If you ever find yourself in the heart of St Leonards in Sydney you simply MUST pop into the amazing Caffe Nostra. Being a family run cafe, the place simply oozes hospitality and warmth.

Meet the ‘Family’

Owner Maria is the heart of Caffe Nostra, exuding kindness and a warm welcome to all her customers. Not only is she one of the friendliest faces of Caffe Nostra, but she bakes all the cakes and muffins fresh every day and the food is pretty amazing. There are staples that she makes each day but she’s always coming up with something new and yummy like her Nutella and fresh strawberry Muffins! And if you get there at the right time, your muffin will be still warm from the oven. Mmmm.

The incredible barista team at Nostra includes Maria’s son Mark and ‘adopted daughter’ Yas. Yas is also the part time manager at the cafe and if you want to check out some of her killer barista skills just her up on instagram – @girl_does_coffee_.

In the kitchen her other son, Luke is the Head Chef, Luke trained at Aria Restaurant so you know the food is going to be top notch. Luke is also joined in the kitchen by the equally amazing Kimal who was the chef on duty the day we visited Nostra.

The Menu

When it comes to food at Caffe Nostra, it’s all about high quality and homemade ingredients. There is a plethora of healthy options on the menu, all created with the local community in mind. In fact, one of their most popular dishes – the protein box – was created after chatting with a customer about they wanted to eat.

It’s also clear after talking to Maria that rather than serving up trending health dishes, the team at Nostra have a very holistic approach to health. Maria proudly told that everything you eat at Nostra is made in house – nothing comes from a jar (and you can really tell).

When it comes to baking side of the menu, whilst there are plenty of naughty options here, everything is made with “real food” as Maria puts it. There are also plenty of gluten and diary free options available too.

In the kitchen, Maria’s son Luke has created a menu that is extremely focused on quality and creating a spectrum of flavours. For example, you won’t find any old salmon on the menu at Nostra, rather you’ll find high quality Sashimi grade Salmon that won’t put you out of pocket.

So what’s actually on the menu itself?

Breakfast
Fresh and delicious, perfectly cooked and so tasty – that’s what you can expect from Caffe Nostra’s brekkie menu. We taste-tested the popular Smashed Avocado Board with avocado (of course), Haloumi, 2 poached eggs, Chimmi Churri, zesty pomegranate and tomato. It was mwah delicious! There are so many great options, it take you a while to choose between Breakfast Bruschetta, Summer Lust Chia Pudding, a yummy Health Plate or Energetic Summer Salmon… drooling!

Lunch
And now, what they’re most famous for… their healthy, yummy Protein Boxes and, yep, you guessed it, we just HAD to try one. We chose the Protein Box with Salmon Fillet (with the crispiest, tastiest skin ever!) This beautiful dish is Gluten free, dairy free with avocado, red and green shredded cabbage, carrot, Chimmi Churri, lemon dressing, walnuts and a perfectly cooked poached egg on the side. Oh my! You can also order it with either tofu, chicken, smoked salmon or steak as well as the salmon fillet option. And that’s just one lunch option.

Beverages

Could this get any better? Of course! Every day you can order freshly squeezed juices. When we visited the juice of the day was the ‘Beat the Flu’ juice which tasted about as good as it looked!

When it comes to coffee, Caffe Nostra has been serving our Sacred Blend for over five years now. Maria told us that apart from the Fairtrade and Organic being an important part of the why she chose Sacred Grounds; it was the taste that made it a staple at the cafe.

Caffe Nostra:

sacred-grounds-caffe-nostra-sml

33 Atchison Street
St Leonards
(02) 8065 1674

Opening Hours:
Mon – Sat: 5am – 3:30pm
(kitchen closes at 2:30pm)

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Emma Watson

From creating her own ‘Ozzie Mozzie Editorial’ newspaper when she was 10 to writing for ‘The Sydney Morning Herald’, Emma has always loved to write. She spends her time looking after her two kids and tapping away at the keyboard blogging at filmandfood.com.au, writing for Howards Storage World and of course, for Sacred Grounds Organic. Her love of a good small cappuccino (with one sugar!) and social justice makes this a match made in heaven. Emma loves a good book, travelling and hanging at the beach with her little crew.

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