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A DAY AND NIGHT GUIDE
POTTS POINT, WOOLLOOMOOLOO AND KINGS CROSS
Flip the switch below and discover Sydney by day or night
By Concrete Playground
November 11, 2020
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By Concrete Playground
November 11, 2020
  shares

Writers, artists and musicians have long been drawn to this eclectic area, which now houses design shops, refined eateries and wine bars in its art deco buildings.

In partnership with City of Sydney, we’re celebrating what makes these suburbs such vibrant communities to live in and visit: their local businesses. It’s been a tough year, and these bars, restaurants, shops and cultural spaces need your patronage more than ever. It’s time to hit the streets, spend consciously, and throw your support behind these local gems.

Flick the switch above, and we’ll dim the lights to show you the best things to do once the sun goes down. You can also explore more inner city suburbs and discover more local businesses to support here.

Writers, artists and musicians have long been drawn to this eclectic area, which now houses design shops, refined eateries and wine bars in its art deco buildings.

In partnership with City of Sydney, we’re celebrating what makes these suburbs such vibrant communities to live in and visit: their local businesses. It’s been a tough year, and these bars, restaurants, shops and cultural spaces need your patronage more than ever. It’s time to hit the streets, spend consciously, and throw your support behind these local gems.

Flick the switch above, and we’ll turn on the lights to show you the best things to do pre-6pm. You can also explore more inner city suburbs and discover more local businesses to support here.

DID YOU KNOW

One of the area’s most famous historical figures was Juanita Nielsen, a passionate anti-development campaigner who went missing from Kings Cross in July, 1975, at the age of 38. Neither she, nor any trace of her, was ever found. You’ll find a community centre named in her honour in Woolloomooloo.

GETTING AROUND

In terms of public transport, the most convenient entry point is Kings Cross Station, which lies on the T4 line. If you’re a keen walker, then travel on foot from the city, via Martin Place, through Sydney Hospital and across the Domain. Behind the Art Gallery of NSW, a set of stairs leads down into Woolloomooloo.

DON’T MISS

Start your morning with a coffee and pastry, surrounded by exquisite flower arrangements at Petal Met Sugar, and you’ll be in a good mood all day. Come lunchtime, indulge in a modern Asian banquet at Ms.G’s, then an experimental wine at Joseph Hyde and a wander around Potts Point Vintage‘s extraordinary collection.

LOCALS LOVE

Spend a day in the shoes of a local and kick off with a coffee at Room 10 before picking up a designer treasure or two at Macleay on Manning or Becker Minty. Next up is an Italian feast at Fratelli Paradiso, followed by a wander down to the water via Arthur McElhone Reserve.

DID YOU KNOW

Kings Cross is home to the oldest jazz club in Sydney, El Rocco. Just a few of the musicians to have graced its stage include Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, Judy Bailey and Mike Nock. Today, the venue continues to host jazz, blues and world music. Grab a drink, then follow the tunes coming from the cellar.

GETTING AROUND

In terms of public transport, the most convenient entry point is Kings Cross Station, which lies on the T4 line. If you’re a keen walker, then travel on foot from the city, via Martin Place, through Sydney Hospital and across the Domain. Behind the Art Gallery of NSW, a set of stairs leads down into Woolloomooloo.

DON’T MISS

Those after a feed can find one of the most interesting degustations at French restaurant Métisse. Afterwards, a spot of theatre at the legendary Griffin is mandatory — it’s where Cate Blanchett, David Wenham, Michael Gow and many other actors and writers launched their careers.

LOCALS LOVE

To put yourself in local company, start your evening with a forage around Grand Days second-hand book and vinyl collection, then swing by Jangling Jack’s for a cocktail. Next up, it’s time for a long, slow supper at Chester White or mussels, beer and a play at The Old Fitz.

How to do Potts Point, Woolloomooloo and Kings Cross

Do as the locals do.

Cafes

It's all too easy to while away a day hanging out in the area’s cafes sampling quality brews, eavesdropping on conversations and swapping stories.

1. Gypsy Espresso

Meticulously made brews in an industrial-inspired hole-in-the-wall.

2. Room 10

A Melbourne-style laneway espresso bar serving Mecca's Darkhorse blend and featuring an ever-changing mural.

3. Flour and Stone

A tiny bakery producing some of Sydney's prettiest cakes.

4. Primary Coffee Roasters

A sleek, minimalist espresso bar that serves a premium cuppa joe (and not much else).

5. Small's Deli

A Potts Point hole-in-the-wall slinging A-plus sandwiches.

Restaurants and Pubs

Potts Point's dining scene isn't one to rest on its laurels. Expect the unexpected — from lamb ragu sandwiches to nettle risotto.

1. Ms.G's

Purposely 'street', achingly cool, a bit punk and absolutely delicious.

2. Fratelli Paradiso

Pair one of the dozen Italian classics on the blackboard menu with one of its wines off the 100 percent Italian list.

3. China Doll

Save this fine diner on the wharf for when you want to treat yourself (or someone else).

4. et.al

Share a meal with friends, family, lovers et al at this Lankelly Place bar and cafe.

5. Joseph Hyde

A dietary requirement-friendly Potts Points laneway cafe.

Shops

Potts Point's maverick spirit is most evident in its shops, crowded with curiosities old and new from all over Australia and across the globe.

1. Potts Point Vintage

Trilby hats, Chanel heels, lizard skin handbags and a taxidermy fox are all within these cosy walls.

2. Macleay on Manning

Peruse jewellery, apparel, furniture and homewares you won't find anywhere else, discovered by the owners on their international travels.

3. Penny's Cheese Shop

You'll find your new favourite cheese — and cheesy toastie — at this Potts Point fromagerie.

4. Potts Point Bookshop

Browse the stacks of intelligently curated fiction, art, music, design, photography and history books.

5. Arida

Splurge on designer fashion, homewares and furniture at this carefully curated store.

Arts and Culture

Brett Whiteley, Martin Sharp and William Dobell are just a few of the artists to have worked around here and their legacy continues to inspire experimental galleries and daring projects.

1. Artspace

Come here for brave and bold exhibitions set in Woolloomooloo's historic Gunnery Building.

2. Station Gallery

Set inside a stunning Victorian terrace, Station Gallery's Sydney venue supports emerging artists from across the globe.

3. Elizabeth Bay House

This extravagant 19th-century mansion was formerly known as the ‘finest house in the colony’.

4. Firstdraft

A challenging, ambitious, unafraid artist-led gallery and arts organisation.

5. The Cross Art Projects

Run by a crew of independent curators, this not-for-profit champions art that questions the status quo.

Leisure

When you need to de-stress, stretch it out, get some exercise and breathe some fresh air, change up your routine. Here are five ways to do just that.

1. Juanita Nielsen Community Centre

Head here for an affordable gym, fitness classes and creative workshops.

2. Kings Cross Weekend Markets

A weekend morning cornucopia of organic veggies, fruit, cheese and international dishes, plus fashion, homewares, books and more.

3. Arthur McElhone Reserve

Pack a picnic and relax among the flowers in this peaceful patch of nature.

4. Embarkation Park

This tranquil park has an excellent vantage point overlooking Garden Island and Sydney Harbour.

5. Holey Moley Golf Club Darlinghurst

The chain's second Sydney venue is right underneath the Kings Cross Coke sign.

Shop Online

Can't visit the area soon enough? Get gems from these Potts Point and Woolloomooloo-based businesses sent straight to you instead.

1. Poho Flowers

Order elegant bouquets in signature blue wrapping from this art deco flower shop on Macleay Street.

2. Becker Minty

Ostrich feather lamps, sea urchin sculptures, glowing paintings — if it's at Becker Minty, it's completely out-of-the-ordinary.

3. Petal Met Sugar

A florist and patisserie within a pretty dreamy room in Woolloomooloo.

4. Skarfe

This boutique does its one thing well: vibrant, luxurious silk and cashmere scarves.

5. Lou Murray Vintage

Explore a carefully curated range of quality vintage clothing, accessories and costume jewellery.

How to do Potts Point, Woolloomooloo and Kings Cross

Do as the locals do.

Restaurants and Pubs

Down Darlinghurst Road and Victoria Street, on to Macleay and beyond, a truly international food caper awaits, taking in Japan, India, Italy, Mexico and beyond.

1. Chester White Cured Diner

Dig into moreish cured meats, cheese-wheel cacio e pepe and braised beef cheeks at this charming converted cottage.

2. Chula

Offering regional Mexican dishes in wicker chairs and a packed menu of tequila and mezcal cocktails.

3. Métisse

French fine dining that won't break the bank.

4. Bayswater Kitchenette

This cosy joint is making the food you wished you had time to make for yourself — but now you don't need to.  

5. Chaco Bar

A new yakitori joint in Potts Point from the team behind Sydney's favourite ramen.

Bars

Bright blue cocktails, neon jellyfish and hundreds upon hundreds of boutique wines — it's all in a night's bar-hopping around Potts Point, the Cross and Woolloomooloo.

1. The Roosevelt

A refined, NYC-inspired bar sending you back to the 1950s with champagne, plenty of cocktails and oysters.

2. Dear Sainte Éloise

Snack on mussels on toast and choose from over 350 wines at this Potts Point bar.

3. Sweethearts Rooftop

Consider this the Cross's openair diamond in the rough.

4. The Tilbury Hotel

Linger over a long lunch or dive into dessert at the new-look Tilbury.

5. Alibi Bar & Kitchen

An entirely plant-based restaurant and bar based in the Ovolo.

Live Music

Whether you're into jazz, blues, hip hop, indie or jam sessions, there's a room dedicated to your ears (and dancing feet) in the area.

1. Jangling Jack's

Find blues, soul and cocktails inspired by the notorious historic locals of Potts Point at this neighbourhood speakeasy.

2. The East Sydney Hotel

This country-style pub provides live tunes on the regular — from blues and folk to mellow jazz.

3. Kings Cross Hotel

This pub hosts indie bands, jam sessions and DJs, plus there’s a sunny rooftop to boot.

4. EL Rocco

Listen to jazz, blues and world music in a New York City-style jazz cellar.

5. Boogie Mountain

Kit & Kaboodle is now a hedonistic poutine-slinging rock 'n' roll club.

Shops

Since the area tends to keep late hours, many shops stay open beyond 6pm. Drift seamlessly from day to night at these five.

1. Grand Days Books & Records

Second-hand books, old-school vinyl and vintage fashion are the name of the game at this retro haunt.

2. Bayswater Fine Wines

Visit this multi-level bottle shop for aged wines — and for a peek at the giant champagne flute chandelier.

3. Potts Point Liquor & Deli

A beloved local bottle-o with wine-savvy staff and gourmet deli goodness.

4. The Little Candle Shop

This shop of aromatic wax offers designer candles in all shapes, sizes, scents and shades.

5. Booty Shoes

Want shoes that make a statement? This is where to splash your cash.

Arts and Culture

Immerse yourself at an experimental art exhibition, settle in for a show or de-stress with a dose of stand-up.

1. Dulcie's Kings Cross

Step into the 1930s at this swish Kings Cross cocktail and cabaret bar.

2. The Old Fitzroy Theatre

This pub-theatre has figured out a simple yet brilliant formula: beer and cheap eats upstairs, independent theatre downstairs.

3. Griffin Theatre Company

A cosy theatre that's been putting Australian stories on stage for nearly 40 years.

4. Happy Endings Comedy Club

All's well that ends well at this no-holds-barred comedy club.

5. Hayes Theatre

This not-for-profit is dedicated to Australian and American musical theatre old and new.

CP Faves

Here are our favourite haunts for when the sun goes down and the streets of Potts Point come alive.

1. The Butler

Feast your eyes on this luscious French-Caribbean terrace restaurant and bar.

2. Riley St Garage

Raw, edgy and impossibly chic, Riley St Garage brings a slice of the New York Meatpacking District to Woolloomooloo.

3. Yellow

The owners of Bentley and Cirrus are serving up vegetarian fine dining in Potts Point.

4. The Apollo

Greek taverna comfort food that never goes out of style.

5. Cho Cho San

In a minimalist, well-designed setting, you’ll enjoy Japanese cuisine in a reimagined izakaya style.

Editor's Itinerary

Here is how our editor loves to spend a few hours in the area.

Find Your Way Through the Potts Point Area

Track down the must-visit local haunts.

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