A Faithfull Guide To Sydney
The Faithfull Team share their insiders guide to Sydney, from their favourite wine bars to the best locals-only beaches and Sunday morning markets.
From the sun-drenched yellow sand beaches to harbourside coves and coastal restaurants, candlelit speakeasy bars in the CBD, French and Italian style bakeries and Sunday morning markets - it's hard to deny Sydney doesn't have it all.
“Where To Dine”
Opposite the beach in North Bondi, you'll find Seans, a small intimate restaurant with home-style cooking and farm to table produce (all sourced from their farm in the Blue Mountains). Their menu changes everyday, but know whatever's on offer will be memorable.
A French-style bistro in Potts Point with outdoor street seating, Bistro 916 is a favourite during summer for its daily happy hour with $1 oysters and double cheeseburgers.
No one quite does coastal fine dining like Mimi’s, who’s quickly become a favourite for its caviar bumps and frozen vodka. Book in for a late lunch so you can enjoy the sunshine and incredible views of Coogee Beach.
Icebergs Dining Room
Icebergs is known for much more than just its iconic ocean pool and incredible views of Bondi Beach. In fact, their Dining Room and Bar is considered one of the most highly-rated restaurants in Sydney. Their menu is inspired by Italian coastal dining and the owner’s own Italian heritage, including some of the best cacio e pepe pastas and risottos we’ve ever tried.
Set in a historic old clocktower in the CBD, Shell House’s dining room and terrace is light, open and styled with marble flooring and cream couches and is a favourite among our team for its potato scallops and seafood mains.
For a late night candlelit dinner, book into Pellegrino 2000 in Surry Hills for its authentic Italian pastas, focaccia, olives and extensive wine list.
A local’s favourite in Paddington, Ursula’s is an upscale restaurant with a homey, living room-style ambience. Its menu mixes classic European cooking with fresh produce and nods to Aboriginal cuisine.
Undeniably one of the best posts in Sydney, Hugo's sits out on the Manly wharves in the northern beaches and serves a mix of modern Italian favourites and seafood. (Try to request an outside table if you can, paticularly as they can be hard to come by!).
“Where To Drink”
A small wine bar in Surry Hills, Bar Copain is a favourite among locals for their impressive wine cellar, most of which comes from the owners' personal collection. If you decide to extend your aperitivo hour into dinner, their menu is full of delicious snacks and share plates (which can also be vegan-friendly).
An intimate bistro in Paddington, 10 Williams St is a must-visit for its experimental wine list (which changes every month) and Italian-Australian menu. (No one leaves without trying their homemade pretzel and whipped bottarga).
A cosy and romantic wine bar that hosts an Australiano Hour everyday with $8 Australiano cocktails and $10 Jane Martinis.
Part of the allure of Love, Tilly Devine is it can be particularly hard to track down. It's tucked away in a Darlinghurst alleyway in the inner city and is set out with dim lighting, intimate tables and an ever-changing European menu. (There's over 300 wines to try).
In the heart of the CBD, you'll find Little Felix which serves 1920s inspired cocktails (many of which play with French flavours) and wines served exclusively from magnum bottles.
Located in Newtown, in the inner west of Sydney, Continental Deli is a classic European style deli where patrons sip martinis out of tin cans and snack on grilled cheese sandwiches and charcuterie boards.
“Where To Find The Best Coffee And Pastries”
An authentic Italian delicatessen tucked away in the streets of Paddington, here’ll you experience some of the best coffee in Sydney as well as antipastas, salads and baguettes.
There’s a few locations of this iconic bakery across Sydney but our favourite is by far their rooftop space on Paramount House. You might have to line up but it’s definitely worth it for their buttery pastries, coffees and scrolls.
Originating from Melbourne, Baker Bleu in Double Bay is the best spot to pick up a fresh loaf of bread as they follow ancient techniques of making sourdough. They also serve sourdough pizza bases topped with fresh seasonal ingredients, French pastries, New York-style bagels and Reuben sandwiches.
A delicious Greek deli near Manly beach where you can discover fresh caesar salads, schnitzel sandwiches and baguettes, focaccia and baklava desserts. They also have an incredible grocery section, which you can spend hours sifting.
“Where To Stay”
A boutique hotel set in a historic brick factory, the Ace Hotel is a favourite for its casually cool rooms, 1970s suburbia-inspired decor and artworks from local artists. Not to mention, their lobby and rooftop bars are some of the best spots in Sydney for eclectic cocktails, organic wines and sustainable food menus.
A neighbourhood hotel in the inner city that was originally built in 1940 as the Paramount Pictures building. It's since been restored into a boutique accomodation with an underground cinema and bar, rooftop garden and ever-popular coffee shop, Paramount Coffee Project.
Tucked off Oxford Street in Paddington (a nice middle ground between Bondi and the city), Oxford House only opened last year and has already become one of the most popular boutique hotels with a Palm Springs-inspired pool bar and area and tonal palette for it's cosy terrace rooms and suites.
“Where To Swim In The Best Ocean Pools”
There’s a reason so many locals and tourists flock to Icebergs to take the iconic Instagram shot. It’s all blue skies and blue water. But make sure you also pay a visit inside and take a dip inside the seawater pool and treat yourself to their sauna afterwards. Entry is only $9 for adults.
A restored 1920s seawater pool in Cremorne surrounded by a heritage-style wooden deck and views of the harbour. You might even want to lie your towels out on the nearby grass and enjoy an afternoon picnic.
Visit Bondi’s neighbour, Bronte Beach and in particular, Bronte Baths, for a sunrise or sunset swim. It’s an incredible ocean pool carved into the cliff face and you can often experience the waves crashing into the side.
Fairy Bower Rock Pool
Just in between Manly and Shelly Beach, you’ll find the Fairy Bower rock pool where beachgoers love to lie out and watch the ocean swimmers swim by. There’s also plenty of coffee shops around for a quick pick-me-up.
Using the foundation of the naturally formed seaside rock pool, the Mahon Pool can be found just north of Maroubra Beach at the base of Jack Vanny Reserve. With spectacular ocean views, this spot has become a popular swim spot for the locals and sometimes a training venue for the Sydney Swans AFL team.
One of our newest favourites, Wylie’s Baths is a heritage-listed ocean pool near Coogee Beach. With its wraparound oceanside panelling and refreshment kiosk, its the perfect location for a day in the sun
“Where To Beach”
A hidden gem in Vaucluse in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, Kutti Beach is all crystal-clear waters, palm trees and yellow sand. It’s surrounded by chic weatherboard boat sheds and row boats, so also makes for some of the most aesthetic Instagram photos.
Just a short walk from Watsons Bay wharf (meaning it’s accessible via ferry), Camp Cove boasts incredible views of both the eastern suburbs and the harbour. It’s also worth a visit just for its kiosk, which serves lychee slushies, lemon gelato and fresh juices.
The little sister to Manly Beach, Shelly Beach is a protected marine reserve perfect for snorkelling and ocean swims. (You can also rent paddle boards and kayaks or even book in for scuba diving).
A classic for a reason. It’s probably not a real visit to Sydney, if you don’t at least walk along the yellow sand at Bondi Beach with an acai in hand or take a dip in the ocean.
“Where To Indulge In A Little Self-Care”
If you’re looking to indulge in some serious self-care, The CALMM space in Rose Bay specialises in remedial massages, lymphatic drainage, acupressure and healing treatments.
Slow House is a go-to amongst our team for a post-work sweat session, as they offer infrared saunas, traditional saunas and even ice baths, in a chic and relaxing space in Bondi.
If you’re looking for a relaxing and rejuvenating facial experience, Fenn is our favourite for LED light therapies, cry-kinetic facials, neo-sculpting and naturopathy consultations. (They also have classic facials as well).
“Where To Spend A Sunday Morning”
Running every Sunday from 9am to 4pm opposite Bondi Beach, the Bondi Markets are the perfect spot to peruse local produce, fresh flowers and a mix of handcrafted, vintage and unique clothing, accessories and homewares.
One of Sydney’s most popular and longest running markets, Kirribilli Markets are held on the second Sunday of the month from 9am to 3pm and include a mix of second-hand clothing and accessories, antiques and delicious food. They’re also set beneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge and offer incredible views of the harbour and Luna Park.
Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk
For incredible views of Palm Beach up on the northern beaches, the Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk takes about 30 minutes and you can finish up with a quick dip in the ocean and a coffee from The Boathouse.
Vaucluse to Camp Cove Walk
Starting at Camp Cove in Watson's Bay, this short walk offers spectacular views of the Sydney Harbour to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east. It's expansive ocean views also offer excellent whale watching opportunities for walkers.
Spit Bridge to Manly Walk
For those looking for a longer trail, the Spit to Manly 10km walk passes through historic sites, coastal lookouts and beach spots, finishing in the centre of Manly. Here, you can reward yourself for all your hard work at one of the local restaurants or rooftop bars before riding the scenic ferry back to Circular Quay.
Art Gallery of NSW
Situated on Sydney Harbour, the Art Gallery of New South Wales is a popular destination for Sydney visitors. With free admission and exclusive exhibitions and events, the Art Gallery has something for everyone.