Sydney's smallest specialty coffee bar.
Lauren Vadnjal
Published on July 21, 2016
Updated on July 23, 2020


You don't need much space to make a good coffee — at least, not at Neighbourhood. At gun barista Sean McManus' new Surry Hills hole-in-the-wall coffee bar (calling it a cafe would be a stretch), there's definitely not enough room to swing a cat. But slinging a few coffee skills? He proves that's not a problem.

McManus and his trusty sidekick make easy work of an espresso, serving up beans roasted by him and his mates at Artificer. The schtick here is the use of oat milk, which gives the coffee a floury, breakfast-like taste. If you don't drink cow's milk, you may be obliged to try it — they don't do soy.

The space — God knows what it was before — is little more than a shoebox and it feels more like ordering at a food truck than a cafe. Well, one with blonde timber panelling. And while it's predominantly set up for takeaways, you can get your long black in a porcelain cup to sip on the four-person bench that's been set up on the sidewalk. Pastries from Penny Fours sit on the counter most mornings too.

At the moment Neighbourhood is only open Monday to Friday, presumably to catch the weekday commuters as they traipse to and from Central Station. But commuter or not, you'd do well to make this your coffee pit stop once in a while.


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