Metropole – one of Sydney’s best cafes

The coronavirus has Australia (and the rest of the world) in shutdown mode… being cooped up at home has allowed me to understand what I really miss and apart from being able to enjoy a sense of personal freedom, I have to admit I am missing good coffee & eating out! Seeing as I spent most of the last few years trying out as many cafes in Sydney as I possibly could (living the good brunch life as any true Millennial does), I thought I’d take the time to share one of my personal favourites with you.

Close up of a cappuccino at Metropole cafe
Metropole Cafe – a coffee & foodie haven in the heart of Sydney’s CBD

Nestled in the heart of the historic and elegant Queen Victoria Building (that’s the “QVB” to Sydney-siders) is where you will find Metropole café. It’s a bustling hub amidst designer label stores & boutiques, where the sound of coffee being made & guests chatting instantly engages the senses. Located right in front of the Mulberry and Longchamp stores, with plenty of seating, it’s the perfect spot to relax whilst you’re wandering around shopping or even for a quick business catch up.

North facing view of Metropole Cafe in Sydney's QVB
Get to Metropole early in the morning for the best selection of food!

What I love about Metropole the most though actually isn’t the coffee (although it’s pretty good)…. the reason I keep returning is the pastries! I’ve travelled a fair bit around Europe (I especially adore France) and have to admit that I’ve eaten more than my fair share of baked delights, even at home in Australia…. But no bakery, café or shop in Sydney even comes close to the quality and range of delectable pastries as Metropole does. It is quite simply the best; being such a fan of their selection, I was fortunate to sit down with Metropole’s owner & manager, Nik Spartan, to find out more about this much adored foodie spot. We had a quick chat where I was able to discover exactly why their selection is so delicious and what makes Metropole stand out amongst the plethora of cafes in Sydney.

A quick brunch at Metropole - coffee, croissant & pastry
A quick brunch at Metropole Cafe – coffee, croissant & pastry

When it comes to their pastries, Nik filled me in on exactly why they are so mouthwatering and taste as good as any you would find in Paris – it’s because Metropole source their selection which are made by French bakers in Sydney. My stand-out favourite is undoubtedly their apricot danish. It’s light and the apricot halves on each end consistently have the most delicate balance of tartness & sweetness, amongst a delicious filling & fluffy pastry. I can honestly eat these apricot danishes at any time of the day, however they do tend to sell out quite early in the morning. Some workdays you’ll be lucky if there are any left by 9am!

Close up of apricot danish from Metropole cafe
My all-time favourite pasty at Metropole – their apricot danish!

I also rate their prosciutto & swiss cheese croissants very highly as well, as an alternative option to the apricot danish. The tastiest croissants in Sydney; Metropole also offer varieties with ham & cheese, chocolate, almond, and ham, tomato & cheese. It’s not only just the pastries that keep me coming back though – their sweets & cake selection is utterly outstanding, particularly the Italian tiramisu.

Prosciutto & cheese croissant with salad at Metropole cafe
Prosciutto & cheese croissant with salad

Customer service consistently remains Metropole’s main focus and Nik honed his approach to this from working in a deli at a young age, with a love of connecting with people being his main drive. When I asked one of my friend’s, Irena, who introduced me to this café exactly why she loves it so much, her answer was, “they always know my name and I like their tea”. Now English Breakfast tea isn’t terribly hard to mess up so I suspect the way they make her feel welcome has more to do with why she keeps returning!

Close up photo of the cakes & sweets selection at Metropole cafe
By the afternoon the cake & sweets selection is almost sold out

Nik also mentioned this to me as well during our chat – that the staff have a real focus on keeping their customers happy and remembering your name. This probably is also helped by the fact that staff turnover is low and Nik does everything he can to support them. A lot of the baristas and servers are studying or on sponsorships, and are treated as extended members of the family.

Close up of placemat with Metropole Cafe's name origin
The story behind Metropole Cafe’s name

Metropole cafe isn’t one of those fancy “Instagrammable” flower cafes… and truth be told – it simply doesn’t need to be, in order to attract & retain their customer base. This is because their customers (myself included) aren’t going there just for the photos – we keep returning for the high quality of food & drinks and a place where the staff know your name. Happy staff equal happy customers – combine that with an owner/operator who has a real passion for excellent coffee & service, add a sprinkling of the most delicious pastries & cakes selection in Sydney and you get Metropole in the QVB. Once the coronavirus shutdown is over and life is back to a sense of normality, this is one of the first places you’ll find me at…most likely eating an apricot danish!

Enjoying a capuccino for brunch on my last visit to Metropole in early March
Enjoying a capuccino for brunch on my last visit to Metropole in early March

To find out more information on Metropole, you can visit their Facebook and Instagram. Their café is located at Kiosk 56, Ground Floor, Queen Victoria Building, 455 George Street, Sydney, Australia.

I hope you have enjoyed this article – do you love visiting cafes too what makes you keep returning to your favourite one? Let me know in the comments below!

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Lauren Harding
Lauren Harding

Fashion & lifestyle blogger based in Sydney, Australia

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4 Comments

  1. Irena
    April 20, 2020 / 9:50 pm

    Beautiful blog and metropole is a wonderful cafe! Great food and great customer service 😊

    • April 21, 2020 / 10:38 pm

      Thanks so much Irena, it really is a wonderful café – thanks for introducing me to it as well 🙂

  2. April 20, 2020 / 10:41 pm

    Hello dear Lauren, it sounds very inviting. Wonderful pastries, cakes, coffee and tea and even a particularly nice service. Thank you for testing it out yourself and for sharing. So if I should be in Sydney, I would like to try out this pleasant experience. 🌹❤️✨

    • April 21, 2020 / 10:41 pm

      Hi Marcel, thanks for your feedback! It is a café I go to regularly and look forward to supporting this business when life “returns to normal” again! If you are ever in Sydney, I am happy to take you for coffee and something to eat here, I know you will be impressed!

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