What percentage of your life is lived out in cafes? There's a good chance you’re sitting in one right now. Nearly every day we’re working, eating, drinking, lining up for and spending time with friends in these increasingly dynamic spaces. On top of feeding us and kick-starting our hearts and brains with well-made coffee, Sydney’s new wave of cafes are active places that encourage the growth of ideas and the bolstering of relationships and collaborations through smart design, considered service and innovation. For this issue’s cover story, we take a look at some of these Sydney cafes, and the people behind them, to see how they operate and how times have changed. While working on this, it soon became clear that how we appreciate these city staples is just as important as how they evolve over time.

We’ve got some good food to accompany your coffee, from a survey of Sydney’s ba?nh mi?s in three different guises, to an autumnal recipe from Rushcutters’ Martin Boetz. Let us help you head to the Inner West for your boozing with a plotted-out map showing all the best spots for a well-made drink, and while you’re there, drop into Marrickville’s The Newsagency, which may be Sydney’s smallest and most intriguing live-music venue.

Autumn is a season filled with art and fashion in Sydney, and we’re keenly absorbing both, from the up-and-comers who are doing their own thing and who aren't restricted by big-business fashion, to those leading the way, such as Jedda-Daisy Culley of Desert Designs and her partner Dan Stricker. Canberra is even impressing us these days if you can believe it, with the opening of the incredible, design- focused Hotel Hotel, the creation of which involved some of the country’s top creatives.

Though we may have farewelled summer, there’s plenty to keep you busy in Sydney this season. Pick up a copy from most of the cafes, shops and restaurants in our Directory, and enjoy the issue.

Sophie McComas

Sydney Editor