If someone had told me a few years ago that I’d be living in Bondi, I’d have told them to get right out of my face. But since becoming a resident in the past few years, I am well and truly in the bubble. It’s a thing.
Anyone could understand the hesitance to enter Bondi a few years ago, what with it being chock-full of touristy haunts and sunscreen-scented backpackers. But these days, there’s a whole lot more to it. Chock-full of awesome eateries, epic cafes, and places to shop, there’s so damn much to do, eat, and see. And if you’re time poor, here are a few musts.
A firm favourite among locals, Brown Sugar is home to some of the best food in Bondi Beach. Open breakfast through dinner, there’s always something interesting to try. Pro tip: the fish pie is an absolute winner when it’s a little chilly outside.
Without a doubt one of the most well-respected restaurants in Sydney, Sean’s Panaroma was an early adopter of the farm to table trend. The chalkboard menu changes frequently, but you can be assured it’s worth checking out.
Without a doubt my favourite restaurant in Bondi, A Tavola is a friendly place where a seafood linguine and a bottle of wine seems to solve all the world’s problems in a split second. Don’t think twice about ordering the red cabbage salad, it’s their specialty for a reason.
BondiTony’s Burger Joint
Not only is this Bondi Beach burger joint run by an ex-tour manager and all-around legend, it really is the home of one of the best burgers in Sydney. While you’re waiting, be sure to enjoy a beer and check out the music memorabilia.
Da Orazio Pizza and Porchetta
For anyone that is an enormous fan of the Napoli-style pizza that is seriously trending at the moment, this is heaven on earth. A refreshing Aperol Spritz is mandatory, while the focaccia con porchetta is bigger than your head and unbelievably delicious.
Gertrude & Alice
Anyone who has ever set foot in this beautiful Hall Street Café-meets-bookstore knows two things. One: it has the best coffee in Bondi, two: you could literally spend your entire life in there and not get bored. It’s an absolute must for those that enjoy an escape from the trendy-as-hell cafes popping up all over Sydney these days.
An oldie but a goodie, there’s a whole lot more to Speedo’s Café in North Bondi than their Insta-famous Cronuts. You can get an epic coffee and a delicious, healthy feed and soak up the atmosphere or take it down to the #grassyknoll.
North Bondi RSL
We all like a cocktail bar, but when it comes to beachside drinks and good company, North Bondi RSL is where it’s at. Get there early and park yourself on the balcony while watching the sun go down, or pop in for one of their nightly specials.
The Bucket List
Another beachfront haunt that is impossible to resist on a sunny afternoon, The Bucket List is ideal for whatever mood you’re in, really. From casual arvo drinks that turn into a night out, to a quick bite and cold beer or wine in the sun, they’ll sort you out.
If there ever was a spot that sucks you in and holds you for dear life, it’s The Anchor. Many a day has been happily lost to good times at this small but mighty bar on Campbell Parade. They also do a cracking Sunday roast for when you need to finish off the weekend on a top note.
Who can resist a bar that matches food like fried chicken with a nice glass of red? Not me, that’s for sure. Park yourself at the bar and take suggestions from the friendly bartenders, they’ll know what you need.
The original Applejack Hospitality venue, Bondi Hardware is home to one of my favourite drinks ever: the chilli margarita. Of course, you can get stuck into some epic food and good times galore if you want. And you will.
It’s faaarrshun, daaahling. This is the top spot to people-watch and get your fix of designer brands. Karen Walker sunnies and bassike tees are mandatory in Bondi, dontchaknow?
Kit & Ace
Home to the life-changing technical cashmere, Kit & Ace has all of your wardrobe essentials under one roof. What’s better is they’re comfy as hell and you can throw them in the washing machine and dryer with zero issues. Talk about a win.
Whether you’re a local or a visitor, it’s hard not to be amazed by the Aquabumps gallery collection. Try to convince yourself you don’t need one, it won’t work.
Honestly, this new Bondi hotel is one of the best things to happen to the place in years. With a relaxed vibe and the comfiest hotel beds EVER, it’s a million miles away from the stuffy hotels you’re used to. It’s perfect for a staycation (the bathroom and fluffy robes are perfection), or for when you’ve got someone visiting and want them to experience something a nicer than the usual.
If something homely is more your style, then there are plenty of AirBnBs right near the beach up for grabs. Take your time to research, though, as there are some real hidden gems.
Bondi Farmers Market
Waking up on a Saturday morning, donning your activewear, getting cash out at that weird convenience store and heading to Bondi Farmers Markers is a rite of passage. It’s even better if you’re slightly hungover.
This might not be so much of a ‘do’ as you definitely need to book, but look no further for all of your spray tanning needs in Bondi (or Sydney, really). These guys are renowned for doing the best job in town.