Paddington’s vibrant coffee scene is one of the reasons why 2021 is one of Sydney’s most coveted (and exclusive) postcodes – check out 10 of the top cafés in the neighbourhood.
You can’t walk down the street in Paddington without stumbling on a great café waiting to take your order, from the crowded shopfronts of Oxford St to the leafy laneways that snake off Sydney’s premier shopping strip. Whether you’re looking for a cutting-edge roast or an old-school Italian espresso, here are 10 terrific places to grab a coffee in this salubrious inner-city suburb.
Cafe, Contemporary, $$$
Brunch at Morris
Occupying an airy street corner behind UNSW’s Art and Design Campus, Morris is the second café opened by Georgia Woodyard and Anne Cooper from Scout’s Honour in Redfern, bringing their huge sandwiches and cookies to the punters in Paddington. Order a Five Senses Espresso and grab a seat at the huge street-front windows to watch the world go by outside.
‘Sonder’ is a word coined by author John Koenig, referring to the realisation that everyone lives a life that’s as vivid and complex as your own. And there’s no better place in Paddington to ponder sonder than the pavement outside this Five Ways café, the perfect people-watching spot to tuck into a modern Australian menu and sip on a coffee supplied by Double Roasters.
Oxford St is Sydney’s busiest shopping strip but you’ll feel a world away from it all in a quiet corner of this bookstore café. Ampersand is Paddington’s favourite second-hand book shop, and the pre-loved tomes provide a charming backdrop for a cup of coffee from Little Marionette and a sweet treat from the irresistible pastry cabinet.
This Oxford St hole-in-the-wall is a seriously minimalist space – we’re talking a timber table, a concrete bench, and a smattering of stools – so there’s nothing to steal your attention away from the seriously good coffee coming out of the machine. Thirty Coffee is the brainchild of Single O alumnus Nick O’Neill, who sources mouth-watering beans from respected Melbourne roastery Square One.
This stylish café is a thoroughly modern affair, from its sleek Scandinavian design to its fresh, Japanese-influenced menu with an emphasis on locally-sourced ingredients. Four Six Eight is equally passionate about great coffee, with beans supplied by Single O – grab a spot in the small, sunny courtyard out the back to escape from the Oxford St bustle outside.
This Italian-style deli café is a Paddington favourite, bringing a little corner of Italy to the corner of William and Hopetoun Streets in the heart of the neighbourhood. Grab an Allpress espresso to go with the salami, olives, cheese or dessert that you’ve picked out of the deli cabinet – seating is limited, but try to find a spare seat on the footpath outside to enjoy your coffee with the loyal crew of regulars.
Funkis’ unique Swedish designs make for one of Paddington’s coolest homewares stores, and the little café tucked away in the shop’s backyard is equally stylish. Köket – which means ‘kitchen’ in Swedish – serves an Allpress roast alongside a very contemporary, very Scandinavian food menu, all dished up using Funkis’ uber-trendy crockery, of course.
The first Berkelouw Books opened in Rotterdam all the way back in 1812, blending fragrant coffee, good food and big ideas in the streets of Holland – this Paddington bookstore café continues that legacy halfway around the globe in the 21st century. This Oxford St institution brews a consistent cup of coffee as well as a collection of 10 different loose-leaf teas, which go down a treat with the selection of home-made vegan muffins, cakes and slices.
Sitting on a busy Oxford St corner on the city side of Paddington, Pusher Espresso Bar is one of the most popular pushers of caffeine in the neighbourhood. Expect delicious coffee, super-friendly service, and a small but satisfying brekky menu in a cosy, well designed inner-city space, with great people-watching seats on the sidewalk.
When you think of Thai cuisine you don’t normally think of coffee, but this Glenmore Rd café aims to change that. Attached to Eat Thai Restaurant at Five Ways, Tuk Tuk Street Bar sticks to classic brunch dishes – smashed avocado, Eggs Benedict, and the like – alongside a lengthy drinks menu loaded with smoothies and frappes as well as coffee.