Riley Street Just Upped the Ante

RileySt_dailyspecialsHigh ceilings, a big ol’ marble bar and a hell of a lot of good wine make for happy hearts (and stomachs) at Riley Street’s newest café and wine bar.

If you’re a fan of Newtown’s sweetheart Bloodwood, then you’ll love this new little wine den – coming to us courtesy of their award-winning wine guru Gabrielle Webster.

Perched next to Baccomatto Osteria, and part owned by the same crew, Riley Street Café & Wine is worth dropping off the main beat for.

Expect mostly biodynamic and organic wines from around the globe, as well as a few notable Aussie labels to keep the patriots happy. Insider tip: ask Gabrielle about her POR (Price on Request) beauties. She’s upfront saying she’s the only person that’ll proably find these (not necessarily super expensive or ‘cult’) wines extra special, but we’re not easily fooled. She’ll also join you for a meaningful conversation about the wine and then shout you a beer. Nice touch.

Now to the food: it’s to share, and it’s good. Start with white anchovies on crunchy bread with basil and olive oil, and a selection of cured meats and cheese. But the real magic happens in the house-made pasta: there’s only one dish, it changes every week, but it’s guaranteed to be memorable.

If it’s a daytime affair, go for the café experience and dose up on a Blacksmith Roasters coffee and a solid breakfast and lunch menu.

Look out Crown Street. Riley Street just upped the ante.

Riley Street Café & Wine
222 Riley Street, Surry Hills
Open daily 7am-late


About the author


Forrester’s Pub on the corner of Riley Street in Surry Hills has been a much loved watering hole for almost 100 years, it’s seen different owners, changes of prime ministers, generations of friends and family along with periods of being laid ‘fallow’ to rest. It took hospitality favourites, Applejack to rescue this local gem and bring it back to life. A budget of $1.5m doesn’t get you much these days but the renovation its both sensitive to its history and of this era, reflecting a new, more feminine, organic and lighter approach to interior design.

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