Koalas, Kangaroos, and brekkie for days – don’t let the long flight deter you from venturing Down Unda! Sydney has quickly become one of my favorite cities I’ve visited with its casual culture, sun-kissed beaches, and unassuming gems. I’ve been Down Unda to visit Sydney twice now, spending the last two New Years with Brett & his family in Bondi Beach. The city is centered around the Sydney Harbor where the famed Opera House and Harbor Bridge reside and Sydney’s coastline is peppered with beautiful beaches and outlined scenic coastal walks. It’s such a laid-back city that offers so many nature-based activities such a great range of cuisines and coffee on every corner. The Aussies know how to do breakfast “brekkie,” practically inventing the avo smash!
This year Brett & I were discussing going to Melbourne for a weekend to split-up the trip but decided to just hang in Sydney and do little day trips & coastal walks around the city. I feel like I really got familiar with with the city and I wanted to (finally!) put together my City Guide as I’ve gotten quite a few requests since I went for the first time last year. Enjoy!
- Bill’s (Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, Bondi) – Standard Sydney breakfast “brekkie” spot!
- Shuk Bondi (Bondi) – One of my favorites! Get the Full Israeli Breakfast or the classic Shakshuka (with halloumi!) Don’t sleep on their sweet potato fries! They also have a Shuk Bakery two blocks away!
- Harry’s (Bondi) – Get the Avocado Tahini toast and sweet potato fries!
- The Shop (Bondi) – Great small little gem for coffee or a brekkie bowl! There is very limited seating, so expect a wait
- Lock, Stock & Barrel (Bondi) – Such a solid spot. I loved the Raw Vegetable Salad and an Avo Smash – Great Bloody & the Pink Aperol was one of my favorite cocktails of the trip!
- The Rusty Rabbit (Paddington)
- Swell (Bondi)
- Cafe Holm (Paddington)
- Bondi Hall (Bondi)
- Ruben Hills (Surry Hills)
- Mecca Coffee (CBD)
- Paramount Coffee Project (Surry Hills)
- Regiment (CBD)
- Heart Cafe (Bondi)
- Many Greenhouse (Manly) – one of my new favorite spots we went to this year. Great view of Manly Beach & fun rooftop!
- Mamasan (Bondi)
- Bondi Hardware (Bondi)
- Three Blue Ducks (Bronte)
- Coogee Pavillion (Coogee)
- Bangkok Bites (Bondi) – Favorite casual Thai food in Syd!
- Hotel Ravesis (Bondi)
- The Bondi Juice Co. (Bondi Junction)
- Fonda (Bondi) – I was surprised to find quality Mexican food Down Unda! The tacos, ceviche, and quesadillas were all amazing. Get the Paloma!
- The Boathouse (Manly) – Be sure to hit this place up for lunch while going to Shelley Beach in Manly!
- Watson’s Bay Boutique Hotel – I’ve spent New Years Day here the last two years. Its one of my favorite places in Sydney with a great ambiance, food & drink and view of the city!
- Sushi Train (Bondi, Bondi Junction) – Best quick-sushi on a conveyor belt! Obsessed with the Sushi Aburi!
- Ms. G’s (Darlinghurst)
- The Butler (Potts Point) – great for cocktails with a view of the city skyline on their deck!
- 10 Williams St. (Paddington)
- Chin Chin (Surry Hills)
- The Newport (Palm Beach)
- The Boathouse (Palm Beach)
- The Winery (Surry Hills)
- Don’t Tell Auntie (Surry Hills) – One of our favorite new restaurants – get the Colonel Tso’s Cauliflower, Naan Platter and Unauthentic Butter Chicken!
- The Apollo (Surry Hills) – Fantastic Greek cuisine.
- Anita (Bondi, Chippendale) – My favorite Gelato in the city! It might be controversial as it has a cult following, but Messina but comes in a close 2nd.
- Mr. Wong’s (CBD) – A Sydney Staple. The spot for steamed buns & roast duck
- The Charlie Parker (Paddington) – Speakeasy cocktails underneath the restaurant Fred’s!
- Paddo Inn (Paddington)
- The Paddington (Paddington)
- The Baresford (Surry Hills) – Beautiful outside patio and upstairs dancefloor… the go-to spot for gays on Sunday night!
- This Must Be The Place (Paddington)
- Unicorn Hotel (Paddington) – Great dive bar that’s open late!
- The Light Brigade (Paddington) – One of my favorite rooftop bars in Sydney!
- Palmer & Co. (CBD) – prohibition-style cocktails!
- The Lobo Plantation (CBD) – Tikki bar with great rum selections!
- Shady Pines Saloon (Darlinghurst)
- Henry Deane (The Rocks)
- Venroy (Bondi, Paddington) – One of my favorite brands. Venroy absolutely kills the casual linen/athleisure game.
- Jac + Jack (Bondi, Paddington)
- Saturdays NYC (Bondi)
- Incu (CBD, Paddington) – Well-curated menswear goods!
- The Standard Store (Surry Hills)
- The Annex (Bondi)
- Assembly Label (Paddington)
- Orlebar Brown (Bondi)
- Harrolds (CBD) – Luxury streetwear-inspired menswear collections!
- Sydney Opera House – Probably the city’s most-iconic building! Grab a drink at the Opera Kitchen and soak in the view! I don’t think you need to do a tour through the Opera House as you can get pretty up-close. The best views are from a ferry in the harbor!
- Royal Botanical Gardens – Great to take a stroll through… it’s right next door the Sydney Opera House and it’s free!
- Bondi Iceberg Pools – Iconic Sydney. Great place to grab a drink and enjoy the view.
- Taronga Zoo
- Shop at the Queen Victoria Building – Beautiful late 19th-century building that now houses some great shopping. Head to the Westfield Mall too if shopping in the CBD!
- Coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee – A must! Start in Bondi and end with lunch and/or a spritz at Coogee Pavillion. It took us about an hour and a half!
- Day Trips
- Palm Beach – Drive an hour drive north of Sydney to enjoy a hike up to the Palm Beach Lighthouse (it took us about 30 minutes) then grab lunch at The Boathouse or stop at The Newport on the way back into town!
- Manly – Take the Fast Ferry from the Sydney Harbor to Manly. It’s about a 20-minute ride with amazing views of Sydney Harbor! I’d recommend doing the Coastal Wak from Spit to Manly – Uber to Spit when you arrive in Manly, then take the coastal walk back. Online it says 3 hours, but we managed in about an hour and a half. Be sure to Enjoy lunch at Hugo’s on the wharf and drinks at Manly Greenhouse after! You can go to Manly Beach or Shelly Beach!
- Blue Mountains – Great hikes, about & hour and 20 minutes outside of the city.
- Beaches: Bondi Beach, Camp Cove Beach, Bronte Beach, Milk Beach, Tamarama Beach, Parsley Bay Beach
- Jardan – beautiful Interior design furniture store
- Spice Alley (Chippendales) – Tucked behind Kensington Street, it’s home to 6 Asian eateries
Have you been to Sydney before? Let me know your thoughts and if there are any spots I should add to my city Guide!