EAT & DRINK - CROISSANTS

Eastside Sydney has the best restaurants, bars, bakeries and clothes stores in this city, with more than one giving a nod to “Le Style Francais”.

Let’s start with the CROISSANT…

For the best croissant in town you absolutely cannot go past Nadine Ingram’s buttery croissant. At $6 per item, the Flour & Stone croissant has had some debates raging online recently - can you justify paying $6 for a croissant? Nadine thinks you can and defends her price point by pointing out the high quality ingredients she uses (pepe saya butter and country valley milk included) and the fair wages she pays her staff. By the looks of the bustling store and the “sold out” signs daily, many people agree with her. Flour and Stone lovingly make the best butter croissants in town and have the t-shirt to prove it!

Darlinghurst’s Infinity Bakery does a mighty fine croissant and also serves homemade fruit jams, if that’s your preference. They use local produce and organic ingredients: stone ground certified organic flour from NSW; Murray River inland salt; extra virgin olive oil from the NSW countryside, and honey from Sydney’s rooftops.

flour+stone, bourke street bakery, infinity bakery.

flour+stone, bourke street bakery, infinity bakery.

There’s a reason Bourke Street Bakery (Surry Hills and Potts Point) has lines snaking out the door each Saturday morning. It’s the cakes, sausage rolls and YES croissants that set the scene for this hipster-loving, foodies paradise. Baked and raised from humble beginnings in Surry Hills, this local’s favourite has grown to become one of Sydney’s most iconic food destinations, even stretching all the way to NYC!

Croissant D’Or in Macleay St is a Potts Point institution. Not a lot has changed on this menu (does anyone know how long its been here? 30? 40 years?) and the locals wouldn’t have it any other way. As the name itself suggests croissants - golden, buttery and flakey - feature prominently.

EAT & DRINK - SAY CHEESE!

Looks like CHEESE is the food du jour in Eastside these days with cafes, restaurants, bars and speciality stores all offering their take on this creamy, tasty, gooey and sometimes smelly, treat.

Penny’s Cheese Shop in Potts Point is leading the charge with her selection of handmade and farm house cheeses sourced locally and internationally. A self-confessed ‘curd nerd’ Penny has been in the food industry for over 20 years and is an Australian Cheese Judge to boot! She will cut cheeses to your specifications, make up platters for special events (or a quiet evening at home) plus she sells all the quince paste and crackers your cheesy-heart desires.

Penny’s cheese toasties have been voted Best in Sydney but you’ll have to get in early to decide for yourself - with a limited amount made each day Penny is regularly sold out by 1pm.

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At Formaggi Ocello in Surry Hills you can buy a cheese wedding cake (YES) Plus they also offer a selection of Australian, French and Italian cheeses with all the condiments you need - biscotti, crackers, oils and vinegars, cured meats and olives. If you prefer, you can eat in with a glass of wine or two and a tasting platter. There are cheesy gifts, raclette nights, gourmet hampers and Ocello has recently introduced Cheese Tours to Italy!

Speaking of RACLETTE have you tried the All-You-Can-Eat Raclette at Loluk Bistro? Just off Taylor Square this little French Bistro, known for its authentic southern cuisine, is run by brothers Luk and Loic, serving food in the “grandma way” with a modern twist. Every Tuesday and Wednesday they pour the cheese on top of potatoes, salad, cornichon and a plate of charcuterie (braseola, coppa, saucisson, ham and prosciutto) and it’s all included in the $49 price.

Loluk Bistro

Also on every Wednesday night, Black Bottle’s offering of ‘Fromage in a Box’ is just what it sounds like - an oven baked wheel of cheese, served with cured meats, roast potatoes and lettuce. It serves two and at $39 per head, coupled with the 5-7pm happy hour “apertivo” makes for a great date-night or after work destination.

This popular wine bar in Darlinghurst also serves up Mediterranean style share plates, along with superb selection of wines and cocktails. The ambience is chill and these guys know their food is best served super fresh!

Locals Tip: if you phone ahead Black Bottle will serve you “fromage in a box” any night of the week!

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Back over in Potts Point, Le Petite Louvre is the latest edition to our bustling cheese scene. Tucked away on Springfield Avenue, this shop is an homage to all things French and cheesy. Proprietor Christian Estebe, tells us he stocks a few Swiss cheeses (from the French side, bien sur) but everything else is lovingly hand made in the traditional style by pretty French farm maids living a full and wholesome life - okay we may be exaggerating just a tad here, but believe me Monsieur Estebe knows his stuff and has very high, very exacting standards when it comes to cheese.

Quality and tradition rule in this gem of a store that is part shop, part cafe, part tea room. There’s gold medal cheese, fancy cheese, rare cheese but most of all really tasty cheeses to pair with wine, tea or whatever you like.

Baroque music and French reproduction paintings on the ceiling and walls make for a unique ambience and a truely one off experience.

Locals : Christian can also be found at the KX Organic Markets on Saturday mornings

Le Petite Louvre

EAST VILLAGE PINK WINTER GARDEN

The East Village Hotel in Darlinghurst has transformed its terrace rooftop into a pink Winter Garden, inspired by the Christmas markets of Europe.

Drenched in pink flood light & thousands of fairy lights, there’s a warm drinks menu with mulled wine and cider, specialty warm meads and gin hot toddies. Happy hour (two-for-one) is 5-7pm

On the food front there’s a selection of Christmas market-inspired items like currywurst, smoked deep fried camembert and Nutella waffles. Our vote goes to the four-cheese fondue, spiked with maraschino liqueur and served with assorted veg, cured meats and bread for dipping.

Local’s tip: This cute pokie-free venue also has one of the best Sydney skyline views in Eastside!

east village winter garden

DRINK -DULCIE'S KINGS CROSS

If If a cosy bar is what you're looking for then you're in luck! If a bohemian style drinking den, serving Australian spirits and wines and inventive cocktails is more your style - well my friend you've hit the jackpot with DULCIE'S KING’S CROSS. 

Slap-bang in the middle of Darlinghurst Road, the once infamous 'strip' of Kings Cross, this new kid on the block (how nice to hear of an opening in the midst of all those closings!) is the brainchild of co-owner Brandon Martignago (ex Roosevelt + The Butler) who has built an entire drinking den around the year 1932. 

Come for the drinks and stay for the piano playing, exotic dancers and erotic fiction nights.

LOCALS TIP : sign up for a cocktail masterclass, using all-Australian spirits and produce.

DULCIE'S

EAT & DRINK - HUMMUS MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND

A few years ago chef-guru Yotam Ottolenghi introduced me to the idea that the humble hummus dish was not just a dip but in fact, it was a meal. To be eaten as a main dish! ** MIND BLOWN ** Apparently this is how they do it in the middle east and thats how Yoash Dvir would like to see Sydneysiders eat their hummus. And Dvir is very convincing. His new shop (Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst) , Simply Hummus, is tiny, and that’s okay because he’s serving up a small but perfectly formed menu - all centred around hummus as the star of the show. Keeping the menu simple and authentic Dvir also offers toppings of tomato salad, falafel balls and caramelised onions. Dinner time sees a slightly varied menu plus an all-you-can eat option too.

SIMPLY HUMMUS

SIMPLY HUMMUS

Around the corner on Darlinghurst Road (behind the Fire Station) is another tiny hole-in-the-wall place serving up some of the best falafel in town. CHAPTER E is already a local’s favourite with lunchtime specials that includes fresh mint lemonade for $1…. A dollar! Can you think of anything going for a buck these days? Anything at all?! Anyway the Chapter E gang is suitably proud of their falafel, but it’s their Shakshuka that really has my attention these days - especially when winter calls for a hearty and warming breakfast/brunch.

CHAPTER E

CHAPTER E

Speaking of hearty breakfasts ALMOND BAR (which is not really a bar, but a restaurant specialising in Middle Eastern dishes) back up on Liverpool Street, serves up a traditional Syrian Breakfast on a select Sunday each month which is guaranteed to keep you going all-day-long. Also next month (July) they’re hosting Mulukhiyah Night and I seriously have no idea what that is but catch up on it here and lets face it - anything with banquet in the explanation has to be good :)

So that’s 3 excellent places for middle eastern delights in Darlo - all pretty much on the same block and 5 minutes from Taylor Square or Kings Cross station.

If you fancy a stroll or live closer to Potts Point/Elizabeth Bay/Ruchcutters Bay end of town try SHUK on Roslyn Gardens. Already a Bondi institution, this place has been pumping since late last year when they took up residence in this pretty, sleepy street just a stone’s throw from Rushcutter’s Bay Park (perfect for an after-lunch stroll).

Open each day for breakfast and lunch and Friday/Saturday for dinner, the owners at Shuk say the food they offer is “inspired by what we grew up with in Israel, where the cuisine available is one of the largest melting pots on the planet, with food coming from a variety of cultures that migrated to the country from 130 different countries in the past 50 years."

SERIOUSLY - where we would be without hummus?!

SHUK Elizabeth Bay

SHUK Elizabeth Bay

EAT & DRINK - Sustainable Mother's Day Lunch Choices

For vegetarians and vegan mums, there are treats in store.  Alibi Bar at Ovolo in Wooloomooloo will be hosting a plant based high tea whilst Yellow in Potts Point will have a vegetarian shared menu for $85.00 per person, they are both taking bookings so get in quick before you miss out! 

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If mum is a up for a bit of spice then maybe Bad Hombres in Surry Hills would be better. They're offering vegetarian Mexican spread for the day in honour of both Mama and the Mexican holiday season of Cinco De Mayo. 

EAT & DRINK - Eastside gets the Nigella tick of approval.

There are few people in the world that do not melt when they hear Nigella Lawson’s dulcet tones as she waxes lyrical on her favourite subject - food! The Domestic Goddess is a household name and has returned many times to our shores. A Broadsheet article alerted us to the Nigella food stops on her most recent trip down under and were were rather chuffed to find not one but five Eastside venues on the list!

She first visited breakfast favourite Bills in Darlinghurst for a healthy injection of toast with avocado, coriander and kimchi. A classic Sydney favourite. Onward to beloved Billy Kwong for blue swimmer crab, prawn, chicken, and duck with plums where upon finishing her meal pronounced it “joyous”.

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Over at Woolloomooloo’s Flour and Stone Nigella popped a recipe from chef Nadine Ingram’s new cookbook onto her site (stars really are just like us!) and as a quick snack, opted for the chocolate manjari cake.

This was followed by a visit to The Apollo, where she shared eleven dishes with Sydney’s food scene stalwart Christine Manfield, no doubt an incredible meeting of minds (and taste buds). Then on to Alberto’s Lounge where she dined on octopus and chickpeas and spaghetti with sardine and fennel.

If Nigella approves, then who are we to argue? We will be spending our weekend following in her footsteps and indulging in the splendour of Eastside food delights.

EAT & DRINK - Picnicking in Eastside, the best spots for a blanket

Summertime in Eastside Sydney is the ideal time to for alfresco dining and there are many stunning spots on offer to make your picnic something special. From cosy city pocket parks to harbourside views, you can really soak in the atmosphere or show off Eastside to anyone visiting from out of town. Here are a few of our favourites.

Hyde Park - Between College St and Elizabeth St in Sydney’s CBD

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Prince Alfred Park - Chalmers St, Surry Hills NSW 2010

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Elizabeth Bay - 1 Ithaca Rd, Elizabeth Bay

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Rushcutters Bay - New South Head Road (Between Potts Point and Edgecliff)

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Sydney Botanic Gardens - Mrs Macquaries Rd

royal botanic gardens

EAT & DRINK - The best places to detox in Eastside

January calls of all kinds of overhauls. None is more significant than that of your health. Whether you are looking to lose the post Christmas bloat or make some lasting changes to your lifestyle, Eastside is home to some of the best health and wellness outlets.

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We are loving yoga and reformer pilates at One Hot Yoga in Potts Point, and the fresh whole food breakfasts at Ouroboros Wholefoods in Surry Hills.

Another gem is the outdoor training in the many parks around Eastside, Rushcutters Bay is a sweat fest thanks to Rushcutters Bay Boot Camp and the pool is splashing from 6am at Andrew Boy Charlton in Woolloomooloo. If you’re after a flexible training option then maybe ClassPass is for you? The credits based gym membership gives you access to multiple classes and fitness experiences around the city, and means you can jump around town, invite friends and really be a part of Eastside.

If none of these establishments are your thing, don’t forget that Eastside is bordered by some of the most stunning foreshore walks in Sydney. The Botanic Gardens are the ideal spot for a picnic or take a stroll down to Elizabeth Bay and then along the wharves of Woolloomooloo, finishing with a fresh salad at Fratelli Fresh or a cutting edge play from the Sydney Theatre Company.

Eastside is all about experiences, the best of both and balancing creativity and fun with activity and health, take advantage of your neighbourhood in 2019!

EAT & DRINK - Tiny Bars are Sydney's latest trend. Here are the top 5 in Eastside.

Tiny Houses are all the rage and now it’s small bars. From hole-in-the-wall sake bars to the suave and intimate wine sanctuary, Eastside has it all.

  1. Osaka Bar - Shop/50 Llankelly Pl, Potts Point NSW 2011

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2. This Must Be The Place - 239 Oxford St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010

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3. Black Bottle - Shop 2/118-116 Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst NSW 2010

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4. Pocket Bar - 13 Burton St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010

5. Nom Japanese - 166 Riley St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010

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EAT & DRINK - Society Pizza might be gone but Sobar is here to stay.

If you were a fan of the Monday and Tuesday all you can eat pizza at the Potts Point Society Pizza then we have some sad news, the legends of the crust have moved on. (Don’t worry their Bondi stores are still open!)

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Sobar is the latest in Japanese Italian Fusion and is taking the place of the renowned Society Pizza.

The good news is that in its place there is now the amazing Sobar. They describe themselves as ‘a new and unique cocktail lounge with an emphasis on designer cocktails, serving Italian + Japanese fusion.’ Oh and the pizza is still on the menu too! They take walk ins and bookings so we suggest getting on the phone and making the call ASAP. Plans for the weekend, sorted!