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The main cafe scenes center on Victoria Street in Darlinghurst, Stanley Street in East Sydney, and King Street in Newtown. Other places, including Balmoral Beach on the North Shore, Bondi Beach, and Paddington all have their own favored hangouts.

Note: Americans will be sorry to learn that, unlike in the States, free refills of coffee are rare in Australian restaurants and cafes. Sip slowly. 

The following are the best cafes around town.

  • Bill's, 433 Liverpool St., Darlinghurst (tel. 02/9360 9631; www.bills.com.au; AE, MC, V; CityRail: Kings Cross), a bright and airy place strewn with flowers and magazines, serves nouveau cafe-style food. It's so popular you might have trouble finding a seat. The signature breakfast dishes -- including ricotta hotcakes with honeycomb butter and banana, and sweet corn fritters with roast tomatoes and bacon -- are the stuff of legend.
  • The walls of the tiny, cluttered Café Hernandez, 60 Kings Cross Rd., Potts Point (tel. 02/9331 2343; www.cafehernandez.com.au; AE, MC, V; CityRail: Kings Cross), are crammed with eccentric fake masterpieces, and the aroma of 20 types of coffee roasted and ground on the premises permeates the air. It's almost a religious experience for discerning central-city coffee addicts. The Spanish espresso is a treat.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.