The Unbearable Lightness of Being Hungry | A Sydney Food Blog

Bus Stop Espresso, Enmore

August 31st, 2009  |  Published in Cafes  |  8 Comments

The folks behind the ever-popular Clipper in Glebe have opened a new cafe in Enmore.

A few weeks back, Sally tipped me off about its impending arrival, and with it slated to open near Lisa’s house, all of us had been on new-Clipper-watch for a while. It was meant to open last Monday, but the staff were still lugging bits of wood and were seemingly very much in handyman-mode when I had a look.

Then I saw Meagan on Friday and she had first-visit reports! She’d gone with Chris and Lisa and namely, “it was good, but it’s mainly sandwiches”. Which is as pithy and spot-on a report as you can get.

Bus Stop Espresso isn’t Clipper 2.0; if anything, it’s a smaller version aimed at a slightly older crowd in a quieter neighbourhood. The menu is simpler and slimmed-down – it needs to be, as all food is prepared on a micro kitchen that doubles as a service counter – and the drawing-crowded chalkboard, scattering of toys and children’s seats tells you this aims for less of a student/young hipster following and more of a family one.

Also, there are no bikes on the wall or issues of Monocle; just some simple wood-crate displays, an awesomely old-looking gramophone and a less-awesome painting of cranky dogs that triggered much head-scratching around our table (let’s put it this way, it’s not a painting that will ever inspire an art heist).

The name – Bus Stop Espresso – not only signals its location but plays on the lighting of the eatery; everytime a 426 rolls past, everyone sits up and wonders if someone’s playing with the switches and dimmers; it just turns out that buses have an amazing, killjoy ability to block out sunlight. Just temporarily, luckily.

Yes, but what about the food? There are a few similarities with the Clipper menu – such as the Arabian-style Muesli with Pistachioes and Berries ($7.50), which Will instantly pronounced awesome, and the Toasted Banana Bread With Berries, Ricotta & Honey, which Kate did a bit of carb-trading on, swapping the slices for crisp Turkish fruit loaf instead.

Because of the cafe’s basic set-up, all orders are toasty or crusty or hand-clutchable. As Meagan said, it’s mainly sandwiches. You won’t get the inventive hot breakfasts that Clipper can deliver, but there’s Avocado, Tomato and Basil on Sourdough ($8.50) (with an unexpected but lively, likeable dose of Thai basil) and Turkish Raisin Bread, while the lunch menu covers sandwich fillings such as Basil Pesto, Bocconcini and Tomato ($8).

And if you haven’t figured from the photos, there’s definitely a berry-heavy theme throughout.

The minimal start-up menu meant that we could only ask for coffee or tea (I had a chai with a sweet, fragrant kick), but juices will be added soon. Also, part of our order didn’t actually arrive, which I’d like to think was just a case of understandable just-opened fumbles rather than anything endemic.)

So, it’s not the second coming of Clipper but Bus Stop Espresso is a much-needed option on a part of Enmore Road that is rather cafe-empty. It’s also a few blocks from Enmore Park, which makes the highly portable menu a nice accessory for a sunny laze in the grass. (Note, if you do that, make sure you grab some cups of ice cream from nearby Serendipity, the green tea and mangoes & cream flavours make you glad the weather is warming up.) Also extra handy if you catch the 426. Or happen to live where Lisa does.

Bus Stop Espresso, 297 Enmore Road (near Scouller Street), Enmore

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  1. Angela says:

    I got all excited about it being Clipper 2.0, but you’re right… baby steps for Enmore Rd in the hipster cafe scene.

  2. sophie says:

    I know it’s practical but it kinda disappoints me when cafes just use that box of frozen berries from the supermarket that we all know about already.

    But on the other hand it is pretty hard to argue about berries and ricotta on toast, for goodness sake!

  3. nice report LTL. pics look great! maybe good for an aunty like me!

  4. He is one clever business man that Adriano. Can’t wait to check it out! Thanks for the heads up love!
    Perhaps a lunch time outing~!?

  5. looks like a great find. the Toasted Banana Bread With Berries, Ricotta & Honey looks really yummy.

  6. leetranlam says:

    Sophie, yep, I know what you mean – I guess that’s the price of having affordable berries when they’re not in season.
    Angela, I think you hit it on the head very with those witty words.
    Thanks Grace & Ebony, would be intrigued to know what you think of the place!
    Thanks for the comment Simon!

  7. Anonymous says:

    MUST say that the Irish man in there is cute. Very cute. Well worth the visit…

  8. adriano says:

    dear all serious speciality coffee drinkers and foodies, BUS STOP ESPRESSO IS NOTHING TO DO WITH ME!!I was asked to consulte on the project in the begining, however that was it.
    In terms of the fit out, equipment and food offerings this is nothing to do with me. I felt i had to clear that up as several heavyweights have emailed me to ask about my role with BUS STOP ESPRESSO. ZERO.

    my consultancy company KAN KONSULTANTS are opening another speciality coffee bar at 78 Booth street, Annanadale DEC 1.

    kind regards,

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Hi, I'm Lee Tran Lam. When not blogging with my mouth full, I'm usually writing, presenting Local Fidelity on FBi radio, making zines, producing podcasts or continually breaking promises about how I really am gonna get through my book pile one day.

All the good pictures on this blog are by photography ace (and patient boyfriend), Will Reichelt, (all the dodgy ones can be credited to me)!

The lovely banner is by friend and ultra-talented illustrator Grace Lee.

This site redesign was made possible by the next-level generosity and expertise of Daniel Boud, whose code-tinkering ways are only outranked by his seriously inspired way with a camera.

You can read more about my co-conspirators here.

This is a blog I do for pure fun and zero influence – there's no sponsorship, sneaky advertorial or advertising. I pay for all the food mentioned, 'cos it seems the ethical thing to do.


This is a blog about eating and drinking in Sydney, Australia (with the odd cross-border or off-topic detour). BYO appetite.

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