Tuesday, January 02, 2007

It's a well-known fact that I am incredibly fond of my caffeine fix. While I try not to indulge my habit too much at work (S$4 cups of coffee every single day can wreak havoc on one's budget), I usually go a little overboard on weekends and vacations, because, to me, nothing says relax more than sipping a great cappuccino while chilling out at a warm cafe, whether alone or with friends.

I had some of the best coffee in the world in Italy (more specifically, Tazza D'oro in Rome) when I went there in 2001 and again in 2005. However, my recent vacation in Sydney gave the Italian cafe experience a good run for its money.

The cafes we went to were:
  • Campos: Campos is a small, friendly cafe located in Newtown, the university area of Sydney. The cafe used its own blend of coffee which featured an unusual caramel taste and was overall, just awesome. How good is the coffee? Well, it's so good that the New York Times rates the coffee as being worth the 22-hour flight from New York to Sydney. The cafe also had some great brownies which are delivered once a week every Tuesday. In fact, I found this cafe through a friend who requested that I bring some brownies back for him.

  • Badde Manors: We found this quaintly named cafe through one of the numerous guidebooks on our hotel's bookshelf. I can't recall which one in particular, but it's either Let's Go Australia or Frommers. The coffee was decent but couldn't compare to Campos. The cakes and tarts were more their forte. However, one thing about Badde Manors is that its location is great. It's located in Glebe and is just, well, wonderfully Glebe. We sat outside on in the sheltered al fresco area on a nicely sunny Saturday morning, and just chilled. I cannot found the words to describe just how sublimely beautiful that morning was, and how incredibly relaxed we were that day.

  • Fratelli Paradiso: Fratelli Paradiso is listed in both Lonely Planet's The Perfect Day and Wallpaper's City Guide to Sydney as a great place to have breakfast. Given such accolades, we decided we couldn't miss out on checking out this cafe even though we didn't have much time left before we had to leave for the airport. We sped-walked all the way there to grab a quick cup of coffee (we finished in less than 20 minutes) and tried to figure out why this place was so highly regarded. The coffee was not bad - better than Badde Manors for sure, but not quite up there with Campos. Not having a chance to eat anything there, we decided that it was most likely the food, the decor (minimalist yet friendly - a rather hard balance to achieve) and most likely, the staff, who, while friendly, absolutely refused to be rushed, so Italian and Australian they are.

193 Missenden Road, Newtown
Phone: +61 (0)2 9516 3361
Mon - Fri 7 am to 4 pm
Sat 8 am to 5pm

Badde Manors
37 Glebe Point Road, Glebe
Phone: +61 (0)2 9660 3797
Mon - Thur 8 am to 12 mn
Fri - Sat 8 am to 1 am
Sun & PH 9 am to 12 mn

Fratelli Paradiso
12 Challis Avenue, Potts Point
Phone: +61 (0)2 9357 1744
Mon - Fri 7 am to 11 pm
Sat 7 am to 5 pm

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