Sydney’s cafes are recognised around the world, and it’s easy to see why. We have former fine-dining chefs in kitchens, fit-outs from recognisable interior designers and some of the best roasters and baristas there are. And don’t forget the efficient yet friendly service that’s gained attention in New York and many other cities.

The standard is extremely high wherever you look, but Sydney’s best cafes stand out, regardless of criteria. Their progressive, well-executed menus are edging towards restaurant quality. 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.

Related pages:
Best Cafes in Surry Hills
Best Breakfasts in Sydney
Best Coffee in Sydney
Best Boozy Brunches in Sydney

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

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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Two Chaps


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

122 Chapel Street, Marrickville

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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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

Lox Stock and Barrel


For bagels and all kinds of pickled, cured and smoked New York deli-style dishes.

140 Glenayr Avenue, Bondi

Bills Darlinghurst


This is where Bill Granger first became Australia’s unofficial brunch ambassador. At one time, this breakfasts at this sun-drenched cafe were the yardstick by which all the city’s cafes were measured: avocado on Iggy’s bread, poached eggs with elevated sides and ricotta hotcakes. A blond-wooded, white-walled institution.

433 Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst



Japanese comfort food by the Cool Mac crew. Coffee paired with onigiri, a staple Ox tongue curry, and the occasional ramen pop-up has turned this minimal joint into a weekend destination. On a Saturday morning, the footpath outside gets crowded.

107 Addison Road, Marrickville

One Another


Head to this sunny corner cafe for a bacon and egg roll and a milkshake.

Wilson Street, Redfern