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Sub-Station Cafe

A hidey-hole haven in Alexandria, deliciously delivering energy and good vibes to Sydneysiders.
By Zoe Bechara
September 24, 2013
By Zoe Bechara
September 24, 2013

It may no longer be a functioning substation but the vibe here is electric. Gone are Alexandria's dining days of takeaway joints and vending machines, the industrial 'burb is now enjoying sprightly new spots for food and flat whites. But with workers and residents aplenty and an espresso-lacking strip in McEvoy Street, Sub-Station Cafe is a welcome and indeed wanted addition. Housed in an old electric substation, the cleverly designed space is abuzz with happy people, and for good reason: here is a lovely, light-filled spot for recharging one's batteries.

A big pumpkin at the front door signifies Sub-Station out of the grey lines of warehouses and smash repairs, and is a cute indication of the sense of humour inside. Lightbulbs hang from bedsprings in makeshift chandeliers and vintage advertisements of Coles and David Jones are framed resplendently. The narrow coffee bar – clad with old-world tiles and laden with freshly baked bread – opens up to an outside courtyard. It's green, private, quiet: a rarity in this truck-heavy part of town.

Single-origin coffee (from $3) is rich and respectably creamy, and would go down a treat with one of Sub-Station's freshly baked goodies: think homemade brownies and lemon tarts. The breakfast offerings hit the mark with a balance of savoury, sweet and simple. The highlight has to be the Morning Dream breakfast roll ($16): a house-baked bread roll with egg, bacon, avocado, spinach, tomato and a chutney-like homemade sauce. The bacon is crackly crisp, American-style, which bacon-enthusiasts will attest can be hard to source.

The just-baked station granola ($12) is a delight and baked at the spot itself. Grassroots fare is clearly a Sub-Station priority; with free-range eggs and organic honey in the kitchen and potted spinach growing outside. There are homespun touches throughout, like the wooden spoon–fashioned table numbers and wall-hung chopping boards.

A hidey-hole haven in Alexandria, this substation is deliciously delivering energy and good vibes to Sydneysiders.

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