My Sydney List: Inner East

bourke street

We’re getting ready to pack up our Bondi apartment and head back to New York after four years away. Leaving Sydney will be bittersweet, and there will be a lot I’ll miss – especially living near the beach, the weather and the food. I’ve garnered some favorite restaurants, cafes and bars over the past few years to which I’ve grown very attached. I know I’m going to find myself a little panicked some Friday night in the near future when I get a serious craving for a piadina.

Here is PART 1 of my picks for fresh, fun and exciting places to eat and drink in this stunner of a city. We start with the Inner East suburbs, where it’s quintessentially Sydney – beautiful, stylish and bustling.


  1. Bourke Street Bakery, Surry Hills

    Go for: pastries. Croissants, tarts and bread are all excellent. Grab a coffee and a little table outside and chill on this quiet corner of Surry Hills (pictured above).

  2. Love, Tilly Devine, Darlinghurst

    Go for: the great wine list, a negroni or an Aperol spritz. I love a place with history, and this little wine bar ­– situated in a back alley of what used to be a very seedy part of town – is named for the notorious madam who ran the show in the 1930s (#boss).
    Also, the small food menu is delightful.

  3. Chiswick, Woollahra

    Go for: the seasonal menu. Australian celebrity chef, Matt Moran’s casual restaurant is a gorgeous space for a long lunch or a special dinner out. The vibrant atmosphere, classic rock vinyl collection and great wine list all create my ideal backdrop for enjoying quality food. The mains intended for sharing and vegetable sides straight from the garden are all highlights. The dessert menu always has something special too.

  4. Golden Age Cinema, Surry Hills

    Go for: a cocktail and a movie. An old Paramount screening room has been given new life as an intimate movie theatre showing a mix of new indie movies and cult classics, with a Madmen-mod cocktail lounge attached. Arrive early to enjoy a drink, snack or dessert at the bar or take your treats into the theatre for a unique cinema experience.

  5. Buffalo Dining Club, Darlinghurst

    Go for: cacio e pepe. With imported Italian ingredients, a cosy and pleasantly raucous ambiance and knowledgeable tattooed waitstaff, this simple menu is one of my faves. They make the cacio e pepe spaghetti table-side by swirling hot pasta around in a large carved-out wheel of Parmesan with heaps of cracked pepper. I’m a sucker for a bit of flair.

  6. Gelato Messina, Darlinghurst, Surry Hills, Bondi

    Go for: top-shelf gelato in inventive and classic flavors. Check the specials board for new weekly creations. Personally, I would like a lifetime supply of the Bounty (a coconut and chocolate chip number) and Banana Split flavors.


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