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Top 5 Cafes in Sydney CBD

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by Barry J (subscribe)
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Published January 30th 2017
The Best Things in Life Need Coffee
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Breakfast with friends (by Bowery Lane)


Like a kid in a candy store or a bull in a china shop, Sydneysiders love cafes. The best coffee, brewed perfectly and served courteously with sweet pastries, breakfast or lunch, can only truly be enjoyed in your favourite cafe. As new cafes magically appear almost weekly, start with this top 5 to find your favourite in Sydney's CBD.

Pablo & Rusty's - 161 Castlereagh St, Sydney (1 block east of Hyde Park) - (02) 9283 9543
On steamy summer days in coffee-obsessed Sydney, choose the Affogato or the nitrogen-infused chilled single origin. On every other day, grab a double shot black of single origin coffees, ranging from Tade GG, an Ethiopian bean with orange and honeydew flavour to the spicy caramel of the Pioneer espresso blend using beans from Sumatra, Honduras and Colombia. For breakfast, choose sweet with mango and chia pudding or savoury with oak smoked ocean trout with asparagus and wasabi. For lunch, choose the right sandwich to match the best coffee - soft-shell crab with mayo and cucumber on a brioche bun. P&R is open from 6.30am - 5pm weekdays and 8am - 3pm on Saturday.

Single O - 60-64 Reservoir St, Surry Hills (1 block east of Belmore Park) - (02) 9211 0665
Visit the home of the Juggler. Although it can't actually juggle, the clever machine can dispense milk during the brewing process, making for faster, more consistent coffees and proving that machines may be taking over. The baristas are still in charge though, delivering single origin coffee from Ethopia, Kenya, Peru and Ecuador using either espresso, aeropress, pour over or plunger brewing methods. With an all day menu, you can order black pudding with soft poached eggs and salad or burrata, a creamy mozzarella with nectarine and rocket for breakfast or lunch. Single O also serves the more conventional toast, muesli, burger and Reuben sandwich. Single O is open from 6.30am - 4pm weekdays and 7.30am - 3pm on Saturday.

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Coffee is served (by Pablo & Rusty's)


'noOk Urban Fresh Bar - 83 Clarence St, Sydney (1 block west of Wynyard) - (02) 9299 5050
'noOk focus on healthier choices, capturing all the latest superfoods in their menu. For breakfast, try the quinoa porridge with mascarpone and fresh figs or eggs on sourdough with mushroom, pumpkin or avocado. For lunch, the grilled lamb pita with snow peas, pistachio and tabouli or the naked veges burger with chickpea, guacamole, kiwi salsa and sweet potato chips are comfort foods without the guilty looks. For a treat, the halloumi cheese is grillled just right and black coffee, brewed from Sensory Lab beans, is the preferred choice for the commute home via the nearby bus stops and train station. 'noOk Urban Fresh Bar is open from 7am - 4pm weekdays.

Bowery Lane - Level 4, 1 O'Connell St, Sydney (2 blocks SW from Museum of Sydney) - (02) 9252 8017
Inspired by the rustic origins of New York's oldest thoroughfare, Bowery Lane's exposed brick, leather lounges and green glow from lamplight evoke 18th century nostalgia in 21st century Sydney. Before a morning cardio session, gulp the green power juice with apple, kale and mint. Or skip the gym and order the spanner crab omelette, Boy Scout poached eggs or smashed avocado on sourdough. For lunch, there's nothing wrong with the obvious New York Cheeseburger, but the ginger poached chicken salad with dukkah or tempura soft shell crab sandwich are other tempting sit-down options. Bowery Lane is open 7am - 5pm Mon, 7am - 10pm Tue - Wed, 7am - late on Thur, Fri and for weekend brunch or dinner and drinks on Saturday.

Cafe Sydney - 5th Floor, Customs House, Circular Quay - (02) 9251 8683
When you need a longer lunch, climb the stairs of Customs House for service and a menu to match the view of Sydney Harbour, admired at tables lit with elegant candles. Overlooking the ocean, seafood reigns in the menu, starting with Coffin Bay octopus with chorizo and eggplant or Moreton Bay bugs with mayo and lemon. For mains, try the Humpty Doo barramundi with cherry tomatoes and olives or grilled swordfish with artichoke. Finish with the raspberry parfait with almond nougat, paired with a Margaret River pink muscato wine. Visit the website to make a reservation. Cafe Sydney is open from 12pm - late weekdays, 5pm - late on Saturday and 12pm for lunch on Sunday.

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Breakfast Berry Bircher Muesli (by Bowery Lane)


Where is your go-to cafe? Please let us know with a comment.
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Why? For a refreshing escape in the CBD
When: From early till late
Where: Sydney's CBD
Your Comment
Which coffee shop have you tried out of the list? That breakfast Berry Bircher Muesli looks like the kind of brekky I'd like to try :)
by RC (score: 3|1221) 843 days ago
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