Dear Delicious, Dulwich Hill

Dear Delicious, Dulwich Hill

Dear Delicious coffee. 245 Wardell Rd, Dulwich Hill (near the train station). Found this one via Google – I thought someone had mentioned a new place in Dulwich Hill, but I couldn’t remember much detail: sorry if you were the one who told me about it! Easy to find, and being a Sunday afternoon, relatively easy to find parking nearby. 

Where the magic happens - Dear Delicious, Dulwich Hill

We arrived near the end of the shift for the week, looking for a snack and some beverages. Sadly, this meant we were missing the core strength of the cafe: sustainably produced local foods – the plates on adjacent tables looked delicious, but that’s for another visit.

Dear Delicious, Dulwich Hill 

The chia pudding (with activated almonds, sugar coated chia seeds, and macerated strawberries), though, was delicious: great blend of textures and flavours. I wasn’t as sure about my own first choice of beverage: the mug of cocoa nibs and vanilla was a bit too subtle for my ageing palette: for what I was after, I think I should have ordered the hot chocolate!

The cold drip coffee was well put together – the flavours coming through well: it’s a small rig near the counter, the waitress looking across to see if there was any available.

Flat white: Dear Delicious, Dulwich Hill

Coffee itself is pleasant enough: the flat white was perfectly fine, well presented. A worthy option in the Dulwich Hill scene.

Central Roasters, Sydney CBD (near Town Hall)

Central Roasters, Sydney

Central Roasters Coffee (and a range of single origins from different roasters). Shop 4, Central Lane, Sydney (near Pitt St, but essentially an unmarked shop in an alley). This is one you’ll only find if you know what you’re looking for. Central Lane runs from George St to Pitt St, opposite the giant Event Cinema complex. Head down the lane, and near the Pitt St end you’ll see some big windows and a glass door, and spot a small table with some water glasses, a cake display, and a selection of coffee-making gear.

Order a coffee or two from the counter, and if there’s a spot at one of the tables, take a seat. You’re in for a treat. They are making some great espresso-based coffees, and I’ve had there some of the best filter coffee in Sydney. Worth seeking out. Bring a friend, but not a crowd of people: they won’t all fit.

Central Roasters, Sydney


Sly, Surry Hills

Sly, Surry Hills

Roastworks coffee. 212 Devonshire St, Surry Hills. In what was once a “sly grog shop” in prohibition-era Sydney is a relaxed, elegantly appointed cafe with a menu that it at once simple and fancy.

Where the Magic Happens: Sly, Surry Hills

My decaf long black has great crema (it’s ground to order), and the jaffle – duck and chestnut is delicious: the familiar over-hot at first, easing back to toasted sandwich perfection that makes the waffle such a childhood throw-back favourite.

Jaffle and Long Black, Surry Hills

If you’re peckish, and looking for a fancy take on a classic, it’s worth a visit.

Brewtown Newtown, Newtown

Brewtown Newtown

Brewtown coffee (they roast their own coffee on site). 6-8 O’Connell St, Sydney.

I never made it to Berkelouw Books in Newtown, though often meant to make the journey. Alas, I’ve left it too late, as it’s been replaced by a cafe. Around a six-week fit out to remove the shelves, bring in the fixtures and fittings as you see them.

Part of the wider trend in Sydney towards larger cafe hubs, like the grounds, kitchen by mike, and the Fountain St compound where Campos has its flagship store, this is a cafe on a grand scale.

Brewtown Newtown - interior

Sadly, if you want to see the place this empty, you’ll need to visit at opening time on a weekday somewhere near New Year’s Day – this is a very popular place, and deservedly so.

Brewtown Newtown - coffee cup

Here’s a decaf long black, which arrives at the table with even more crema. You’ll notice the branded cups – lending a sense of uniformity to the whole experience.

Brewtown Newtown - long black and syphon

The star of the show is the syphon bar – computer (Android tablet) controlled syphons that can be programmed in terms of water temperature and agitation. With all the decaf I drink, I haven’t had a lot of syphon coffee, but it’s a very clean way to drink coffee – there’s not much in the way of oil, and it’s delivered at a drinkable temperature.

Brewtown Newtown - corn beef hash

The food is really good. I’m a bit partial to corn beef hash, so I try it out. The eggs are really well poached, but I do prefer my corn beef to be melting apart a little more.

Brewtown Newtown - polenta

It’s the baked polenta that really shines. I don’t particularly like polenta, and yet this is irresistible.

Brewtown Newtown is doing great work. If you can head over there, you should make time to visit.

the house specialty coffee, chippendale

the house specialty roasters, chippendale

House coffee. 9 Knox St, Chippendale. A friend at work mentioned this blink-and-you’ll-miss it corner cafe, in the streets of Chippendale. Step inside and you’ll find yourself remarkably tall compared to the two staff!

the house specialty roasters, chippendale

This is because of the odd layout of the space: there are a number of steps down from street level to where the coffee machine and tiny kitchen are sitting. The guys working the machine used to roast over at little marionette, but are now running this space, and using their own blend, still roasted over at annandale.

where the magic happens, the house specialty roasters, chippendale

The coffee is really good: I can’t help but have a second freshly ground decaf on my way out the door. Worth a look.

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blackboard, verity lakes (qld)

blackboard - varsity lakes, gold coast Blackboard coffee. 7/240 Varsity Pde, Varsity Lakes. Close to the Gold Coast campus of Bond University is this slice of coffee-making expertise.A fairly hip crowd (to say nothing of the staff) nonetheless make way for families with strollers, professors, and everyone in between. 

blackboard - varsity lakes, gold coast

There’s no decaf on offer, so it’s a chance for me to try an aeropress single origin. They certainly know what they’re doing with their coffee preparation. Glad to have visited.

filter - blackboard

No Decaf.

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Official site –

canteen, burleigh heads qld

canteen, gold coast
Deluxe Boutique Coffee Roasters Coffee. 23 Park Ave, Burleigh Heads. In a  lane way between two streets, this place is bursting with personality. From the moment you approach and see the old cinema seating sitting outside, or the attention to detail on the fit-out, you know you’re in for a treat here.

canteen - if these seats could talk

The work behind the machine is of a high quality. The cafe’s logo, taken from the style of light bulb in use in the interior lights appears on the staff aprons.

canteen - where the magic happens

There’s plenty of coffee-related reading to be had, and equipment on sale for making coffee at home.

canteen - spectacular decaf

Coffee is excellent. Their Mexican decaf is one of the top three decafs I’ve ever had, and their single origin coffees come with tasting notes – this is an essential one to visit if you’re looking to determine the best coffee on the Gold Coast.

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Official site –

canvas, nobby beach qld


Canvas Coffee. 7/2221 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach.Tricky to find (it’s actually a little way down a side street), this place is well known to locals as a spot for great coffee.

A mix of quirky gift shop and cafe, this was a crowded space with a few spots to sit inside amidst t-shirts, books, toys, and much more. There’s plenty for kids to do here, with their own toys to play with and opportunities to draw. 

Coffee is good here: if you’re up this way, it’s worth calling in for a visit.

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Official site –

The Grounds, Alexandria

the grounds, alexandria

The Grounds Roasters coffee. Shop 7A, 2 Huntley Street Alexandria. A lot of buzz about this place, not lest winning the best new cafe in the 2012 Sydney Cafe Guide, this place has been on my to-visit list for a long while. It must be the largest cafe of its kind – 1800 square metres, and mostly outdoor seating. This is no Bunnings, though: each piece has been carefully chosen to work together: there’s also a vegetable garden, herbs growing, a small playground, and a fountain.

the grounds, alexandria

Knowing how crowded this place was likely to be, we call in at 2pm on a weekday for a visit – it’s only a few moments at the “please wait to be seated” sign, and parking is slightly easier to find. This is certainly a place for the well-to-do crowd, or the inner city hipsters. Contrast this news interactive article with the review from the Sydney Morning Herald to get a sense of which crowd finds more of an appeal (hint: it’s the latter). 

the grounds, alexandria

Food is really well put together, though on the expensive side. Here’s the za’atar with heirloom tomatoes, avocado, feta on toast: $14. 

lights - the small details - the grounds, alexandria

It’s the little touches, though, that make you feel better about being separated from your money in this way: this line of light globes is beautiful and functional. 

playground - the grounds, alexandria

The playground has a certain amount of character: here’s the balance-beam lizard. 

the grounds, alexandria

Stay long enough and you’ll be able to see it this empty – you could get a seat straight away at, say, 3pm on a weekday, but they’re definitely winding down by then.


guide to coffee - the grounds, alexandria

Coffee is taken really seriously: sit in the right part of the cafe and you can watch co-owner Jack Hanna roasting the coffee. The decaf reminds me of the first time I had his “Jack and the Bean” coffee in Home Espresso in North Sydney. I enjoyed the decaf more than its caffeinated counterpart, but it’s possible my palette was overwhelmed by the food (the lamb salad was fantastic).


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The jack of hearts and jude, Engadine

The jack of hearts and jude, engadine

Jack of Hearts and Jude coffee. Shop 9/1067 Waratah Arcade, The Old Princes Highway, Engadine, NSW. When I read about this place in the Sydney Cafe Guide 2012, I was surprised to hear of a cafe in Engadine, and of one in the middle of an arcade. Make the trip, though, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. 

Happy customers - the jack of hearts and jude, engadine

You can sit on the tall chairs and watch the baristas making the coffee, or just admire the display of cakes.

cake selection - the Jack of Harts and Jude, Engadine

The interior of the cafe has a great retro 70’s vibe: everywhere you look there’s a different detail. At first, I wasn’t sure what to think of the place – was it just a relic of a bygone age? But no, everything has been carefully chosen and combined.

Map table - the Jack of Harts and Jude, Engadine

Watching from behind the machine, you can see how carefully they prepare the coffee.

Coffee machine - the Jack of Harts and Jude, Engadine

Separate grinder for decaf, and both the decaf and the house blend are roasted on the premises – beans are sourced from Byron Bay. They do great work with the coffee: the milk is well prepared, artfully presented, and the decaf is one of the better ones in Sydney.

The next time you’re heading to the south of Sydney, make sure you call in.

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