Contessa Balmain

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Located on Darling Street and open for breakfast and lunch 7 days a week, Contessa Balmain offers a vibrant meeting place for Sydney inner west locals and visitors alike to get together and enjoy quality food, beautiful coffee and warm-hearted service.

Formerly Bar Contessa, but now not open at night, Contessa owner Marco Adoncello decided to focus purely on being the best daylight foodie option he could be, and it’s no surprise the place is often packed and even when the crowds are thinner, it maintains a cool New York / Brooklyn-style atmosphere while its allure, of Italian cuisine with American options, has something for everyone.

Take the Spicy Italian Meatball Melt for instance – we did. House made italian meatballs on toasted sourdough w/fresh basil, provolone cheese, fresh rocket, chilli & shaved italian parmesan, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. It doesn’t need any further opinion or foodie adjectives from us – the above photo says it all.

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Coffee is by The Grounds coffee roasters, and Contessa Balmain has a wide range of organic teas by Tea Craft. Earl Grey Blueflower is likely the drop most of us have never heard of, it’s always good to encounter new things on a Sydney cafe menu.

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“We’ve been serving Bondi Chai for years,” says Marco, who’s been running Contessa for 15 years now and who knows how to put flavour first – while also serving up the option of organic and gluten-free breads as well as farm fresh free-range eggs.

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My son Jett enjoyed accompanying his dad for a first-ever cafe review. He loved what might just be Sydney’s cutest babycino – the Contessa Froggicino – as well as a cinnamon Bondi Chai – but couldn’t finish his Crispy Chicken Burger. House made chicken cotoletta, smashed avocado, fresh roma tomato, shredded cos lettuce, American cheese and chipotle mayo on toasted brioche with beer battered fries and ketchup – it just filled him up, which left no room for their specialty dessert of the Nutella French Toast. Dad ate his share.

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Contessa Balmain
Ph (02) 9555 7399
371b Darling Street, Balmain, 2041
Mon-Fri 7am to 3:30pm
Sat-Sun 8am to 3:30pm
(Kitchen closes at 3pm everyday)
www.contessabalmain.com.au

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Digital gypsies, urban flaneurs, coffee addicts, literary barflies, holistic health enthusiasts, meme diviners, SEO gurus, cult creators, brand inventors and “Social Media For Men” workshop presenters, our writers eschew the hyper-masculine tenets of barista culture to birth tender, gentler sides to cafe musings.