Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Searching for coffee on Sydney Rd

You wouldn't think finding a place to have a coffee on Sydney Rd would be difficult. I have tried a few places and so the coffee has either been rubbish or the service has been terrible.

I want to make this clear I am not a coffee snob. Generally if it is warm, got two sugars and caffeinated, I will drink it. I am also not a service snob. All I ask is you don't forget to bring me what I ordered and you aren't rude. I understand mistakes happen and staff are only human. I give most places two or three tries before I completely write it off.

I want coffee which is drinkable and staff who don't make me feel like I need to rush out the door. I don't think those two criteria are really setting a high benchmark but I haven't met it yet on Sydney Rd. The search will continue though...

Meanwhile, on Edward st there is a great little place called Cafe 3A which has really set a new standard. It consistently delivers friendly and quick service. The fair trade coffee is hot and strong. The food is surprisingly good. And the decor is fresh and fun.

I recommend the coffee, the Chai and the croissants. I've also heard good things about the breakfast.


  1. There are a couple of great places on Victoria Street, up near Brunswick station that are worth trying... I miss Sydney Road!

  2. I'm not too familiar with Sydney Rd, but there's meant to be a place on Little Bourke St that was voted as having the best coffee in Melbourne, I think it was here: http://www.threethousand.com.au/eat-drink/brother-baba-budan/
    I've never been there though so I can't comment, but I plan on trying out out.

  3. I live on Sydney Rd at the moment so that is why I've been searching here.

    Re Spohie: Give me some name Sophie and I will go check them out! Can't ever have too many coffees...

    Re Ben Zen: I have to head into the city later tonight so maybe I will look it up and check it out :) Thanks.

  4. I'm from NZ and last year came to Melbourne on honeymoon and it was the best time of my life. I am actually in love with your city. Everything about it was perfect and we had the best time exploring, eating and shopping. We can't wait to come back again soon!

  5. i LOVE that picture hehe you look so CONFUSED.... all scratching ur head haha...

  6. Hmm, I think I just might ride there tomorrow.

  7. Oh oh I am a Brunswick girl... for coffee on Sydney rd I would try Green (down kind of opposite Barkley Square), or Ray, which is on Victoria st just round the corner from Sydney rd. Orrr also apparently La Paloma is good (Albert st, just off Sydney rd). Hmmm. x

  8. La Paloma does have good coffee and their week day lunch menus is good and very cheap (due to the very limited options).

    There is a speciaialty coffee house on Charles St opposite Barkly Square and the Sporting Club hotel. It's a bit of a wander off Sydney Rd but they know their coffee.

    Three cheers for the reopening of the Sporting Club! Looking forward to trying their kitchen

  9. Head on over to Lygon St in East Brunswick. Right near the Post Office, (just over the side street) next to an old-school barber, is the best coffee I've had in Melbourne. I think it's called The Brunswick East Project? It used to have a different name. I could be wrong about what it's called but they generally have a sign out the front. Would be cool to see a write up of it here. They have juxtapoz mags lying about while you wait for your coffee too, which is never a bad thing. Also if over this side of Brunswick check out Thangs for a good meal - I got a great breakfast at 3pm today. The service isn't flash, though.

  10. I thought I posted this comment months ago. Oh well, blame it on free wireless internet. Fortunately I saved it, here goes...

    True to my word I did go to 3A Cafe this morning and I must say it was one of the better breakfast I've had.

    Coffee: I wimped out and had a latte. Easily the most accessible coffee I've ever had. Even a non-coffee drinker would appreciate it, hardly bitter or sour at all. Short Macchiato next time and that's saying something. (I trust them)

    Breakfast: Poached eggs on sourdough with bacon and a dipping/spreading mini-bowl of the most awesome basil based refreshingpestofantasticsomethingness which really made what is a fool proof breaky that little bit special. They might have even converted me to ridgy-didge free range eggs, the yolk was so creamy.

    Staff were friendly and put up with my prebreakfast shenanigans. I was raving about finding this place through a blog (and looked a right nerd), the barista chick had a brilliant coffee stain down the front of her freshly laundered shirt and the dude making the food decided to chop up some of the most potent onions on the planet reducing himself and the barista gal to tears. She had to leave the shop to compose herself as she couldn't see well enough to make coffee. A breaky to remember. That said its a pretty cruuzy place. The nice jazz soothed my hunger angst (as did the food) enough that I was able to get a bit of educational reading done and chill out a little in the post-onion hilarity.

    Thanks for sharing this find Amanda. The satff say they have been there for the past 5 years yet I lived in Brunswick a few years back and never came across this little gem.


  11. So after hearing nothing but good things about 3A I decided to go the other week with high hopes which were soon dashed. The coffee was fine, but the food was very below average (eggs extremely overdone) and there was next to no choice - none of the wonderful menu items I've read about here.

    I was wondering - have they changed hands? Did I go on a bad day? Do they have different menu choices on different days of the week? I think I may have gone early in the week. Since all the reviews I've read have been glowing I feel like I really missed out, so I'd really like to know if there's a particular day to go.