Category Archives: Marrickville

At the forefront of sustainable dining, Cornersmith

If you’re craving a piping hot bowl of Vietnamese pho, but don’t want to trek out to Cabramatta, then Illawarra Road at Marrickville is the next best thing. But rice noodles are not the only dish on the menu at this up-and-coming urban hotspot.

Like most good cafes, it’s hard to get a table at Cornersmith, especially with a large group. Perched on the corner of Petersham and Illawara Road, at the site of a former sewing shop, the only sign of Cornersmith’s existence is the steady stream of customers that linger outside. Organised and structured, like much of the cafe, a clipboard at the front door acts as the booking system – where diners can write down their name and number and wait for a table.

Be prepared for a wait if you visit on the weekend

Despite the line, the wait isn’t long and we eagerly snag a table beside the huge floor-to-ceiling windows. A strong latte is soon delivered, and like always, the Mecca beans are exceptional. However the coffee is not the drawcard of the cafe, specifically. Cornersmith is part of a new wave of foraging cafes that is staunchly devoted to sourcing local, seasonal, organic and ethical produce. With a rooftop bee-hive, which is part of the local Urban Beehive project, and a menu brimming with free range eggs, house-made pickles and jams and organic juice, Cornersmith is at the forefront of sustainable dining.

Run by husband-and-wife team James Grant (formerly at Mecca Espresso) and Alex Elliot-Howery, Cornersmith is a homely little cafe that is well worth a drive to Sydney’s Inner West.

It was only open for six months when Cornersmith was announced as Local Hero at the SMH Good Cafe Guide 2012 (also holding a 3 cup status).

Anna Lisle

Cornersmith on Urbanspoon

Read more about Cornersmith here

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Filed under Cornersmith, Marrickville, Reviews

Serious coffee-drinking territory: Coffee Alchemy

Coffee Alchemy is a little café tucked away in the backstreets of Marrickville. Winning the title of “Best Coffee” in the 2011 SMH Good Cafe Guide, Coffee Alchemy is serious coffee-drinking territory. The first thing that you notice about Alchemy is that the mood is sombre. There is no music blaring overhead and there are no waitresses dizzily trotting around. The focus here is on one thing only: coffee.

There are only coffee magazines in this cafe

A group of people twitch nervously outside, having ordered a takeaway, these caffeine addicts are in no mood for patience as they wait to get their first hit of the morning. Inside, the atmosphere is just as stiff, as those who prefer to sip their liquid gold out of porcelain eye off the limited seating as they wait to order their coffee. With only two long benches, customers sit like sardines, tightly pressed next to each other. Awkwardly, customers attempt to take tentative sips, accidently elbowing the person next to them in the process. If you happen to score a seat, don’t plan a long lazy morning of newspaper reading, the unspoken rule is to drink your coffee and then get out. Once your coffee has arrived, all the sterility and hostility instantly dissolves. That first sip makes everything worthwhile. Coffee Alchemy certainly does serve one of the best coffees in town.

Anna Lisle

Coffee Alchemy on Urbanspoon

Read more about Coffee Alchemy here

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Filed under Coffee Alchemy, Marrickville, Uncategorized