Surry Hills is an area of Sydney known for its multicultural atmosphere and diversity as ever since the 1940s, it has attracted a large number of migrants. There are many ethnic cuisine restaurants still around as well as trendy eateries. Now an area known for its style and café culture, there is a definite hipster vibe to this part of Sydney as it is off the beaten track of the CBD and was once the slums of Sydney, going through all of the hardships the great depression served. It holds a lot of hidden gems just waiting to be discovered by visitors including those listed below.
It’s time for a coffee and where better to go than Suzie Q Coffee and Records (1/18 Hutchinson Street, Surry Hills) for a flick through some vinyls in their exclusive collection and a coffee blended with beans from Dukes in Melbourne. The retro vibe is enhanced by the vintage décor ranging from a mural of Woodstock to kitsch brown light fittings and plenty of plants; some hanging above the windows, whilst others are on tables planted in tins. Breakfast/brunch/lunch options includes a vegetarian breakfast bowl with brown rice, turmeric zucchini, lentals, avo, an egg and celery and an egg dish named after a play on words 'Breakfast at Epiphanie’s' which includes ingredients like carrot hummus, zucchini slaw and snow pea tendrils. Both of these meals come with the option of adding ocean trout and cheese. They also serve an assortment of wine, beer and cider to enjoy perhaps later in the day. With the hip atmosphere, spend the morning sipping your coffee and absorbing yourself in the funky interior.
The interest in records is a real trend here in Surry Hills as the shop TITLE (499-501 Crown St, Surry Hills) offers a wide selection of records, films and books to choose from. Designed in 2005 as a space that combines quite the eclectic mix of artists from all over the world and many eras ranging from classic and more modern, some are more rare and unheard of than others. There is no doubt that something will appeal to you and you may even find that record you used to have but can never find in the mainstream stores. The shop’s wooden shelves make you feel like you are delving through someone’s private collection.
Pop over to Gratia and Folonomo (372 Bourke Street, Surry Hills) for a meal that not only benefits you, but gives back to others. It is Sydney’s premier profit for purpose café, as apart from operating costs, 100% of proceeds that this café receives are donated to charity. The food is simple yet delicious and with an all day menu, you can have breakfast favourites such as eggs anyway whenever you like. Protein pancakes, braised lamb pitta and haloumi croquettes are also on offer. Helping communities globally and locally one dish at a time, Gratia named after the latin root for gratitude, is definitely creating a positive change from their Surry Hills kitchen.
Afternoon and evening:
Feeling a bit peckish? Head over to Formaggi Ocello (Shop 16, 425 Bourke Street, Surry Hills) to try a wide array (around 200 types) of rare French, Italian and Australian cheeses. The flagship store in Surry Hills is designed to feel like a rustic farmhouse. You can either purchase them over the counter to take home or enjoy them accompanied by a glass of wine in the store. They also offer wine and cheese tasting and are launching gourmet tours to Italy via their website http://ocello.com.au/. The Ocello cheese and wine tasting menu is definitely not to be missed for cheese lovers!
This evening, enjoy a performance at the Belvoir St Theatre, one of the most celebrated theatres in Australia. With 350 seats upstairs and 80 downstairs, this theatre is an intimate space that is far from the tomato sauce factory it used to be. The 2018 Season is now live on their website to check out and book upcoming productions. Visit https://belvoir.com.au for more information.