Of all the things in the world to design a cafe around, why pickles? For life partners and co-owners Andrew Doenicke and Bronwyn Coker, it’s all that matters.

While many consider the pickled cucumber to be the only unhappy part of a Happy Meal, this duo grew up with a genuine appreciation for fermented food. They took up pickling at home before realising their dream to open a toasted-sandwich cafe in Elizabeth Bay.

Coker, a long-term inner-westerner, explains, “We wanted to bring a bit of the inner west to the inner east, something a bit grittier and coffee focused.” To that end, they’ve sourced their beans from DC Coffee, also serving loose-leaf Numi Tea.

The menu revolves around seasonal fruit and vegetables, all pickled in-house. Breakfast favourites include eggs (scrambled or poached) on toast with peas, pickled fennel, crispy bacon, rocket and parmesan. The Baker’s Brekky is a hunk of crusty Brickfields bread served with a generous knob of Pepe Saya butter.

The toasties are available all day and will rotate regularly. For now, there’s a ploughman’s toastie with thick-cut smoked ham, cheddar, dill, pickles, pickled onion and seeded mustard. There’s also gruyère with pickled radish, beetroot, rocket and aioli. The classic Reuben sandwich is a permanent fixture.

The couple is also motivated about sustainability. They can sleep at night knowing their pickling practice has minimal waste. “There’s no reason to discard produce that is no longer ‘the freshest’ or ‘prettiest’,” says Coker.

A friend of Doenicke’s, Amy Traver, is behind the graphics, Bloodwood Botanica installed the living plant installations and the overall design was executed by Canalside Interiors.

“Andrew and I had this vision that involved lots of beautiful wood and tiles to create a cosy space that people feel really invited into,” says Coker. “We drew inspiration from New York-style cafes.”

Pickled
1/17 Elizabeth Bay Road, Elizabeth Bay
0405 344 555

Hours:
Tue to Fri 7am–4pm
Sat to Sun 8am–3pm

pickledespresso.com