Surry Hills is quickly becoming the place to see and be seen in Sydney
a hipster hub pulsing with energy from its hundreds of visitors looking for a bite to eat, a funky cocktail and a way to let their hair down and appreciate culture, nightlife and the arts. Full of stylish people, stylish bars and stylish boutiques – and free of lock out laws – one can’t help but feel the carefree cosmopolitan attitude of Surry Hills has rubbed off on them after just one visit.
Whether you’re here for an evening meal or a night of decadence, we’ve picked out some of the places you need to be in Surry Hills.
Longrain combines the much-loved shared table philosophy with zingy, clean South East Asian fusion flavours. Focusing on the harmony between the taste elements of spicy, sour, salty and sweet, Longrain’s dishes, expertly prepared by head chef Jin Hironaga, are bursting with vibrancy, taste and the soul of South East Asia. Book your table, order the whole menu, and spend an afternoon dipping your fork into countless new dishes.
With a menu created and altered daily, Firedoor places immense value on the wood-fire technique prioritising the organic smoky goodness of wood fired flavours over speed and convenience. Each dish is prepared to order, from the cutting of the meat to the steady cooking in one of their custom made wood fired ovens. And the intricacy doesn’t stop there: Firedoor’s chefs match each dish with a specific wood to cook over, expertly pinpointing the properties of the ingredients and the wood to enhance and showcase the flavours of the dish. For a truly unique dining experience, head to Firedoor on your next visit to Surry Hills.
Step into Japan and have a meal at Toko. Putting a contemporary spin on the izakaya dining style of Japan, Toko’s innovative dishes are prepared with the highest quality fresh produce and are bursting with flavour and excitement; each bite leaves you aching for the next. Whether you’re after a quick sushi stop, or a leisurely dining experience, Toko will provide – but make sure you don’t leave without dessert!
The meals at Argentinian kitchen Porteno are authentic, flavoursome and traditional, transporting you straight to the streets of Buenos Aires. In true Argentinian style, there is a strong focus on succulent, fresh and super high quality red meats, prepared right in the midst of diners on a Parilla (traditional Argentinian barbeque) and an Asado (also known as a pit of fire), but the menu also boasts a number of equally as delectable seafood and vegetarian dishes to suit every diner’s needs. Everything is made to share, so bring your friends, order way more than you think you can finish and get a taste of Argentina on the doorstep of Surry Hills.
Owned by celebrity chef, television personality, cookbook author and serial traveller, Luke Nguyen, Red Lantern is Vietnamese fine dining at its very best. Combining tradition with twists in expert style, Red Lantern provides a Vietnamese culinary experience bursting with spice, tang, texture and freshness. Dine a-la-carte, or have head chef Emme take you on a journey with one of four specially curated tasting menus to wow the senses. Be sure to have an empty stomach when you dine at Red Lantern.
Bourke Street Bakery
Whether you’re a sweet tooth or a savoury fiend, Bourke Street Bakery will have you reeling at its lengthy list of tarts, breads, pies, cakes and countless other delicious baked goods created by their passionate team of bakers. Think ginger brulee tarts, lemon ricotta cakes, olive oil panini, red wine and beef brisket pies and gruyere and leek quiches – everything your foodie heart desires all wrapped into a warm, homely little corner store with the smell of freshly baked bread wafting out each morning. You can eat in for a meal, take home a goodie box to share (or keep to yourself!) or have your next gathering catered for by the Bourke Street Bakery team. And if you’re really keen, treat yourself to an in-store baking masterclass and learn the best kept bread secrets of Surry Hills.
Caffeine addicts will be pleased to learn that Single O revolves its entire café and brew bar around ethically sourced, environmentally friendly and delicious coffee beans for its customers. Good coffee is their number one priority, and with a team full of passionate, enthusiastic fellow addicts, they don’t have much difficulty providing it. Recharge on their Reservoir blend in-house, or take a freshly roasted bag home to keep the love affair going.
Paramount Coffee Project
Created as a way to educate about and explore all things coffee – from styles and approaches, to brews and blends – “PCP” curates a number of international and local roasters to give a broad, all-encompassing coffee experience. There is coffee from Kenya and Colombia, Ethiopia and Australia, all brewed with a deep love for coffee and its many forms. And while the coffee is excellent in its own right, you can’t go wrong pairing it with the café’s innovative and wholesome all day breakfast/lunch menu – PCP gumbo anyone?
The Beresford may be the number one spot for a casual, laidback catch up with family and friends, whether you’re five, twenty, or ninety years old. With a lush sunlit courtyard, a contemporary Italian trattoria-style kitchen, and a quirky bar area, The Beresford will provide whether you’re there for a hearty meal, a taste of their creative signature cocktails, or a laze in the sun on a Sunday afternoon with family and something to nibble on. Although only newly opened, no one can deny that The Beresford has taken Surry Hills by storm.
Nestled in the heart of Surry Hills, Li’l Darlin’ is a bar, restaurant and café all tied into one. At any time of the day (or night), graze on some tapas with your friends while you sip on a Bachelorette cocktail (Vodka, rose syrup and fresh lime), or go big with their signature pizzas and giant chicken schnitzel. And if you’re looking to let loose, stick around for sundown when the atmosphere transforms into a moody, vibrant bar scene, where quirky cocktails are poured by the kilolitre (try the Gummi-Beartini), shots are flowing, and music blasts all night long.
Dead Ringer has it all – delicious food, top notch local produce, the perfect atmosphere and world class cocktails. Headed by Tristan Rosier, who boasts Est. and Farmhouse on his CV, what could go wrong? With a menu full of creative, mouth-watering bar bites, sweets and more hefty meals, and a cocktail list to amaze even the most jaded bar-frequenter, the answer to that question is – absolutely nothing.
This is not your typical pub-style hotel – of course it isn’t, because this is Surry Hills. With a Wine Room, Dining Room and open-air Public Bar terrace, the newly renovated Dolphin Hotel is contemporary, stylish and run by a team of culinary industry gurus. Go to enjoy a hearty dinner with wine expertly matched by renowned sommelier James Hird, or nibble on finger food and mini burgers while you enjoy one (or many) of the inventive cocktails created by Lenny Opai.
You wouldn’t be too far off the mark if you stepped into 121 BC and thought you were in Italy. The team at 121 BC curate wines from small local Italian producers and lovingly arrange them by region in their wine shop, where you can browse and pick a wine to accompany your meal before being seated at your table. The contemporary menu is also designed by Italian region, to give every a diner a look into the different traditional cooking styles of what many people view as the home of good food and a love of eating. The changing of the seasons means a change in the menu, so it’s only logical that you visit here as often as possible so you can try each specially designed dish before it’s too late.
Collector Store stocks specially curated lines of rare and exciting fashion, accessories, homewares and furniture. Embodying the true personality of Surry Hills, the store is quirky, artistic and ever-changing. It is definitely worth a look in on a visit to Surry Hills, even if you think it's not your style – you never know what gems you may find while digging around in its depths.
If you’re looking for classic clothes and accessories, look no further than Paris Texas. Stocking high quality, beautifully crafted garments, jewellery, hats and handbags, this boutique knows exactly what you want and will most definitely deliver.
Karaoke at Goro’s
There’s sushi, there’s sake, and the karaoke is free. Enough said.
Surry Hills Markets
It’s only a matter of time before you discover a hidden gem amongst the many quirky stalls of vintage clothes, handmade jewellery and cute knick-knacks scattered around Shannon Reserve. What better place to hold a market than Surry Hills, where you can wander into Red Lantern for a lazy post-shopping lunch and Messina is but a stone’s throw away.
The Golden Age Cinema Bar
Be transported into the forties at Golden Age Cinema and Bar, where owners have returned Paramount Pictures’ former screening room to its former glory and transformed it into a hub for film fanatics and lovers of the quirky and cultured. Be sure to catch a flick at The Golden Age, and don’t forget to make an appearance at the bar, where classic cocktails are served well into the night.
Cheese and Wine Nights at Ocello
Save up your cash for a night of cheese and wine indulgence at Ocello. The night starts with appetizers and prosecco and continues through six more cheeses, and six more wines, plus insight into wine-matching and cheese production – and a great deal of laughter and entertainment. If you’re a wine lover or a cheese lover, or both, this is an experience not to be missed.