Alexandria, Sydney – Sometimes I realise I really do live in a great part of Sydney when I can count a gem like this as my local Italian. I was upset to hear that Fratelli Fresh in Danks St was to be no more, mainly because they really did sell the best fresh tomatoes money could buy in their fruit and veggie market. But when I heard they were moving around the corner into the old Buckland Hotel site in Alexandria, delicious anticipation set in.
Since it opened in August 2013 I’ve visited on quiet weeknights, on busy weekends, and popped in for the odd spot of foodie shopping and every time I’ve experienced wonderful service and the freshest Italian meals. Café Sopra is known for quality ingredients, which you can also buy to take home at the attached Mercato. Highly recommended are the simple Italian dishes that are executed so well, like the linguine with pangrattato, the Margherita straight from the pizza oven, or one of the generously sized salads.
The drinks list has a great range of wines, aperitifs, and cocktails, although I personally like to pretend I’m in Italy and just go with the rosso della casa. Classic Italian desserts like the Tiramisu are also faultless, and an espresso rounds out a meal nicely. The staff are efficient and often Italian which can help with the menu. The no bookings policy on busy evenings can mean getting here early is a good idea as there are often people at the bar or on the outside tables waiting for an opening.
Café Sopra is walking distance from Redfern or Erskineville, and parking is also easy in this neighbourhood location. All in all an amazing local Italian restaurant that feels unpretentious, and just does everything well.
View: www.fratellifresh.com.au; Visit: Cnr. Buckland & Mitchell St’s, Alexandria, NSW, 2015; Call: +61 2 8399 4788; Open: Mon-Sun lunch, afternoon and dinner; Wallet: Medium