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Ten Essential Spots to Visit in Redfern

Including a top-notch ramen bar, a wonderfully whacky drinking hole and really, really good coffee.
By Chloe Sargeant
May 13, 2019
By Chloe Sargeant
May 13, 2019


in partnership with

Including a top-notch ramen bar, a wonderfully whacky drinking hole and really, really good coffee.

Redfern is one of Sydney's most-renowned and colourful areas, rich with Indigenous history, creative output, murals and lots of local flavour.

In recent years, the suburb has seen an influx of bars, restaurants, cafes and cultural hotspots which have completely reimagined the neighbourhood while retaining much of its grit. And in Redfern's spirit of embracing people from all walks of life, the suburb has welcomed the influx with open arms (and full stomachs).

Here, we bring you the must-sees of Redfern. Make sure you have an empty belly, and get set to tick off some stellar spots. Plus, for a few more hot tips, check out our video above for Liam Ridgeway's — co-founder of 100 percent Aboriginal-owned digital agency Ngakkan Nyaagu (NGNY) — favourite spots around the suburb.

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    This leafy, light-filled (and dog-friendly) courtyard offers a unique take on your classics (avo on toast and egg and bacon rolls), alongside more substantial options like slow-cooked minted lamb with mango salsa and crispy-skinned miso salmon. You’ll be hard-pressed not to find something you desperately want to devour but the ‘Proud Girl’ — sourdough heaving with meatballs in sugo, pesto scrambled eggs, fried herbs, parmesan and za’atar — is a surefire win.

    Henry Lee’s also has an extensive range of coffee options from The Little Marionette roasters, but don’t hesitate to try one of its specialty bevvos either — they’re all delicious, from rose-flavoured and golden lattes to white lavender and Aztec chilli hot chocolate.

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  • 9

    Bright and earnest, Scout’s Honour delivers exactly what you’re looking for while out exploring — delicious, no-frills sandwiches and really, really great coffee.

    With a small takeaway counter out the front, you’d be forgiven for thinking the space is your typical hole-in-the-wall divey cafe — but Scout’s Honour has a surprisingly roomy dining area. Amid the stark white decor and lush ferns, you’ll find baristas serving up Five Senses coffee, with no trendy turmeric lattes or floral-infused hot chocolates here — just good, honest coffee.

    Oh, and the regularly changed sandwich menu is real ‘salt of the earth’ kind of stuff, too. Seemingly, the sandwich ethos at Scout’s is to only offer that which is hearty, healthy and full of the freshest, most flavoursome ingredients.

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  • 8

    This remarkable ramen joint is headed up by Scott Gault and Katie Shortland. To prep for its opening, Gault travelled around Japan consulting with various ramen masters so he could bring well-researched techniques, authentic recipes and gloriously springy Hakata-style noodles back with him to Sydney.

    The menu is simple to navigate — choose from a bowl of tonkotsu (a thick, creamy pork bone broth), shoyu (a peppery soy-based broth), vegan soy shio (a soy milk salt broth) or broth-less mazesoba. The noodles are made in-house, and the chashu pork is grilled right in front of you. While the atmospheric 28-seater bar now offers a range of other options, such as pillowy bao and crispy gyoza, try not to fill up and miss slurping down one of the life-affirming ramens.

    Image: Luisa Brimble

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  • 7

    If you adore local haunt Arcadia Liquors, then its restaurant just a few steps away is sure to delight.

    With a European menu and the atmosphere of a hearty-yet-wallet-friendly diner, the attraction of Redfern Continental lays in its simplicity. Think parmigiana, schnitzels, kranskies and al dente pastas alongside seafood, various pickled delights, herby salads and crostini.

    It’s an eatery that lends itself to enthusiastically lining your stomach before you fill the remainder by getting a bit sauced — a notion that’s helped by Gunther’s Dining Room in the back. GDR’s wood-panelled, windowless space feels much like stepping into a bygone era somewhere in Eastern Europe, complete with olive green velour booths, a spinning disco ball and an abundant cocktail list.

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  • 6

    The weird, the wonderful and everything in between make this quirky bar and arts hub a real representation of everything that’s good about Sydney. A place that provides a fun home for Sydney’s rainbow community and welcomes everyone who appreciates them, The Bearded Tit is a loving embrace in the form of a bar.

    The eclectic decor is reminiscent of some kind of haphazard carny saloon, and the playlist is as off-kilter and dynamic as the regular, often surreal entertainment. The genial staff sling a simple, yet solid list of beer, wine and classic cocktails. The Tit isn’t where you go for fancy, artisanal beverages; it’s where you go for a bloody good time.

    Image: Katje Ford

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  • 5

    Sydney has its fair share of gelato and ice cream locales, but Redfern is home to one that’s a little bit special. Rather than scooping out hulking mounds of bright gelato and hundreds of punchy flavours, Ciccone & Sons is dedicated to keeping its iced goods simple, fresh and, of course, delicious.

    Don’t worry if you’re not an overt sweet tooth, either — this gelateria balances sweet and salty perfectly (and doesn’t rely on buckets of sugar). After a scoop of something a little unconventional? Try some of the local favourite flavours like the white chocolate stracciatella with hints of lavender, the cashew and jersey milk, or the Pepe Saya buttermilk and passionfruit. But, with the handwritten menu often changing day-to-day, you’ll have to pop by to see what’s on offer.

    Image: Kitti Smallbone

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  • 4

    Lovingly known as ‘The Greatest Convenience Store on Earth’, this little cornershop has become a social media phenomenon. Boasting 15k Instagram followers and an impressive range of hard-to-find international snacks, cereals and beverages, Palestinian-born owner Hazem Sedda has truly cemented his little store as a Redfern institution.

    Profiling not only the extensive goodies in stock but also the local community of Redfern and people from afar who come to visit the store, Sedda’s Instagram is as much about providing a communal hub as it is selling sweet treats. The account even dubs customers lucky enough with the prestigious title of #customeroftheday. Come for the Fritos, Lucky Charms and La Croix and stay for gorgeous community spirit.

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  • 3

    ‘DEA’ stands for ‘delicate eye area’ which is the area the shop’s creators are earnestly dedicated to pleasing with visually delightful gifts and wares. This is the type of store to visit when shopping for that person who has everything, or if you simply want to treat yourself.

    The homewares are as artful as the space’s minimalist fit-out and you’ll be able to find an eclectic collection of goods — the kind you didn’t know you wanted, but turns out you absolutely need. From artisanal flax linen bedding and deftly designed Scandinavian salt and pepper grinders to gorgeous Japanese ceramics, The DEA Store is a beautiful shop full of beautiful things that’ll make your home beautiful, too.

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  • 2

    A park is a park is a park to some, but Redfern’s Prince Alfred Park is one of a kind. Sprawling green grounds are a given, of course, but there’s also some pretty great views of Sydney’s CBD, making it the perfect place for an afternoon picnic.

    If it’s exercise you’re after, there are basketball and tennis courts and outdoor fitness equipment and, of course, the outdoor (heated) Prince Alfred Park Pool that’s open all year round.

    For those with a love of flora, check out the beds of gorgeous native plants and grasses. Put in partly to help obscure the pool’s buildings, the grasses also create insulation, as well as a natural sound barrier between you and busy Chalmers Street.

    Image: City of Sydney

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    Once upon a time, 107 Projects was a derelict, unused car garage, but in 2011, a small group of like-minded people turned it into one of Redfern’s most beloved hubs for Sydney creatives.

    A home for multi-disciplinary arts and artists dedicated to making the city (and the world) a more beautiful, strange and interesting place, 107 houses performance spaces, galleries, studios, offices, a cafe and a permaculture rooftop garden with a bar.  With an ever-changing array of exhibitions, live music, theatre productions, workshops and live drawing classes, 107 Projects is the type of place you leave feeling inspired and ready to add more art to your life.

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See NGNY’s co-founder Liam Ridgeway’s favourite spots around Redfern above and discover more around the city here.

Top image: City of Sydney.

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