Sydney has really upped its cafe game. Just a decade back it was mostly bacon and eggs, over-roasted beans and the occasional corn fritter. Now we have fine-dining chefs curating menus, fit-outs worked by Australia's best interior designers and some of the best coffee in the world.

Everywhere you look the standard is extremely high, but these cafes stand out however you measure. Their progressive, well-executed menus wouldn't be out of place in a restaurant. Their fit-outs are considered and beautiful. And beyond just using locally roasted coffee or roasting it themselves, they understand how to get the best out of their beans across espresso, filter and every other brewing method. Lastly, these all-rounders have the service and ambience to match.

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Best Breakfast in Sydney
Best Coffee in Sydney

Edition Coffee Roasters Haymarket

Nordic-Japanese fusion.

60 Darling Drive, Haymarket

Went to See the Gypsy

An expansive warehouse space serving some of the best brunch and coffee in Sydney.

Shop 1 76 Mitchell Road, Alexandria

St Dreux

At the cutting edge of coffee in Sydney.

151 Clarence Street, Sydney

Industry Beans

One of Melbourne’s most celebrated coffee roasters' first Sydney outpost is in the CBD.

40 York Street, Sydney

Cornersmith Marrickville

Food that's local, ethical and real. Also in Annandale.

314 Illawarra Road, Marrickville

Cuckoo Callay Surry Hills

mac'n'cheese croissants and cocktails for breakfast.

413 Crown Street, Surry Hills

Bread & Circus

A bustling wholefoods canteen.

21 Fountain Street, Alexandria

Boon Cafe and Jarern Chai

Probably the only place on Earth you can order a traditional Thai salad between two slices of artisan sourdough.

1/425 Pitt Street, Haymarket

Paramount Coffee Project

One of Sydney's best coffee offerings and a progressive menu to match it.

80 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills

Three Blue Ducks Bronte

An ex-Tetsuya chef using produce from his own farm. Also in Rosebery.

143 Macpherson Street, Bronte
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The Grounds of the City

Like eating on the Orient Express, but with far better food.

500 George Street, Sydney
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Two Chaps

How many times did you go before you realised it was all vegetarian?

122 Chapel Street, Marrickville
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Reuben Hills

One of Sydney's early leaders – go for Latin-American eats and house-roasted beans.

61 Albion Street, Surry Hills

Devon Cafe

The first cafe in Sydney to nail the mixing of Asian and Western breakfasts. Also at Barangaroo.

76 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills


Half of the other cafes on this list buy their bread and pastries from these guys.

206 Cleveland Street, Chippendale

Cavalier 2.0

Fine-dining food repackaged for a cafe context.

96–97 545 Pacific Highway, St Leonards

Rising Sun Workshop

Ramen, bento boxes and motorcycle repairs.

1c Whateley Street, Newtown
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Cafe Oratnek

Japanese inspired cafe cuisine and matcha-based cakes. Find the sister restaurant, Kentaro, in Surry Hills.

4 Pitt Street, Redfern


God damn that Paris-Brest is good.

178 Enmore Road, Enmore

Hills Bros

A smaller, simpler version of Reuben Hills in the CBD.

5 Martin Place, Sydney

Wolfe and Co.

One of the advantages of opening in Dural is immediate access to area's boutique producers.

538 Old Northern Road, Dural

Circa Espresso

The best coffee and breakfast in Parramatta.

21 Wentworth Street, Parramatta

Blackwood Pantry

You can tell there's former fine-dining chef on the pans.

5/33 Surf Lane, Cronulla

Little Jean

Industrial vibes but simple, produce-focused dining.

1 Kiaora Lane, Double Bay
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