PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
If you're craving a piping hot bowl of Vietnamese pho, but don't want to trek out to Cabramatta, then Illawarra Road at Marrickville is the next best thing. But rice noodles are not the only dish on the menu at this up-and-coming urban hotspot.Like most good cafes, it's hard to get a table at Cornersmith, especially with a large group. Perched on the corner of Petersham and Illawara Road, at the site of a former sewing shop, the only sign of Cornersmith's existence is the steady stream of customers that linger outside. Organised and structured, like much of the cafe, a clipboard at the front door acts as the booking system - where diners can write down their name and number and wait for a table.
Despite the line, the wait isn't longer and we eagerly snag a table beside the huge floor to ceiling windows. A strong latte is soon delivered, and like always, the Mecca beans are exceptional. However the coffee is not the drawcard of the cafe, specifically. Cornersmith is part of a new wave of foraging cafes that is staunchly devoted to sourcing local, seasonal, organic and ethical produce. With a rooftop bee-hive, which is part of the local Urban Beehive project, and a menu brimming with free range eggs, house-made pickles and jams and organic juice, Cornersmith is at the forefront of sustainable dining. Run by husband-and-wife team James Grant (formerly at Mecca Espresso) and Alex Elliot-Howery, Cornersmith is a homely little cafe that is well worth a drive to Sydney's Inner West. It was only open for six months when it was announced as Local Hero at the SMH Good Cafe Guide 2012 (also holding a 3 cup status).