In a time before Google Maps, Marlowe’s way would have been nearly impossible to find, so it’s hard to imagine a stockbroker with enough patience to seek out such a well concealed cafe. Then again, it’s harder to imagine an atmospheric New York style cafe popping up in the midst of Sydney’s financial district.

Inside, soul music plays over the faint crackle of vinyl, complimenting the shaded alley ambience. In homage to urban wildlife, hand-painted murals depict cartoon pigeons and a line of brass pipe links a series of warm tungsten lights around the cosy space.

Little Marionette has roasted a new blend specifically for Marlowe’s Way. The blend, dubbed Bankistan (a reference to the absurd number of banks surrounding the cafe), is offered alongside a rotating single origin and an excellent selection of handcrafted teas.

Coffee arrives with one of 20 individually themed teaspoons at Marlowe’s Way. At the beginning of each week, one of those spoons is designated “the magic spoon” and signifies a free brew to anyone that receives it. Similarly, an “M” for “magic” is scrawled on the base of one in every 20 takeaway cups.

In keeping with the New York theme, Marlowe’s Way serves up simple, home-style Italian food. Though the hand written menu and blackboards will change daily depending on the quality of certain produce, they typically include a pasta, a few fresh salads, Farmer Joe muesli, pastries and an array of mouth-watering Paninis, such as the pork and fennel sausage with oregano, cabbage and tomato relish.

Marlowe’s Way is as hard to find as it is to leave, so don’t forget your GPS.

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Marlowe's Way
Tankstream Way, Sydney

Mon to Fri 7am–4pm
Opening evenings with a liquor license soon.