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10 of Sydney's best coffee shops

In a city that takes its coffee seriously, these cafés are known for serving up the perfect cup.

By Ute Junker

If you love good coffee, you have come to the right place. From lattes and flat whites to the power punch of a double espresso, Sydney offers many different ways to get your daily dose of caffeine. Whatever your drink of choice, these cafés are guaranteed to please even the most particular coffee connoisseur. 

The best places to get coffee in Sydney

Room 10, Potts Point

First, you have to find it: tucked down the pedestrian laneway of Llankelly Place, Room 10's location falls into the “hard to locate” category. Even then, if you are not paying attention you might walk right past this simple hole in the wall, where low stools are pushed up against tiny tables. That would be a shame. As well as dishing up delicious breakfasts, Room 10 is known for having some of the best coffee in the inner city.  

Gumption, Strand Arcade

Looking for a caffeine hit in the heart of town? Gumption has what you need. Situated in the city's lovely Strand Arcade, Gumption takes a back-to-basics approach to serving up coffee. There is no food menu, no high-tech machines and no attitude: just quality coffee served with a smile. Insider tip: on a hot day, the cold drip is the perfect way to cool down.

Bondi Hall, Bondi Beach

Everyone loves Bondi Beach, but the action doesn’t stop at the shoreline. The streets stretching back from the beach are filled with hidden gems, and Bondi Hall on Hall Street is one of the best. If you are lucky, one of the alfresco tables will be free when you arrive, leaving you perfectly positioned to enjoy a cup or two of quality coffee along with something from the ever-tempting menu: try the poached eggs with goats cheese and jamón.

Paramount Coffee Project, Surry Hills

Let’s be honest: this airy space is so inviting, we would probably still drop in even if the coffee was just passable. Fortunately for us, at the Paramount Coffee Project they know their beans. The café showcases a rotating selection of roasters from around the world, changing every four to six weeks. As a result, this is a great place to start the day with a coffee and a smashed avocado on toast.

Cabrito Coffee Traders, Circular Quay

Sightseeing can be hard work. If you find your energy flagging somewhere between the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, look for the tiny laneway known as Bulletin Place, where Cabrito Coffee Traders will provide you with a  pick-me-up. Look for the small goat logo above the door, or simply follow your nose – at Cabrito they roast their beans on-site.

Barefoot Coffee Traders, Manly

Sometimes, you want to sit down and relax over a cup of coffee. Sometimes, however, you just need a quality caffeine hit. That’s what Barefoot Coffee Traders in Manly does best. Don’t ask for decaf: they don’t serve it. Just enjoy your single origin coffee, wander down to the beach and wonder, does life get better than this?

South by Dukes, Barangaroo

You would expect Sydney’s newest dining district, Barangaroo, to have some seriously good coffee on offer and South by Dukes does not disappoint. This sleek café in the lobby of Tower One, is the first Sydney outpost of Melbourne’s well-loved Dukes Coffee Roasters, known for sourcing only sustainable and ethical beans.

The Grounds of Alexandria, Alexandria

One of Sydney’s favourite foodie playgrounds, The Grounds of Alexandria offers 1800 square metres (19,000 square feet) of gastronomic delights, from a café and a bakery to a vegetable garden. At its heart, however, is some serious coffee love, including an on-site roaster and even a coffee research facility.  

Celsius Coffee Co, Kirribilli Wharf

If the good folk of Kirribilli leap out of bed eagerly every morning, we know why. Not only can they take the ferry to work – one of the loveliest commutes in the world – but they can enjoy one of the best coffees in town on the way, courtesy of Celsius Coffee Co, which also dishes up a seriously tasty breakfast.

Campos Coffee, Newtown

This pocket-sized hotspot is the hub from which the successful Campos Coffee empire has grown, and few places are more efficient at serving coffee. The aroma of single origin coffee hovers above the Missenden Road premises, where a trio of well-trained staff seem to work in sync with the jazz soundtrack. They claim to make an astonishing 200 cups an hour and watching them work, we’re prepared to believe it.