Sparrow Gelato & Espresso
There’s something very community-minded about the pedestrian strip of Ernest Place in Crows Nest. In recent years, it has become a centre for cafes and dining, with a welcoming tumble of tables spilling out into the sunshine and children and prams congregating on the grass.
Sparrow cafe – with its curved, wood-panelled walls, rose gold globe pendant lights, hanging bird cages and rainbow display of gelato by the front door – is well suited to the little plaza area. It’s a cosy and friendly spot that feels like a cross between a European laneway cafe and the belly of a honey-toned wooden ship. The cake display down the back is an endlessly tempting offering of chocolate bombs, waffles and cheesecake, while the breakfast and lunch menus suggest pastries, eggs or BLTs. But it’s the coffee and gelato that this relaxed cafe has taken for its name – and they certainly draw people in (or out to a picnic rug on the nearby grass).
Coffee is by Di Gabriel (the roasters behind Dose cafe in Willoughby), which makes for nutty lattes to accompany macarons and waffles. The gelato is churned in-house and flavours vary depending on the season. Unusual varieties like coconut-pandan or strawberry-balsamic are popular, branching out beyond the tried and true stalwarts of chocolate or vanilla. One of the best things about Sparrow is that it’s open until 10pm every night of the week, which means that you can get your sweet-treat fix whenever you fancy. It’s a great place to sneak off to for a coffee and a colourful scoop of something delicious on the way home from dinner.