Peaberry Espresso, 166 Riley St, Darlinghurst, NSW, 2010: www.peaberryespresso.com.au
I lied! Instead of Dov, I’m reviewing another tucked away fave, Peaberry Espresso.
I discovered Peaberry quite by accident last year as I wanted a coffee while waiting for the Feit shoe store to open – it’s right next door. Peaberry’s like that, unless you live or work in the area, chances are you won’t find it; I think it’s one of those places known by locals only but once you know it, you’ll keep on going back.
Since finding it, I/we have been back to it numerous times as we pass by or just don’t want to go to the usually busy counterparts in the area. Peaberry is small, from the front no more than a hole in the wall, the table and umbrella in the footpath being the give away to its presence. Inside, it’s ‘cozy’, lit by down lights (there’s no outdoor area and the seating area is tucked away in the back) and nicely coloured with interesting photos of coffee on the walls. When combined with the usually fine selection of tunes and free newspapers, it’s an ideal place to get away from everyone and just switch off and do ‘your thang’. Best thing though is that you can usually be sure trendy wannabe interlopers wanting to be seen being hip (like in other places in the East Sydney locale) will not be hanging around. Like I said, it’s very much a local’s place.
The food and coffee are top notch, the coffee especially very good and is something obviously a subject of pride. Check the menu on their site, but the selection of sandwiches and light meals is solid quality, fresh and well priced with a definite Italian bent. The sandwich I had last week was really very, very good and for $7.50, something I could very easily have had two of! Service wise, it’s friendly, efficient and best of all they leave you alone when everything’s done – there’s never a feeling that you need to vacate the seat or they don’t want you hanging around, which could be why you see local business types doing business type things in the mornings during the week.
Peaberry’s location, just off Oxford St, is in a little ‘square’ of cool. With Feit next door, Carhart next to that, Monster Children upstairs, and some other very cool shops and galleries over the road; for Sydney, this is about as cool ‘street culture’ as you’ll get; though you’d never know it as it is just off the track far enough that unless you know about the area, you’d only ever stumble on it by accident.
Overall, Peaberry Espresso is one of those places that I just like. It has all the right combination of things that have me going back whenever I’m in the area and in need of some good coffee or a bite to eat.