Sydney’s Café and Market: 2000 E Rio Salado Parkway #1064, Tempe, AZ 85281

* I am not a food critic! I am just a hungry biker! I love to ride my bike to food and drink. I try to fairly review things like: bike parking, how welcoming they are to sweaty people with helmet hair, food/drink and price.

Sydney’s is located in Tempe Marketplace (in the splash pad area across from Barnes & Noble).

The vibe is super casual. I walked in pretty sweaty and with helmet still on, no one batted an eye. Quite the opposite, the staff was very friendly and when I asked for water, they gave me a large cup with lots of ice. Not that kiddie-size cup with “cold” water that’s been sitting out in a pitcher all day. Thank you!

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There are plenty of bike racks all over Tempe Marketplace, but they all seem to be on low traffic areas. I locked my bike to the fence around Sydney’s without anyone getting upset about it. I even left it locked there while I went for a short walk around. Sydney’s is in a high-traffic spot and I felt the bike was secure there.

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Time to talk about the food! Empanada Paella: The empanada was very good. Pro tip: use the chimichurri sauce that’s served on the table! I wanted another one because it was so yummy, but one was filling enough. Strawberry Boba Snow with Mango Boba: I had no idea what bobas were. I’ve seen them before but didn’t know they had a name and they certainly did not look appealing. But I was sooo hot from my afternoon ride, only the third day of spring, I wanted something cold and sweet and refreshing STAT, so I just ordered what sounded right without knowing what it was. In case you also don’t know, bobas are those balls you see in cold smoothie-like drinks. The staff gave me some to sample. They were not bad and I decided to live a little and go for it. Try something new! After a couple of sips I couldn’t take it any longer. The flavors were ok but I just couldn’t deal with the texture. It was very odd. Definitely a personal preference. Pilsner Urquell: Absolutely flawless! Just what I needed!

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Empanada Paella, Strawberry Boba Snow with Mango Boba and Pilsner Urquell: $13.15 (happy hour, not including tip)

I think that’s a really good price. Would have been a lot better had I not ordered the Boba Snow which was $4.95.

Overall we say Sydney’s Café and Market is… bicycle friendly!

  • Casual vibe with a friendly staff. Helmets, kits, sweaty people are all good!
  • Large and clean single bathroom with sink you can use if you need to freshen up a little.
  • Bike racks available throughout Tempe Marketplace, but you can lock up to the fence if your prefer.

A few photos of my ride around Mesa and Tempe.

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