Tartan rugs scattered under the giant fig tree. Parents sit barefoot enjoying a perfectly brewed flat white and an open-top artisan sandwich in the dappled sun, while babies freely explore the grassy hill. The aptly named Outfield is the new Ashfield cafe bringing a sense of homely sophistication from indoors to out, to an inner west park-side (well cricket pitch-side) suburban locale.
The seasonal menu has been split into lighter picnic-style fare or more substantial breakfast and ‘eggs before wicket’ (love a menu pun) items for dining at the cafe tables. We sample some winners from both, and it’s a fresh and flavourful meal.
The pillowy French toast is served with a generous heaping of creme fresh, stewed pear and toffee apple. We also try a winter warmer ‘big bash’ eggs and love the potato hash with spiced pumpkin. The highlight though is a citrusy broccoli salad bowl which to our surprise delights the kids as much as the adults during our visit. It’s tangy and tasty. We notice there’s a good balance of fruit or green veg on all the menu items.
Outfield is housed in a reimagined council building which until recently sat dormant. Thankfully the Maynard’s have moved in and taken over the now light-filled space. A far cry from the disused shell it once was, the building features lovely original porthole windows on one side and wall to ceiling windows on the front overlooking the magical green space of Yeo Park.
If you’re not the picnic rug type, never fear, because owners and inner-west locals Belinda and Caleb Maynard have put lots of careful consideration to the retro-stylish vibe of the interior. Away from the baby crawlers there’s some cafe seating amongst the green and pale pink 50s-feel decor and for the best of both worlds, some outdoor tables overlooking the cricket pitch.
Great coffee is a non-negotiable for the Outfielders, and here Stitch Coffee is served, via the roasters at Collective Roasting Solutions, a previous haunt of Caleb’s. There are also some lovely cold spritzed drinks to sip on sunny days.
The vision for the spot is bright (hello community events and maybe even some relaxing live music one day? Yes please!). Give us a sunny day and we’re beelining back to Outfield, cricket set in hand. Give us rain, and you’ll find us tucked in under the porthole windows with a steaming cup of coffee and a smile on our dial. Whichever the case, the sun will be back and so will we, no matter what the weather throws at us.
230 Victoria St Ashfield, New South Wales
Opening Hours; Tue-Sun 7am – 3pm