s Estate… Again, it’s like music – we all have our favourites and it’s a matter of personal taste. Well ok, Starbucks and Miley Cyrus just suck…


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Categories: Coffee, Sydney


coffee, food, calculated rambling


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