Bruschetta, panini, caffe… and a big smile
For a newly arrived and lonely tourist, Bruschetteria 102 will provide a real Italian welcome, as if they were just waiting for you. (Australian had a huge influx of Italians arrive post-Second World War, one of the reasons Sydney’s food scene is so good today.) The cafe has a Sydney twist, of course: where the Italians have only a coffee and a biscuit for breakfast, here you can have eggs and bacon, or smoked salmon, piled high on thin sourdough bread. The bruschetta, “things on toast” basically, come on a wooden cutting board with a pile of salad, thick sweet balsamic and a big smile. The panini are extravagant: Garbatella, chicken schnitzel, fried aubergine and a lavish amount of basil pesto on ciabatta is out of this world.
The coffee is good, and the pasta made fresh every day. Lurk as long as you like in this cosy central café, reading the paper or watching the Italians chat, until you are ready to face the world again. Leave with a sincere exhortation to come again soon, cara, and if you are very lucky, a taste of their homemade limoncello. Open all day, popular but not crowded, with occasional bands in the evenings.
Bruschetteria 102: 102 Albion St, Sydney; near Central Station
Where next? Aspiring bakers can visit Chef’s Warehouse at 111-115 Albion St and try not to spend all their money on piping pags, madeleine tins and other sundries.