Don't let the name fool you – this thoughtful Avalon café is on to something big
When people talk about great cafés in Sydney, they too often fail to take their minds very far past the bridge. Big mistake. Because there's a place in Avalon showing them how it's done.
Smalltown has been doing its thing quietly for some time now, but after a management change last year, the pans are rocking with renewed gusto. Not only is the vibe everything a beachside café should be – laidback and family/dog friendly with plenty of outdoor seating – but the food they serve is genuinely exciting.
Take the trout fillet. Two fat lozenges of seared, warm, just-cooked fish sit beside jewel-cut pickled beets, zingy goats curd, charred asparagus and two lightly poached eggs. There’s even toasted rye slathered in butter on the side so you can make a sanga of it. Everything is cooked with thought and sensitivity; the plates are visual stunners.
Too posh? No problem. Go for the Big Boy, a bacon and egg roll packed tall with two softly fried eggs, heaps of bacon, sweet caramelised onions, Swiss cheese, salad and a duo of sauces. If you prefer a sweeter breakfast, the ricotta pancakes have your name on them. Studded with poppy seeds, drenched in maple syrup, topped with fresh berries and finished with a splodge of creamy ricotta and a showering of edible flowers, they're a charming way to start the day.
Their coffee beans are supplied by Single Origin, and the baristas can be spied behind the counter measuring out the grinds to get every cup just right. The flat white, made with the Silverbee blend, is smooth and caramelly but not overly smoky. It’s one of the best coffees you’ll find up this way.
Granted, Avalon is a bit of a drive for most, but Smalltown is worth the trek. Be sure you come hungry, because there are other places worth checking out up this way too. Don’t miss the Sneaky Grind for that second coffee, paired with a butter-rich croissant from La Banette. Or try a house-made gelato from Chill Bar up the road. Smalltown is a big deal. Go find out why.
1/21-23 Old Barrenjoey Rd
|Opening hours:||Daily 7.30am-2pm|