Time Out Sydney

The milk bar resurgence is in full swing, thanks in no small part to this Bourke Street café

We’ve had Milk Bar by Ish and their amazing Malteser pie, and then there's Cowbell 808 – bringing it in a big way with their takes on milk bar classics. 

Go for soft, fluffy ricotta hotcakes topped with a scoop of bacon-flavoured ice cream and bittersweet espresso syrup sandwiching a river of mascarpone. It’s certainly not a one-man operation, unless you’re a carb-loading sicko or have the metabolism of a ten-year-old. It is, however, effing delicious.
They’re also doing a really exceptional burger on a soft, house-made bun. Perfectly hand-sized, the patty’s covered in melted cheese and big squeeze of American-style mustard, a little lettuce and plenty of pickles. It’s about as close as you’ll find to Melbourne’s Huxtaburger in Sydney.
Fried chicken covered in a thin chickpea batter doesn’t quite hit the mark the way the other dishes do – something about the mealy batter just doesn’t quite gel, though the crisp cauliflower ’slaw is a nice riff on the original.
They pull a decent coffee here, as well as serve Jones sugarcane sodas (we like the creaming soda – it tastes just like marshmallow fluff), milkshakes and fresh orange juice. But we’re mostly excited about the food and the super-friendly service. There’s even a sleepy old dog sunning himself on an old mat out the front, and Laminex tables of all shapes and sizes are dotted through the room (including one with an iron-shaped scorchy melt mark in it).
It’s a cute room, too – there’s a Lego head in the corner propping up a huge stack of vinyl including Fine Young Cannibals, DEVO, Bruce Springsteen and Bowie, while the open kitchen boasts a thunderbolt backdrop. We count at least four boom boxes on the walls and a set of traffic lights in the corner. It’s like someone’s dream 1980s rumpus room.
We’re pretty keen to go back for their pork ’n’ beans on toast, and maybe the bananacolada – house-made coconut yoghurt and grilled banana. Oh, the breakfast, and breakfast dessert, possibilities. 

Who won Restaurant of the Year 2015?

Updated on 14 Aug 2014.

By Myffy Rigby   |  

Cowbell 808 details

616 Bourke St, Surry Hills 2010

Telephone 02 9698 5044

Price per person including drinks up to $50.00

Open Daily 7am-4pm

Cowbell 808 website

Cowbell 808 map

Report a problem with this page

Restaurants and bars nearby

The Book Kitchen

120m - Sustainable, organic and free-range produce are transformed into fine food...

Black Penny

141m - Bourke Street just got a little more interesting with the opening of Black...

Bar Cleveland

143m - Built and established in 1912 as the Cleveland Inn, this heritage listed...

More restaurants and bars nearby

Other venues nearby

Paris Texas

118m - The store is set out like an old-school Western saloon complete with the...

Ici et La

158m - There’s more to this rustic French design store than exxy espadrilles, we...

Kit and Ace

160m - The new luxury lifestyle and fashion brand from the family of Lululemon has...

Small Spaces

194m - Everything in this Redfern design store is handpicked for 'small spaces' and...

More venues nearby
Street art in Sydney

Street art in Sydney

Melbourne's not the only dab hand with a spray can. Explore Sydney's public artworks next time you pound the pavement, and don't let a (free!) living art exhibition pass you by

Drive-in and drive-through in Sydney

Drive-in and drive-through in Sydney

Reckon the journey is just as important as the destination? Drive-through is your answer, and Sydney's getting more car-friendly with these ridic-convenient ways to do stuff from behind the wheel

Caribbean Cook-Up

Caribbean Cook-Up

Fill up on jerk, ponies and noisy good times at this beer-drenched party from 4 Pines

Readers' comments, reviews, hints and pictures

Community guidelines

blog comments powered by Disqus

Get the Time Out weekend planner. Straight to your inbox, every Thursday.
Read more