Lady J Cafe & Wine Bar imports plenty of San Fran and south-of-the-border charm to Sydney, setting up shop along the Bondi Junction stretch of Oxford Street to showcase its unique brand of rustic, industrial chic – and plenty of beautifully presented, fine cafe fodder. Gabriel coffee is the default brew here, and there are plenty of fresh juice options, plus food that runs the gamut from breakfast through lunch and dinner. Pick a bar stool – and a handsome glass of wine – a quiet corner table, or pitch in at the long communal benches for American-inflected suppers.
Besides master barista Elias’ essential task of getting Bondi Junction’s tired masses over the hump, proper bread from brasserie forms the foundation for Lady J’s famous breakfasts. The a la carte menu at this Oxford Street cafe sports all the basics, plus specials like the smashed egg sandwich or the chorizo and poached egg stack. In fact, Lady J do eggs in too many ways to list, including huevos rancheros and a fine shakshouka. When lunch ticks over for Sydney, tuck into the southern fried chicken burger with a basket of sweet potato fries, simple and delicious sandwiches and wraps, or head back to big and bold burger territory with the Angus beef burger or its spicy Mexican cousin.
With three chefs hailing from South America, it’s no surprise that Lady J’s dinner goes the social, shareable, tapas-style route. Combined with the long bench-like table arrangements where you can amiably knock elbows with friends old and new, dinner down Bondi Junction’s Oxford Street takes on a spontaneity that few expect from a cafe setting. Keep your eyes peeled for the regularly changed up menu. With Lady J, owners Garrett Jandegian and Elias Gutierrez, San Francisco and Mexican expatriates respectively, are bringing Sydney-siders a Californian-Mexican experience without peer.