Top 5 Bookshop Cafés
By Betty Zhang
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a booklover with a predilection for coffee, must be in want of a bookshop café. Books and coffee go together like Holmes and Watson, lightning-shaped scars and round glasses, Keira Knightley and period costumes…you get the drift. So guess what?
Reader, I found them. There are bookshop cafés in Sydney! If you like the sound of books, food, coffee and wine under one roof, keep calm and read on.
Home to a wide range of new and second-hand books, this sleek Paddington shop is one of eight Berkelouw stores in Sydney. The café and wine bar upstairs is a wonderful place to read and unwind. It’s open till late everyday.
Food & Drink: breakfast, sandwiches, burgers, salads, muffins, coffee and wine
Buy a book, take it upstairs and spoil yourself with a cuppa or glass of wine.
19 Oxford Street, Paddington
(12 minute walk from Kings Cross Station)
Mon - Thurs: 9:00am - 10:00pm
Fri - Sat: 9:30am - 11:00pm
Sun: 9:30am - 10:00pm
*Café 1812 opens at 10:00am.
(02) 9360 3200
Food Menu: http://cafe1812.com.au/?page_id=845
Drinks Menu: http://cafe1812.com.au/?page_id=303
Sappho is not your regular bookshop café. It’s also a wine & tapas bar on some nights, a place for poetry readings and live music and – believe it or not – a barista school too. Better still, they just added a delicious vegan menu.
Food & Drink: breakfast, toasted ciabatta, wraps, salads, tapas, plates to share, cocktails, beer, cider, spirits, wine and dessert
Want to drink literary cocktails like Tequila Mockingbird and mingle with fellow bookworms? Rock up after 6pm when their bar’s open (see below).
51 Glebe Point Road, Glebe
(5 minute walk from Broadway Shopping Centre)
Mon - Tues: 7:30am - 7:00pm
Wed - Fri: 7:30am - 11:00pm
Sat: 8:30am - 11:00pm
Sun: 9:00am - 7:00pm
Mon - Sat: 7:30am - 6:00pm
Sun: 9:00am - 6:30pm
Wine & Tapas Bar:
Wed - Sat: 6:00pm - 11:00pm
(02) 9552 4498
Café Menu: http://www.sapphobooks.com.au/cafe.html
Wine & Tapas Bar Menu: http://www.sapphobooks.com.au/wine_bar.html
Ampersand is for the perpetually peckish bookworm. If your idea of paradise is a lazy Sunday spent reading, eating and drinking, head to 78 Oxford Street. With over 30,000 used books and lots of delicious foods to choose from, you’ll be over the moon.
Food & Drink: baked goods, pastas, salads, drinks and coffee
Begin your day with their insanely delicious Apple & Berry Crumble, served with natural yoghurt and drizzled with honey and cinnamon.
78 Oxford Street, Paddington
(15 minute walk from Kings Cross Station)
Mon - Fri: 7:30am - 5:30pm
Sat: 8:00am - 5:30pm
Sun: 9:00am - 5:00pm
(02) 9380 6617
Gertrude & Alice
Located near Bondi Beach and named after the famous literary couple Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, this shop is a booklover’s dream. There’s a huge selection of second-hand books and plenty of places to sit and read.
Food & Drink: wraps, muffins, blackboard specials and coffee
Be sure to check out their website or Facebook page to get the first scoop on upcoming events.
46 Hall Street, Bondi
(5 minute walk from Bondi Beach)
Mon - Sun: 7:15am - 9:30pm
(02) 9130 5155
A small, eclectic suburban café. The shelves at the back are stacked with second-hand books, the food is delicious and the atmosphere is always warm.
Food & Drink: pastries, muffins, sandwiches, Turkish breads, toasties, burgers, pancakes and coffee
The books are for sale but you can just read them there. Sweet!
Pittwater Road, Hunters Hill
Mon - Fri: 7:00am - 4:00pm
Sat - Sun: 7:30am - 3:00pm
(02) 9816 1613