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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Six Must-Visit Spots in Neutral Bay for Every Occasion

From Cali-inspired bars in courtyards and go-to lunch spots to unique gift shops and organic butchers.
By Dominic Gruenewald
May 12, 2021
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By Dominic Gruenewald
May 12, 2021
  shares

SIX MUST-VISIT SPOTS IN NEUTRAL BAY FOR EVERY OCCASION

in partnership with

From Cali-inspired bars in courtyards and go-to lunch spots to unique gift shops and organic butchers.

The lower north shore has the best of both worlds. You can zip into the CBD easily and (traffic depending) quickly, and it's close to some of the country's finest beaches. Chuck in some sweet harbour views and you can see why Neutral Bay in particular is such a popular neighbourhood.

We've teamed up with American Express to uncover seven of the suburb's top spots. Whether you're after a fresh hairstyle, doing your weekly shop or just craving a good cup of joe and some eggs for brekkie, Neutral Bay has you covered — no matter the occasion.

  • 6

    Let’s be honest, getting your luscious locks chopped is an intimate encounter. Not to mention, you have to have faith in the scissor-wielding professional. Whether you’re after just a trim or wanting an entirely new look, Neutral Bay’s Atelier by Rencounter should be on your radar. Housed just off Military Road, the salon is the second shop from the Rencounter crew and features an in-house team of three experienced hair designers ready to help you touch up or totally transform your hair. The trio — Hide, Sena and Akane — cut styles for any gender and age, with kids’ cuts priced from a reasonable $10. Atelier by Rencounter stocks a great range of specialist hair care products, too, so you can get the most out of your fresh, new ‘do.

    Image: Cassandra Hannagan

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  • 5

    This sleek-yet-cosy cafe on Rangers Road is just a stone’s throw from bustling Military Road, but feels worlds away. So although you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to brunch spots in Neutral Bay, At Neutral is well worth a stop in.

    Expect the usual suspects on the breakfast menu with some unique dishes thrown in such as the za’atar roasted eggplant with sunflower seed cream, roasted cherry tomatoes, crispy curry leaves and dukkah on toasted sourdough. Or, if you’re after an OTT brekkie, order the lobster toast, served with citrus creme fraiche, pickled fennel, finger lime, fresh greens, anchovy oil and 63-degree egg. Coffee here is from local roastery Calibrate Coffee and, for the sweet tooths among us, there’s a selection of pastries on offer, too — think house-made muffins, friands and flaky croissants.

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  • 4

    If you often charge through a busy week at work, then stopping to take time and actually enjoy your lunch is probably a rare occurrence. No doubt on weekends you want to slow down and indulge in life’s simple pleasures — one of which is a well-cooked meal with mates. Henrys in Grosvenor Street serves up modern share plates that make for a great long, leisurely lunch. Oh, and it whips up cocktails, should you wish to imbibe.

    Kick off with some oysters served with a ginger mignonette, kingfish crudo and wagyu beef tartare. Then, order mains like the Tajima wagyu steak with pancetta-wrapped enoki mushrooms, shiso chimmichurri and jus or the blue-eyed cod with pickled cucumber and samphire. For dessert, the deconstructed goat’s curd cheesecake with passionfruit sorbet is a must.

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  • 3

    Remember parties? Well, with restrictions eased back to a point of normality, it’s time to get your mates back round for good times on the reg. And, you’ve probably spent the past year spiffing up the place with all those DIY projects, so why not show it off? If your garden, patio, balcony or courtyard is still in need of some love, then make tracks to Osier Belle.

    The custom-designed outdoor furniture specialists are located in Neutral Bay and are sure to create furniture that’ll transform your space into a party oasis. Book a consultation and speak to the team about creating unique pieces tailored to suit your needs — think daybeds, outdoor dining sets and hanging pods. Once you land on a design, it’s outsourced to a small-scale, ethical workshop in West Java. Whatever you’ve ordered, you can bet the furniture will withstand the elements — rain, hail or shine — as all Osier Belle pieces are specifically designed for the Australian climate.

    Image: Cassandra Hannagan

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  • 2

    Sure, it may not be an area known for its abundant nightlife, but Neutral Bay offers a handful of late-night venues that certainly hold their own. Whether it’s date night, kick-ons, work drinks or catching up with a mate, there’s one place locals and visitors flock to: SoCal. Taking its name from its Southern Cali-inspired vibe, this nifty small bar has all bases covered.

    Its food and drinks menues match its atmosphere, making it a go-to in the warmer months. Plus, it’s got comedy on Monday nights, $3 tacos on Tuesdays, bottomless rosé brunches on weekends and chilli eating contests from time to time. So, drop in for a mezcal margarita or a carafe of sangria to share and see for yourself.

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  • 1

    With winter just around the corner, it’s time to start cooking up hearty soups, pies and roasts. However, if you’re into sustainability as much as you are meaty stews, no doubt you’ll want to buy organic meat, preferably from ethical farmers. At Shoulder and Shank, not only is the sustainable, whole-beast approach to butchery in the name, but it also underpins this Neutral Bay business’s mentality when it comes to meat. The organic butcher champions high-quality produce and buys directly from farmers. So, expect top-quality cuts — and a wide range of them, too.

    Conveniently located in The Grove, Shoulder to Shank displays its produce in a window counter, so you can eye before you buy and pick that third steak from the back, those seasoned pork loins and a selection of gourmet sausages.

    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: SoCal

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