In the most figurative of senses, I do love a place that kills two birds with one stone. That is, I’m pretty lazy so if more eating and/or drinking, and less walking is required, then I’m pretty much sold.
And because I know we all have so much in common, I thought you’d like to know where you can be lazy, full, caffeinated, and happily shopping away, all at the same time at some of Sydney’s best bars and cafes. Bliss.
Uptown @ Brewtown
Anywhere that supplies Sydneysiders with a delicious coffee, a crunchy-but-soft Brewnut, and a place to spend their hard-earned cash on something unique, well that’s just fine by us. And that’s just what you’ll get at this lifestyle hub in Newtown. Made up of café Brewtown Newtown, boutique O’Connell Street Merchants, as well as the patisserie on weekends (with a huge selection of mouth-watering baked goods) and record store, this really is the place to be when you’re looking for everything Newtown has to offer. Which, as you know, is a lot.
You no doubt know about the delicious, authentic Polish fare served at this leafy Woollahra café. If not, allow me to remind you about the mouth-watering wild berry pierogi, the sloe gin cured pork neck with caraway and celeriac puree and red currant jus. Excited? You should be. While you’re there getting your fill of all things deliciously Polish, be sure to check out the incredible deli and providore on site. You can get your fill of traditional condiments, preserved goodies and more, as well as plenty of beautiful Polish pottery. Maple purists will be beyond excited to hear Wieczorkowski stock the covetable Noble Syrups, so there’s no excuse not to stock up.
These are, without a doubt, some of the best damn dumplings in Sydney. I often dream about a crispy, soupy, steaming bun and get lost in a world of deliciousness. And I’m not the only one. So I can you imagine unbelievable thrill you will feel when you find out New Shanghai are opening a retail store in their Chatswood Chase location. You’ll be able to stock up on all sorts of dumpling paraphernalia while getting your fix of xiao long bao and Chinese tea. Life goal achieved.
It may sound a little unassuming, but this CBD small bar is nothing but. A cosy little nook off Sussex Lane, Shirt Bar offer the service you’ve been waiting for: a café and bar combined with a boutique shirt and suit store. That’s right, you can get a cuppa or a tipple and pick out a shirt, or get something made bespoke. Because what could go wrong when you go shopping after a few bevvies? Nothing, of course.
Apart from being one of Sydney’s best cafes, Suzie Q can help build your record collection, so you can grab a coffee and a feed while perusing their selection of second-hand vinyls. You’ll find an eclectic mix of genres, from classic rock to folk and soul, so head in with an open mind. Oh, and an empty stomach: you’ll want to get stuck into the Breakfast at Epiphanie’s with grilled haloumi, trust me.
Even if you’re not into motorcycles or related paraphernalia, you can always find something interesting at Camperdown café Deus. Housed in the old Deus Ex Machina store, you can get a big, hearty breakfast, a great coffee and peruse their collection of hip clothes. If you are indeed into your bikes, then be sure to head next door to its sister store, Deus ex Machina, and maybe pick up something for the road…
Beachside location, delicious food, gorgeous homewares… Need any more convincing? This Mona Vale café is the ideal spot for a bit of eating and spending. Whether it’s a full armchair, a lampshade, or just a small trinket or gift, Armchair Collective will get you what you need, as well as a plate of buttermilk vanilla pancakes, if that tickles your fancy. Looking for lunch? The soft shell crab burger is a towering, crunchy beast that needs to be on your to-do list.
Bay Ten Espresso
Another one for fans of bikes, but non-motorised ones this time, Bay Ten Espresso shares its home with The Body Mechanics, a specialist bike fit and physio studio, where you can get your bike in top notch condition while grabbing a coffee. There are the usual suspects for a quick brekkie while you park your bike (go for the banana bread with ricotta and honey), while lunch will delight any sandwich lover. The spiced lamb meatball sanga gets a big, fat thumbs up from me.
Image credit: Alex Squadrito at O'Connell Street Merchants