Local’s guide to Surry Hills

Surry Hills, an inner-city precinct of Sydney, is one of the most attractive urban neighbourhoods in the world. It is an area where fashion, food and design mix in close proximity to the central business district. Some of the best cafes, bars and buildings can be found in an area faintly reminiscent of Brooklyn NYC or Palermo in Buenos Aires. Below is a continually updated local’s guide to the best this area has to offer.

Coffee: High-end coffee offerings abound in this precinct with Sideshow@Single Origin, Sample, ArtificerParamount Coffee Project, Haven Specialty Coffee, and The Reformatory Caffeine Lab all delivering a sumptuous cup of the black nectar.

Breakfast: Bourke Street Bakery, Suzie Q, Bills, Single O, Kwila, Cafe RumahSuzie Q

A quick lunch: We never dine al-desko if we can help it, but for those times you need something quick but quality: City Edge Cafe, Sandwich ShopRelishMadame NhuSpice I Am, Shenkin Eatery, Kurtosh

A longer Lunch: Longrain, Bar H, Harpoon Harry

Dinner: NomadBodega, NEL, Gogyo, Sasaki

Bars: From cocktails to boutique brews try: Golden Age Cinema & Bar, Wild Rover, The Clock Hotel, Hollywood Hotel, The Royal Albert

Shopping: Numerous independent retailers including Title Records, The Standard Store, Planet Commonwealth, APC, Route 66 and Provider Store being some of the standouts.

Design, art & architecture: A design-led council has overhauled the green spaces and public buildings. This coupled with architecturally led property developments has created a pleasing streetscape where old terrace houses are restored, warehouses converted into modernist apartments and new buildings designed by some of Australia’s best architects. Check out the Surry Hills Library on Crown Street, terrace houses on Bourke Street and Dominic Alvaro’s award-winning Small House.

What we like:

  • A high value has been placed on good design and is visible in the areas of buildings, parks and interiors.
  • Upbeat, vibrant, and well-dressed locals of various ages from children to residents in their 60′s.
  • The high standard of coffee, food and drinks.
  • A city council that improves the daily quality of residents lives (Sydney City Council) in everything from bike lanes, to well designed, safe parks, civic centres you actually use (Surry Hills Library), rubbish collection/recycling and numerous other small details which have dramatically improved the area.

Paramount Coffee Project barista wideParamount by The Office SpaceCafe Rumah food

Our Rating

9 Food and drink venues

8 Streetscape (architecture, parks, lighting)

8 Stylish locals

8 Sense of place

9 Contribution to Better Living