Café Sopra ~ Fratelli Fresh

Laura Porter
27th Feb 2015

Café Sopra, part of the Fratelli Fresh group, is one of Sydney’s most well-known casual Italian eateries. Being a part of the Fratelli Fresh providore business means diners typically sit within a stone’s throw of the fresh produce and Italian delicacies on offer through the retail arm.

Café Sopra is one of those restaurants that gets better every time you visit. First time round you may get caught out in a queue due to the no bookings policy (be prepared to wait), and the extensive menu selection may be a little overwhelming. By the second and third visits you'll be keen to explore more of the menu, will have made a decision on the best table in the house, and will most likely have convinced a handful of your friends and family to give it a go too. Many trips later chances are you’ll have tried most of the menu, will be familiar with the wait staff and will be calling it ‘Sopra’. And by then you’ll know the best times to visit to get that 'best table in the house' without waiting.

So what makes Café Sopra so special? Firstly it’s never tried too hard to be anything other than an everyday Italian that hero’s simple fresh produce and leaves all guests with a satisfied stomach. The experience sits firmly in the casual/sharing/simple trend that has swept through Sydney in the last few years. Back in 2004, with the opening of Fratelli Fresh on Danks Street, Café Sopra was one of the first to champion the desire of Sydney foodies for a taste of the hearty food that Italian nonnas serve to their own families.

The team had a winning formula with that first branch over 10 years ago, and have successfully replicated this at Walsh Bay, Potts Point, Alexandria and in the CBD. Despite this Café Sopra does not have a food chain feel - each branch has its own identity and mix of guests that keeps things unique and interesting. Sit outside under an umbrella in Walsh Bay with pre and post theatre goers. In Potts Point linger at the aperitivo bar and people watch the Eastern suburbs locals. Or, grab a cosy underground table in their newest branch Fratelli Parlamento and mingle with Sydney's corporate hotshots.

The top food picks? Start with antipasto or sharing plates like their chicken liver pate, mozzarella or cured meats. And be sure to throw in a serve (or two) of the zucchini flowers that seem to appear on every table. Pizza and pasta fans are well catered for when it comes to main courses – with now famous dishes that can’t be removed from the menu for fear of uproar amongst regulars. Like the Italian meatballs with tomato sauce. Don't stop there though - if you're a fan of all things Italian and sweet save room for dessert. Tiramisu? Yes. Banoffe pie? Yes. Gelato? Of course.

The good thing about Café Sopra is that with multiple locations across Sydney you don't have to travel too far to your nearest one. The Danks Street branch was closed in 2013 and replaced with Alexandria. And the opening of Fratelli Parlamento in 2015 means CBD workers now have two outlets for a ‘business’ lunch or boozy dinner.

So if you haven’t ticked Café Sopra off your Sydney ‘to eat there’ bucket list yet then give it a go. From that first visit you’ll walk away with a satisfied stomach and a smile when you pay the (very reasonable) bill.

Already a big Café Sopra fan? Then try their French inspired sister restaurant Café Nice, just moments away from Circular Quay (they even take bookings).

Fratelli Fresh Alexandria
52 Mitchell Road, Alexandria +61 2 8399 4777

Café Sopra Alexandria
52 Mitchell Road, Alexandria 61 2 8399 4788

Fratelli Fresh Potts Point
81 Macleay Street, Potts Point +61 2 9368 6655

Café Sopra Potts Point
81 Macleay Street, Potts Point +61 2 9368 6666

Fratelli Fresh Walsh Bay
Shop 8, 16 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay +61 2 8243 2777

Café Sopra Walsh Bay
Shop 8, 16 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay +61 2 8243 2700

Fratelli Fresh Bridge Street
11 Bridge Street, Sydney CBD +61 2 8298 2700

Café Sopra Bridge Street
11 Bridge Street, Sydney CBD +61 2 8298 2701

Café Nice
2 Phillip Street Circular Quay +61 2 8248 9600

Fratelli Parlamento, Cafe Sopra Macquarie Street
229 – 231 Macquarie Street, Sydney CBD 61 2 9216 5000