Creating a refuge along the adolescent-packed trudge from Redfern Station to the University of Sydney, the homely Shortlist Espresso Bar is a world away from lectures and tutorials.

The staff pack themselves like sardines behind the Italian-style coffee counter, where they whip out their signature bacon and egg rolls and rich coffees using beans straight from Little Marionette.

The food menu, written on the blackboard behind the coffee counter, has a small list of staples such as the baked beans with chorizo and bocconcini or muesli with fresh fruit and yoghurt. Specials are on constant rotation and you’ll often find hearty vegetarian flavours with a fried egg trembling on top, which can be enjoyed in the sunny courtyard down the back.

The name is a story in itself. Chalked next to the menu, you’ll see a list of cafe quips and nicknames. This is the literal ‘shortlist’ of names that the cafe’s original owners Bec and Lauren Keane thought up for the Darlington local. Surely another smart cafe will grab ‘You’ve Got to Flat White for Your Right to Latte’ any day now.

The Shortlist is simple and fuss-free, where shoes are optional, locals are plentiful and everyone shares water jugs.

Updated: October 25th, 2019

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