Top Cafes of 2016 - Sydney

We’ve run the numbers! Here are the best cafes of 2016 in Sydney, voted by real coffee lovers.

Learn how the rankings are calculated.

Best cafe Salvage Specialty Coffee in sydney for 2016

Crisp bit of acidity to start Ethiopian from Mecca espresso, maybe rounded off with some apricot gear - real nice. Bang on flatly chaser

Espresso on Kenyan Sample had some sweet red apple gear going on, low acidity, clean and real nice. Flat white was on point.

I’m a speciality coffee barista and am blown away by the consistently good drops that are churned out here. Definitely my favorite cafe North of the Bridge and in my top 5 in all Sydney. Keep up the good shit 🤙🏾

Best cafe Cafe Without A Name in sydney for 2016

Hard to get too, hidden away. Seemed more like a mini canteen then a cafe and coffee was average at best.

Don’t know what all the hype is. After they sent me out a burnt espresso the first time I put a negative review on here, the owner pipes up and persuades me to come back for another try. No good. Again, burnt. If they can’t get the basic of basics right -espresso, how can they continue to produce good coffee? Is it that hard to train your baristas in the art of proper extraction? Approx 25ml/25 secs - have that for free! Or maybe the machine needs to be cleaned properly? Very very disappointing. Unfortunately a sad reflection of most cafes in Sydney that think if they have a good Instagram following then their coffee MUST be good.

Best cafe Artistry Coffee Craft Co. in sydney for 2016

Owners are great, and the flat white is easily the best I have found in the city. Flavours are strong and smooth and the milk is perfectly textured every time. Great beans to take home too. Rotation of filter beans is always a delight as well.

Just dropped in again this week for a 3/4 flat white. Still a treat every time. The difference between a cafe and somewhere that is passionate about coffee always shows through in the cup. Looking forward to my next visit. 👍🏼👏🏼

Best cafe 18 GRAMS Coffee Project in sydney for 2016

Great for takeaway. Not much room for sit down. Good coffee and friendly, efficient staff.

Had my large almond milk cappuccino made with their featured single origin - El Salvador. A mid-roast with a smooth and creamy mouth-feel. Aroma a mixture of burnt figs and cacao, finishing with a nice crispness. Extra kudos for my always making my coffee "extra hot with extra chocolate sprinkles on top", just how I like it. #Hurstville #18GramsCoffeeProject #SingleOriginBean #ElSalvador #AlmondMilkCappuccino

#6

Lime Espresso

Sydney CBD

Best cafe Lime Espresso in sydney for 2016

So it has been a while since I visited these guys and it seems as if they have raised the game even further! I still couldn’t go past the bacon and egg roll but I managed to convince myself to try the new single and it didn’t disappoint. Ta Lime crew!

Love Lime and still thinking of it while back in the UK. Named my new Acaia scales after your place Costas. All the best your Brit customer that left in July. Pete

Back in Sydney city and staying somewhere different which opens me to new cafes. I think I have another favourite cafe. Lime has great coffee, no really great! It’s also a gourmet sandwich bar, both pre-made and on demand. These looked sensational. Local city workers drop by for coffee and a sandwich. Definitely worth the visit. I will be returning tomorrow.

Best cafe The Reformatory Caffeine Lab in sydney for 2016

Burundi beans for the espresso had a nice dash of acidity and maybe some marmalade. Filter on Panama 90+ Gesha Yellow Natural processed was extremely impressive with an aroma of oak matured sour beer. Had a buttery mouthfeel, mature round sweetness, sort of mild caramel. Increase in acidity and more fruity notes on cooling. Awesome, just made me want to just drink more.

Burundi Long Black perfectly executed, thanks Jet

Panama 90+ Gesha cold fermentation had a buttery mouthfeel, low acidity and was very clean. Was more subtle than some Geshas, towards the vanilla, molasses end of the spectrum with maybe some apricot. A gentle brew. Espresso on an Ethiopian had a nice toffee tone

Best cafe Cavalier Specialty Coffee in sydney for 2016

Very tasty espresso had a berry sweetness with a clean dash of lime - real good. The FW to-go has well treated milk.

Really enjoyed Marvell St Ethiopian espresso, had this lovely bit of acidity over a more caramel backbone - great combination of flavours. Bang on FW followed

The aroma of the truffle toastie worked well with the chocolatey cherry of the Marvell Street Kenyan espresso. Enjoyed the nuttiness of flat white traveller.

#9

Coffee Alchemy

Marrickville

Best cafe Coffee Alchemy in sydney for 2016

Rwandan espresso had a silky mouthfeel and minimally acidity but attractive roasted peach vibe - real nice

Ethiopian espresso had a bit of fruit to start, bittered on the aftertaste - alright. Guatemalan pour over had a delicate sweetness and acidity that made for a delicious cup.

Columbian pour over was clean with some stone fruits, was a bit milder than expected.

Best cafe Swallow Coffee Traders in sydney for 2016

Equipment LaMarzocco Linear PB Mythos One Grinder EK43 with custom twin doser Batch Brewer Tiamo Cold Drip

Kenyan espresso on Zest beans had some strong grapefruit action going on to start, slightly let down by a more bitter ending. Enjoyed the takeaway FW

Favourite local cafe! Best coffee in Rockdale by far and delicious food options. Staff are very friendly and attentive, it’s only made it easy for me to become a regular. Thanks Swallow!

They recently changed roaster from single o to Zest and upgraded grinder and machine. Coffee tastes even better now and service is always consistently good.

#11

Cream & Co.

Chipping Norton

Best cafe Cream & Co. in sydney for 2016

V nice capp., calm and collected under pressure, silky finish and nice latte art

Came from Parramatta with the kids to have a coffee and snack but were closed in school holidays ??? Jul 18th

Best cafe Artificer Coffee in sydney for 2016

Brilliant coffee, hands down.

It’s about the coffee, the whole coffee and nothing but the coffee. This place summed up the Surry Hills streetscape in a single cup of Latte; welcoming, smooth and relaxed. Perfect coffee.

Best cafe Pusher Espresso Bar in sydney for 2016

Great service - one of the best toasties in ages!! Piccolo bang on!!

Delicious, quick, convenient for on the go - however not my place for a long sit in lunch.

Best cafe Ritual Coffee Traders in sydney for 2016

Coffe as you would expect for Gabriel branded. Milk was creamy and not too heavy so balanced well. Service was quick and no minimum for using card which was great. Only downside was Hard to find parking, but you could get lucky on the day.

Best cafe The Diver Cafe in sydney for 2016

Little Marionette CoffeeTippety TeasLa Marzocco Linea Classic

Coffee is inconsistent according to who's making. Most days coffee is ok but only 1 day in a week a barista made spot on. Kitchen is a joke. I ordered eggs on toast and waited 15 minutes and all that came out of the kitchen before was 3 bacon and egg rolls. The toast was not toast and eggs were dry and I could do better at home and I could not finish.

Best cafe Barefoot Coffee Traders in sydney for 2016

Ecuador espresso had maybe some vanilla beans with a dash of citrus acidity - enjoyed

Marvel St Columbian for the espresso was alright with some red apple but bittered strongly on the finish Different Columbian for the batch was fruity, juicy and finished cleanly

Espresso was ok with maybe a bit of chocolate but fairly blended up - it was a blend after all. Batch was the highlight with some clean applely fruit gear going on.

Best cafe John Smith Cafe in sydney for 2016

Columbian espresso was sort of darker choc to start but did veer towards bitterness at the end Enjoyed the Kenyan batch, made me think of green apple skins with that style of sweetness but also an underlying tartness. As it cooled became more grapefruit with an accompanying increase in acidity. Another espresso, this time on a Costa Rican was more fruity and finished more cleanly than first espresso- nice.

Best cafe SteamTank Coffee in sydney for 2016

Wood & co Brazilian for the espresso was great - light acidity, bit of nectarine and molasses finish. Nice malty feel to the well-temperature flat white to-go

Mecca Columbian espresso on a larger volume had a toasted roasted note underlying cherries upfront - nice. Flatly chaser was also well nice.

#20

Sample

Surry Hills

Best cafe Sample in sydney for 2016

Espresso tasty but let down a little by increasing bitterness on the aftertaste. Takeaway FW tasted nutty and was rather good.

Espresso was ok but the Kenyan batch was something special, deliciously sweet and fruity - real good.

Columbian espresso had a tannic feel that edged towards a more bitter ending Ethiopian filter was fairly bitter, I didn’t finish.

Best cafe waffle co. in sydney for 2016

Now called the Brew Lab Cafe, it’s a relaxed atmosphere, coffee is rich and silky. All in all pretty darn good.

Don’t love the bean they use here - a bit bland. But the consistency from the barista in terms of delivering a clean, balanced espresso with smooth milk is high. Also found the staff very friendly.

#22

Mrs P's

Burwood

Best cafe Mrs P's in sydney for 2016

Cute little cafe, friendly staff. I found the coffee had a fruity taste to it which I did not like.

George and the crew at Mrs P's always deliver. Outstanding single origin doppio with perfect extraction. #lifeistooshortfor$hitcoffee Thanks guys!

Great coffee! Staff were friendly and attentive. Atmosphere was a bit average - could do with a bit of a make over.

#23

Story

Lane Cove

Best cafe Story   in sydney for 2016

Established by Jean Demirjian in 2012

Great little nook with fantastic coffee

Best cafe elbow room  in sydney for 2016

Ethiopian from Rumble was surprisingly delicate with a light sweet acidity Temp of the FW was good.

Enjoyable sweetness to the espresso, it also finished cleanly. FW was warmer than ideal but was none too bad.

Molasses start to the Ethiopian espresso, finished was more cocoa Spot on temp to FW

Best cafe Gumption by Coffee Alchemy in sydney for 2016

The coffee here is always fantastic. The service is decent (they always are extremely busy).

Bit of sweetness over a sourer, maybe grapefruit core - pretty good. Pretty good FW also.

Found espresso on Ethiopian fairly average - overly bitter with not much else Pour over on El Salvador had some initial sweetness, ending not so clean FW to-go was by far the best, had a nice almond vibe

Best cafe Bay Ten Espresso in sydney for 2016

White Horse for the espresso had a nice lash of acidity over dark chocolate. Takeaway FW was a bit warm. Haven’t been here for a while now they don’t open Saturdays. Still busy.

Espresso was on a blend that gave a fairly blended flavour, was alright I love the space here.

Best cafe The Steam Engine in sydney for 2016

Way too hot. Taste was mediocre. Double shot wasn’t strong. Very disappointing considering the average review score.

Chocolatey pineapple to Myanmar Natural espresso, on cooling took on more of a fermented note - pretty out there but liked a lot. Solid flatty to finish.

Arrived at the end of the cupping. Panama Geisha (Toby’s Estates spelling) was awesome. Tasted like orange lolly snakes. Also a tasty Myanmar stood out. Espresso on another Myanmar (filter roast) had some liquorice and a creamy mouthfeel. Flatty to-go also on point.

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