Freelance writer, traveller, foodie and graphic designer living at the gateway of the Yarra Valley and Melbourne's green belt suburbs..
Published March 2nd 2011
The Rocks in Sydney is already well-established as a premier tourist destination, a historic drawcard and a must-see on any self-respecting tourist's list of things to do. Yet unlike funkier precincts like Surry Hills or Paddington, The Rocks isn't yet known for its strong, close knit coffee loving café society. Instead, it's erstwhile reputation is that of being a haven for over exuberant pub going crowds and attracting unseemly types into the neighbourhood. However Danieli Cafe at the Clock Tower Centre on Harrington Street is doing its best to change that reputation.
Smiling staff, good service and not bad coffee make for a pleasant experience and a happy rest-stop for the blistered foot. Recharge with one of the best "long black(s)" around or, as they say yonder, "Americano" ($3.50) or, in my case, a "soy latte" ($4.50) and enjoy the historic surrounds. Indulge in a relaxed coffee break while engaging in a spot of people watching on the covered outdoor terrace that is conveniently located on the corner of Harrington and Argyle Streets.
As you sip, reflect for a moment on the colourful past of this small and historic precinct, the audacity of pioneers long gone and the legacies they left behind, like the rows of two ups-two downs (terraces) on Harrington Street and around. No less colourful is Danieli's clean-cut barista who quit his day job as a kick-ass lawyer to, as he put it, "serve the people."
Celebrity spotting is part for the course, I'm told, so don't rule out bumping into Guy Sebastian (he's on the honor wall). With the low-key yet posh Observatory Hotel nearby – which just happens to be the favoured Sydney digs for visiting A-listers – I wouldn't rule out bumping into Madge or Gwyneth either. Hmm...
For more on The Rocks's colourful past, read about the "The Rocks Push". Check out the best coffee in Sydney at Cafe Danieli's website and note Sydney Morning Herald's mention for having the "best coffee" in Sydney. Now that's something! What's more is that they make their own blends. I'm a devotee. Oh, also, I wouldn't miss out on the Canoli if I were you, it's oh-so-good!