Chippendale is rapidly expanding, and we know you're probably struggling to keep up. With a new bar, restaurant and gallery opening up approximately every 0.2 seconds, it's fast becoming difficult to find the best of the best. Luckily, we've trawled the streets for you, 'tested' the beers, and found the ultimate gems hiding away in the 'Dale.
Ester Restaurant & Bar
For a modern and hearty take on Australian cuisine, look no further than Ester Restaurant & Bar. The salted caramel semifreddo, while destroying any hopes of maintaining a diet, is the perfect accompaniment to those bitterly cold winter nights. It's also probably worth indulging in the duck with pear and enoki. This is definitely a spot to splurge and share some fabulously decadent classics with a group.
Amongst the cranes and construction workers, you'll find a lingering scent of freshly baked bread in the air. And it's coming from Brickfields. Open from 7am, and doing its best to provide morning coffees and croissants to a squadron of commuters and students, Brickfields is fast becoming a stalwart of Chippendale.
Something For Jess
Advocates of locally sourced produce will get their jollies from this local institution. Something For Jess strikes the right balance between its rustic décor, adventurous food combinations and fresh ingredients. Try a sandwich filled with spicy jalepenos and onion jam for an enjoyable flavour explosion in your mouth.
The House Specialty Coffee
Established by the good people at Little Marionette, The House Specialty Coffee aims to provide you with one thing: phenomenal coffee. And they've certainly succeeded. With little embellishment and a limited menu, this place is designed to get you caffeinated and make your Monday a little more bearable (if it's been especially difficult, you should probably grab a mars bar slice, too).
The Little Queen Cafe
Looking more like it belongs in Melbourne's Brunswick bar scene than the to easily dismissed streets of Chippendale, The Little Queen Café has a unique menu to match its similarly retro-kitsch interiors. Health nuts should give the quinoa and Gorgonzola soup a go, whilst we're eyeing off their smoked cheese, mushy peas and mustard sandwiches.
The Chip off the Old Block
These guys are new, but they certainly know what they're doing. Students can cry tears of relief into their deliciously cheap $5 house wine and local beer specials from 5-7pm, Wednesday to Sunday night. More tears of joy will likely be shed over The Chip off the Old Block's bacon sangers and classic fish 'n' chips, while patrons can marvel at how awesome a converted Gothic Revival church looks whilst downing that third jug of local brew.
Freda's Bar & Canteen
This place wins instant brownie points for its fantastic music choices and tasty Mediterranean tapas menu. Freda's Bar and Canteen is cozily hidden away from the real world, and it's easy to spend far too long here eating far too much of what owner and DJ, Dave Abran, has to offer.
The Rose Hotel
The Rose Hotel understands its customers. Craft beers — including our fave, Little Creatures —are plentiful, and the pizza remains legendary amongst their regulars. Head online to read their inaugural Beer Bible, and learn your hops from your malts while taking in the laid-back atmosphere.
The Chippendale Hotel
While they might have changed their name (again!), The Lybrary lives on through its better looking and better tasting transformation, The Chippendale Hotel. Be sure to drop in on a Saunday night for live acoustic sessions in the courtyard, or snort embarrassingly into your beer on their comedy nights.
For contemporary art lovers, this recently established gallery aims to maintain a strong curatorial program to foster learning and development amongst the local art community. Sparsely decorated to ensure the artwork takes centre stage, the MCLEMOI Gallery is a site for the curious contemporary artist in us all.
Misleading in its title, Corporate Culture is your one-way ticket out of the drudgery and geometrically accurate desks and chairs of Ikea. Including the work of visionaries such as Henry Wilson and Marc Newson, amateur interior designers will be squealing with delight at the cutesy one-off finds.
White Rabbit Gallery
White Rabbit Gallery is perhaps the most extensive collection of modern Chinese art in Sydney. With four floors loaded with sculpture, installation and canvas and no admission price, you'll feel happily obligated to try their aromatic teas, mouthwatering dumplings and cold beers. Step inside the gallery to grab a taste of China's well-established artistic and gastronomic genius.
NG Art Gallery
Nicky Ginsberg eventually decided to situate the NG Art Gallery in Chippendale because it is "alive and pulsating… sitting between three of our greatest universities, the best think tanks in Sydney." Her statement similarly summarises her approach to displaying art, with intelligently minimalistic lighting and design and a diverse collection from multiple media means.
Kaleidoscope by name and kaleidoscope by nature, this gallery is one designed by artists, for artists. With the ethos of "colour, collaboration and connectivity", you already know you're in for a welcoming environment focusing on fun and frivolity. The Kaleidoscope Gallery is one for emerging artists as well as emerging art lovers.
Image credit: Brickfields