Best Cafes in Surry Hills

Updated 1 week ago

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Depending on when you visit, Surry Hills can feel like two totally different suburbs. During the week it's an extension of the CBD, where suits hurry by and takeaway lunch spots barely get a break. But when the weekend comes around, the pace slows down and sit-down cafes such as Reuben Hills and Cuckoo Callay are populated with chatty groups of friends. As such, there's a diverse range of options here that suit almost any occasion.

  • Central and South American flavours power the menu at this cool cafe by one of the city's most respected names in coffee. The bonus of doing brunch here? Your coffee was roasted right upstairs by the best in the business.

  • Set within the Paramount Building, this destination cafe has a menu to match the sophistication of its surroundings. Asian influences are woven throughout, and coffees from international guests are brewing at the filter bar.

  • Killer coffee from a pioneer in the city’s third wave coffee movement. The main event is where you can get a seasonal feed and all the details about your brew in one sitting. Hit the sideshow for a theatrical display of coffee gadgetry.

  • A Cali-inspired rooftop bakery from the teams behind Ester, Reuben Hills and Paramount House Hotel. Ascend for sourdough bread made with old-world wheat, hefty pies and pastries we can’t stop thinking about.

  • A tiny, coffee-centric cafe in Surry Hills.

  • Where everybody knows your name, and your coffee order.

  • A polished pastry shop that puts a fine-dining twist on classic bakery items. Think Wagyu and mushroom pies, and yuzu curd croissants. The star item – the Crown on 487 – is so labour-intensive only 15 are made each day.

  • Down on Bourke Street, a batch is brewing and it’s from Bolivia … this week.

  • A part-cafe and part-workshop for experts and budding barista amateurs.

  • Innovative brunch dishes by an ex-fine-dining chef.

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  • A fast-food salad bar.

  • Kentaro is Oratnek spelled backwards – a nod to its sister venue in Redfern. You can get Oratnek’s signature katsu sando here (“worth the 15 minute wait”), but there’s also hard-to-find Japanese classics such as omurice. It’s restaurant-quality fare, set within an industrial fit-out.

  • Serious coffee in the backstreets.

  • A charming place to enjoy fresh local ingredients and alfresco dining on one of Sydney’s favourite streets.

  • A quiet achiever at the foot of Surry Hills.

  • An extension of the popular Mona Vale cafe and bakery in the inner east.

  • Whether they’re baking bread or butchering steaks, the Porteno team does not muck around. Its humble little bakery nearly broke the internet with a gorgeous finger bun. But it’s no slouch in the sandwich department either.

  • A tiny vegan wholefood kitchen and bakery by a former Jamie's Italian chef. Rock up to the takeaway window for baked goods free from gluten and refined sugar – including avo toast on slices of sprouted quinoa loaf, bliss balls, banana bread and more.

  • A casual cafe spinoff of Korean favourite Soul Dining. Not only does it serve traditional dishes and cafe classics with a Korean twist, it’s also selling homewares and clothes by local Korean designers. Plus house-made tofu, Korean pickles and sauces to take home.

  • Macedonian food, including burek made by a master.

  • Housed inside a breezy terrace, this cosy cafe serves single-origin coffees roasted in-house. The menu flaunts classics like buttermilk pancakes, and a za'taar brekkie flatbread that's become a crowd fave.