The Cafe that gives it all back

Coffee makes us feel good. So good it gets us through the day. Or at least half a day, sometimes even a quarter. What if your multiple daily caffeine fixes did something other than make you feel really good?

Portal Café inside No. 1 Martin Place makes every single cup of coffee extra special. And tea. And soy latte. In fact, the profits from every single dish, drink or snack bought from Portal goes back to not-for-profits. Yes, that’s right. 100% of the profits are put back into not-for-profits.

Portal is the brainchild of The Pure Collective, the team behind ‘profit for good’ event space Folonomo in Surry Hills and Symbol café in North Sydney.

But what’s the catch? There isn’t one. Grab your coffee and a bouncy ball – the bouncy ball goes into one of three jars on the counter. You choose where your money goes. It’s off to Eat Up, providing school lunches to Aussie kids who would go without, Rural Aid for rural communities or Blue Dragon, a program rescuing Vietnamese children from human trafficking and slavery. Now that’s what we call a really good cup of coffee.

Now you might be wondering, just where is this unicorn of a café? It occupies the once unused mezzanine space of the office building attached to the Westin. It’s not quite on Martin Place, but rather right next to it. Head into the Westin from the main square, near the War Memorial and Cenotaph, and up the escalators to the mezzanine, or walk straight into No.1 Martin Place’s lobby on Pitt St and up the new staircase just inside the front the door. The space received a big overhaul with the café arrival – plants, thousands of hanging wooden pegs, booths and plenty of tables, it’s now buzzing from the early hour coffee rush through to afternoon tea.

Chef Michal Siudeja is behind the fresh, produce-driven menu, with office workers dedicated fans of the smashed avocado, preserved lemon and feta toast, topped with a whole, dukkah-dusted soft boiled egg. There’s also Bircher muesli, chia puddings, a hearty fried egg milk bun for breakfast. Lunches are fresh salads, sandwiches and paninis.

If that all didn’t sound good enough, you’ll be served by the most polite, professional team, made up of refugees receiving hospitality training as part of The Pure Collectives’ Symbols of Hope program.

Throw in free wifi, and you really can’t go wrong. We challenge you all to take your next coffee catchup or working lunch somewhere that gives back.

Mezzanine Level, 1 Martin Place, Sydney
Opening hours:
Mon – Fri: 8am – 4pm

About the author

Lisa used to use Sydney as a base to drop off souvenirs before heading off on the next adventure but these days she’s got her feet almost on the ground, with a desire to try every high tea in Sydney, and a cute cavoodle puppy at home. Travel writer, photographer and Kitchen Aid freak, she loves to eat, bake and write.


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