From Waverley Park and the recently renovated Margaret Whitlam Recreation Centre, all the way down to the unrefined charms of The Royal Hotel, Bondi Road has a lot going for it. The stretch includes unique eateries and retail spaces and heritage-listed spots such as the Waverley Art School.
In the face of gentrification the road has retained its character. Recent ventures sit comfortably alongside longer-established businesses, which contributes to the palpable sense of community in the area. Explore here before hitting the beach.
Sam the Butcher
129 Bondi Road, Bondi
(02) 9389 1420
Sam Diasinos opened his shop in 1999, and was one of the earliest providers of organic meats to the area. Prices are very reasonable given the high level of quality on offer, and the customer service is affable. The staff is happy to provide cooking tips if required.
157 Bondi Road, Bondi
(02) 9389 4555
When you’ve been in business for more than 35 years, you must be doing something right. Legions of loyal customers can attest to the quality and consistency of the Brull family’s bakery. Most come for the bagels and the Austro-Hungarian speciality, kugelhupf.
The Corner House
Anthony Kaplan (The Shop, Panama House, Bondi Bowling Club) has made quite an impact on the local dining scene; his Bondi Road venues have helped to make the area a dining destination. The Corner House is an egalitarian establishment – a buzzy joint with an extensive menu of crowd pleasers.
Bennett Street Dairy
The name of this popular new addition to the strip conjures nostalgic memories of an old-school milk bar, but the diminutive diner is bang up to date. It offers draught coffee by Harbourside, cold-pressed juices by Projuice and in-house, hand-crafted organic sodas, all served with a smile alongside a seasonally driven menu.
It’s a testament to the neighbourhood’s trajectory that Assembly Label chose to open its first flagship store here. The label’s timeless apparel is supplemented by a selection of thoughtfully chosen homewares that complement the easy-going aesthetic, including Alchemy candles and linen supplier, IN BED Store.
1/284 Bondi Road, Bondi
This emporium features globally sourced, handcrafted clothes and curiosities and items from local designers. The many patterned prints and tropical touches in the store evoke a stroll around a technicoloured souk. Its wares can also be found at various weekend markets around the city.
With plant- and grain-based diets gaining popularity, The Dandylion is a welcome addition to the existing vegetarian restaurants in the area. An internationally inspired menu features the tastes of Mexico, Morocco and Thailand, among others.
The popularity of Yottam Ottenlenghi has enhanced interest in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. Sefa Kitchen executes the region’s dishes with flair while not straying too far from tradition. On weekends reach for the incredible all-day breakfast offerings.
131 Bondi Road, Bondi
(02) 9387 6313
The culinary curious will love this haven of delights from Eastern Europe and elsewhere. It is packed with familiar delicacies alongside lesser-known items, such as piroshki (stuffed, fried buns), syrniki(cheese pancakes) and chebureki (a deep-fried turnover filled with minced meat and onions). The sweet toothed will enjoy apricots and figs stuffed with mascarpone cheese and dressed in honey.
The Stuffed Beaver
The city’s on-going obsession with American-style cuisine shows little sign of abating, but Canadian cuisine is well represented at the Stuffed Beaver. Here there’s more than a nod to owner Brody Peterson’s (Surly’s, Riley Street Garage) Canadian heritage. It’s most obvious in the appearance of poutine on the menu, which comes in an assortment of hangover-busting guises.
With its façade brightly emblazoned with “Welcome to Bondi Beach”, this casual eatery is difficult to miss. A mix of hard-to-choose-from shared plates and larger dishes are offered, but order the Pepe Saya buttermilk fried chicken – one of the best examples in the city.
The One That Got Away
163 Bondi Road, Bondi
(02) 9389 4227
Customers have been flocking to this local stalwart for fish and chips for nearly 20 years. The seafood here is largely sustainable, and many are drawn to the variety of convenient in-house preparations such as the chilli-lemongrass barramundi, which can be cooked to order or taken away to be prepared at home.