Forget the Sydney Opera bar, Scubar, and the party buses driving you around Darling Harbor.
I’m taking you for a day out to alternative and indie kids paradise, Newtown. Although only one station from Central, backpackers tend to miss this lively area.
Until my last trip to Australia, I have never been a backpacker in Sydney. I wasn’t really one this time around either as I was living at my friend’s place.
But although I enjoyed discovering that you can get “Thai style” buckets in some of the backpacker bars in the city and that party buses are actually quite fun, I am dearly in love with the Sydney I knew without fruit picking in mind.
Here is my guide to a place often forgotten for the Bondi sunshine and lifeguards. So put away you boardies and pick your favorite pair of skinny jeans.
Newtown is amazing for food. Every time I went to Oz, I ended up piling on the pounds because I lived so close to so many delicious places. I am actually slightly drooling when I think of it. Get me there now.
To start the day right, one of my favorite places for breakfast is Café Sophia on Erskenville Road. You have to try their banana raspberry melon smoothie with salmon and eggs benedicts or their French toasts. Actually try everything. Just go every morning for 4 months like I did.
For lunch, I would generally go for one of the many Thai restaurant on King’s Street, Newtown main road. Most of places are vegan/vegetarian and although I m neither vegan nor vegetarian, I did get a little bit addicted to fake duck, pak choi and rice $6 lunch boxes.
To walk off all this food, shop around! Newtown has lot to offer when it comes to retail therapy, whether it’s one the many vintage stores or young designers’ outlets, you will find everything to replace your old Vang Vieng “In the tubing” vest.
Then head to the art gallery “Oh really?” on Enmore Road. Oh really? is a collective/magazine/gallery presenting the latest street artists around. They regularly organize openings and you could find yourself having a beer with artist Ears while nodding to some breakbeat. Always nice. Check out what’s going on at www.ohreallymagazine.com
Then it’s time to wind down. Head down for a cold long neck at my favorite ever pub in Sydney, The Court House (“The Courtie”) on Australia Street. Cheap drinks, a lovely beer garden decorated with fairy lights, a lively atmosphere and very important, a pool table. I can’t count how many good nights started there. Food is also nice, very affordable and the portions are massive.
If you are still hungry from your day then try the nachos to share. Then move on for some cocktails on the Zanzibar Roof. You will find a cosy terrace and the staff there is always lovely (and not too shabby looking either, just saying).
If the schooners have gone straight to your head, then it’s time to go and pull some shapes on the dance floor. I have to say this is not in Newtown. On a Friday I’ll head to Mum at World Bar in Kings Cross to watch live music and listen to the latest indie-electro. Check the coming up MUM nights on MusicFeeds. On any other night check out Sydney promoters and all around cool kids UPTOOUR HIPS for the best nights in town (seriously).
And there you go, I can assure you this will be hell of a good day.
Now there is a lot more to discover by yourself in Newtown and around. But it would take way too long to tell you all about it and I have still things left to see myself. It’s alright; I’ll be back very soon. I’ll see you at The Courtie.
Ps: If you were still to be hungry on your way home, stop by Saray’s on Enmore Road for a pite (also called Laknore) ,a filled bread from Kosovo with lemon juice on it. Delicious.
Cafe Sofia: 7 Swanson St Erskineville NSW 2043
Oh Really? Gallery: 55 Enmore rd Newtown. Open Friday-Sunday 11am till 6pm.
The Court House: 202 Australia Street Newtown, 2042
World Bar: 24 Bayswater Road, Kings Cross
Saray: 18 Enmore Rd, Newtown, 2042