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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 Jasmine Crittenden
November 15, 2018
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By Jasmine Crittenden
November 15, 2018
  shares

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

A walk through Potts Point, Kings Cross and Woolloomooloo is a journey through Sydney’s artistic, musical and intellectual history. Prepare for stunning art deco architecture, decadent 19th-century mansions, galleries buzzing with big ideas, cafes bustling with writers and actors and bars offering creative cocktails — all in-between exhilarating glimpses of Sydney Harbour.

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 here.

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

An evening spent in Potts Point, Kings Cross and Woolloomooloo is full of surprises. You’ll find yourself among boutique wines and discovering bold cocktails in laneway bars, watching tomorrow’s film and theatre stars on small stages, following secretive staircases to unexpected harbour views and hanging out at jazz and blues jam sessions until late into the night.

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 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 or a dose of Korean fried chicken at Paper Bird, 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

Wine lovers can’t pass up Monopole‘s 500-strong list, while those after a feed can find some of the best Indian fare in Sydney at Aki’s. 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. Room 10

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

2. Joseph Hyde

A dietary requirement-friendly Potts Points laneway cafe.

3. Smoking Gun Bagels

A key way to start the day? Sydney's first Montreal-style bagelry with wood-fired, crispy yet chewy and soft bagels.

4. Gypsy Espresso

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

5. Petal Met Sugar

A florist and patisserie within a pretty, and pretty dreamy, room.

Restaurants and Pubs

Potts Point's dining scene isn't one to rest on its laurels. Expect the unexpected — from killer Korean fried chicken to wild bush tomato hummus with warrigal green pesto.

1. Ms.G's

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

2. Woolloomooloo Bay Hotel

With cracking views over Sydney, this waterside pub also offers a half-priced oyster happy hour every weekday.

3. Cho Cho San

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

4. Fratelli Paradiso

Pair one of the dozen Italian classics on the blackboard menu with one of their wines of the 100% Italian list.

5. Fountain

A Potts Point art deco eatery with all the makings of a great local.

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. Macleay on Manning

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

2. Potts Point Vintage

Trilby hats, Chanel heels, lizard skin handbags and a taxidermy fox are all within Potts Point Vintage's cosy walls.

3. Penny's Cheese Shop

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

4. Becker Minty

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

5. Poho Flowers

This is where the lines between floristry and sculpture blur.

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. Elizabeth Bay House

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

3. Yellow House

This sunny house has been showcasing artists (including Brett Whiteley, John Olsen, Martin Sharp and many more) since the 1950s.

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. Wayside Chapel Volunteering

Give back to the community and volunteer at this Kings Cross icon committed to supporting those in need in the area.

2. Kings Cross Weekend Markets

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

3. Juanita Nielsen Community Centre

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

4. Arthur McElhone Reserve

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

5. Embarkation Park

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

Locals Love

We asked, you answered. These are the spots you love to frequent during the daylight hours, including you favourite pastry joints.

1. Infinity Bakery

Organic breads and French pastries are handmade daily with traditional techniques at this cafe-bakery.

2. Flour and Stone

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

3. Gazebo

The transformation is a success, the food is excellent and the service is genuinely friendly and knowledgeable.

4. Sweethearts Rooftop

The Cross' open-air diamond in the rough.

5. China Doll

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

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. Chula

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

2. Aki’s Indian

Situated on Woolloomooloo's Finger Wharf and alongside some of the best restaurants in town, Aki's is truly a delight to visit.

3. Bistro Rex

A lavish but casual French bistro in Potts Point where you can have truffle shaved over everything.

4. Chester White Cured Diner

Dig into moreish cured meats, cheese-wheel caccio e pepe and wines from the Buffalo Dining Club team in this charming converted cottage.

5. Franca Brasserie

The former Fratelli Fresh site is now home to an elegant French bistro with steak frites, truffle ice cream and 250 wines.

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. Dear Sainte Éloise

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

2. Holey Moley Golf Club Darlinghurst

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

3. Black Bottle

A Darlinghurst neighbourhood bar with a food cabinet of bar snacks and one of the most reasonably-priced wine lists we've seen in Sydney.

4. The Roosevelt

A refined, NYC-inspired bar sending you back to the 1950s with champagne, plenty of cocktails and $1 oysters every Thursday.

5. Monopole

Discover a 500-strong wine list, international cheese platters and simple, delicious share plates from the Bentley crew.

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. Cali Club - CLOSED

The nightclub in the former World Bar site has an exciting new program of events, but is still a work-in-progress.

3. The East Sydney Hotel

Wednesdays at this country-style pub provide blues, folk and bluegrass bands, and Sundays, mellow jazz. Good beer available every day.

4. Kings Cross Hotel

As one of the last standing, this pub hosts indie bands, jam sessions and DJs, plus there’s a sunny rooftop to boot.

5. EL Rocco

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

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. Whole Beast Butchery

A Potts Point butchery where your cuts of meat are carved before your eyes — it's also serving Sydney's best pâté.

3. Potts Point Bookshop

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

4. Potts Point Liquor & Deli

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

5. The Little Candle Shop

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

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. The Old Fitzroy Theatre

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

2. Dulcie's Kings Cross

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

3. Griffin Theatre Company

A cosy theatre that's been putting Australian stories onstage 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.

Locals Love

We asked, you answered. Here are your favourite evening haunts in the Potts Point area.

1. The Apollo

Greek taverna comfort food that never goes out of style.

2. The Butler

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

3. Riley St Garage

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

4. Yellow

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

5. The Tilbury Hotel

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

Find Your Way Through the Potts Point Area

Track down the must-visit local haunts.

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CP's Picks

Some of our favourites from around the suburb.

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