Sydney has no shortage of top-rate cafés. One of our favorites is Cornersmith in Marrickville. The chalkboard menu, devised by co-owners Alex Elliott-Howery and James Grant (formerly of Mecca Coffee), changes seasonally. The couple’s latest culinary innovations include housemade tofu tossed with soba noodles, fermented greens, a soft-boiled egg, pickled persimmon, and okara (soy pulp), and a porridge spliced with tea-soaked sugar plums, red dates, a mandarin purée, whey caramel, and toasted nuts. They also make toast with aplomb—lest they risk having their Australian citizenship revoked. Typical offerings include a miso-ginger pumpkin purée topped with pepitas, herbs, and pumpkin kimchi, or a sourdough bread done up with wattleseed-roasted pears, sweet parsnips, smoked macadamia nuts, and rooftop-sourced honey.
Home cooks who leave Cornersmith feeling inspired should check out the grocery store and picklery seven minutes down the road. It sells armloads of local foodstuffs, like the vials of honey pictured above, plus cookbooks and D.I.Y. kitchen supplies. The space also moonlights as a classroom, with past workshops covering home-brewing with Batch Brewing Company and a crash course in tinctures and tonics by Fermenting Projects.
Cornersmith Cafe: 314 Illawarra Rd., Marrickville, Sydney, NSW, Australia; +61-2-8065-0844.
Cornersmith Picklery: 441 Illawarra Rd., Marrickville, Sydney, NSW, Australia; +61-2-8964-7463.