Bourke Street Bakery – Surry Hills

Coffee: 15/20
Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 28/40

While more known for its pies than coffee Bourke Street Bakery is a solid Surry Hills coffee option that does not fail to deliver.

A grey Sunday finds me walking up Bourke Street towards a café that oddly enough I’ve never been too Burke Street Bakery.

Burke Street Bakery has been and still is most Sydneysiders first experience of the Surry Hills café lifestyle, long lines, dingy interiors, unconformable street side sitting and wonderful food.

While there are plenty of imitators (and plenty of Bourke Street bakery’s outside of Surry Hills) the original you gotta admit has still got something going for it.

While grey and threatening to rain the lines were still long. It was a good 10 min wait to get to the counter. But just chill. It’s all part of the experience. If you’re like me, the slow wait will convince you to buy some bread and maybe a tart.

When I hit the counter I went a pie and a long black to sit in. While ordering an inside table emptied up and I did a cardigan throw from the counter to claim the table. Win.

I grabbed a seat and did the embarrassing food photo. Someone next to me made fun of it. Yeah I’m a food nerd!

The coffee was fast and barista being the smart sort called out my name before he made it so he could be more tactical in his customer search without carrying around burning coffee while searching for me.

The crema from the long black was everything you’d want rich, not to think not many bubbles. The aroma was sweet and fruity.

Sipping on it I found it to be a sweet and sour drink. In my last review of the Potts Point shop I said it had sour cherry like taste, which feels like a solid enough taste to assign to it. There was something a little but rough in the flavour as well, which I’d put down to a slow pour.

Letting it sit, I admired the staff behind the counter. Fast, clinical but still with some charm I was really impressed how they handled the never-ending line. Equally impressive was the quantity of what looked like nearly unused Nike trainers being worn about, I assume if you move into the area you get a pair?

Having let the coffee cool, the flavours started to turn a little sourer. The good news was the sugar from the pie helped a lot here to balance it. It’s a coffee made for milk (or tarts…).

Overall, I was not expecting the world from Bourke Street Bakery, but it totally over delivered. The pie was ace. Staff as friendly (as they can be given the queue). And coffee was above what you’d expect from a bakery. I can’t believe it has taken me 6 years of dining out in Surry Hills to make it here. Do it.

Ps. If you’re sitting outside you better have a french bulldog, pug or miniature dachshund or you’ll feel out of place.

1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 8/10
Experience (taste and smell): 7/10
Coffee total: 15/20

2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like): A hyper-cool dingy Surry Hills Bakery
Cool?: 7/10
Service: 6/10
Cafe: 13/20
Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 28/40

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