The micro-precincts of Eastside Sydney are just a stone’s throw from the CBD, nestled within sprawling parklands, sprinkled with heritage architecture and are home to some of Sydney’s best food, drink, late night entertainment and retail experiences.
WORDS Lorraine Lock
The newly branded Eastside Sydney comprises Woolloomooloo, Potts Point, Kings Cross, Darlinghurst and Surry Hills.
It’s long been home to a diverse mob of misfits, scoundrels and dreamers; from the razor gangs that fought over sly grog in the 1920s, to post WWII immigrants who added countless flavours to its cultural milieu.
Hosting Sydney’s famous Golden and Glittering Miles of Oxford Street and Darlinghurst Road, Eastside is a melting pot of people, arts and culture: fiercely independent, eclectic, creative and queer!
A handful of micro-precincts reside here, each with their own style and specialities.
Sydney’s ‘alter-ego’ is easily accessed by walking, as you flow effortlessly from one precinct to the other, making it the ideal area to explore over a day or a weekend – or longer!
Taster of the precincts
What can you expect around Eastside Sydney?
It would be impossible to pick out a favourite with all of the neighbourhoods having a different style but it’s definitely an art, design and food led culture with offerings to tantalise – anything from quirky street style to sophistication and the budget to match.
Take the Kings X Quarter, once a notorious area, now reinventing itself with a clutch of small bars, speakeasies and upmarket nighttime destinations.
Explore the streets and alley-ways off the main drag just behind the famous Coke Sign and discover your own new favourite late-night venue with burlesque, live music and cocktails flowing.
Around the corner, past the El Alamein Fountain is Potts Point Village – the more genteel end of the point with fashion and interior stores selling highly curated local and international designer brands and upmarket French and Italian brasseries and bars offering a wide range of cuisine options day and night.
The Rainbow Precinct encompasses Taylor Square and Oxford Street, long-time home and stomping ground of Sydney’s LGBTQIA+ community, where you can find a drag or variety show every night as Oxford reaffirms its place as a place to go for a good time with like-minded people. Here’s the place to find your tribe!
Nearby, the Hollywood Quarter is indisputably one of Sydney’s best dining destinations with a clutch of hatted restaurants nestled together in just one square kilometre. HQ also boasts trendy boutique hotels; old school pubs with live music; and its very own arthouse cinema and bar.
Eastside Sydney is also book-ended by the National Art School, the Australian Museum, NSW State Library, NSW Art Gallery and Botanic Gardens so there’s plenty to explore and enjoy both indoors and out.
Exploring Sydney’s Eastside is an invitation to discover the true charm of this area’s inner city vibe where locals and visitors alike can relax, have fun and enjoy the best that Sydney has to offer.
The Heart of Surry Hills is centred around the “community hub” of the library and Shannon Reserve, known for its relaxed vibe and trendy atmosphere.
Here you can satisfy your taste buds and quench your thirst with fabulous eateries, charming cafes, and cosy bars and pubs all within a few blocks.
Plus, there’s plenty of designer shops to spark your curiosity.
Woolloomooloo combines waterfront luxury with post-industrial charm and is surrounded by the lush Botanic Gardens and sparkling Sydney Harbour.
There is some seriously fine dining on the water in a spectacular converted industrial finger wharf.
The local pub scene is strong too with untouched heritage gems and refurbished establishments dotted through the neighbourhood.
It’s a simple walk between half a dozen venues variably offering water views, beer gardens, pub grub, trivia nights, tv sports and local interaction.
What’s a Micro-precinct? Well it seems to be the buzzword right now with the NSW Government supporting an initial 21 precincts across Sydney to “develop their local business communities and grow their districts into vibrant going-out hubs”.
It’s the NSW Government’s 24-Hour Economy Strategy for Greater Sydney!
For more information go to: www.nsw.gov.au/business-and-economy/greater-sydneys-24-hour-economy/uptown accelerator
-Lorraine Lock is the manager of Eastside Sydney and the Rainbow Precinct Coordinator
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