A hop, skip and a jump out of the CBD lies Waterloo—a suburb on the up and up. This fashionable inbetweener, not quite Surry hills, not quite the city, is a fusion of panache and flavour not to be overlooked. Perfect for lunching or brunching, coffee-fueled laughs, a home makeover or full mind and body workout, chances are you’ll be strolling on in more often.
Barista & Cook
Redefining what it truly means to coffee, the perfect brew lives at Barista & Cook. Brewing specialty coffee from 6am and spoilt for choice, the drinking combinations are as sky high as their ceilings, airy and adorned with greenery. An hour later and a menu just as diverse is there to match, complete with mac ‘n’ cheese toasties with house relish, bacon and egg rolls (on milk buns, of course) and, crowd favorite, buckwheat waffles with butterscotch pears and ice-cream. And with a damn delicious lunch menu too, you might as well just set up camp for the day.
Beccafico Bar & Trattoria
Nestled just off Danks Street, and inspired by Southern Italy, Beccafico is serving up Italy on a plate. Potato pancakes and smoked leg ham with poached eggs, meatball paninis, homemade gnocchi are ready to grace your tastebuds. Majoring in dinner as well, they’re serving up five kinds of pasta along with the likes of grilled figs and prosciutto, fish of the day and a mouthwatering dolce with a kick. The Nonna of Waterloo with a food coma, included.
So you’re after Vietnamese? So 9 should be your go to. Embellished with a scenic watercolor mural by none other than Beth Emily, this minimalistic, warehouse-chic gem on Danks Street is modernising traditional Vietnamese street food. With stations for bánh mì, bánh xèo and bún and phở, you’ve got endless flavours and combinations that, thankfully, won’t break the bank. Start off with some vegetarian rice paper rolls, Pho tai for your beef fix and top it off with a dessert made fresh daily.
The only place where you can simultaneously perfect your dumpling and your Chinese tea game with just the right amount of finesse. Pu’er’s pork and peanut dumplings with shiitake mushrooms leads the pack in good company with tea-steamed spicy prawn and pan-fried pork dumplings with pickled ginger and aged vinegar. If you’re in the mood for street food, Hong Kong mini burgers, wagyu tacos, twice cooked Shandong chicken and drunken duck is also on the cards as well as that Chinese tea menu, plentiful, prepped and served as traditional as it gets. Magic in a cup.
Kepos & Co.
Yes there is hummus. Lots of hummus. Making its Middle-Eastern mark on Danks Street, Kepos & Co. is an inspired, colourful and downright tasty take on tradition. If you’re brunching and lunching, look no further than their lamb pizza or warm hummus with burnt butter, poached egg and taboon bread under the ornate and warm lights of Michael Rantissi’s newest pride and joy. Dinners covered with haloumi, Turkish spinach and tomato pide or caramelised octopus, charob, shallots and maybe even a sneaky pistachio cannoli? We think so.
Devon on Danks
Where the coffee’s always strong and the lights are always swinging on low-beam from the ceiling, Devon on Danks is the wooden wonder on bustling Danks—you might be familiar with its older and equally as ambient sibling in Surry Hills. As always, answering the oh-so popular call for unique café experiences, Devon is the perfect amount of quirky and inventive, serving both old school and new-age café favourites. And just when you think you’re full, there’s a freaking soft serve menu! Yes you read correctly.
John Smith Cafe
There’s no denying that the guys over on the corner of John Street, sure as hell know their way around a coffee. With Rebel Roasters at their disposal and rustic vibes all around, slip into one of their stripy booths for the quintessential Waterloo experience. If you're looking for a breakfast standout, John Smith Cafe's smoky candy bacon on rye sourdough with hot roasted roma tomatoes, fennel herbs and goats cheese is a match made in heaven along with a skim cap and your taste buds.
Craft Design Realisation
You’re right hand man for furniture inspo. Boasting seriously detailed and innovative craftsmanship, design skill and top of the range resources, Craft Design are the epitome of custom made, high-end timber furniture. Whether you’re shopping for items or ideas, the guys here will help you find what you need. It’s downright good—like the kind of place you go to and then immediately want to replace all the items in your house with their whole catalogue, good.
With six showrooms, PYD is where I assume Barbie went to when she thought of her dreamhouse… if she were a modern Sydneysider with a keen eye for perfection. From rugs to lighting, bathrooms, even doorknobs, every nook and cranny is covered. Koda’s leading light technology paired with interesting shapes and refreshing lines is an inspired addition to any renovation. If you’re after a more subdued approach, Pure. have a range of subtle minimalist takes on interiors. Very sleek, very glossy, very sophisticato. Or, if you’re after a quirkier look, maybe even straight out of an episode of Antiques Roadshow, The Country Trader have a mix of intricate pieces, rare collectables, industrials, statues, fountains and art deco. Either way, you’re bound to find what you’re after.
Waterloo’s handmade jewellery queens are at Studio 20/17. Step into their gallery and be refreshed by modern styles and designer jewellery, made by both Australian and international artists, showcased by co-directors Bridget Kennedy and Melanie Ihnen for their unique looks and creativity. Drawing on this in their own work and with an environmental focus, they also repurpose old jewellery as well as create their own works using recycled materials. Think quirky, inspired, statement pieces and faultless outfit finishers.
When normal Pilates isn’t enough, Fluidform is here to mix up your weekly fitness routine. Pairing high quality equipment with a focus on core and muscle development you’re in for a sweat fest with results. And when you can choose from Mat Pilates, Boxilates, pre and post-natal Pilates classes, and even Barre Attack for a bit of a change, you’ll be never be bored. Start off with a casual class and then work your way up to a regular spot. You’ll be a pro in no time.
Any Paleo kids in the house? Crossfit Ignite is more than just your normal gym. Focusing on nutrition as much as fitness, personalise your own program with one of Ignite’s dedicated team members under the unlimited pack. With top-notch equipment and trainers whose brains are like walking food and fitness bibles, you can test your limits, learn how to use food to your advantage and watch them results roll in. Plus take part in an array of different classes every week to shakeup your routine.
Pop Up Yoga Sydney
For Yogi Bears and newcomers alike, Pop Up Yoga is the easiest way to kick-start or reinvigorate your Yoga spark. Occupying under-utilised spaces, Pop Up Yoga adds meaning to a room that once had none—from old function rooms to sites up for demolition, they use 100% recycled and hand-made items, to liven up a space and your practice as you take part in an organic yoga session. Taking away the pressure of a formal class, these classes are ‘stress free’ in every sense of the phrase. #namaste
Image credit: Barista & Cook