Sydney's Coffee Scene: 12 Recommendations for a Caffeine Fix

Sydney has a reputation for having a fantastic coffee scene with top baristas plying their trade on every corner. It turns out, it's true! We visited Australia last November and tried a new coffee shop each morning on the walk to work and over the weekend. 

We purposely stayed in Surry Hills, a good 30 minute walk from my office in Pyrmont. Whenever I travel for work, I like to wake up a bit early and take a stroll through a new part of town. So many business travelers only see the inside of their hotel and office with a whirlwind car ride in between. 

Taking some 'me' time on a business trip is what bleisure travel is all about. Identifying and trying new coffee places is a great way to direct that morning walking commute in a different direction each time. Here are some great places to try (listed in the order that we tried them!) for morning coffee if you find yourself in Sydney for work (or even if it's just for fun!)

1. Reformatory Caffeine Lab

This place was so bad ass with a dark black interior and street art on the walls. The coffee at Reformatory Caffeine Lab was most excellently prepared. I opted for a traditional cappuccino but loved to see all the science-y equipment in use like the addition funnel and frit used to prepare cold brewed filtered coffee. Takes me back to my days in the lab.
Coffee in Sydney - Reformatory Caffeine Lab

2. Two Good Eggs Cafe

We had Sunday brunch at Two Good Eggs Cafe and I'm happy to report that both the coffee and food were excellent. The cappuccino was small but well crafted with a healthy dose of chocolate on top. It was a nice way to wash down a plate of poached eggs and berry pancakes. 
Coffee in Sydney - Two Good Eggs

3. Colombian Connection at the Carriageworks

The Carriageworks is a weekend farmers' market in the Eveleigh neighborhood of Sydney. As you'd expect, the venue is converted from an old carriageworks and retains a historic, industrial feel. Nestled inside, we discovered the Colombian Connection. They serve their coffee traditionally or for a little extra with almond milk. We enjoyed sipping our cuppa while strolling among the food and craft stalls. 
Coffee in Sydney - Colombian Connection at the Carriageworks

4. The House

Another of our weekend coffee 'finds' was The House conveniently situated in Ultimo between Haymarket and Glebe. We enjoyed a small, well-crafted flat white sipped next to this slightly risque statue. The House was situated in, well, an old house with a sunken area for the baristas to do their thing. Definitely worth checking out.
Coffee in Sydney - The House

5. Workshop Espresso

Located in the Central Business District, Workshop Espresso was an ideal pitstop for caffeine at the midpoint between Surry Hills and Pyrmont. Spilling out onto the street, we were able to admire the classic architecture of the CBD while we waited for our order.
Coffee in Sydney - Workshop Espresso

6. Single Origin Roasters

Single Origin Roasters in Surry Hills was one of our favorite discoveries in Sydney. There are separate 'drink in' and takeaway locations standing side by side. We sidled up to the takeaway counter. It doesn't look like much from the outside and is almost camouflaged by the air conditioning repair shop next door. Up close, we admired the drip stations and other fancy equipment.

The baristas were super friendly and even asked us where we were from. When we told them we live in Ireland, they were like "Do you know Colin from 3FE?!" I wouldn't say we know Colin personally but he did judge me in a coffee throwing competition once. However, everyone who likes coffee in Dublin knows of Colin Harmon from 3FE.  I was extremely impressed that these guys halfway around the world knew him too. 
Coffee in Sydney - Single Origin Roasters

7. Reuben Hills

A cool morning breeze swept end to end through the open doors of Reuben Hills in Surry Hills when we stopped in. Reuben Hills served a fine cappuccino and also is a great spot to sit down for lunch.
Coffee in Sydney - Reuben Hills

8. Bean Temple

We discovered the no fuss, Bean Temple in Surry Hills just a block or two from our hotel. Located across the street from the police station, you can't miss it. The coffee was fine and apparently they make a lovely toastie.
Coffee in Sydney - Bean Temple

9. Lava

Back in the Central Business District, we tried Lava. I loved the vibe of this place from the astroturf garden and picket fence out front to the chalk decorated walls. The baristas also really knew what they were doing and handed over a well crafted cappuccino. Another great find!
Coffee in Sydney - Lava

10. Mecca

You might think that Mecca is the mecca of the coffee scene in Sydney. We enjoyed our stop here in Ultimo and a well-prepared latte. I do think it's hard though for any one coffee place to declare supremacy in Sydney. There are just too many darn good places. 
Coffee in Sydney - Mecca

11. Local Mbassy

I also loved the atmosphere at Local Mbassy in Ultimo. Old fashioned and rusty gadgets lined the walls with stylized black and white art in the back. Local Mbassy also featured a charming display of cronuts and other pastries to tempt those of us that just stopped in for a bit of caffeine. Definitely worth checking out.
Coffee in Sydney - Lcoal Mbassy

12. The Pigeonhole Cafe 

Our final discovery on the trip was The Pigeonhole Cafe. Also located in Ultimo, this place was quite popular and we had to wait about 10 minutes to be served. It was worth the wait though because it gave me time to admire the bird motif in the interior and the coffee was well-prepared.
Coffee in Sydney - Pigeonhole Cafe


What other coffee places would you recommend in and around Sydney? We love using our morning coffee walks as a way to gently direct our exploration of a new city and make sure we don't fall into the hotel-office death spiral that can so easily happen on a business trip.

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Coffee in Sydney - 12 Recommendations for a Caffeine Fix

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Sidewalk Safari: Sydney's Coffee Scene: 12 Recommendations for a Caffeine Fix
Sydney's Coffee Scene: 12 Recommendations for a Caffeine Fix
Reviews of some of the great coffee places in Sydney, Australia. Written by Dublin-based travel blogger, Jennifer (aka Dr. J) of Sidewalk Safari.
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