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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Nine Must-Visit Spots in Bondi for Every Occasion

From a local bottle–o stocking all-Aussie drops to where to celebrate another trip around the sun.
By Jordan Kretchmer
May 22, 2021
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By Jordan Kretchmer
May 22, 2021
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NINE MUST-VISIT SPOTS IN BONDI FOR EVERY OCCASION

in partnership with

From a local bottle–o stocking all-Aussie drops to where to celebrate another trip around the sun.

While Bondi is synonymous with sand and sunshine, it's also home to a throng of excellent independent shops, restaurants and creative spaces. When you're ready to explore the neighbourhood beyond the beach, these spots are waiting to deck you out with handmade jewellery, feed you an excellent meal, decorate your home and so much more.

With some help from American Express, we've selected a bunch of venues you should make a beeline to when you're next in Bondi. From a jewellery mecca and a culinary institution to a colourful flower shop and an excellent bottle shop, these places will help you find what you're looking for, no matter the occasion.

  • 9

    This aquamarine ocean pool is one internet-famous location that truly lives up to its aesthetically pleasing reputation. A visit to Icebergs first thing in the morning will refresh and restore you, and prepare you for the day ahead. Bring a book and lounge about, do some laps in the sea water-filled pool and sweat it out in the steamy oak-lined sauna — all while enjoying panoramic views of Bondi Beach and some A-grade people-watching.

    The pool is open from 6am on weekdays (except Thursdays) and 6.30am on weekends, and admission is $9 per person. Afterwards, head to the on-site cafe, The Crabbe Hole, for an oat milk latte and a toastie.

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  • 8

    This much-loved cafe is regularly packed with locals lining the street to get their fix of granola, kimchi toasties and Will & Co coffee. The neighbourhood cafe serves a seasonal all-day brunch menu, which includes the Smash and Hash with potato rosti, sauteed greens, poached egg, hollandaise and bacon; or a pea-packed pancake, with avocado, feta, egg and herb salad (even actor Will Smith is a fan).

    You’ll also notice your coffee served in a neat handmade ceramic cup, stamped with a Porch and Parlour logo — that’s because owner Sammy Smith teamed up with local ceramicist Ryan Der to craft custom vessels, bowls and plates for the cafe.

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  • 7

    This modern, clean pottery studio is an open learning space where you can dabble in the age-old art of handbuilding and wheel-thrown pottery. Classes come in a bunch of different formats to suit everyone from novices to pros, including an evening taster (a one-off intro to wheel throwing), a date night for couples or a DIY keep cup class.

    You can also commit to one of the workshops to hone your skills across four, six or ten weeks by throwing, cutting, firing and glazing your pieces from scratch.

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  • 6

    We asked Bondi Clay owner Kayde Clemans what his pick of the neighbourhood was and he told us: Sean’s Panaroma. “It’s amazing for so many reasons. Its location, the design and the amazing food. But the best part is that all the produce is grown on Sean’s actual farm,” Clemans says. “It’s the definition of farm-to-table and you can taste the difference.”

    This North Bondi institution manages to bring both glamour and comfort at the same time. Sean Moran’s eponymous restaurant’s art collection, idiosyncratic beach house interiors and knowledgeable servers are enough to draw you in, but it’s the plates of truly farm-to-table food that’ll keep you coming back.

    Showcasing the fruits of labour from Moran’s own Bilpin Springs Farm, the menu focuses on a simple-but-elegant three-course menu, which may include corn chowder with prawn-studded fritters; lamb cooked three ways, served with seasonal veggies; and an elegant cheesecake, topped with jammy berries.

    Image: Enzo Amato

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  • 5

    If you’re heading to one of Bondi’s many BYO restaurants (including Sean’s Panaroma), or you’re just looking to stock your fridge with some left-of-centre drops, this wine shop will sort you right out. The open space almost looks more like a gallery than it does a bottle shop.

    The ‘native’ in the name refers to the shop’s focus on homegrown wine mostly of the biodynamic and natural kind, and beers by independent Australian breweries. You’ll also find snacks to make your cheeseboard pop and low- and no-alcohol options.

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  • 4

    This colourful flower shop on Glenayr Avenue has bunches of wild and whimsical flowers, perfect for gifting to your lover on a special occasion, be it an anniversary, birthday or just because you can.

    While you’ll find roses, it’s not an entirely traditional affair here. Bouquets are punctuated with flowers and greenery that may include fluffy fronds of amaranth, crown-like water lilies or moth orchids. Shop differently styled bunches, like the Miss Molly, which favours purple hues and tulips; the Lainey, with blush roses and hydrangeas; or the Anastasia, with white and green tones inspired by woodlands.

    Image: Yael Stempler

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  • 3

    This Bondi Road boutique is part shop and part workshop, with a fully functioning bespoke leather studio inside. Creating custom leather accessories from scratch, including backpacks, totes, coin purses, cross-body bags, satchels, totes and clutches, Charlie Middleton uses soft cowhide from Japan across most of its range.

    Many of the bags are customisable, so you can pick the main colourway (ranging from ballet pink to a soft cedar brown), the hardware (gold, silver or rose gold) and the handles. Each bag is then made to order, so you have your very own unique keepsake.

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  • 2

    If you’re wandering down Gould Street and you pick up on the heady scent of lavender, blue gum, lemon tea tree and lemon myrtle, it may be wafting from Bondi Wash. The naturally focused cleaning brand was founded by Belinda Everingham in November 2013.

    It’s divided up into home, body, baby and dog ranges, making it easy to ensure all parts of your life are fresh and smelling fine. Everything is made with Australian native essential oils — and toxic chemicals or known irritants are nowhere to be seen. Plus, all soap bases are 100-percent plant-based.

    Image: Josh White

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  • 1

    Founded by goldsmith Lucy Folk, this lustworthy store stocks an eclectic array of home and personal wares. Shop quirky-but-classic Italian-made sunglasses, clutches weaved from colourful beads and vases by Spanish ceramic artist Marta Bonilla, plus plenty more.

    Jewellery-wise, collections take inspiration from far and wide, so you can pick up anything from a gold cuff inspired by the texture of anchovies to custom rings that incorporate the elements of earth, wind, fire or water along with your initials.

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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: Bondi Icebergs, Unsplash

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