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
Both good places to get a cheap quick meal.
Guzman is a small chain of Mexican burrito bars. Get the mini veggie burrito and a frozen margherita for $14 before a night out ...
Sabbaba is similar, but a falafel joint. One also in Newtown, city end of King St, one at Bondi. Good falafel pitta pockets, again very reasonably priced. Don't bother with Sabbaba's frozen cocktails though, Guzman's are far better!
While I'm on about good food and cocktails in Newtown, there's a tapas bar called Soni's, five minutes toward the city from the station, which does good tapas and margheritas. Upstairs is Madame Fling Flongs which I have yet to visit but apparently does good cocktails in a slightly kitsch seting.
Guzman y Gomez
175 King Street, Newtown
+61 (0)2 9517 1533
Google map: bit.ly/ie72CA
148 King Street, Newtown, 2042
+61 (0)2 9519 8084
Google map: bit.ly/fXDfyV
169 King St, Sydney, 2042
+61(0)2 9565 2471
Madame Fling Flong
+61(0)2 9565 2471
Google map: bit.ly/enKyAC
This nightclub is located in Darling harbour, which is on the Western side of Sydney, not too far from the IMAX Theatre.
Pontoon is awesome on Saturday night and plays a mix of House and RnB.
Cover charge is $10.
The Rocks is a precinct of Sydney near the harbour that has an old English feel to it combined with the relaxed laid back Australian attitude. It has a huge range of pubs, bars and nightclubs that are definately worth checking out, in particular The Argyle Hotel.
Plenty of dance music, loud crowds and cheap drinks during the week (avoid for the queues and cover charge on the weekend), the World Bar is a good mix of backpackers and Sydney youngsters and makes for a fun night out in this party city.
24 Bayswater Road (Kings Cross)
There is an amazing, high-ceilinged bar called The Establishment on George Street, where Sydney’s stockbrokers hang out. It has massive cast-iron pillars and a 42-metre white marble bar. This is a bit on the big size, so if you want a more intimate feel, head upstairs to The Hemmesphere. It’s pricier, but is there’s much more lounging going on.
When visiting Sydney the temptation is to stay in the Rocks (the district the world thinks of as Sydney). Don't, it's a tourist trap. Instead, consider Kings Cross or Darlinghurst. These districts are the heart of Sydney. Not as pretty but much more fun.
Google map: tinyurl.com/nee7m7
After living in Sydney for several months the thing I miss most about the city is the nightlife - that and the commuting across the famous harbour (ocean spray in the morning is so much better than a grungy tube).
Of all the clubs, I recommend most are Home Club and Tank for rock solid nights... whereas Pontoon is perfect for a drink on the harbour.
Finally, Sounds on Sunday at the Greenwood is essential for cool clubbers.
Kick the debauchery off with the 24hr party people in the many watering holes off Kings Cross. (The better, quirkier bars, are down the side streets, off Darlinghurst Rd) before making your way down to YU-Bar.
House music is what it's all about at YU, where you can hear the cream of Sydney's local DJ talent keeping the unpretentious, up-for-it crowd entertained in style.
A must for all clubbers.
Located behind Kings Cross Station, on Victoria Street.
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