Sydney’s Top Hole-In-The-Wall Cafes

By Emma McNamara
19th Nov 2014

Best Sydney Cafe

Our mothers always told us that the best things come in small packages and while this does make the more vertically challenged of us feel a bit better, this couldn't be more true of these miniature-sized beauties listed below. Though there may not be much elbow room, we promise when you manage to dip and dive your way to the front of the masses milling for a table and you're sippin' on a perfectly brewed cup or nibbling on something delectable it'll be well worth it.

Sourdough Café | CBD

Whether you're on your brisk walk to work, lunch hour or just spending your day perusing and cruising the city, give yourself a break and stop on by Sourdough Panini Bakery & Café. Tucked into a little nook on York Street, this fun-sized, cute space boasts friendly staff, good coffee, yummy sandwiches and even some naughty, but oh-so-good, sweet treats. If you need your morning coffee to function with anything beyond a bleary-eyed head nod and mumble, these guys will sort you out with an excellent cup in under a minute. We love lunching here, filling our tummy and not emptying our wallet, with one of their house-made paninis featuring pulled roast pork with iceberg, apple coleslaw and mayo or even a meatball panini with napoletana, provolone, parmesan, pesto and rocket.

The Bunker | Darlinghurst

Sydneysiders keep your eyes peeled for The Bunker, inconspicuously located on Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst. If you're not paying attention and keeping a lookout for the tell tale Campos coffee umbrellas out front, you might just walk past this little gem of a place (emphasis on little). We recommend you head on in early to beat the masses and score yourself a seat at one of the communal tables. Now prepare yourself to soak in the cool vibes, casual and friendly service, tasty tucker and really great coffee. These baristas sure know a thing or two about the art of coffee making and we're more than happy to sit back and start our weekends by sipping on one of their top-notch brews.

Workshop Espresso | CBD

Be on the lookout for Workshop Espresso tucked amongst the fashion retailers on the George St side of the Galleries Victoria. This hole-in-the-wall coffee shop, with its dark wood walls, will serve you up a smokin' hot coffee to go and while you're at it, grab a bacon and egg roll with chili jam – it's lip smacking good! If you're one of the lucky few to get a coveted space at one of the counter top stools a) guard it with your life and b) treat yourself to something a little harder to take away, like a fresh tomato, soy and linseed bruschetta, the B.A.T (bacon, avocado and tomato) or even the F.A.T (with feta) – chances are you've probably deserved it after fighting your way to the front of the queue.

Underground Espresso | North Sydney

The team from Underground Espresso has had a super packed, yet successful year opening up this teeny-tiny coffee bar, which we just adore. While there is no seating at Underground Espresso, these guys are 100% fully devoted to the art of specialty coffee making and have it nailed. Head on in for a stand up coffee at the coffee bar Italian style or get your take away as well as a little paper-bagged biscotti if you're on the run. Keep an eye out for sweet specials, such as berry or pistachio friands and cookies. The place is sleek and stylish with an industrial fit-out and a super-shiny top-tier coffee machine, which pumps out coffees to a perfection.

The House Specialty Coffee | Chippendale

Pop on by the hole-in-the-wall window at The House Specialty Coffee shop to order a cup of coffee and some tasty treats too. The guys behind the coffee machine are a chilled-out bearded bunch who take their coffee seriously. Good tunes, a muso vibe, cool layout, great service and a passion for specially sourced coffee ensure this place is on our list of regular stop-offs. Single origins paired with thick cut toast with jam or avo, a jam-packed BLAT and hearty soup are all delish home-style offerings that help us get through the day.  Sit back and relax (as far as one can relax on a milk crate) and have a chat with the friendly baristas, you'll likely be second best mates by the time you finish your latte. This place is one to keep an eye out for as House Specialty Coffee's popularity is skyrocketing and a milk crate could soon be BYO!  

Room 10 | Potts Point

Meander past those making their way home from last night's festivities and head on down the beautifully revamped Llankelly Place to find this fun-sized, aptly named café, Room 10.  Despite how busy this little hole-in-the-wall is, the service is always good, the coffee incredible and the food delicious. Satisfy your taste buds with a three-cheese toastie, the breakfast rice, slow cooked beef sarnie or the handcrafted muesli. The espresso this joint has on offer is of the utmost quality, recently earning itself a Sydney Morning Herald's 3 Cups award with its Dark Horse blend courtesy of the roasting gods over at Mecca. Last but not least, end your foodie journey with an award-winning pastry by Newtown's very own Black Star Patisserie. Pro-tip: order a second one for the walk home.

Hole In The Wall | CBD

This place is so literally named that we couldn't be more creative if we tried. The team at Hole In The Wall Sandwich Factory over on Macquarie Street, offer up an ace cup of coffee and some of the best, freshest and fun-filled sandwiches we've ever sunk our teeth into. Don't fret about navigating the overfilled CBD streets during the lunch time rush, these guys will make up the sandwich of your choice and deliver it to your office right in time for lunch – hoorah! With so many sandwich fillings there's sure to be something to satisfy everyone's cravings and we're pretty sure we could almost have a different sandwich every day of the month. Just order your sandwich online and deliciousness will be delivered to your office doorstep between two slices of fresh, yummy artisan bread. Sounds pretty good to us!

Coffee Tea & Me | Potts Point, Redfern and Marrickville

Starting not so long ago in a small shop in Redfern, Coffee Tea & Me is nothing but a success story with their third café up and running. Whether you're in Redfern, Marrickville or Potts Point you'll find one of these little hole in the walls serving up a mighty fine cuppa Joe or tea, delish crunchy bagels and a number of sweet treats.  If you're one to rise with the sun (whether by choice or necessity) Coffee, Tea & Me will be with you every step of the way with their early opening hours seven days a week. With cute and quirky interiors, a constantly operating coffee machine and piles of bagels with fillings that make our mouths water, we sure do love Coffee, Tea & Me. 

The Lab | CBD

The Lab Cafe has five little hole-in-the-wall nooks serving up red and white striped cups of coffee that pack a punch. There's no denying these guys are serious about coffee, and The Lab Cafe has become a fixture on Sydney's coffee scene. If you're in need of a morning cup on your way to work to start the day right, they will most definitely sort you out with something to get you going. With a minimalist interior, The Lab's coffee and accompanying muffins are anything but. Housed in cute little glass jars, these muffins are fresh, tasty and are the perfect accompaniment to the quality coffee. The Lab Cafe definitely stay true to the saying do one thing and do it well and their coffee prices are some of the best in town!

Holm Café | Potts Point

This charming and homely café in Potts point will offer you up an excellent cup of coffee and a beautifully presented breakfast that will not break the bank! These guys have teamed up with the Marrickville based coffee bean roasting gods over at Coffee Alchemy, so the coffee gets a big tick of approval from us! We're slightly addicted to the Swedish buttermilk waffles with fresh fruit and cream as well as the good old classic BLAT. The sandwiches are freshly made with delicious ingredients like prosciutto, mozzarella and rocket or the mushroom, ham and cheese options.

Image credit: Anita Wilhelm

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