A free-spirit studying psychology at the University of Sydney.
Published September 13th 2013
6 interesting places in Sydney to stop for coffee and a bite
Coffee culture is so much more than simply stopping and grabbing your dose of warm, caffeinated beverage. It has grown to be about the experience of sipping on that cuppa in cosy and often quite uniquely-tailored venues. Here are a few funky places that I have recently found that would be a nice visit for a perk up and to feed the munchies.
If you are enticed by the sound of coffee and an all-day breakfast menu in a place decorated with cute antiques and artworks, then you should pop into this little cafe of Newtown's quieter streets. If you visit by day you will experience an atmosphere that is equal in buzz to any place on King Street. At the same time, you get to enjoy the absent stream of traffic and commotion out the front.
If you visit by nightfall, you will more likely enjoy some extra serenity with your meal and cuppa brewed from their home-roasted beans - for a fun fact, these are known as 'The Marilyn'. In addition to coffee, you can indulge yourself in the organic hot chocolate that comes with a heavenly coconut marshmallow. You can also sip on a frappe, smoothie or speciality drink such as the '50's refresher' straight out of a mason jar - pretty quirky and cool.
Address: 10 Wilson Street, Newtown Phone: 9517 1932 Open: Mon - Fri 7am - 6pm. Sat / Sun 8am - 5.30pm Website www.vargabarnewtown.com.au
Also in the vicinity of King Street is the artisan pie bakery and cafe called The Pie Tin. Prepare yourself for some tough choices as there is a large variety of sweet and savoury handmade pies on offer. Just to give you a hypothetical taste, the savoury list includes classic steak and kidney, North African roast lamb, and cauliflower and zucchini pies. The sweet ones include date and walnut pie, some scrumptious pumpkin pie and an Oreo pie that I am yet to try but am making imperative for next visit. On top of this you will probably see new flavours of pies on offer with each visit, meaning one visit to this bohemian little 'tin' is not enough. The set-up in the place is great - there is a large table occupying the centre of the room which you will more than likely share with others. I love how this encourages a communal enjoyment for the creation and consumption of pies.
North African flavoured pie
Pumpkin pie and Passionfruit cream pie with frangipani flavouring
Glebe Point Road is filled with small, gorgeous cafes (a handful of which I have written about in a previous article). One I only recently discovered among this array is Wellco, aka the Well Connected Cafe. The cafe and its cosy vibe spans two-stories, the few secluded rooms that the terrace house contains, and an open air veranda providing a lovely view of the picturesque European-looking street - with the views extending to Victoria park. The private and sort of studious theme to the upstairs rooms make Wellco an appealing place for an intimate coffee catchup, or for those who want a new environment to get some work done or engross yourself in a book. There's a great list of tasty accompaniments to whatever it is you are doing; with modern Australian menu items such as the tasty and generously filled paninis and the caesar salad. My favourite things off the menu though are the frappes. They come in a range of fruity and dairy-based flavours, and similarly to Varga they are served out of glass jars which makes for a more colourful drinking experience.
Address: 35 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe
Phone: 9566 2655
Open: Mon-Fri 7:30 am - 10 pm. Sat 7:30 am - 11:30 pm. Sun 8 am - 10 pm
Located on a narrow Manly street, Barefoot is barely the size of a room. The place was much smaller than what I anticipated, and I am tempted to call it more of a hole in the wall with barely enough space to sit. That's not to say the wallpaper, timber theme, and tree stumps around the parameter of the room don't make for a quirky location worth experiencing.
The coffee is fair-trade, organic, and delicious. The chai is also commendable. There is not much to munch on but if you a sugar and chocolate-lover, you have to order their Belgian waffles. The chocolate-drizzled waffles were definitely the highlight of this place for me - they were equally as good, if not better than those at Max Brenners.
Nestled in with the heritage finger wharves of Walsh Bay and attached to the famous Sydney Dance Company is the Sydney Dance Lounge - a cafe by day and restaurant by nightfall. Just like the company does with the art of dance, the venue fuses classic with contemporary. It was quite a funky place to pitstop by for a pleasant mocha in the course of a lovely walk around the piers. When you visit feel free to check out the rest of the dance school and also be sure to head to the end of the wharf for a gorgeous view of the Harbour Bridge.
Grab your passport and take a small trip to a miniature Vietnam. Misschu Sydney by Bondi Beach (other outlets in the CBD and Darlinghurst) offered us the experience of coffee and crepes in a modern day Vietnamese village. This concept cafe was founded and created by Nga Chu, aka 'The Queen of Rice Paper Rolls'. The menu contains an array of Vietnamese canapés. It also has a very frothy and sweet chai latte, and some delicious French crepes - I know, random considering this is an oriental restaurant.
Misschu's oriental feel
Address: 178 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach NSW 2026
Phone: 8356 9988 (Darlinghurst) or 9331 0029 (CBD) or 9365 7762 (Bondi)
Open: 11am till late 7 days