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Salvage Specialty Coffee

Home > Sydney > Cafes
by Christian Bryce (subscribe)
A freelance writer with a passion for music, fitness and fashion.
Published July 26th 2013
Hidden hipster treasure on the North Shore
coffee, specialty coffee, long black
Barista's choice

No longer the exclusive domain of experts and hipsters, specialty coffee has hit the mainstream in Sydney. Cafes and espresso bars offering the finest premium coffee from around the world have been popping up all throughout the city in recent years. Salvage Specialty Coffee in Artarmon is one such venue, meeting the needs of North Shore residents who want a little more than just a caffeine fix.

Nestled behind Artarmon station, Salvage is a grungy little hidden treasure. Every aesthetic element of the store has been meticulously thought through, ironically to give it a "just thrown together" look. The rusted sign, metal-framed furniture and steel sheeting give Salvage an industrial inner city vibe and the staff look like they all got lost on their way to the Newtown festival.

In spite of this, it is easily the friendliest, most welcoming shop front in the area. This is achieved by keeping things simple and focusing on getting the important things right: coffee, food and service.


I started my Salvage experience off by ordering a long black. When my coffee arrived I was told that it was from Guatemala – it was a nice touch, showing real coffee knowledge and expertise. It was one of the best coffees I had ever tasted and the first sip had me knowing I would be back and making recommendations. There are plenty of cafes around claiming to make amazing coffee and Salvage follows through – it was not hard to tell that an expert had made my beverage from beans grown by an expert.


Great coffee is even better when it is served with great food and Salvage does not disappoint in that department. A quick glance at the menu told to expect the standard café options. I ordered a poached egg with jamon and crushed pistachios, served on toasted brioche. If that sounds like a dish that would fit in well at a gourmet restaurant, it looked and tasted like one, too. For a specialty coffee venue, Salvage has made a point of offering food that will keep a wide variety of customers coming back for me. It was reasonably priced, too – my meal was only $12.


Even with such spectacular food and coffee on offer, the service was the highlight of my Salvage experience. I could tell that the staff not only loved coffee but also loved serving it to people. A stand out moment was when I asked for a second coffee and the barista told me he would "make something exciting" for me. It was really great to see someone getting excited about the product and helping others to enjoy it, too.

Salvage Specialty Coffee in Artarmon really does have something for everyone – an inner city vibe, convenient location and amazing coffee, food and service. Anyone looking to try somewhere new this weekend should look no further.

Image from Joshua K Photography.
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Why? Because you don't have to cross the Bridge for great coffee.
When: Any weekend
Where: 5 Wilkes Ave, Artarmon
Cost: Food averages out at about $12
Your Comment
Inner West is the Inner West and the North Shore is the North Shore. Diversity is good. I prefer cosmopolitan to plain old vanilla. Diversity is good as is identity.
by skwee (score: 1|21) 2736 days ago
Only open on the weekends? Hope not. Sounds like a haven whenever it is needed and not just saved for the weekend!
by dee_e (score: 1|20) 2734 days ago
Open all week!
by Christian Bryce (score: 0|3) 2734 days ago
Visited SSC on the weekend and it was amazing coffee, food and service! A great spot and we were made to feel so welcome, sharing a bench table with others! Will return and recommend! Best coffee I have ever had! I agree with the writer that the waiters and Barista's are proud and happy to be there making our visit a pleasure!
by bandi (score: 1|16) 2731 days ago
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