Circa is another spot where you’ll find some of the best coffee on offer well outside of the CBD or inner west. It’s a tiny hole-in-the-wall cafe, but don’t be deceived. Wander past the bustling entrance with the barista on show and you’ll be greeted by a long, slim cafe that stretches past the tiny kitchen to a backroom nook. It’s full of knick-knacks and trinkets that echo libraries, museums and science labs past. Mock windows frame mock views, copper pipes line the walls and warm plywood panelling abounds. But it’s not the eclectic décor that people flock here for – it’s the house blend coffee roasted by Five Senses and served double ristretto style (best enjoyed with milk).
Tony Sleiman and Aykut Sayan have nurtured this little warehouse conversion into a wildly popular local haunt, with street-side seating, colourful wall art and a breakfast and lunch menu that offers still-sizzling baked eggs in the pan, spiced French puy lentils or slow braised beef brisket sandwiches. The gleaming cold-drip dominates one corner, while pour-over and aero-press are on offer too, with filter of the week and reserve selection single origin (from the Five Senses back room). But Blue Mountains sticky chai and West African red hot chocolate make for great winter warmers, and there’s a hefty selection of teas on offer too.