Australia / Coffee / Food / New South Wales

Sydney’s Coolest Cafés and Coffee Shops

My gosh it’s hard to do a round up post of the coolest cafés and coffee shops in Sydney. I swear a new one opens every week and I’m so fickle my faves change as often as I eat cake. But for the sake of brevity, I’ve selected my very top picks in different parts of Sydney and present them to you now.

Devon On Danks

Devon On Danks is a new(ish) offering in Waterloo from the people behind Devon Café near Sydney Central. Occupying an airy warehouse space, it’s a bright and friendly place to hang out and particularly popular with those who like sweet treats with an Asian twist. (Red Bean and Matcha cronut anyone?)

The pale pink doughnut balls and crazy-flavoured cronuts at Devon On Danks, creations of pastry chef Markus Andrew who has trained with Adriano Zumbo and Le Cordon Bleu, draw in the instagrammers and food bloggers from all over Sydney. Also turning heads is their soft serve salted caramel ice cream served with fries (not my cup of tea but each to their own!).

Image by Devon Cafe

Colourful cronuts at Devon On Danks in Waterloo, Sydney

Colourful cronuts at Devon On Danks in Waterloo, Sydney

Find it: 2 Danks Street, Waterloo

Grounds Of Alexandria

The Grounds Of Alexandria is one of my all-time favourite coffee spots in Sydney. Not just a café, the Grounds is a garden, restaurant, coffee roaster, food market and petting zoo combined.

Taking over an old pie factory in Alexandria, The Grounds have created a hip hangout in an industrial suburb. The coffee is good, food delicious, but it’s the atmosphere (and maybe also Kevin Bacon the resident pig!) that people flock here for.

grounds of alexandria

Dining at The Grounds Cafe

grounds of alexandria

Fresh juice at the weekend market

Find it: Building 7A, 2 Huntley Street, Alexandria

Bread & Circus

Bread & Circus is the organic café with the pale pink crockery that I’ve whittled on about here before. Their brunch menu is particularly strong (think: super bowls and ‘biodynamic’ eggs) but I can’t visit without ordering the flourless pancakes served with caramelised banana, strawberries and ricotta.

Brunch at Bread & Circus

My dish of choice. Always.

Find it: 21 Fountain Street, Alexandria

Nan’s Place

Nan’s Place is one of those true local gems that you wouldn’t know about unless you lived down the road. Luckily for me I’m a local and lucky for you I’m willing to tell you about it.

This sunny corner café, named after the owner’s gran, is a charming mix of tiles, crates and chandeliers. The menu features seasonal specials as well as some incredible milkshakes involving the likes of pumpkin pie. The coffee is by Reuben Hills and the café has a cute cushioned bench for you to perch on whilst you wait to take it away.

Nan's Place Zetland

In a sunny spot – Nan’s Place, Zetland

Nan's Place Zetland

You must try their chai!

Find it: 2a Portman Street, Zetland

Three Williams

On the borders of Redfern and Surry Hills is this art-strewn warehouse serving all day breakfast. Pleasingly spacious for a Sydney café, Three Williams is a great shout for coffee meetings or brunch dates with a group of people.

My brunch dish of choice is the grilled chorizo and haloumi stack, or the brioche French toast with fresh berries, or the pork shoulder, or the beef brisket.. (You get the idea. Find the full menu here!)

Three Williams Redfern

Artwork at Three Williams, Redfern

Three Williams Redfern

Heart the coffee

Find it: 613a Elizabeth St, Redfern

Ampersand Cafe Bookstore

It’s not so much the coffee that gets me excited about Ampersand as what they choose to serve it with – books, lots of books (about 30,000 to be exact!).

Above the ‘recommended reads’ staircase at their Paddington location, you’ll find small vintage-style rooms lined with bookshelves and sporting velvet armchairs (pretty much how I imagine my house of the future to look). The front room upstairs has a lovely window seat overlooking the street. Watch out for the box of bargain books near the front door as you leave.

Ampersand Cafe and Bookstore

Books glorious books at Ampersand, Paddington

Ampersand Cafe and Bookstore

Tea cup rings are not a problem here!

Find it: 78 Oxford Street, Paddington

Coffee Box Espresso

Until a few weeks ago if you’d asked me to recommend a good place to get coffee in Darling Harbour I would have been stumped. But now that’s changed thanks to young entrepreneur and coffee fanatic, Vasili Doukakis, the creator of Coffee Box.

FullSizeRender (87)

Vasili and team at Coffee Box Espresso

Your coffee is served at Cofee Box Espresso

Your coffee is served at Cofee Box Espresso

Perched on the side of Pyrmont Bridge the Coffee Box is in the perfect position for tourists and coffee lovers looking for a good fix on their way into the city. I also highly recommend the banana bread which is baked fresh daily by Vasili’s mum!

Note there is no seating at the Coffee Box but you can hang out on the counter or take your coffee away to drink by the harbour.

Find it: At the beginning of Pyrmont Bridge, Harbourside, Darling Harbour

I could on for much longer about all the great coffee, cake and brunch spots in Sydney. In fact, I did, in this little eBook I published here! To find out more about what’s in the book and what other’s are saying about it, click here.

Buy It Now:

Further Reading:

Cake Lover’s Guide To Sydney

Melbourne’s Coolest Cafés and Coffee Shops

Girl Tweets World Complete Guide To Sydney

About Author

I'm a full time blogger with a passion for travel and interiors. A travel blogger for 12+ years, I took a course on interior styling during the pandemic when travel was not an option. I now run 2 Instagram accounts - @jayneytravels, which covers authentic, affordable luxury escapes and @ourtravelhome which is all about decorating our new build home with a modern rustic style.


  • Katie
    May 21, 2015 at 5:49 am

    Oh man, I feel the same way about choosing my favorite cafés in Melbourne. Definitely saving this for a future trip to Sydney (haven’t been yet!). Ampersand looks like pretty much everything I’ve ever dreamed of, seriously.

    • Jayne Gorman
      May 21, 2015 at 6:11 am

      If they’d let me move in, I would!

      Hope you get a chance to visit Sydney soon 🙂

    • Toni - Reclaiming Your Future
      June 3, 2015 at 3:39 am

      If you like Ampersand and you’re in Bondi sometime; check out Alice and Gertrude; super cute book store with yummy food and great atmosphere 🙂

  • Amanda @ Positively Amanda
    May 21, 2015 at 10:46 am

    These cafes are so cute!

  • Heather
    May 21, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Jayne, you are my go-to-girl for new spots I should try on the upcoming trip. Although I may not be able to enjoy a meal with my current food restrictions, simply knowing they’re there and popping in for a coffee may be in order.

    • Jayne Gorman
      May 24, 2015 at 8:14 am

      Hi Heather, I hope that you will be surprised by the amount of cafes that offer delicious natural/raw treats at the moment. Also if you can drink almond milk you should be able to enjoy a few smoothies and lattes too 🙂

  • Hannah
    May 21, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    these places look great! Particularly the book shop – I always love cafés with book-lined walls!

    • Jayne Gorman
      May 24, 2015 at 8:15 am

      Me too – and this one has A LOT of them!

  • Shane
    May 24, 2015 at 9:46 am

    LOVE the Grounds! Will have to check out the others 🙂

  • Jodie Young
    May 29, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    These all look awesome. If and when I get back to Sydney I will definitely be trying them out 🙂

  • […] Sydney’s coolest cafes and coffee shops – Jayne Gorman […]

  • Terri @ Little Wanderings
    June 2, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    This is fabulous! I feel like I’m adding so much to my Sydney To-Do list of late. I’ve been so dying to see The Grounds of Alexandria, and Ampersand sounds like heaven! Yep, I think a little trip is definitely on the cards…

    Congratulations on the LP Pathfinders feature too! 🙂

  • Mima Isono
    June 15, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Those coffees look delicious even though seem slightly too light in colour. Are they decaff? Here in Tokyo, people love dark coffee even with a lot of milk the colour is very dark.

    Those danks in doughnut are mouthwatering.

    • Jayne Gorman
      June 16, 2015 at 12:59 am

      They’re not decaff. I think we drink our lattes very milky over here – or at least I do! I can’t wait to visit Tokyo one day.

  • […] For more on the best cafes in Sydney, check out my friend Jayne’s post on Sydney’s Coolest Cafes and Coffee Shops.  […]

  • Sinead Lodge
    September 15, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    This makes me grieve for Sydney!! I miss it! Grounds of Alexandria is too good to be true 🙂 Love it!

    • Jayne Gorman
      September 16, 2015 at 12:53 am

      It is pretty cool 🙂

  • Hanny
    October 29, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    Oh wow! These are some great places. I will definitely be checking some of these places out, when I go to Sydney. Thank you for sharing with us!

    • Jayne Gorman
      November 8, 2015 at 11:12 pm

      You’re welcome – happy cafe hopping 🙂

  • Dominique
    February 5, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    You have to try Savta! Amazing Israeli coffee shop in Bondi Junction x


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