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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Six Must-Visit Spots in Alexandria for Every Occasion

Organise next-level group feasts, pick up beautiful blooms and prep for your next at-home bash at a vegan brewery.
By Avril Treasure
May 14, 2021
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By Avril Treasure
May 14, 2021
  shares

SIX MUST-VISIT SPOTS IN ALEXANDRIA FOR EVERY OCCASION

in partnership with

Organise next-level group feasts, pick up beautiful blooms and prep for your next at-home bash at a vegan brewery.

Alexandria may be a former industrial area, but it's now got a lot proving it to be a go-to dining (and drinking) destination in Sydney. For one, it's home to the OG The Grounds. It also boasts watering holes for after-work drinks, neighbourhood bakeries for your weekly bread run and all-vegan breweries for when you want to pick up some cold ones. Located in the inner city, it's pretty easy to get to, plus the tree-lined streets, revamped warehouses and quirky design studios only add to its charm.

We've teamed up with American Express to round up the must-visit spots in Alexandria, whatever the occasion. From coffee catch-ups and post-work drinks to tracking down fresh loaves of sourdough and picking up beautiful blooms, these six spots have you covered. So, hit the pavement and get exploring.

  • 6

    For a delicious brunch in Alexandria, you can’t beat bustling Sydney establishment, The Grounds. Fresh, seasonal and delicious, the brunch dishes include a croque madame stuffed with field mushrooms and gruyère, and fluffy ricotta pancakes with vanilla mascarpone, berry compote and fresh peaches. This place also takes its coffee seriously, with its own roastery providing A-class beans for your cup of joe.

    After your meal at the cafe, pick up some sweet treats for later from the on-site patisserie. When the garden reopens to visitors, you can also go for a stroll and see the flourishing bougainvillea, an enchanting glasshouse and garden beds full of herbs and flowers. Be sure to pay a visit to the resident pig, Harry Trotter, at the animal farm, too.

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  • 5

    Located in The Homemaker Centre in Alexandria, this Lebanese eatery is the kind of restaurant where you’ll eat yourself silly. The food is designed to share — and we guarantee you’ll want to order plenty of it, so gather as many mates as you can muster.

    Kick things off with a spread of dips and breads — think creamy hummus, smoky baba ganoush and punchy garlic dip — as well as small plates like grilled haloumi, fried eggplant and Lebanese sausages with pomegranate molasses and lemon. For mains, order the chicken shawarma and the braised leg of lamb served with rice, yogurt, cucumber and roasted nuts. Can’t be bothered to make decisions? Leave it all to the chefs and order the reasonable $55 banquet, which includes all the moreish dips, flatbreads, zesty salads and chargrilled meat you could hope for.

    Image: Cassandra Hannagan

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  • 4

    Florist Sean Cook’s floral arrangements are less like your standard bouquets and more like pieces of art. He’s been creating beautiful bunches of blooms for more than 20 years, including for fashion shoots, weddings, restaurants and corporate events.

    Cook and his talented team hand-select the fresh flowers and foliage from local markets to ensure they’re of the highest quality. If you want to treat someone special, Mr Cook is sure to provide you with impressive garlands. You can check out the spectacular floral displays on Mr Cook’s Instagram — we’re sure you’ll be in awe.

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  • 3

    Housed in an old warehouse that was once a gem polishing factory, No. 5 Restaurant and Bar is a true Alexandria treasure. Inside, the owners have filled the space with quirky pieces and antique furniture. The drinks and, in particular, the cocktails are seriously good and use locally sourced and foraged ingredients where possible.

    Try the Rising Sun with gin, yuzu, ginger and elderflower or the Native Spiced Daiquiri made with in-house spiced rum, mountain pepperberry and lemon aspen. Head chef’s Emrys Jones’ menu showcases seasonal produce, with some good bar-style snacks to line the stomach with, too. No. 5 is open till late every Wednesday through Sunday, so it’s the perfect venue to catch up with friends for a drink after a solid day at your nine-to-five.

    Image: TJ Edwards, 1oh1 Media 1

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  • 2

    From the team behind Surry Hills restaurant Yulli’s, this craft beer brewery and restaurant is situated on Burrows Road, a bit away from Alexandria’s action. Created by mates Karl Cooney and James Harvey, the goal for Yulli’s Brews was to brew beer that would stand out in your everyday pub and also accompany food in a fine dining setting. Oh, and did we mention it’s 100 percent vegan?

    If you’re prepping for a party, you’ll want to pick up some of the award-winning Norman, which is an Australian ale with a light malt base and crisp clean finish, or the Seabass Mediterranean lager. And you’ll want some Margot, a dry apple cider, for the non-beer drinkers. If you’re sitting in, try one of its seasonal brews or a vegan Aussie wine. Food-wise, you’ll spot dishes with origins from all around the world like the kimchi dumplings with ginger, soy and crispy enoki mushrooms; the pan-fried massaman curry buns; and the XO eggplant gyros. The venue also hosts regular music nights, including jazz every Thursday.

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  • 1

    We asked Yulli’s Brews venue manager Genevieve Baker to share her pick of the neighbourhood, which is Wild Cockatoo Bakery. “This hole-in-the-wall is my ultimate go-to for a gluten fix. It’s understated and small, but once you’re inside you’ll be amazed by how many tasty treats they manage to squeeze in,” she says. “You never know what you’re going to get but there is always something special. Favourite so far: the saffron sourdough brioche.”

    From the outside, Wild Cockatoo Bakery doesn’t look like much. Just a nondescript spot located on Botany Road. Inside, however, you’ll find all matter of baked goods — from perfectly baked sourdough loaves to buttery croissants — all made with care by baker Ray.

    If you’re after bread, choose from the classic sourdough, spelt, rye, cornmeal, soy and linseed and wholemeal loaves. And the potato and rosemary sourdough is also a standout. Stop in around lunchtime to get your hands on one of the pies or sausage rolls. There’s a chalkboard that features daily specials, and if you’re lucky, the flatbread with tomato, olives and herbs will be available the day you visit. Just a head’s up, Wild Cockatoo Bakery is popular, so go early to ensure you don’t walk in to empty shelves.

    Image: Cassandra Hannagan

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Shop small to support the local stores that make Sydney so great. To learn about American Express and the Shop Small initiative, visit here. Then, head this way to find more must-visit spots.

Top image: Al Aseel, Cassandra Hannagan

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