First published on 18 Mar 2010. Updated on 4 Jun 2012.
001. Absinthe Salon
Here you drink absinthe, and absinthe only. Absinthe Salon is the first Sydney small bar doing something apart from just being small.
002. Bar Cleveland
An average pub with an excellent interior design.
003. The Beresford
Free Monday movies in the massive courtyard!
004. Café Lounge
A small bar packed with the cool kids of Surry Hills. Beneath the mural of a setting sun, said clientele are drinking Caprioskas and lounging on mismatched furniture.
005. The Clock
Perennially popular after-work destination pub.
006. The Commons
Run by brothers Bob and Barrie Barton, the Commons looks like a combination between a 60s lounge room and a Danish holiday home.
007. The Cricketers Arms
There are few quadrangles of Sydney real estate as highly prized as the courtyard at the Cricketers. This tiny beer garden fills up so fast, punters have been known to stake out a table hours in advance.
008. Doctor Pong (CLOSED)
Ping-pong gives the bar its name and the bar’s look is American frat house spliced with NSW south coast beach house.
009. The Dolphin
A Sunday arvo must for pub grub, pool and live sport.
010. The Falconer
A laid-back wine bar.
A clandestine wine bar offering plenty by the glass and the bottle price is reasonable.
012. The Flinders
Paul Wilson, marketing manager of Ksubi, is taking over with restaurateur Nick Mathers. Star bartender Andy Penney will be doing the drinks at a “New York-style dive bar where everyone’s welcome.”
013. Gaslight Inn
You never know what to expect at the Gassy and that’s the beauty of the bar. Sure, the carpet is sticky and the lighting a little dingy, but for crowd diversity you just can’t beat it.
014. Hotel Hollywood
The Hollywood is one of the last true pubs in the city. Beer’s your best bet, though there’s also a modest selection of spirits and they also do a cracker cheese plate.
015. Local Taphouse
An excellent pub with the best array of ales in the 2010. Perfect for a wet weekend. They also do a mean roast on a Sunday.
Ten years on, this refurbed warehouse with great booze is still packing them in.
017. Low 302
The music pumps and they make very drinkable cocktails.
018. Mille Vini
Head over early in the week for a glass of Italian wine and a plate of salami.
People’s Choice winner at the 2010 Time Out Sydney Bar Awards.
020. The Shakespeare
Cold beers, tall tales.
A hidden small bar where it’s all about fun.
022. Trinity Bar
Extremely hearty pub grub on offer. Go here for the pies.
The Asian-inspired cocktails are expertly made at Crown Street's new Japanese-themed bar.
024. The White Horse
The rooftop is great on a balmy night.
025. Winery By Gazebo
Popular for good reason. Especially cool if you like wine but find wine bars intimidating.
The casual vibe earns respect. Plus they do food to suit diners with difficult diets. Wheat-free? Sure!
CAFES & RESTAURANTS
Refined, progressive French cuisine.
Home-style yet healthy English, Scottish and Welsh fare. The veggie brekkie is our fave, closely followed by the fish finger sambo. You have to make an effort to find it, but you won’t regret it.
029. Bentley Restaurant and Bar
They’ve just reopened after a stunning refit with the best value degustation in town.
030. Billy Kwong
Arguably the best Chinese outside of Chinatown. Shop 3, 355 Crown St.
A high-end restaurant offering an excellent $29 lunch deal.
Faultless Argentinian tapas served to the sounds of 50s rock. Get there early to put your name down.
033. The Book Kitchen
A cool café that sells great cookbooks, new and old.
034. Bourke St Bakery
The queue stretches around the corner, and there’s only room for a few gluteus maximi at the window tables, but it’s worth it for their pork and fennel sausage roll.
Legendary hummus and carrot and beetroot dips plus life-saving pides are the order of the day. Order the eggplant and add sausage.
036. Formaggi Ocello
Italian cheese, wine and cold meats.
037. Four Ate Five
The best new café in Surry Hills is also one of the best in Sydney.
Darrell Felstead’s menu may be a lot of swirls and squiggles but there’s some real skill behind all the smoke and mirrors.
039. Kawa Café
Shabby-chic café that does a blazing trade in Single Origin coffee and tasty toasties.
Plenty of sweet treats on offer here, as well as gruyere choux pastries and fresh, soft brioche buns.
Time Out’s restaurant of the year 2009. Whether you’re having the $45 Friday lunchtime special, straight EMD (that’s entree, main and dessert) or the ten-course degustation, Marque Restaurant is bells and whistles the entire way.
042. Maya da Dhaba
One of the better Indian restaurants on Cleveland.
043. Pizza Mario
Authentic Neapolitan pizzas.
044. Red Lantern
The most glamorous Vietnamese restaurant in Surry Hills. And it’s not earth-shatteringly expensive!
045. Single Origin
Stupendous Sydney espresso.
046. Spice i Am
The best Thai Sydney has to offer, we say. If you like your Thai food authentic, spicy and tasty as the day is long, you’ve come to the right neck of the woods.
047. Sushi Suma
Renowned for their brown rice sushi and Japanese salads. It’s health food but tasty.
048. Table For 20
Michael Fantuz heads up a brilliant BYO communal dining experience. It’s a $60-a-head, three-course home-cooked meal, even down to his mum’s tiramisu. A percentage of each evening’s takings goes to Hope Street charities.
Pasta, crostini, salumi, wine and grappa in an enoteca-style venue.
050. Bar H
Sashimi of mulloway, lardo on toast, bay leaf custard.
051. Crown St Grocer
An authentic Italian family-owned-and-operated grocer.
052. Hudson’s Meats
We have to confess that the first time we saw Hudson’s Surry Hills premises, we doubted if the meat it sold could live up to the fancy interior. Oh, how we were proved wrong.
053. Maloney’s Grocer
Produce, yoghurts, and anything else you may fancy.
054. Sam The Butcher (CLOSED)
Check out the carcasses in the window. Organic and free range is the directive here.
55. Thomas Dux
This is how grocery shopping should be: an upmarket supermarket with the feel of a deli that isn’t eye-wateringly expensive. You won’t ever want to go back to Woolies/Coles/Aldi again.
Sydney’s newest jazz club. It’s now gone overground from its previous secret, not-entirely-legal location – but it’s still underground enough to attract the hippest of crowds, while gaining the support of established forces like Jazzgroove and Café Carnivale.
057. Ding Dong Dang
You can’t legitimately call yourself a Sydney karaoke lover without at least one visit to the ’Dang! under your belt.
058. The Gaelic Club
One of Sydney’s most storied rock venues.
Jazz + shushi = Jazushi!
060. Raval (CLOSED)
A relative newcomer to the scene, Raval has taken the top of the Macquarie Hotel and turned into a sweet space for music, comedy, cabaret, DJs and theatre.
Burlesque, magic, comedy and intimate showcase gigs happen here.
062. Spectrum / Phoenix / Oxford Art Factory
Dinner with these Oxford Street siblings would be a colourful affair: Spectrum is the eldest brother, still wearing a leather jacket and enthusing about his new band; OAF is the youngest, making canny decisions and spotting the next big thing; and Phoenix is the artsy middle sister who just wants to wants to have a good time without always intellectualising everything.
063. A-Space on Cleveland
Kooky contemporary and tribal art.
As a rentable space, this gallery shows a democratic cross-section of both established and aspiring artists.
065. Brett Whiteley Studio
See major Whiteleys alongside the late artist’s personal effects. It’s a fascinating and eerie insight into the artistic mind.
066. Chalk Horse
Secret, hip, New York-style gallery.
067. China Heights
The weekly openings at this independent space are legend.
068. Liverpool Street Gallery
A commercial gallery with a strong artist roster.
069. Monster Children
Skater dudes and indie chicks flock to this space to see street art by big international names.
070. Outré Gallery
A treasure trove of limited edition pop art prints.
071. Palmer Projects
This cool concept space next door to the East Village pub hosts innovative shows and projects.
This excellent unisex fashion store has rotating pop art on display on its walls.
073. Urban Uprising
Like a Louvre for hipsters, this gallery shows the authentic work of international street art heroes like Shepard Fairey and Pure Evil.
074. 2nd Hand Land
Toys, books, clothes and collectables.
Once in a while, it’s nice to come face to face with a fish that’s not on a plate. See the live ones at Aquadisiac, which specialises in freshwater fish, both cold water and tropical, and premium pet care products.
076. Paper 2
Tactility is king in this cheerful stationery shop. Paper, ribbons and notebooks line the walls, and we challenge you to leave without making just a wee purchase.
077. Chee Soon and Fitzgerald
This Crown Street stalwart has been supplying textile lovers with interiors since 1996. Marimekko fabrics dominate here, followed by Georg Jensen and Artemide.
078. Collector Store
Stylish clothes and inexpensive homewares.
079. David Met Nicole
This shop of vintage furniture and knick-knacks is not afraid to proclaim their affinity for all things Brit. We recommend picking up a Union Jack pillow or a war-era leather satchel.
080. Desmond & Molly Jones
Quite possibly the coolest unisex hairdressers in Sydney. And not overpriced either.
Bright fabrics, bold prints.
Fresh kicks from Alife, Adidas, Vans, Fred Perry and Nike.
083. Garden Life
Upmarket garden design.
084. I Ran The Wrong Way
085. Inner Vision Tattoo
Take advantage of the walk-in policy on Sundays.
086. Mr Stinky
If it’s a Hawaiian shirt or neon leotard you’re after, look no further.
087. Pop Shop
Here, you’ll find every manner of toy, object and collectable to satisfy that empty feeling ten times over.
088. Published Art
This browsers’ paradise is the last word in all things pertaining to design books.
089. Salvation Army Store
Furnish your house for next to nix.
090. Sean & Danny
Watch repairs, toys, cards and ‘crafternoon’ materials.
Skinny jeans and monochrome Tees to buy, surrounded by cool art.
092. Spence & Lyda
Designer homewares. Missoni! Driade!
093. Spring Court
French sneaker brand Spring Court have been doing something clever since 1936: making rubber and canvas look like something we want to wear. We love them.
094. Sterling Hairdressers
Chief coiffeurist Tony Vacher and his wife Lou are the coolest cats in hair, specializing in 1950s ’dos. They’ll even offer you beer if it’s an afternoon appointment.
095. Surry Hills Library
A fabulous new glass-fronted community hub where they hold regular exciting events.
096. Surry Hills Markets
First Saturday of every month, opposite Surry Hills Library.
097. Sydney Antique Centre
Need a cameo brooch? How about a China doll? Or a 1950s TV stand?
098. Title Music and Film
Less a CD and DVD shop, more a curated personal collection that just happens to be for sale.
099. Via Alley
Objects, clothes and accessories with sense of humour.
100. Wheels & Doll Baby
If it’s tight, low-cut or leopard-printed, Wheels & Doll Baby have got it in spades. In their 20-odd years of trading, the label has been worn by stars such as Debbie Harry, Gwen Stefani, Katy Perry and even Kate Moss.
101. Belvoir St Theatre
Where else but Surry Hills do you find a world-class theatre company across the road from the housing projects?