Food & Drink

The Best Coffee In Paddington

By Jacqui Thompson
8th Jul 2013

Sydney is a city that runs on great coffee. We do it well and we drink a lot of it. Having lived in Paddington for over ten years I have been spoilt viscerally by the beautiful tree-lined, terrace-jumbled streets and gastronomically via the well-appointed cafes, restaurants, and English-style pubs. 

So for those of you not so familiar with old Paddington and her local haunts I have picked out some of my top picks for the best coffee in town. Now, everyone has their favourite local coffee spot, and tastes vary, so if yours is not below please do not judge, just let us know for Round 2. 

And so, in no particular order . . .

Tiger Mottle Espresso Deluxe 

It is hard to go past Tiger Mottle Espresso Deluxe when one is in need of a caffeine hit. The team are passionate about coffee and food—and it shows. They use The Golden Cobra beans to make their coffee and it is rich and delicious . . . if you can call coffee delicious. The breakfast menu is also really tempting, all the egg options are great and they do the best mushrooms on toast in town. Located in the heart of Paddington, at Five Ways, Saturday mornings can get especially busy, so factor in a wait for tables and takeaways. 

Opening Hours: 7:30am- 3:30pm Mon- Sat; 8am- 3:30pm Sun.

Address: 248 Glenmore Road, Five Ways Paddington Sydney 2021

Phone: 0402 520 516


An authentic Italian deli/café, Alimentari is where local Eastern suburbs-based Italians like to get their coffee, cured meats, and cheeses. In fact, it is where the locals, in general, like to get their coffee and a bite to eat. Peak times can get pretty busy in this little eatery, but the prosciutto, ricotta, arancini balls, selection of salads, and coffee make patience a virtue. Alimentari use Allpress coffee beans, who roast their beans locally, providing a fresh and flavoursome blend. Sitting at the end of Paddington?s, William Street Alimentari is the perfect spot to stop after perusing the beautiful shops lining the terraced strip (think, Poepke, The Corner Shop, Jac+Jack, Nudie Jeans Co, and Di Nuovo)\

Opening Hours: 8am- 4pm Mon- Fri; 7:30am- 4pm Sat.

Address: 2 Hopetoun Street, Paddington Sydney 2021

Phone: 02 9358 2142 

Underwood Cafe 

We all love going off the beaten track once in while and the Underwood Cafe offers some hidden tranquillity in the middle of Paddington. Tucked away in a leafy courtyard, you access Underwood Cafe along a lush, palm-tree-lined path—it's easy to miss, so keep your eye out. A lovely spot to sit-in and enjoy the peaceful surrounds, great food, and coffee. Underwood Cafe also use Allpress coffee and brew the Carmelo blend which, as the name suggests, has a caramel overtone. A morning temptation is the Bircher Stack. Served in a jar, it has layers of Sonoma toasted muesli, natural yoghurt, fresh fruit, honey, and bircher muesli. At lunch, try the lamb tagine. 

Opening Hours: 8am- 4pm Mon- Sat.

Address: 120b Underwood Street, Paddington Sydney 2021

Phone: 02 9397 1472 

Cafe 1812, Berkelouw Books 

Located upstairs within the literary hub of Berkelouw Books, Cafe 1812 is the perfect place to take a load off and settle in for a chat, read, or to simply kill time, all while enjoying great coffee. They use a Campos Coffee blend, which is a pleasantly strong but smooth brew. Cafe 1812 offers a tasty selection of savoury and sweet dishes and is also a wine bar if something stronger takes your fancy. Recently renovated, the space feels like an upscale library and provides ideal access to the art-house-inclined Palace Verona Cinemas next door. 

Opening Hours: 9am until late Mon- Sun.

Address: Berkelouw Books Level 1, 19 Oxford Street, Paddington Sydney 2021
Phone: 02 9360 3200

Ampersand Cafe Bookstore 

Just across the road, in the midst of Oxford Street?s hustle and bustle, is the Ampersand Cafe Bookstore. It is a very popular takeaway spot with a loyal clientele consisting of locals, nearby retailers, COFA students, and passers by. The coffee is excellent but there can be a bit of a wait—it's worth it though. Ampersand also favour Allpress coffee beans and use the Carmelo blend with its rich, creamy, caramel, nutty flavour. You can always pop upstairs while waiting and peruse the second-hand book collection (Ampersand Cafe Bookstore buys and sells second-hand books). 

Opening Hours: 7:30am- 5:30pm Mon- Fri; 8am- 5:30pm Sat; 9am- 5pm Sun.

Address: 78 Oxford Street, Paddington Sydney 2021
Phone: 02 9380 6617

Jackies Cafe 

Known as The Intersection Paddington, the corner of Glenmore Road and Oxford Street is home to major designer brands including: Camilla and Marc, Bassike, Acne, Ellery, Scanlon&Theodore, Josh Goot, Ksubi, sass & bide, and Mecca Cosmetica. Nestled among these high-end boutiques sits Jackies Cafe, where the food is fantastic as is the coffee. Sitting in Jackies? sunny courtyard is an absolute delight, while the interior offers a cosier option. The food is A-grade (I must admit I am obsessed with the chicken baguette and the sashimi salad) but back to the coffee. Jackies? coffee is brewed using Melbourne-based Grinders Coffee Cafe blend. Established in 1962 by two Italian coffee roasters, Grinders Coffee is focused on fresh, quality roasting and have built a roasting plant in nearby Fairfield, ensuring freshness. 

Opening Hours: 7:30am- 3:30pm Mon- Sun.

Address: 1c Glenmore Road (corner Oxford Street), Paddington Sydney 2021
Phone: 02 9380 9818

Toby's Estate Coffee Cart Oxford Street 

Shopping in Paddington can take you from one end of Oxford Street to another and along the way, just across from the Australian Army?s Victoria Barracks, there is a quaint little courtyard where Andrew May runs a Toby?s Estate coffee cart. It is a sweet little spot where you can rest your feet and assess your day?s purchases. The coffee is a good strong brew rated very highly by nearby locals. 

Address: 188 Oxford Street, Paddington Sydney 2021(forecourt of Domo Collections)

Image credit above: dustjacket attic 

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