Sydney’s Premier CBD Cafés – A Photographer’s Ultimate Guide

Sydney’s CBD is known for its vibrant cafe culture, where you can savor a perfect cup of coffee in the heart of the city.

Sydney cbd cafe

Nestled in the heart of Sydney’s bustling central business district, the cafe culture thrives, and it’s here that you’ll discover some of the city’s best coffee experiences. Sydney’s CBD is home to a vibrant array of cafes, each offering a unique and aromatic journey through the world of specialty coffee. From the rich, velvety depths of an espresso to the carefully crafted pour-over brews, these coffee spots redefine the morning coffee scene in the city.

Best coffee shops

Sydney’s best coffee roasters have elevated the city’s cafe culture to new heights, bringing a diverse array of cafe designs to heart of the CBD. Whether you’re in search of a cozy breakfast nook or a bustling lunch menu, the CBD cafes have something to satisfy every palate.

Cafes in Sydney central business district for a coffee break

Step into one of these CBD cafes, and you’ll find yourself not just ordering coffee but experiencing it. The talented baristas here treat coffee-making as an art form, carefully selecting the finest beans and employing precise brewing techniques. The result? A cup of perfection that captures the essence of Sydney’s cafe culture. So, as you embark on your journey through the hustle and bustle of the CBD, be sure to pause and savor the exceptional coffee spots that make Sydney’s central business district a true coffee lover’s paradise.

Here’s are 4 examples of exemplary Sydney cbd cafés

Written and photographed by Best Cafe Designs, Andrew is an architect, photographer, website designer and coffee lover.  He started out by photographing cafes in Sydney CBD and extended to a international collaboration of over 40 architects, photographers and writers worldwide.

Leible Coffee

Leible Coffee embraces a design that perfectly balances industrial chic with modern comfort. The raw concrete elements adorning the interior infuse an urban and minimalist ambiance into the space. At the heart of the tiny cafe, the gently curved counter is a standout feature, not only contributing to the cafe’s unique charm but also creating an inviting focal point for patrons.

Above, the ceiling accentuates the counter’s curve, establishing a sense of continuity throughout the cafe. An elegant light feature gently bathes the space, adding to its cozy and welcoming atmosphere. Against the backdrop of raw concrete and subtle lighting, the mint green seating offers a refreshing pop of color and comfort, creating a harmonious design that invites customers to savor their coffee in style.

Leible Coffee

Coffee Shop location: Charles Building, 89 York St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

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Leible Coffee‘s design ethos successfully melds elements of urban sophistication with a contemporary touch. The raw concrete, encompassing much of the interior, lends an industrial character, striking a balance with the inviting mint green seating. The gently curved counter coffee bar stands as a focal point, adding a touch of artistry to the cafe’s design. The ceiling’s curvature, in harmony with the counter, establishes an elegant flow in the space.

The soft, ambient lighting feature complements the overall design, creating an inviting atmosphere. The combination of these elements crafts a space where patrons can enjoy their coffee in a relaxed and visually appealing setting.

Sydney cafe Open for coffee fix and brekkie weekdays 7:00-3:30pm and weekends 9:00-3:00pm

Cafe Portico

Cafe Portico_4Cafe Portico_4

Coffee Shop location: 42-44 Margaret Street, 2 York St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

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Cafe Portico local cafe seamlessly weaves together history and contemporary design, creating a unique experience within a heritage church. The cafe’s integration with the historic church structure is a masterful touch, preserving the building’s character while providing a modern, welcoming environment. Within this pleasant space, there are numbers plants amongst the counter and seating areas, infusing freshness and vibrancy into the cafe’s atmosphere. The bay window, a prominent feature, not only brings abundant natural light but also offers a cozy nook for patrons to savor their coffee while enjoying the view of the street. Cafe Portico‘s design is a testament to its heritage aesthetic, combining old-world charm with modern comfort, creating a truly exceptional and timeless setting.

Open for coffee aficionados weekdays 6:30-2:30pm and weekends 7:30-2:00pm

Pablo and Rusty

Pablo and RustyPablo and Rusty

Pablo and Rusty at 161 Castlereagh Street is situated within the Liberty Place mid-block connection, the cafe seamlessly integrates with its surroundings, offering a vibrant oasis in the heart of the city. The design is a true testament to its raw industrial aesthetic, with a focus on showcasing the authenticity of the space.

The liberal use of timber finishes adds warmth and character, providing a striking contrast to the exposed ceilings and polished concrete flooring. This juxtaposition creates an inviting and visually captivating environment, inviting patrons to enjoy their coffee in a setting that beautifully embraces the industrial heritage of the location.

Coffee Shop location: Pablo and Rusty at 161 Castlereagh Street Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

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Open for coffee geeks Monday to Friday 7:30-2:30pm

Avenue on George

Avenue on George, located at 200 George Street, showcases a sleek fusion of architecture and design, seamlessly integrating with the architectural lobby envisioned by fjcstudio. The cafe’s design is a natural extension of this artistic vision, with a strong connection to its surroundings. The link to the laneway connection is a standout feature, creating a dynamic atmosphere and making the cafe a true urban destination.

The glassy frontages flood the interior with natural light, providing patrons with a vibrant and open environment. Timber finishes add a sense of warmth and sophistication, striking a perfect balance between modernity and classic charm. The result is a captivating space that invites visitors to savor their coffee in a design-forward setting that celebrates the cafe’s harmonious connection to the architectural lobby and the bustling city outside.

Avenue on GeorgeAvenue on George

Avenue on George’s design celebrates its connection to the architectural lobby, enhancing its accessibility and ambiance. The integration with the laneway connection adds a dynamic and urban character, providing a unique experience for visitors. The glassy frontages not only flood the space with natural light but also establish a visual link with the vibrant cityscape outside, blurring the lines between the interior and exterior. Timber finishes offer a sense of sophistication and comfort, creating an inviting atmosphere where patrons can unwind and enjoy their quality coffee. Avenue on George is a testament to its surroundings and coffee culture, fusing modern design with architectural influences, and offering a space that beautifully complements the architectural lobby’s artistic vision.

Coffee Shop location: EY Centre 200 George St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

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Open for coffee and food weekdays 6:30-4pm

Best cafés

Whether you are coffee lovers or seek a coffee stop, these cafes are a testament to Sydney’s cosmopolitan spirit. So, the next time you find yourself navigating the hustle and bustle of the CBD, be sure to pause, savor, and immerse yourself in some of the Sydney’s best cafe designs, where every top-notch coffee is a journey and every visit a memorable experience.

author andrew-chung

Andrew Chung

I live in Sydney and I do a lot of cool things like being an architect, taking photographs, designing websites and I also love drinking coffee. I started the site It’s about how cafes are becoming popular around the world. Over 40 people, including architects, photographers and writers, help me run it.

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