10 Best Cafes in Sydney for Coffee, Brunch, and Vegan Food

10 Best Cafes in Sydney for Coffee, Brunch, and Vegan Food

Pop by the favourite haunts of locals in Sydney.

Sydney’s bustling coffee scene is perhaps one of the city’s most famous characteristics. If you’re as hooked on coffee as we are, this is the list for you. Plus, if it’s the variety you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered too with the best cafes in Sydney for speciality coffee, vegan treats, and brunch! 

Also read: 17 Exciting Things to Do in Sydney for First-Timers

Best Sydney Cafes for speciality coffee

1. The Fine Food Store

A cosy family-owned cafe nestled in The Rocks, The Fine Food Store has been serving delectable coffee (roasted in-house) for over 15 years. Open daily, this cafe is perfect for whenever you want to satisfy your coffee cravings. If you’re looking to switch up your usual order, try their Sweet Lady Seasonal Blend, which changes every few months. 

2. Industry Beans York St.

While you may be sceptical about coffee chains, Industry Beans is here to prove that coffee chains can definitely serve some of the best coffee in Sydney. Indeed, it’s in the name itself that the secret to its success lies in its brewed coffee beans. Inspired by the third wave coffee movement, brothers Steven and Trevor Simmons founded Industry Beans in Melbourne in 2010. 

Their mission is to serve high-quality coffee while preserving transparency and accessibility. So, their coffee menu remains elaborate with tasting notes, information about the beans origins, and processing details. Also, you need to look closely for the key on the far right that tells you whether it’s a batch brew, cold brew, or bubble coffee.

Also read: City, Coasts, Mountains & Glamping: Renew Yourself With This 10D9N Itinerary in Sydney & Beyond

3. Rocker

No stranger to many of us (at least to those who follow Masterchef Australia), Darren Robertson of Three Blue Ducks is a co-founder of this delightful cafe. Rocker sits pretty on the hill at North Bondi, and it’s one of the most recognised Bondi cafes thanks to its seasonal menu.

Of course, there are some crowd favourites you ought to try, like the all-you-can-eat mussels on Wednesdays, truffles in Australia (Jun to Sep), bonito tartare, and john dory. That being said, we suggest perusing their website ahead of your visit to see what their menu offerings currently are! 

4. Cuckoo Callay

The menu at Cuckoo Callay consists of speciality coffee like the Rotating Feature Brew Of Cold Drips, Raw Honey Soaked Chai Latte, and Taro Latte. These are on top of the classic coffees, of course. 

Amidst other Newtown cafes, this joint stands out with its bright interior, where you can often spot customers with their furry friends. Thus, as a pet-friendly cafe, they go the extra mile by offering a Puppachino (made with goat’s milk and crushed liver treats) exclusively for furry friends who are here with their owners. 

If the coffee isn’t enough to draw you in, their fine food surely will. Quirkily listed on their menu, their food and drinks have names like I Need A Katsu-chicken (chicken katsu burger), Leave It To Salmon Else (gluten-free chermoula spiced salmon skewer), and Do You Know How To Mango (mango shake). And, yes, their food game is as good as their menu game.  

5. The Bower Manly

A sprawling Northern Beaches cafe with splendid alfresco dining views, The Bower Manly serves up a mean roast of coffee. So, if you’re ever on the way down to Shelly Beach, be sure to grab a coffee to go from this cafe, and you’re set for a bright and sunny day out. 

Alternatively, if you’re up for brekkie, try their flavourful homemade breakfast gnocchi or avo on sourdough! The menu even changes regularly to reflect seasonal produce using both local and organic growers whenever possible. So, take full advantage of the rotating menu to try something new each visit! 

Also read: 6 Unique Experiences in Sydney & Its Surrounds to Tick Off Your Bucket List

6. Gumption by Coffee Alchemy

If you’re searching for the best cafes in Sydney for good brews and aesthetics, look no further. Gumption by Coffee Alchemy serves specialty coffee in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, within the iconic Strand Arcade heritage retail centre. 

Truly, you won’t want to do anything here besides people-watching, as drinking coffee here feels almost cinematic. What’s more, since customers drop by the busy store to purchase coffee beans, that’s how you know the coffee’s good. Simply put, this cafe is the epitome of “simple is more,” so you can’t go wrong with a cold brew or pour over. 

Best cafes in Sydney to fulfil your brunch needs

7. Bills

An icon of Bondi cafes, Bills originally opened in Darlinghurst in 1993, and quickly became a staple in Sydney’s brunch scene. With that said, its opening in Bondi Beach in 2014 came with much joy, as loyal customers were quick to flock over with orders of the crowd favourites. 

What are these star menu items? The ricotta hotcakes (served with banana, maple syrup, and honeycomb butter), as well as creamy scrambled eggs and sweet corn fritters. Also, as an acclaimed cafe in Australia’s bustling coffee culture, their coffee’s a showstopper, too.

8. Brewtown Newtown

Oh, Newtown: the town of eclectic vintage stores and bohemian spirit. It’s no wonder that many Newtown cafes are exactly that — quirky cafes with concept stores and good brews. Honestly, nothing beats the aroma of fresh coffee beans to accompany shopping. 

A cafe on the first floor and a bakery on the second, Brewtown Newtown guarantees that you’ll be spoilt for choice with baked treats. Though their zucchini and corn fritters are a must-try for savoury brunch, their cruffin and donuts (or brewnuts) are true favourites.

Vegan Sydney coffee shops

9. Girdlers

Sydney is known for having the largest population of vegans in Australia. That said, this list of best cafes in Sydney wouldn’t be a complete list without options for these folks. 

First up is Girdles, which aside from being vegan, has a great selection of gluten-free dishes, too. Apart from encouraging sustainability, this Northern Beaches cafe also uses local suppliers to support their community. 

So, if you’re ever in the area, start your morning right with an avocado toast and coffee made with their own special blend — and know that you’re doing your part to better the community.

10. Oh My Days 

Another is Oh My Days, which doubles up as a bakery with some of the fluffiest baked treats in Sydney! 

Famous for their organic vegan pastries, the cafe switches up their dishes on display with limited edition specials. Currently on offer is their baklava croissant: dipped in rose syrup and filled with a spiced pistachio and hazelnut frangipane. They also have savoury pastries with mock meat and fresh veggies. Don’t forget to refresh your taste buds with a cuppa, of course. 

Also read: 10 Instagrammable Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants in Bali That You Have to Try

Though cafes in Sydney are dime a dozen, these undoubtedly serve the best coffee in Sydney, from Bondi to Newtown! So, which one are you checking out first?

About Author

Tamlyn Richards

Tamlyn enjoys collecting mementos, from flight tickets to photo booth pictures, for her journal entries. She can often be found trawling the internet for the next rom-com or horror show to binge when she isn't planning for her next getaway.