When Australian coffee culture began to emerge in the States a few years ago, many a doubtful New Yorker probably thought, "But don't we have enough coffee bars in the city already?" With national chains offering burnt beans and an anemic pastry selection to patrons hunched distractedly over smartphones, the city coffee experience is sorely lacking. But in Australia, the attitude is different — deliciously so.
In Australian cafés, food and coffee are given equal billing. Beans are carefully roasted, and each beverage is lovingly handcrafted. The food, typically centered on "brekkie" and light lunch fare, is eons above microwaved-to-death egg sandwiches and stale croissants. Perhaps most importantly, the vibe is beachy and relaxed, inviting patrons to linger over actual face-to-face conversations.
With deep Australian roots ourselves, we at Dixon know a thing or two about Australian coffee culture, and from this well-informed vantage point, we bring you our Dixon Top 5 Aussie Coffee Shops. Enjoy, mate!
Merriweather Coffee + Kitchen — 428 Hudson St. between Leroy and Morton streets, West Village, Manhattan
(Photo via itsthegoldlife.com)
Founded by an Aussie native and named for Merewether Beach about two hours north of Sydney, this cozy West Village spot's seafoam green interiors and wavelike logo create the perfect oceanfront ambiance. Baristas are devoted to preparing perfect beverages made from Counter Culture beans, and their straightforward version of avocado toast is dotted with black sesame seeds and chili flakes for just the right amount of kick.
Seven Point Espresso — 637 Washington Ave. at Bergen Street, Crown Heights, Brooklyn (Photo via dixonprojects.com)
With gorgeous interiors by Dixon Projects, we can't help but be partial to this Brooklyn spot where the ambiance is pure Australian ease. Set in a wedge-shaped building on the border of Prospect Heights and Crown Heights, this bright and friendly spot has become a beloved local hangout for Brooklynites with a taste for great food and coffee. Their avocado toast includes rich hazelnut dukkah and feta cheese, and there's a special kids' menu for the little ones.
Heavily influenced by the coffee culture of Australia, Bluestone Lane locations offers a stylish and relaxed vibe and simply fantastic coffee. With a mission to turn patrons into full-fledge coffee connoisseurs, Bluestone provides an experts staff of baristas using the finest equipment and Rainforest Alliance certified beans. Their coffee shops (located in Midtown and Downtown Manhattan) offer a limited food menu, while their café locations (in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Hoboken) include a full brekkie menu, including avocado toast topped with tahini, heirloom cherry tomatoes, feta and sunflower sprouts.
Little Collins — 667 Lexington Ave. between 55th and 56th streets, Midtown, Manhattan (Photo via littlecollinsnyc.com)
For a taste of Australia in Midtown Manhattan, head to Little Collins, a delightful food and coffee spot named for a bustling Melbourne street. Catering to the workday crowd, there's not much space to linger here, but the attentive personal service makes it a welcoming destination for beautifully executed coffees. Brekkie, salads and sandwiches fill the menu, and their avo smash is simply perfect topped with just feta, chili flakes and pepitas. For the full Aussie experience, try The Convict — toast with Vegemite.
Saltwater Coffee — 345 E. 12th St. near First Avenue, East Village, Manhattan (Photo via instagram.com/misrahirealty/)
Founded by Sydney natives who yearned for an Australian-style neighborhood spot, Saltwater is the perfect embodiment of coffee culture on a small scale. Beans are sourced from The Little Marionette, a Sydney-based boutique roaster, and the space is tiny, but serene, thanks to white painted brick, marble counters and gold fixtures. If you're hungry, another entry on our list might be more suitable, however. Saltwater doesn't serve food, save for the small retail display filled with Tim Tams, Vegemite and saltwater taffy.