Cafes and Bakeries in Sydney

Cafes and Bakeries in Sydney

Written by Heather

Topics: Eats & Sweets

The year in Australia was one of food exploration (and consumption), and nowhere was this more true than Sydney. This post is the 4th in the “Eat Sydney” series and was preceded by burgers, gelato, and Asian cuisine.

Six months, a modest budget, and ever shrinking pants certainly limited the number of cafes and bakeries I could visit in Sydney :-) While I wasn’t able to try all the hot spots Urbanspoon and Sydney food bloggers raved about, I certainly enjoyed coffees, brunches, and sweets from the places below.

Cafe Ish
82 Campbell Street, Surry Hills

Cafe Ish became my local in Sydney. Once again, thanks to the city’s food blogging community, I learned about Cafe Ish months before I ever set foot inside. I knew to expect a Mod Oz and Japanese fusion menu from chef/owners Josh and Ai. I knew to ask permission before taking photos — Josh’s house rule and he means it! What I didn’t know is that every meal I’d ever have at Cafe Ish would be spot on and a true delight. Josh and his crew always served a beautiful brunch, and I was happy to suggest the cafe for meetings with friends time and time again.

I sampled quite a few items from the menu (again, all of them flawlessly executed) but managed to select a favorite sweet and savory dish:
Emperor Don (not currently on the menu):
Toasted brioche, lemon myrtle ricotta, sake scented rosella and raspberries with passionfruit
Crab omelette:
Kara age soft shell crab, avocado, shallot, garlic, chilli, soy, ginger dressing and lime

I took plenty of photos at Ish, but will just share two (the first is from the phone but it’s too pretty not to share)!

Zen Zai don (chilled fruits, macadamia syrup, red beans, rosella jelly, rice dumplings)
Cafe Ish: Zen Zai don

Ish’s signature coffee, the wattle maccacino
Cafe Ish: Wattle maccacino

Cordelia’s Cafe
586 Darling St, Rozelle

Rozelle is a suburb in the city’s Inner West and is home to one of Adriano Zumbo’s cafes. If that wasn’t enough reason to visit, Darling St runs straight through the heart of Rozelle and is home to charming, trendy, and busy street cafes. Of the many days I ventured to Rozelle, I only checked out the cafe scene once — but it was a tasty trip.

Chicken, pesto & brie sandwich (oven baked chicken thigh fillet, basil pesto, brie, spanish onion, roasted capsicum and lettuce on toasted organic olive focaccia)
Cordelia's Cafe, Rozelle

Big Brekky
Shop 1, 316 Stanmore Road, Petersham

The first time I went to Big Brekky, I walked right past it. The store front is simple and on a road with empty shops and rows of homes — it’s unfortunately easy to miss.

As the stand out cafe in my home suburb of Petersham, I introduced visitors from home to the Inner West by taking them to Big Brekky.

One of my first food photos in Oz! Fruit spelt toast with ricotta, bananas, strawberries and honey.
Fruit spelt with ricotta & fresh fruit at Big Brekky

Bourke Street Bakery
Several locations — I recommend the original at 633 Bourke Street, Surry Hills

Food bloggers and locals spoke highly of Bourke Street Bakery — the bakery even has its own (super thick) cook book! Sadly it was too heavy for me to carry home.

Dark chocolate and raspberry muffin
Dark chocolate & raspberry muffin at Bourke Street Bakery

The best items I tried from the bakery were their pork & fennel sausage roll and the strawberry vanilla brulee tart. Oh the tart!! The pastry base, the thin layer of strawberry, the vanilla custard, and the perfectly crispy, crunchy top worked together like a dream.

Black Star Pastry
277 Australia St, Newtown

Black Star was one of the first places I visited when I moved to Sydney, thanks to Adam’s introductory “Inner West Coffee Crawl”. We slowly sipped our coffes, split the much-beloved strawberry and watermelon cake, and chatted in the small indoor seating area.

Blueberry & raspberry danish and a “ginger ninja” — ginger cookie coated in chocolate
Black Star Pastry: Blueberry & raspberry danish and ginger ninja

There are so many more places worthy of highlighting in Sydney, and these are just a few of the places I visited. If you live in Sydney or are planning a trip, I recommend a meal, coffee, or snack at any of the above :-)

20 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Oh gosh I wanta be at an Aussie bakery right now!!!

  2. WoW! Now that’s some decadent dining. Whenever I finish a backpacking trip I love the kinds of delectable delights one can find back home in places like the US, Canada & Australia. They really know how to do goodies properly :)

    • Heather says:

      I need to mention it more often in my posts, but I don’t eat most of this stuff alone…I have a partner or two in crime to share dishes with so we can actually try all of these things without being completely unhealthy O:-) I have never explored food the way I did in Australia!

  3. jade says:

    that fruit french toast thing will always haunt me- i want one of those now!!

  4. Mmm went to Big Brekky on my bday! Had the gorgeous fruit plate.

  5. Nicole says:

    Just went to Black Star Pastry (again!) today & got the Vegan chocolate cake with passionfruit icing – mmmm! Super moist & delicious. :) I have yet to try the strawberry & watermelon cake (they’ve been out both times I’ve gone since I returned to Sydney), but it’s on my list! Can’t wait to get back to Big Brekky one of these days!

  6. Seeing the amazing coffee I want one right now even though I don’t usually drink it!

  7. Annie says:

    Oooo Heather can you please point me in the direction of these food blogs?? I need to go to pretty much every single place you have been to!

    • Heather says:

      Sure thing — will email you a list of the ones I read most regularly :-) (and most folks are on Twitter too)

  8. Adam @ SitDownDisco says:

    Great selection. There is nothing better than cafe perfection. I love to go around and be a critic of almost all places, but when I get put in my place by a cafe or bakery that does everything right, it’s a fantastic feeling! Black Star FTW!

  9. Megan says:

    Aside from Bourke St I haven’t actually been to any of these – thanks for the heads up, will have to try them when I get home.

  10. Chris says:

    I’m so ashamed that the only one of these I’ve been to (Cafe Ish) was only because you took me there. Totally agree on the amazing king crab omelet though. Does he know you took photos? :-p

    I’ll have to check out the others sometime soon.

    • Heather says:

      Hahaha — the coffee photo I took on the first visit. Josh wasn’t there, but I asked our server and she said it was okay ;-) The photo of the meal was taken with you, and I took it with my phone…I think I asked that time but I also figure he knew me by that point O:-)

  11. Heather says:

    I lost 3-5 pounds in my first few months in Oz but then gained probably 10 from there throughout the course of the year O:-) Eating lots in London this week won’t help out!

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