Forget the Sydney Opera bar, Scubar and the party buses driving you around Darling Harbor.
I’m taking you for a day out to the alternative and indie kids paradise, Newtown. Although only one station from Central, backpackers and tourists tend to miss this lively area.
Here is my guide to a place often forgotten for the Bondi sunshine and lifeguards. So put away you boardies and pick your favorite pair of skinny jeans.
Newtown is amazing for food. Every time I went to Oz, I ended up piling on the pounds because I lived so close to so many delicious places. I am actually slightly drooling when I think of it. Get me there now.
To start the day right, one of my favorite places for breakfast is Café Sophia on Erskenville Road. You have to try their banana raspberry melon smoothie with salmon and eggs benedict or their French toasts. Actually try everything. Just go every morning for four months like I did.
For lunch, I would generally go for one of the many Thai restaurants on King’s Street, Newtown's main road. Most of the places are vegan/vegetarian and although I'm neither, I did get a little bit addicted to the fake duck, pak choi and rice $6 lunch boxes.
To walk off all this food, shop around! Newtown has lot to offer when it comes to retail therapy, whether it’s one the many vintage stores or young designers’ outlets, you will find everything you need to look like the Sydney hipster crowd.
Then head to the art gallery “Oh really?” on Enmore Road. Oh really? is a collective/magazine/gallery presenting the latest street artists around. They regularly organize openings and you could find yourself having a beer with artist Ears while nodding to some breakbeat. Check out what’s going on at ww.ohreallymagazine.com
Then it’s time to wind down. Head down for a cold long neck at The Court House (“The Courtie”) on Australia Street. Cheap drinks, a lovely beer garden decorated with fairy lights, a lively atmosphere and very important, a pool table.
Then move on for some cocktails on the Zanzibar Roof. You will find a cosy terrace and the staff there are always lovely (and not too shabby looking either).
If the schooners have gone straight to your head, then it’s time to go and pull some shapes on the dance floor. I have to say this is not in Newtown. On a Friday I’ll head to Mum at World Bar in Kings Cross to watch live music and listen to the latest indie-electro. Check the coming up MUM nights on MusicFeeds. On any other night check out Sydney promoters and all around cool kids UPTOOUR HIPS for the best nights in town (seriously).
And there you go, I can assure you this will be hell of a good day.
Now there is a lot more to discover by yourself in Newtown and around. But it would take way too long to tell you all about it and I have still things left to see myself. It’s alright; I’ll be back very soon. I’ll see you at The Courtie.
PS: If you were still to be hungry on your way home, stop by Saray’s on Enmore Road for a pite (also called Laknore) ,a filled bread from Kosovo with lemon juice on it. Delicious.
Cafe Sofia: 7 Swanson St Erskineville NSW 2043, +61(0)2 9519 1565
Oh Really? Gallery: 55 Enmore Rd Newtown, +61(0)401 919 624, www.ohreallymagazine.com
The Court House: 202 Australia Street Newtown, 2042, +61(0)29519 8273
World Bar: 24 Bayswater Road, Kings Cross, +61(0)2 9357 7700 www.theworldbar.com
Saray: 18 Enmore Rd, Newtown, 2042, +61 (0)2 9557 5310
This cafe is hidden away on a leafy street in Kings Cross. The Italian owner, Vittorio, loves to chat and laugh along with the clientelle and the coffee is superb.
6 Roslyn St, Kings Cross 2011 NSW
(02) 9368 1356
Google map: tinyurl.com/ycphksz
An Australian icon serving typically Aussie fast food, like its classic pie ‘n’ pea floaters, Harry’s Café de Wheels is a unique part of the city’s nightlife.
Musicians, streetwalkers, dancers, policemen and taxi drivers can be seen late at night devouring meat pies and hot dogs alongside judges, politicians and society's well-to-do.
Just a few wobbly steps downhill from the watering holes of Kings Cross, Harry’s is the place to get your post pub grub and to sample the personality of Sydney .
More than a pie cart, Harry’s is a unique piece of Sydney ’s history and the stuff of legend and myth.
Parsley Bay is a small, secluded beach surrounded by bush in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs, on the Harbour (not the ocean).
Go there for an early morning swim (there's a wire mesh net across the mouth of the bay to keep sharks out!) then have breakfast at the cafe there. If going on weekends, get there before 9.00 or else the small car park (with its narrow, steep, one-lane driveway) is full and you have to park way up the hills on either side and walk down. As well as a beach there's a large grassy area for picnics, and a children's playground.
Other pleasant places to swim and eat in the area include Camp Cove and Nielsen Park.
There's more cafe choice at Balmoral on the north side, but weekend parking is even more impossible - get in by 8.00!
The Somerset Hotel on Elizabeth Street is a brilliant place to stay. It has amazing views over Hyde Park and the Anzac Memorial. There is very good room service with people coming to clean your apartment everyday when you are out. It is near the centerpoint tower and not far from a good pool called Boy Charlton. It is salt water and suspended on stilts over the actual harbour so you get really good views. There is also a brilliant open air cinema on Lady Mcquaries Point. The screen apparently folds down (we didn't get to go there but i reccommend it anyway.)
There are two really good places to eat. One is called Sushi King - it is on George Street and it does the best sushi in the world. The other is the Lindt Cafe on Martin Place - it is really good and they do this great hot chocolate (you get this jug with hot milk in and a jug with melted chocolate in and you pour them in the mug at the same time the result is an amazing rich lovely cup of hot chocolate).
Of course I also reccommend the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House (my dad conducts there.)
Bronte beach is smaller than the other beaches in Sydney's eastern suburbs, with a great ocean pool if you don't like swimming among the waves. The best way to get there (though by far not the quickest) is to walk along the ocean promenade from Bondi. The views are stunning and it's good exercise too. Once you're done, stop at any of the cafes that line the park and treat yourself to a fruit smoothie, some ricotta pancakes or a couple of slices of banana bread.
It's a cafe and it's not fancy, not expensive, not greasy, and not on the beach. But it is still Sydney. No, not all of us live by the beach - some of us have views of other terrace houses. This cafe is for people like us- simple, fresh, huge menus, great coffee (large comes in a bowl). People who come here walk here from their homes, so you should do the same. Breakfast is a great time, weekends are a bad time.
Abercrombie st, off Broadway. have fun looking for it. Closest train- Central Station.
Five Ways is a little intersection of, you guessed it, five streets. It's got a whole bunch of fantastic cafes and bars, while still maintaining a low-key feel. It's a great place for buying the Sydney Morning Herald and eating breakfast.
It's in Paddington, so you can walk there easily from Oxford Street
The cosily bohemian Dean's Cafe serves irresistible nachos and a good selection of drinks. It's a great place to satisfy the munchies or unwind after a big night out. Strawberry daqueries to die for and an excellent Duke Box.
(tel 9368 0953, 5 Kellet St). Dishes $6.70-14.50. Open late. King's Cross, Sydney
Great little hidden treasure on the city fringe, and a short walk to Hyde Park, Museum and Oxford Street. It’s a traditional espresso bar that has a definite flavour of Italy mixed with the warm hospitality of Sydney. Located in the foyer of a small boutique hotel, it attracts an eclectic mix of corporates, travellers and locals. Real baristas serving cups of perfection - latte art and all. We had breakfast everyday there whilst visiting Sydney. Well worth checking out!
4 Wentworth Avenue, Darlinghurst;
Two of the best cafes in Sydney? Others would, no doubt, nominate their own favourites, but the espressos at these two establishments, located over the road from each other on Challis Avenue, in Potts Point, would be hard to beat: I have rarely had better even in Italy.
Spring Espresso perhaps has the edge with the intricate, leaf-like pattern its barristas skillfully etch on the cappuccinos they serve up. Both cafes do delicious eggs benedict, that Sydney breakfast institution.
Diners are mainly residents of the wealthy surrounding suburb of Potts Point; they are interesting enough to observe in themselves, but the main draws are the food, the coffee and the location. Potts Point is only a leafy, five-minute stroll away from Woolloomooloo Bay, on the harbour.
65 Macleay St, Potts Point
+61 2 9331 0191
12-16 Challis Ave, Potts Point
+61 9357 1744
The Bather's Pavilion is right on Balmoral Beach and has the most sensational views. The restaurant and cafe are situated inside a renovated 1920s beach side changing pavilion. The exterior of the building oozes an older world charm and the inside has a warm, yet contemporary feel to it. Sunday morning brunch at the cafe is an experience not to be missed and you can stroll along the Esplanade afterwards and go for a swim. Lose yourself for a day at Balmoral!
"Mate, that's the ocean," a cabbie once reprimanded me when I directed him to Bondi "seafront". Bondi not only boasts a fantastic beach and Pacific views but it is one of the best places to people-watch as well. Forget the backpackers, Bondi still has a rich range of indigenous tribes from beatnik surf-poets to ridiculous skateboarding rich boys and anorexic ex-soapstars. Lambrock does eggs benedict on a croissant (mmm). Gusto on Hall Street and Sean's Panorama by the beach in North Bondi are also recommended.
Lambrock Cafe, Lambrock Ave, Bondi Beach
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org