It used to be home to Sydney’s first wave of Italian immigrants, all of whom came to the area, built double brick bungalows and contented themselves with the odd espresso bar or two. But these days Concord caters to its well-heeled inhabitants with some of Sydney’s best restaurants and cafés.
Something that hasn’t changed since Concord’s early days of settlement is the activity that flows from these Sydney cafes and delis onto the street. Eating, drinking and coffee sipping is done publicly on Majors Bay Road, with the majority of the sidewalk crowded with tables and chairs. Each eatery has cashed in on the tree-lined street and electric atmosphere with some rather charming alfresco eating options. We explore the streets of Concord and see what restaurants and cafés this inner west suburb has to offer.
In a nod to the area’s Italian heritage, the cafés in Concord treat coffee as serious business. Espresso 96 is famed for its house blended brew and bacon and egg panini. With plenty of outdoor seating and staff that pride themselves of familiarity and friendliness, this joint is a big favourite with locals.
Wok Chow is a creative (and mighty tasty) collaboration between Red Lantern’s Mark Jensen, Chinese chef Jian Li, and owner Phil O’Neil. The menu is pan-Asian done well, with standout dishes that include scallop har gow and Sichuan spicy snapper fillet cooked with a generous helping of chilli oil. There’s also a kids’ menu and BYO option every night of the week.
Il Tratto Ra Ro
Pizza lovers will be drawn to the casual and child-friendly dining room at Il Trattoria Ra Ro, where everything is filling, affordable and pleasing to little palates. Although the pizzas are good, we can’t go past the hot cheese platter (crumbed and fried fiore di latte, spinach and ricotta fritters and warm gorgonzola) to start and the veal topped with prosciutto and provolone then cooked with white wine and napolitana sauce for after. Plus, you can order anything online and enjoy free home delivery for those nights you just can’t bring yourself to leave the couch.
Nestled in the backstreets of Concord, SUD’s carb-heavy menu is drawing crowds from all over the city. Chef and owner Paolo Gatto (of Gatto Matto in Five Dock) is serving up southern Italian street food rarely seen on the Sydney restaurant scene. Think mini calzone filled with ham and mozzarella, hand cut twists of pasta drowned in pork, veal and sausage ragu and a rather luscious raviolo di ricotta (basically a cannoli stuffed with candied fruit) for dessert.
When it opened in 2011, Antoine’s Grill raised the bar on suburban fine dining. The decor is dark and moody, the service is top notch and the ribs are so good you’ll resort to finger licking. Just be sure to leave room for one of Head Chef Antoine Muscovitz’s Callebaut chocolate velvet fondants for dessert.
Joining the recent trend towards dedicated chocolate cafes in Sydney, Concord is now home to its very own Oliver Brown. The menu is filled with fondue, waffles, the thickest hot chocolate this side of Europe and churros aplenty. It’s calorie-packed comfort food, but we love it all the same.
The guys at Espresso Organica are serious about their coffee. This boutique roaster in Concord roasts the best single origin coffees they can source, which means you’re guaranteed the perfect cup everytime. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner (including wood-fired pizza), Espresso Organica is a must visit when you’re in Concord.
The sleekest café in Concord, Frappe is essentially a modern European café serving up home style European cuisine as well as a modern take on Greek street food. The meze platter for two is a great option for those who have difficulty just choosing ONE thing from the menu (ie. Us).
On a quiet street of Concord, the folks at Sydney café Three Spoons provide uncomplicated food in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. If your stomach can handle it, go for their French toast. You won’t need to eat for the rest of the day.
Image credit: Alessandro Squadrito