Flying interstate these holidays? Or just need some inspiration for what to do in your hometown? Broadsheet’s series of city cheat sheets are here to help.
From the hottest new players that live up to the hype to old favourites that continue to deliver, these hit lists are here to help you make the most of your visit.
For Sydney’s best scrambled eggs – they’re fluffy, buttery, well seasoned – Bills Bondi or Darlinghurst is the place to go. But for more of-the-now breakfast eating, it’s Paramount Coffee House. Plus their coffee is spectacular. If bagels with smoked lox (salmon) or pastrami and smashed avo – a jumble of feta, mint and avocado – is more your thing, try to nab a table at Lox Stock and Barrel. Pro tip: it’s impossible to get in after 10am.
Lunch and afternoon
Sydney is an eating city, and 10 William St is hard to beat for its tasty snacks, compelling wine list and buzzing atmosphere. There’s so much to like about the space, as well as the ethos of the team behind it (who also brought us the equally must-visit Fratelli Paradiso). Plus a visit here means you’re well placed for further eating and imbibing at Fred’s, Charlie Parker’s, Saint Peter or The Unicorn (see below).
A local’s take on the city is usually about the places serving food you want to eat often, not just on special occasions, and anything the Pinbone crew turns their hand at, is just that. Their latest is Mr Italian Dirty Disco, a thriving pop up in the drive-through bottle shop section of a soon-to-be refurbished pub. I love they have full-body parkas to pull on so you can peruse the walk-in bottle shop and wine cellar – for consumption or takeaway. But I like more the innovative and tasty-as-hell food Emma Whiteman and Mike Eggert pump out. But visit soon, this pop-up is slated to disappear in April.
That entrance, that dining room, that bar – for a grand restaurant experience, it’s hard to beat Hubert. Add in a kitchen that closes at 1am and you’ve got yourself a fun, delicious time. (Pro tip – order the bread, you’ll need it to push through most of what you order. Decadent buttery sauces are their thing.)
There was a time in this city when the phrase "Build it and they will come" applied, but years of openings following changes to the small bar legislation, and Sydney’s bar scene is as fun and pumping as a late Friday night at Frankie’s.
For afternoon beers and interesting wine, check out The Unicorn or The Lansdowne. I reckon these pubs capture what it is to drink and snack in Sydney in 2017/18, plus if you want to make friends with the locals, play a round of darts at the Unicorn.
Pre-Dinner, Post-Dinner (and Dinner if Need Be)
James Hird has curated a kick-arse wine program at The Wine Room at The Dolphin (and across all his venues), which cleverly champions a minimal intervention approach. Combine this with the weekly roll out of an impressive line-up of guest chefs for their hugely excellent Aperitivo Hour and this is like no where else in the city.
A visit to the boozy subterranean Baxter Inn is essential; as is a couple hours spent at the intimate and very fine wine bar Love Tilly Devine. Let the well-informed staff guide your vino exploration.
A day that begins with an early-morning run from Bondi to Bronte and finishes with a swim in the bogey hole or the pool at the south end of the beach, is one done right. Sydney is an active town and there’s no more spectacular setting for a run than along the coastal path. It might sound obvious, but really, where else in the world – the world! – can you find a better city running track?
Sydney is overflowing with pools, beaches and rock pools to swim in, so you need to get comfortable with the idea you’re going to miss a lot of the great ones. If waves aren’t your thing, there’s a stack of harbour beaches I’d recommend, including Milk Beach and Neilson Park. Follow the Hermitage Trail for a great afternoon. Or if you prefer to pack a picnic and settle in for the day, visit Camp Cove near Watsons Bay. At the western end, past the rocks, there’s shade and lots of privacy.
And while we’re in the area, even most Sydneysiders don’t know Diamond Bay exists, and it’s a shame. Ten minutes is all you need to take in the impressive cliffs and waves as they crash into the rocks to dramatic azure affect.
STILL GOING STRONG
Sure, you could check out some art at one of Sydney’s long-running cultural institutes try White Rabbit, but for a night of tuneful memories, go to karaoke bar Echo Point. Some will suggest Ding Dong Dang, don’t listen to them: Echo has better song choice and there’s something eternally endearing about its battered dark surrounds. Echo has been responsible for unexpected good times, hoarse voices and tambourine injuries for more than 25 years.
A LOCAL SONG FOR SUMMER
I could list any number of Sydney songs by local bands – there’s You Am I’s Purple Sneakers; The Whitlam’s You Sound Like Luis Burdett; The Herd’s State of Transit. Then there’s the classics – Cold Chisel’s Breakfast at Sweethearts and Paul Kelly’s From St Kilda to Kings Cross.
But a song I think captures the freedom, the delight and the joy of a Sydney summer frolicking in its many water holes, is The Swimming Song by America’s Loudon Wainwright III. Ahhhhh.
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