Cyclists love coffee. Not just because it's a delicious caffeinated reward after threading your way along Sydney's busy streets, but also because it's a destination that gets you on your bike to meet your mates for a cuppa and a chat at the other end. We put our pedal to the metal to scout out some the best cycling cafés in Sydney, from Surry Hills' much loved Rapha Cycle Club to Lavender Bay's Bay Ten Espresso.
The best cycling cafés in Sydney
Sundays aren’t necessarily destined to be a lazy day of television and takeout. Next time it’s sunny, leave the car at home and bring your cycle to the lush and expansive Botanic Gardens. After you tootle through flowers and past harbour views be sure end your route at the Poolside Café. Come for the coffee, stay for the babes in budgie-smugglers. It's up to you whether you spring for a kale-dense nourish bowl or cash in your endorphins for a refreshing jug of poolside Pimms for $28.
Are you looking for a fix of sweet potato waffles? Or maybe some quality cycling gear? Rapha Cycle Club can sort you out on both scores. This meet and greet hub where dry-fit cycling shirts and leather gloves are laid out next to pastry displays and a coffee machine. Rapha knows bikes and caffeine in equal measure.
Amateur or not, grab your bicycle and head over the Harbour Bridge to Lavender Bay. Hang your bike on the wall and grab a slice of banana bread with butter at this shipping container turned café filled with spandex-clad cyclists. If you weren't serious about two-wheeled transport before, you might be after a visit here.
Grab your bicycle and whiz around the Botanic Gardens for a workout that won’t feel like work with that dazzling harbour view. Stop at the Botanic Gardens Café mid-route for a well-earned pulled pork sambo and lots of shade on a hot summer day. Saddle up the whole family and picnic overlooking the pond where you may even see a few ducklings.
Instead of tackling the crowds on the Bondi to Coogee walk yet again, take your bike along the ocean route by Coogee Beach. Pathways stretch from McIver Baths to Dolphin’s Point and beyond. Once you've peddled to your heart's content, chain up your chariot and grab a Bloody Mary and a round of lamb shoulder tacos from Little Jack Horner, a colourful beach cafe across the street from the Goldstein Reserve.
If you’re tired of swarming through sweaty crowds on foot, try biking to Hyde Park for a leisurely ride through the greens. Rest your feet and grab a bite at Metro St. James under the big fig trees while you gaze over at St. Mary’s Cathedral. For some slow action, you can focus on the game of giant chess being played by old men in the park.
Escape the hustle and bustle of the CBD and take your bike to the paved paths around the Art Gallery of New South Wales. On the way, dip into the Pavilion Kiosk for a pitstop. This small outdoor café. Grab a warm muffin to go or opt for a sit down meal that feels properly earned. Maybe now is a good time for braised lamb rump at the Pavilion Restaurant if those feet are aching for a long pause?
Hop on your bike and head straight down Bourke Street to John Montagu for a tall glass of iced chocolate. Trust us, it will be way more satisfying following a strenuous feat than if you grabbed a ready-made one from the fridge. If you're local, this corner cafe can serve as the starting fuel point for an all day adventure, or the satisfying end to a quick ride around the bike-friendly roads of Woolloomooloo.
Getting tired of seeing the harbour from the Opera House? No, but that doesn't mean you wouldn't also enjoy a fresh persepctive. Head to Rushcutters Bay with your bike for a ride around the park and stunning view of the sailboats in Kelite Bay. Drop into Rushcutters Bay Kiosk, open seven days a week, for a coffee and a bacon and egg roll you really earned.
On a clear day your bike is calling you to take it for an explore of the pathways of Centennial Park. The park is massive, so you can lose a lot of time in here, and if you're a proud bike owner there are rental bikes available for all age groups at the park. When a cheeky cramp stops you, pop into the Centennial Homestead for pick-me-up with park views.
Want more? Head to one of Sydney's best outdoor gyms
Sydney is lucky to have some damn beautiful parks, from Surry Hills' urban jungle gym that is Prince Alfred Park to the beach front grassy knolls that trail along Bondi and Maroubra. Many of these parks also have excellent outdoor gyms that are easy to use and best of all, free! Want more free outdoors fun? Visit one of Sydney's best beaches or get your run on along one of Sydney's most scenic running trails.