Perhaps there is a ''How To Construct A Hipster Haunt'' guide circling among Sydney's cafe owners. First, you need walls with peeling paint and some mismatched vintage furniture. Porcelain ornaments are good, as are jaffles. A fixed-gear bike attached to a wall is a must.
Belgrave Cartel has covered all the elements and, to complete the picture, there are a couple of scruffy-looking hipsters sipping coffee at a corner table.
They look quite at home but so do the mums with babies, retirees and office folk. On weekends, the place is popular with the local cycle club. They can't all be here for the hipster vibe, so it must be the coffee ($2.50-$4.50). It's strong and smooth - a delicious blend designed by part-owners the Bruzzese brothers, who wanted to replicate the Italian blends their family loves.
Jaffles aside, the menu has an Italian bent: pasta, soup and fresh panini ($7-$8.50). The Bruzzeses have recruited their mum to help with the cooking. Her basil pesto is the highlight. It is fresh and feisty and transforms avocado on toast into something quite special.
Address: 6 Belgrave Street, Manly, 9976 6548.
Open: Mon-Fri, 6am-4pm; Sat, 7am-3pm; Sun, 7am-1pm; Thurs, pasta night, 6-8.30pm
- 02 9976 6548
- Opening Hours - Mon-Fri, 6am-4pm; Sat, 7am-3pm; Sun, 7am-1pm
- Author - Louise Schwartzkoff