Here, how to experience the best of the drinking and dining culture in one day.
Most visitors to Sydney’s Bondi Beach go crazy for the golden beach and iconic Icebergs tidal pool, which may be the most-Instagrammed pool in the world. Yes, there’s good surf and sand, but there’s also a great neighborhood culture—which begins really early. Even before the kookaburras have made their morning chirps, most locals are on their morning run/surf/swim. By 7 a.m., the coffee shops are already spilling out with post-workout people enjoying much-needed flat whites and slices of (duh) avocado toast. From then, the string of modern Aussie restaurants continue to buzz all day long. Here, how to experience the best of the drinking and dining culture in one day.
Start the day the Bondi way and do one of three things: Take a dip in the ocean, a swim in the Icebergs pool or a walk along the coastal Coogee trail, which winds along creamy beaches and jagged cliffs. Once you’ve worked up a sufficient appetite, swing by Porch and Parlor (17-18/110 Ramsgate Ave.), a low-key neighborhood joint that serves Melbourne-worthy flat whites (with all kinds of different milks) and morning dishes like a green brekkie bowl with eggs, wilted kale and quinoa or sprouted toast with avocado. If you’re still in your workout gear, don’t worry, you’re won’t be alone. You may even spy locals casually sitting on the wooden benches in swimming towels and wetsuits.
Next, head to the QT Hotel (6 Beach Rd.) to freshen up for the day. A hotel with full-service apartments, the QT is a laid back spot with roomy accommodations that have bright, surf-inspired decor. It’s biggest draw is its location, moments away from the beach. Set further back in the neighborhood (a 25-minute walk from the beach) is the Baxley Bondi (44 Flood St.), a breezy boutique hotel set on a leafy street. Inside, the economical rooms are super simple with tropical-printed pillows, raffia carpets and white slatted shutters. Both hotels are quintessentially Bondi Beach: unfussy but still surf-chic.
If it’s a bright, sunny day (its likely it will be), it would be a sin to have lunch anywhere that doesn’t have a view of the neighborhood’s famed golden beach. At celeb chef Matt Moran’s ocean-facing North Bondi Fish (120 Ramsgate Ave.), diners get a view without compromising on really good food. Dig into refreshing small plates of yellowfin tuna tartare with Korean dressing and Hiramasa kingfish ceviche with coconut water, avocado and cucumber followed by more hearty mains like beer battered fish and prawn linguine. If you’ve managed to snag a good table on the terrace, don’t let it go easily. Order another glass of rosé and spy people meandering along the beach and boardwalk. The people watching from here is, frankly, out of this world.
A 10-minute walk away, just across the Bondi playground, which lines the beach, is the minimalist, almost-entirely-neutral Pacific Club (182 Campbell Parade). The all-day eatery shakes up new-age cocktails like the Kombucha Colada made from white rum, cherry kombucha, coconut cream and citrus. They also make a citrusy Club Spritz with cacao nibs, rooibos tea, coconut flesh and citrus peel. Watch the sun sink from the sidewalk before making your way to dinner at the around-the-corner joint, Drake Eatery (Curlewis and Gould St.). This Aussie eatery has a contemporary feel with wood ceilings and chairs, industrial walls and a giant hanging shelf from where plants hang. Order one of the bright, seasonal dishes like the scallops with seaweed butter and charred lime or the fish with charred beach plants and macadamia, along with a glass or bottle of Aussie wine.
Not ready to say good night? Keep the party going at Ode (251 Bondi Rd.), a nook of a bar that has a solid collection of wines (local and foreign) and classic cocktails (Negroni, Pisco Sour). The intimate, brick-clad space is the perfect spot to wind down the evening with locals. But rest-assured, it won’t end too late, because tomorrow begins at 7 a.m., remember?
Restaurants, Bars, and Hotels in Bondi
- Porch and Parlour, 17-18/110 Ramsgate Ave., (02) 9300 0111
- QT Hotel Bondi, 6 Beach Rd., (02) 8362 3900
- Baxley Bondi, 44 Flood St., (02) 9388 0895
- North Bondi Fish, 120 Ramsgate Ave., (02) 9130 2155
- The Pacific Club, 182 Campbell Parade, (02) 9057 5775
- Drake Eatery, Curlewis and Gould St., (02) 9130 3218
- Ode Bar, 251 Bondi Rd., (02) 9130 2894