For those needing their coffee a little earlier than the nine-to-fiver run, these are seven of the best cafés that'll tap you out a great brew before 7am.
After a top brew in the city? Check out our guide to the best coffee in the CBD.
Looking for brunch? These are the 20 best breakfasts in Sydney.
RECOMMENDED: The 50 best restaurants in Sydney.
Where to get coffee in Sydney before 7am
There's a reason this roastery/café on Reservoir Street is still one of lower Surry Hills' most popular spots for a pre-work brekky meeting. For starters, there's the excellent coffee – no surprise, given the spot is HQ for the roasters supplying some of Sydney's top cafés. The team here serve a house blend they call Reservoir and it's a doozy: sweet, clean and light – perfect for a milk-based morning cup. And they swing open the doors at 6.30am, giving you plenty of time to get in and out before 9am.
You can start your morning regime at this George St café from 6.30am most days. Five Senses beans become skilfully pulled espresso shots on two shiny, white Synesso machines – the chocolatey, roasty Dark Horse Blend for your flattie, a rich, fruity, acid-forward Colombia Popayan Cincuenta for your doppio, and single-origin Ethiopia Ardi for filter orders. White coffees are balanced – no excessive milkiness – and black coffees are smooth with a nice bite to finish.
It’s really hard to find a good brew in Chatswood, making the Steam Engine a true unicorn. The fact they open at 6am on weekdays coupled with their below-the-station location is a serious plus for any early commuter. Also, bonus points to these guys for their BYO cup enthusiasm – they have their own line of them, plus discounts range from 50 cents off to coffees for just $1 (depending on the day).
On weekdays you’ll find these guys tapping out their easy-to-drink Campos blends from 6.30am. There are also tea blends by T2 and smoothies including a green one that doesn’t suck. Instead of tasting like you’re slurping a salad bowl, the Detox Smoothie tastes more like a healthy Vietnamese shake (thanks to the creamy, nutty addition of avocado).
This Hall St coffee bolthole is brought to you by the same folks behind Paramount Coffee Project and Reuben Hills. The brews they are bringing to Bondi are top notch, and they are open from 6.30am, meaning you can grab a coffee en route to your early morning dip or work commute.
This hole-in-the-wall on Redfern Street doles out Campos coffee and thin, toasted bagels for a cheap and cheerful brekky to go. Time it right and you may even snare a seat on one of the bicycle saddle stools in the bright sunshine out the front. They are open every single day of the year (Christmas and New Years included) from 6am, and have outposts at Bondi Junction, Marrickville, Potts Point and Waterloo
Hidden in a laneway that runs alongside the Metro Theatre, Central Roasters is one of those cafés that you're unlikely to stumble upon by accident, so seek it out. They roast their own beans here (on our visit it's a rich Colombian and Indonesian blend) and regulars will love the prepaid coffee card systems, which will get you a free cuppa for every seven you drink.
In Surry Hills?
It was once a forbidding slum, but now the scariest thing about this inner-city utopia is the waiting time to get your smashed avo on a Sunday morning. No visit to Sydney is complete without a coffee and a repast at the undisputed breakfast capital of Australia – here are the places you need to know about, and how long you can expect your satisfaction to be delayed.