Today I thought I’d just write a list of some things I miss about Australia. I’m not going to put people on this list or it would be a) boring for everyone else and b) way too long, as I miss many people who matter greatly to me.
However, if those things are not included, I mainly miss my regular food haunts. And Australian food… We lived in the inner West of Sydney, which I guess makes us urban hippies. Although many of our friends lived on the North Shore (nerdy/preppies) or the Hills District (glam suburbanites) we had our own little ritual on a Saturday morning which involved trawling the cafes of the inner West, potentially the greatest advantage of living a short walk away from King St, Newtown. For dinner, we had Thai or Sydney style fusion… but, for breakfast, of course – COFFEE!!
So, I thought I’d give you a run down of my top #5 cafes in the suburbs surrounding The University of Sydney that we frequented on Saturday mornings during our first five years of marriage (and for me, five years before this). Hopefully it gives you a window into the inner West of the sunny city of Sydney too.
Not only is ‘Ism’ a brilliant cafe (seriously, get the eggs!!), it’s a relaxed centre of activity on a Saturday.
One random and true fact about us is that Tim does great dog voices, so I miss sitting in Ism, with its open vista onto Newtown’s classiest dog park, and watching (and listening) to the meet & greet between dalmatians, bull-dogs and chihuahuas.
There are lots of other things that I miss about Newtown, but the open outdoor/park cafe/culture is something I can’t find easily here in the US. Also Sydney’s bike riding, walking culture. Los Angeles seems to be one big shrine to the CAR. With FREEWAYS to match…..
2. Camperdown – Deus Ex Machina… a fifteen minute walk away from Hollis park is Sydney’s mecca to the Vespa, a bike and Motorbike shop with a capital M. And, this shop has a brilliant cafe attached. I selected it because apparently it has now opened a branch on Venice Beach, which means my American readers can potentially head down and experience the truth of this post, and great Australian coffee.
And I must be craving Australian style eggs or something – here are the eggs. Ohhhh yeahhhhh. The eggs.
And although my fave Annandale cafe has changed hands and names (Burnt Toast anyone?), the former Gallery Cafe has some of the best coffee around.
Sometimes, on a Saturday morning, I would drag Tim on the bus down Parramatta Rd into the city. A pretty five minute bus ride away from Annandale is Glebe, the most beautiful grungy inner Sydney suburb. Potentially I guess we could consider this the original inner city village… and it is at these coffee shops that I spent most of my first degree haha.
We would grab a loaf and some of their to-die-for jam and head home happy that we were also going to be having a great lunch. Oh wow.
SONOMA! SONOMA! SONOMA! I’m just salivating thinking about it.
It’s actually quite hard to choose cafes to point out in Glebe, because there’s about 100 of them on Glebe Point Road (including Otto, which makes its own marshmallows), but if you walk down the road towards Broadway shopping centre, you can also pop into the shop I miss MOST from Australia, the absolute staple ‘Sportsgirl’……. but that’s probably a different post.
But for a lazy Sydney cafe crawl in the inner West without using your car, then I would next suggest a Chippendale staple:
#5: Surrey Hills/ Chippendale: Bourke St Bakery.
Or, just go for the classic croissant and you can just surrender to a buttery overload. It is Saturday, after all.
– Toby Estates’ factory on City Road
– the one, the only Campos Coffee on Missenden Road
– Cordial on Carillion Ave (they have the best selection of random magazines I’ve ever seen)
– Mitchell Hopkins Cafe on Australia Street (grab your coffee to go and head out to Camperdown Park across the road)
… thanks for indulging my virtual cafe moment on this beautiful sunny Saturday morning 🙂