An axe embedded in the front door of Artarmon’s Salvage Specialty Coffee may not be the best way to make friends with your new neighbours. But Salvage, a venture by barista trio Toby Cutler, Matt Goto and Dan Yee (all formerly of Castle Hill’s Air Coffee), is a welcome change from the Japanese restaurants and grocery stores that cluster the piazza on the quieter side of Artarmon station. Just over a month old, this compact espresso bar is already appeasing early morning commuters with its pink neon lighting and bold brews of Mecca’s signature Dark Horse blend.

While its cosy interior has limited seating, take a spot outside on one of the classroom chairs huddled around the picnic tables, shadowed by the large white umbrellas. A convenient weekday menu is scrawled on the blackboard, which hangs from the wire-caged brick wall, with Barossa Gypsy Ham and Warrnambool Cheddar toasties and house-made toasted muesli with organic yoghurt on offer. With all orders taken at the counter, it’s hard to pass up a lemon meringue tart or golden, flaky croissant from Crows Nest’s St Malo artisan bakery, which are cheekily positioned right under your nose.

On Saturdays, get in early for the extended blackboard offerings, including braised ham hock with sprouts, barley and apple.

A deft hand at the espresso machine is on show here, and it’s no surprise that the Salvage team offers a selection of alternative brewing techniques, including the slow drip apparatus showcasing single origins like Mecca’s Santa Rosa AAA from Costa Rica.

Salvage Specialty Coffee
5 Wilkes Avenue, Artarmon

Mon to Fri 6.30am–2.30pm
Sat 7.30am–2.30pm