There’s something of a nautical feel in the air at Clipper. While the name itself refers to a fast-sailing 19th century ship, the café is peppered with allusions to the sea, from the lifesaver clock to maritime-feel timber tables. But there’s a fair amount of other bric-a-brac to balance it out (look for bikes mounted on the walls and bright plastic flowers). What this comfortable design mishmash achieves is the feel of a seaside-town right in the middle of the city. Not easy to accomplish.
Originally an Adriano Matteoni concept – in addition to his Paper Cup and Espresso Bar by Paper Cup ventures – the founder may be gone, but owner Joe has kept the flair and great coffee, while an expanded menu and relaxed service draws in regulars. The baked eggs have become legendary, and the chai is homemade from a traditional recipe. It’s a winning combination for the hoards of students, locals and shoppers filtering down the Glebe strip to Parramatta Road. Keep an eye out for the breezy, green and white striped awnings and off-road prams lining the entrance. There can be a short wait on the weekends as Glebe market shoppers stop for brunch, but if you get a seat in the nook under the stairs, it’ll be worth the wait.