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Cafe Ism Newtown

Home > Sydney > Breakfast | Brunch | Cafes | Coffee | Vegetarian
by Jade Jackson (subscribe)
Author of Drunk Love Sober Death and Compass. I'm also a podcaster. Find all my work here >>
Published March 30th 2017
Excellent coffee, great food, speedy service ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Cafe Ism, Newtown, Coffee, Breakfast, cafe, Newtown, People watching, brunch, smashed avo
Cafe ism, Newtown.

As King Street overflows because real estate has become scarce, there has been a growing trend of old corner shops being revived into cafes. One such place, tucked away from the hubbub of Newtown, is Cafe ism.

Cafe ism is a panoramic suburban sanctuary with high bar tables, and open windows overlooking Hollis park. It's on the corner of Wilson and Randle Street and both are lined with thick trees, bursting out of the ashfelt.

Staff seemed genuinely pleased to be there with friendly smiles all round. The menu covered most bases (light, healthy, vegetarian, big breakfast) including a few specials (Bacon & Egg Roll $8.50 or B.L.A.T $12).

I ordered the Halloumi Stack ($16) with smashed avocado on organic toasted sourdough which was topped off with two poached eggs. I added a side of bacon for an extra $4 which was a generous serve.

Cafe Ism Newtown, Newtown, Brunch, coffee, cafe, smashed avo, people watching
Cafe ism, Newtown.

Taking a seat at one of the windows, the waitress put down a bottle of water and glass without me asking. It's amazing how many cafes neglect this simple gesture which makes for a pleasant experience.

There was music playing but it didn't detract from the laid back vibe and the openness of the cafe meant you could hear the swishing of autumn leaves without actually sitting outside.

In less than ten minutes my meal and coffee arrived. Admittedly I was there on a Friday morning and it was quiet but speedy service is always appreciated.

Halloumi Stack, Cafe Ism, Newtown, Brunch, Smashed Avo, Poached egg, People watching
Halloumi stack with smashed avocado on organic sourdough (with added bacon) at Cafe ism, Newtown.

I'm a fussy egg eater and it's rare for a cafe to cook eggs to my liking no matter how detailed the instructions; however much to my surprise (especially as I forgot to advise my requests) the eggs were poached to perfection. Soft enough to be spreadable but not undercooked.

The halloumi was piled high on a bed of baby spinach and there was a drizzle of aioli which added a hint of richness.

The coffee was excellent. Often in Sydney, I receive coffee that is too hot to drink (or hold). At Cafe ism, it was strong with a slightly bitter, chocolatey aftertaste and served at just the right temperature. Not so hot I couldn't drink it, but hot enough to remain warm whilst I ate my breakfast.

Menu at Cafe ism, Newtown, brunch, coffee, smashed avocado, poached egg, bacon
Breakfast and brunch menu at Cafe ism, Newtown.

There is on-street parking available (1 hour) and I managed a park right outside, although I'd imagine on the weekends parking might be more difficult. It's walking distance from Macdonaldtown station and also Carriageworks.

Overall, I found it difficult to fault Cafe ism with its speedy service, well-priced menu, friendly staff, tasty food, excellent coffee and pleasant views. Definitely worth seeking out.

Outdoor seating, cafe ism, Newtown, specials blackboard, brunch, people watching, bacon, poached egg, smashed avocado
Brunch specials include a bacon & egg roll for $8.50 at Cafe ism, Newtown.
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Why? Fantastic cafe in a tree lined suburban street.
When: Sat-Sun 08:30am - 3:00pm, Mon-Fri 7:00am - 3:00pm
Phone: (02) 9519 1166
Where: 187 Wilson street Newtown
Cost: meals range from $5 up to $19. EFTPOS accepted.
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