In this case, 808 – it’s a drum machine (named after the Roland TR808 drum machine), vinyl records, retro music, coffee – and Surry Hills is better off for this passion. These guys take pride in the food they deliver – the food is all prepared on the premises. We love the buns for the burgers that are baked every day on site – more of a sweet type bun like the American style burger buns, and they are very good!
The place is near the end of Bourke St near Cleveland. On one wall, a piece of street art, vinyl records for sale and memorabilia around. The crowd feels very local and regular. The staff are friendly – they go out of their way in the menu to say no attitude.
The coffee – we tried our sydneycool coffee test and ordered a macchiato – now a macchiato can quite be inconsistent across Sydney cafes. Literally in Italian it means marked – an espresso with a mark of milk. Sometimes, they give you a piccolo – a small latte or sometimes just an expresso with much more than a mark of milk. Cowbell 808 delivered a marked expresso – fully rounded flavour with no burnt taste.
The food – we were there for lunch so we chose from their all day bites – ‘sambos’ and salads which looked fresh and well presented but the highlight some different choices like a grilled eggplant roll. Went for the Cowbell 808 burger – ground chuck pattie, lettuce, cheese, pickles on a Cowbell 808 sesame seed bun, mayonnaise and served with spiced onion rings – one of the best burgers we’ve had. Our other choice – the corn and potato tortilla – a frittata with avocado, coriander and a black bean salsa – this worked well. The black beans were a great contrast with the corn, another match made in heaven – maybe a little more seasoning. There’s also a range of drinks including our favourite – root beer – not something we see in Sydney very often.
Cowbell 808 is a great addition to Bourke St – inventive and real ’home cooked’ food as well as the friendly team. This is a cool Sydney cafe - so check it out now.
Go for great home cooked style food plus more, comfy chairs & tables, service!
Don’t go if u dont like fifties/sixties, young retro interior!