The heart of Chippendale is a kind of labyrinth of disjointed little streets where you seem to stumble across all manner of surprises. The Little Queen Cafe, signalled by a regal silhouetted bust, is one of the more delightful places you could discover. Secluded just below footpath level and fronted by a collection of cushioned milk crates, it’s obviously a favourite among people working in the nearby offices and studios. Dark walls (chalked with an oddly comical mural involving coffee beans and a satisfied queen), tall stools, Union Jack cushions and a feature wall of retro prints make for a casual space.
Since The Little Queen takes weekends off, the breakfast menu is kept fairly simple with toast, muesli and croissants. But the sandwiches are the jewel in this crown with fillings like sun-dried tomato, turkey and brie, or smoked salmon with wasabi mayo. And whoever dreamed up mushy peas with smoked cheddar and mustard as a sandwich filling has our eternal respect.
Allpress is the coffee of choice here and is done justice; it’s a great complement to the muffins, which change daily. The soup (or salad in summer) also does a daily shuffle and never fails to entice; a chorizo, tomato and capsicum soup, or the broccoli, quinoa and gorgonzola might entice. Indeed, there’s an obvious love of interesting and contrasting flavours in nearly every dish served here. The Little Queen could be easily limited by its size, but it flourishes by tackling the simple things in surprising ways.