One of Sydney's most sustainable cafes.
July 01, 2023
Alex Elliott-Howery and James Grant are the partners behind Cornersmith, which, apart from the cafe, also includes a picklery, a cooking school and a cookbook. Their holistic focus on ethical and sustainable production of food and business practices is certainly a step up; unlike so many other Sydney cafes, they don't just talk the talk — they walk the walk, too.
After running a hugely popular Marrickville cafe (now closed), the decision to open the Annandale venue was more fate than choice — the owners of nearby institution Fat Fish tapped the husband and wife duo on the shoulder and the two, not surprisingly, fell in love with the gorgeous space and location. "We're inner westies and liked the idea of expanding to another neighbourhood with a strong community that is in line with what we're about," says Elliott-Howery.
The airy, bright cafe has the same local, independent feel of the former Marrickville shop — and has perhaps more of a family appeal than a hipster one. Its proximity to the park is perfect for their takeaway picnics on offer; the picnic box includes a selection of cheese (which changes weekly), chutney, butter, a salad, seasonal fruit and — of course — pickles, with a sourdough baguette to top it all off.
Cornersmith's seasonal menu has a chalkboard that notes which producer each item comes from. The most accurate comment you can make about the food here is that it is honest — the dishes are prepared in a simple, straightforward manner that lets the produce really shine.
As the menu is forever evolving, we can't guarantee what you'll find, but The Cornersmith plate highlights the cafe's pickle fetish with a regularly rotating lineup of seasonal hits such as apple and radish slaw, pickled fennel, fresh labneh and charred leeks, all served with perfectly toasted sourdough.
We can't get enough of sustainable brunch spots, and, like the Annandale locals, we're happy to see this philosophy extended to another neighbourhood thanks to Cornersmith.
Images: Joshua Morris, Nikki To and Anna Kucera.
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