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Kelby's Cafe, Surry Hills

Home > Sydney > Breakfast | Brunch | Cafes | Food and Wine | Lunch
by Gypsy Rose (subscribe)
I am a travel writer and photographer with a passion for the great outdoors and food! I love travelling and discovering hidden gems... experience the journey on Instragram! @gypsy_compass
Published April 3rd 2019
This homey cafe offers friendly vibes & delicious food

Kelby's Cafe is located in Surry Hills and has the motto 'Feel at home at Kelby's! Cosy and friendly vibe, delicious food and beautiful coffee'... and true to that motto they are!

Conveniently located within an easy and short 4-minute walk from Central Train Station and without the price tag of Inner City cafes, Kelby's is one cafe I will certainly return back to.

Upon arrival, we were greeted with a smile and friendliness. The vibe was relaxing and comfy and the food was absolutely tasteful.

Kelby's Cafe was created to make you feel like you are coming home. Owner, Moe Issa combines fresh ingredients and inspiration from his own background. He created a unique menu which includes their addictive Kelby's Hash, and their famous Lebanese and Egyptian breakfasts with flavours from Moe's childhood.

Quoted by Moe "It's not just a cafe, it's my craft. I built this from the ground up; everything you see and taste has been selected carefully and with love" and this was not hard to believe. His craft was executed with precision; the food was scrumptious, fresh and featured twists to classic dishes as well as unique and Middle Eastern influences. We were transformed into a glorious food wonderland.

The daily specials board...

Kelby's Cafe in Surry Hills is not afraid to stand out from other cafes that call Elizabeth Street home. They offer innovative, creative and tantalising food offerings that are different from your standard cafe-style menus.

Decor / Ambience:

From the outside, Kelby's Cafe looks like a takeaway shop and once you enter you cannot help but notice the fresh and charming modern touches.

The fun & quirky mural of the owner...

Stepping further inside the cafe, you notice that Moe has worked hard to distract you from the hustle and bustle of Elizabeth Street. The faux brick walls, a gaggle of exposed Edison hanging over a large central table, lush green plant walls and the backdrop of a cheeky mural of the owner adds character and a touch of quirkiness to the cosy and relaxed decor and vibes.

The decor presented fresh, welcoming, homey and tranquil vibes and the mural is a brilliant addition to the decor as it shows that this cafe also knows how to have fun!


The menu is contemporary filled with unique flavours, twists on classics with an extensive all-day breakfast and lunch menu that offers tantalising and exotic flavours from the Middle East with a good number of Lebanese and Egyptian inspired items.

The menu also includes your regular cafe favourites, burgers and wraps, small bites featuring croissant and pastries, make your own omelette, salad menu and an extensive beverage menu.

There are daily specials and deals too.


After perusing the mouth-watering menu we opted for the popular Eggocado ($18.90) and from the lunch menu- The Klassic Beef Burger ($14.90) and we decided to have it Hawaiian-style by adding bacon, egg and pineapple ($16.90).

The Eggocado & Klassic Beef Burger

The Eggocado featured one egg baked in half avocado, crispy double smoked bacon, crumbled Danish feta, tomato salsa and rocket on a sourdough.

The Eggocado...

I was excited about the Eggocado dish. It sounded different, unique and I was intrigued by how it was going to be presented and taste like (of course).

I had the honour to meet the chef and take photographs of his craft at the open-kitchen bar. Once it arrived, I certainly was impressed with the presentation; it was colourful, playful and looked like it was going to be a hearty brekkie dish (with modern touches) that will make me come back for more.

This dish was certainly one that must be tried at Kelby's. All the components (in a forkful together) was just heavenly, not one ingredient overpowered or under delivered, the flavours and textures worked in unison together creating the perfect marriage of a gastronomic experience.

The egg was cooked perfectly with the yolk running down the sides of the deliciously baked avocado and the bacon was cooked just how I like it-double crispy! The crunch and texture of the bacon united with the gentle softness of the avocado and the fresh ingredients of the tomato, Spanish onion, and the creamy feta with the peppery rocket was a parade of culinary delight in my mouth.

The flavours and textures from the Eggocado dish danced together, making this dish one that I will not get sick of eating daily. It packed quite a punch!

The quirky name 'Eggocato' was just that, a quirky, fun and surprisingly a homey dish that was true to its name with the 'egg' and 'avocado'. It was truly a wonderful dish that awakened my senses to the world of great, fresh food.

The Klassic Beef Burger with a homemade premium beef patty, cheddar cheese, fresh tomato, caramelised onion, lettuce and aioli served on a milk brioche bun with the addition of egg, bacon and pineapple was a burger not to be messed with!

The Klassic Beef Burger with Hawaiian extras...

When I think of a burger, it cannot be eaten with grace, it has to be eaten caveman-style where the sauce oozes down my fingers and the patty is juicy, seasoned and cooked to perfection. The bread has to be soft and the fillings need to be fresh and complement the patty.

I can confidently say that this Klassic Beef Burger got my tick of approval on my ideal burger. I can still taste the seasoning from the beef patty! It was seasoned so well, with hints of Middle Eastern spices, joined with it being cooked to perfection. It was the ultimate mouth-watering culinary experience I have had from a cafe to date!

The egg was cooked perfectly too (runny) and the bacon was so crispy, it added the perfect texture to the burger. The aioli was creamy, saucy and packed a punch, combined with the melted cheddar cheese and fresh tomato and lettuce, it was one burger that satisfied the taste buds and made you crave for another one.

Both dishes, overall, produced and presented a tasteful experience, and I will definitely be back to explore the rest of Kelby's menu...


For drinks, we ordered a Banana Smoothie ($8) and Coffee Frappe ($6.90).

The Banana Smoothie- milk, yoghurt, ice-cream and honey was refreshing and complemented the Eggocato dish. However, it was a slight let down as the bananas were not ripened and the astringent, rough, bitter-like texture and taste was not pleasant.

The honey was certainly present and the creamy, smooth thick texture was easy to drink.

The Banana Smoothie & Coffee Frappe...

Overall, it was all it promised to be, besides the bananas not being ripe enough (according to my taste buds).

The Coffee Frappe- double espresso blended with milk, crushed ice and your choice of syrup (we chose hazelnut) was quite a pleasant coffee drink. It was strong with warming notes from the hazelnut syrup and being ice-cold it was a great match to the Klassic Beef Burger.

The acidity was desirable with a crisp, sharp and pleasant aftertaste. It was a great pick-me-up drink.

Overall, my experience at Kelby's Cafe was great, from the cosy and pleasant atmosphere and decor to the quirky mural and scrumptious food.

The decor and food distracted you from the noise and crowds outside and was the perfect brunch escape from the hustle and bustle of Sydney's city life.
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*Gypsy Rose was invited as a guest
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Why? An inner city cafe with Middle Eastern- inspired menu
When: Monday-Friday: 7am-3:30pm, Saturday: 8am-2pm & Sunday: Closed
Phone: (02) 7901 2359
Where: 1/414-418 Elizabeth St, Surry Hills
Your Comment
Great pictures! Congrats on the silver award.
by Michael Genrich (score: 3|1598) 288 days ago
any place that needs a skewer to stop a high tower of hamburger/food from falling over - Instagram-ready but not ready for a human mouth - I'm gonna avoid.

I don't want to spend time working out how to safely deconstruct a tower of food so it doesn't fall into my lap. I want to pick it up and eat it. That or nothing.
by ultim (score: 2|112) 286 days ago
Those dishes look incredible.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12512) 286 days ago
Nice article Gypsy Rose.
by May Cross (score: 3|5545) 287 days ago
Thank you, Michael Grenrich :)
by Gypsy Rose (score: 2|510) 288 days ago
Thank you, May Cross :)
by Gypsy Rose (score: 2|510) 286 days ago
They certainly were! Thank you, Bryony Harrison :)
by Gypsy Rose (score: 2|510) 285 days ago
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