If you were to narrate a walk down Crown Street, the words ‘wow’, ‘yum’ and ‘let’s go there’ would feature very highly. Traversing the inner-city suburbs of Surry Hills and Darlinghurst, this is where the style-set come to play, with bars, eateries and beautiful boutiques lining the footpaths.
Brunch reigns supreme in the area, with more cafes than you can poke a stick at specialising in our favourite hybrid meal. Around 10am every Saturday and Sunday, lines start to form outside the most popular so we suggest getting in a little earlier and making the most of the suburb’s trademark meal. Bill’s, owned by celebrity chef Bill Granger, has been serving up its famous ricotta hotcakes here since 1996 and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Dressed with banana and honeycomb butter, they are flavoured and fluffed to perfection and, paired with a smooth single origin coffee, make the perfect start to the day. Bourke Street Bakery is a little newer to the scene but no less popular, fuelling Sydneysiders with all things pastry since 2004. Four Ate Five is another all-time favourite and one that makes the choice between sweet and savoury very difficult indeed. Will it be the heirloom tomato, avocado, goats cheese, dukkah, cashew and coriander pesto toast creation or the French toast stuffed with banana, dulce de leche, marscapone and nut crumble?
Dinner options are also numerous around here with fine food in relaxed atmospheres proving the winning approach. Colin Fassnidge’s 4Fourteen offers hearty nose to tail dishes to avid diners, Toko serves up classy Japanese and creative cocktails and Folonomo brings a touch of charity to the table, with all proceeds from the delicious dishes going to not-for profits.
If you’re feeling thirsty you have two distinct venue choices: larger pubs or intimate small bars. Front runners in the first category are The Clock and the newly renovated Dolphin Hotel. Both offer areas for all occasions, from large front bars to whisky and wine rooms. As for small bars, you can’t go wrong with the Downtown Bar at The Commons for knowledgeable cocktail waiters, perfect mood lighting and live jazz. 121 BC and Mille Vini are both excellent wine bars with a strong leaning towards Italian varietals.
Thanks to its location in style-conscious inner Sydney, Crown Street offers all the ingredients necessary for a great day’s shopping. You’ll find various boutiques and vintage stores offering everything from clothing through to books and furniture, as well as regular markets. Of these, the top pick is the Fashion Markets at The Winery, where the wardrobes of Sydney’s style set (think bloggers Tash and Elle from They All Hate Us fame and Carmen Hamilton from Chronicles of Her) are thrown open to willing bidders. Browsing the stalls, wine in hand, you’ll find yourself experiencing the true essence of this wonderful area.