This formerly-quiet Inner West suburb is now home to some of Sydney’s best cafés, and there are plenty of reasons to keep coming back. For everything local, indie and made from scratch (with love, of course), make Marrickville your next destination for weekend wandering.
Here are our must-visits, from the already-famous to the spots about to get a lot busier.
This totally charming café and restaurant is making the simplest dishes special, with a weekly changing menu that is making us want to head out every night of the week. Though it may be small there’s no room for boring. One week you’ll be enjoying chestnut spaghettini with smoked cherry tomatoes, the next their pretty blood orange donut.
Apologies in advance, but the Forage menu is going to result in some serious indecision at your table. Fortunately everything is designed to share, although you may also have to get out the elbows for the seared scallops with cauliflower skordalia. Friendships will be tested.
Yes, there is almost always a formidable queue out this Marrickville cafe, but it’s for good reason. As one of the best cafes in Sydney, brunches are the name of the game at West Juliett, with beautiful eggs worth getting up early for and local ingredients so fresh you will (almost) forget about your need for coffee.
Bourke Street Bakery
So unless you’re some sort of hermit, Bourke Street Bakery needs no introduction, but it does certainly deserve a mention. Tucked into Mitchell Street, we’re pretty happy to pop in any time for a sausage roll and crème brulee tart.
Petty Cash Café
Like any good Inner West café worth its salt, Petty Cash Café does not short change you on character and charm. Unlike many Inner West cafés though, waiting for brunch isn’t a daunting task, because the team offer picnic blankets for the park opposite. If that wasn’t enough to get you booking brunch immediately, the hash browns should.
Wicks Park Café
Double Roasters coffee and classic brekkies: two very good reasons to make a beeline for this local favourite. The menus is full of classics you come back for when you need some proper comforting at 10am in the morning. Think Triple cheese croque monsieurs, benedicts that don’t hold back on the hollandaise and a smashing avo on toast.
Marrickville Pork Roll
When you’re not quite yet at pay day, this little nook on the street is perfect for one of Sydney’s best cheap eats. The fillings at Marrickville Pork Roll are generous and the flavours properly moreish, with plenty of veges to keep your Mum happy too.
Pho PHD Vietnamese Restaurant
Given how great the Vietnamese scene in Marrickville is, we couldn’t give Pho PHD a miss. Head here for an addictive bowl of your favourite soup that always manages to transcend the season.
Pagoto Gelato & Waffle House
Uhh, do we need to expand when gelato and waffles are involved? In case you need any convincing: caramelised chocolate coated popcorn gelato. Red velvet and white chocolate. YES. Or if you’re feeling cultured, there are plenty of delicious influences to sample, from kataifi and baklava to watermelon and feta.
Why can’t all pubs be like The Henson? Super relaxed, plenty of excellent pub food, and more house-made condiments than you’ll know what to do with. Oh, and Grocery and Grog, a small but impressive deli where you can also order stunning cheese and charcuterie platters from, or simply go a little nuts with the credit card. We’re setting up camp, now.
Batch Brewing Co
This small craft brewer has taken the Inner West by storm, but home is where the heart and fun is. Hop in (sorry, couldn’t resist) for a brewery tour, some of their more experimental brews, and a food truck nibble if you’ve worked up an appetite.
This eclectic bar will make you feel right at home (and like you’ve plenty of arty, talented friends). Space is tight but that’s really part of what makes it feel more like you’re in someone’s living room (which happens to serve up some great craft beers, cocktails and snacks). If you’re there to catch up after listening to some live tunes, grab a cushy spot in the courtyard out back.
This market is a dream for its produce and ready-to-eat selection. And it’s super friendly for just about any list of intolerances and allergies. This is our Sunday kind of love.
The Urban Farmacy
Missed the markets? Not to worry, The Urban Farmacy will stock you up on fresh local produce from the owners’ nearby farm, as well as other artisan goodies from the likes of Bitton and Pepe Saya.
Say hello to some of the best ricotta in Sydney—no really, it’s part of Peter Gilmore’s $22 toastie. Head upstairs to Paesanella Food Emporium after you’ve gorged at the cheese café downstairs, and pick up a basket of the freshest ricotta ever. If you’re lucky, it’ll still be slightly warm.
Feather and Bone
For top restaurant-quality meats that you’ll want to hear the back story of, this butcher has got your back (and your lamb racks). Feather and Bone are dedicated to sustainably raised animals and have a tight connection to all their suppliers.
The original café that started a house-made pickling sensation all over Sydney, Cornersmith now opens its preserving and pickling secrets to the world. You can also learn to make cheese (!) and how to make vegetables taste ah-mazing.
Get crafty at Reverse Garbage
Marrickville is quickly becoming known for its dedication to sustainability, and Reverse Garbage has always been the fun face of the recycling/upcycling craze. Wander through for your next crafty project or just wonder over the treasures within.
If you don’t really consider yourself a gym-junkie, you’ll likely fall in love with this friendly Pilates studio with barre, mat, studio and TRX. The workouts aim to be challenging rather than painful, and there’s plenty of personal attention to ensure you’re working out smarter.
Pilates and Fitness Revolution
This boutique studio is super popular with new Mums for Pilates, barre and personal training. The outdoor sessions at Marrickville park are a major highlight.
Earth & Sky Yoga Studio
For some tranquillity with your workout, head along to this boutique studio. Earth and Sky Yoga has become a fixture of the Inner West for both new and experienced yogis.
Image credit: Jackielyn Powell at Two Chaps, Pagoto Gelato & Waffle House, Feather & Bone, and Earth & Sky Yoga Studio