eftpos best cafe
Circa Specialty Coffee, Parramatta
It's in a laneway and the kitchen is 1.5 metres x 1.5 metres, but Tony Sleiman and Aykut Sayan are rocking the locals with high-detail Five Senses coffee, flavour-bursting food, and a go-west spirit that's putting Parramatta on the map.
21 Wentworth Street, Parramatta, 0410 757 757
Best new cafe
Excelsior Jones, Ashfield
An old corner shop converted to a cool cafe, Excelsior has a whip-smart menu of pork hock hash and cream soda spiders with a no-attitude attitude to those packing a kid or two.
139A Queen Street, Ashfield, 9799 3240
Coffee Alchemy, Marrickville
Hazel de los Reyes sets the bar with her dedication to the bean, from sourcing and selection, to roasting and brewing. More a roastery outlet than a full-blown cafe - and no food to speak of - it's nevertheless one of the top coffee destinations in Sydney.
24 Addison Road, Marrickville, 9516 1997
Latorre & Dutch best boutique roaster
Reuben Hills, Surry Hills
Not only a specialty roaster bringing integrity to each stage of the process, from sourcing and selecting, to roasting, brewing and educating, but a boundary-pushing cafe as well, with food inspired by the beans' countries of origin.
61 Albion Street, Surry Hills, 9211 5556
Best brew bar
Sideshow at Single Origin Roasters, Surry Hills
Demonstrating an ongoing commitment to the excellent adventure of coffee brewing in all its forms - syphon, cold-drip, filter, or espresso - the little sideshow to Single Origin Roasters' Surry Hills flagship is for many the big top.
52-64 Reservoir Street, Surry Hills, 9211 0665
Bonsoy best barista
Dan Yee of Salvage Specialty Coffee, Artarmon
Recently landed at Salvage with barista mates Toby Cutler and Matt Goto and Mecca Espresso beans, Yee is curious and forward-thinking, striving for excellence in every cup.
5 Wilkes Avenue, Artarmon, no phone
Best small cafe
Ticking every trending box, this half-bakery, half-espresso (Mecca) bar , redefines the level of detail that can be put in place in a limited space.
206 Cleveland Street, Chippendale, 9698 7880
Best food cafe
Kepos Street Kitchen, Redfern
Michael Rantissi does everything from scratch in this born-again cottage, from the falafel and shakshouka to the brilliant pastries and The Grounds Roasters coffee.
96 Kepos Street, Redfern, 9319 3919
Bourke Street Bakery, Surry Hills
BSB recently launched the first social-enterprise bakery in Australia,the Bread & Butter Project, training refugees to be ''the bakers of tomorrow'' and making a real contribution to a wider community. thebreadandbutterproject.com
Now in Surry Hills, Alexandria, Neutral Bay, Marrickville and Potts Point, 9699 1011
Hall of fame
The original bills cafe changed our idea of what a cafe could be when it opened in Liverpool Street 20 years ago. It's still as fresh as a daisy today with its big share table, scrambled eggs, great magazines, and Single Origin Roasters coffee.
433 Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst, 9360 9631