Baker Bros

Restaurants Sydney
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The Baker Bros give CBD lunches a makeover

Lunch in the city moves at two speeds. There are the quick-draw food courts and sandwich bars, and then there’s the business lunch, often involving booze. Enter Baker Bros, a new Italian café and bar trying to carve out a space somewhere between the two.

This corridor café calls one half of a York Street shopfront home, sharing the space with a takeaway sushi joint. It’s a slightly awkward spot that they’ve warmed up with black-and-white tiles, honey-coloured timber, warm lights and shelves stocked with coffee, Bonsoy and liquor. Plus, they’re trying to bring Italy’s coffee bar culture to Sydney with one-dollar standing espresso – more power to them. Unfortunately it’s so busy here that even the standing space feels underfoot. Give your knees a rest and try and secure one of the comfy wooden stools instead.

You’ll want to get in early to take a run at the beef cheek cheeseburger – it’s gone by 12.30pm when we visit – but a sweet pork belly sandwich with red cabbage coleslaw is an admirable and tasty stand-in. Not in a hurry to get back to the office? Order a glass of wine with your lunch and pretend you’re in Europe. In fact they’re licensed from 10am and open late on Thursday and Friday evenings for aperitivi. There are Aperol or Campari Spritzes for $11 and they’ll even spike your apple juice with vodka for eight bucks.

Overall these guys have the right idea. We generally love sitting up amid the action at the bar, but when you’re facing a sink full of glasses it loses a lot of the romance. The incongruous mix of Die Antwoord, Notorious BIG and Diana King might make for a great gym playlist but doesn’t really work as a café soundtrack.

We’re always happy to see something a bit different amongst the sea of franchises in the CBD and with a little more thought for the customer experience Baker Bros will have staked out a claim on the casual city lunch.

Venue name: Baker Bros
Address: 1/56-58 York St
Opening hours: Mon-Wed 7am-4pm; Thu, Fri 7am-late
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