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By Concrete Playground
July 17, 2020
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By Concrete Playground
July 17, 2020
  shares

In the past few years, greater western Sydney has experienced tremendous growth, resulting in a fairly unique ecosystem of the old and the new. From retro secondhand vinyl shops and boutique jewellery stores to buzzing new food precincts, this is certainly one of Sydney's most diverse areas.

This expansive area is known for its diversity — both culturally and in public spaces. Here, you’ll find huge nature reserves and leafy suburban streets existing alongside vibrant town centres and sports stadiums. Parramatta, in particular, is considered to be Sydney’s secondary CBD and home to a number of large and small businesses.

We’ve partnered with the team at American Express to bring you the best of the local businesses in this growing area, so you can uncover the gems hidden among the labyrinths of restaurants, bars and shops — so you can shop small here with your Amex Card.

GETTING AROUND

For those who like getting where they’re going fast, hop the T1 from Central to Parramatta or Penrith. For a more scenic journey, ferries run from Circular Quay to Parramatta Wharf, departing every day between 7am and 7pm. To get around Parramatta city itself, take advantage of the free shuttle bus that runs a continuous loop of the city. And now we have the new Metro, you can get to Castle Hill within 30 minutes if you jump on at Chatswood.

DON’T MISS

Parramatta’s Riverside Theatre is one of the major arts hubs of greater western Sydney, alongside Casula Powerhouse and Campbelltown Arts Centre. With three stages and a cinema, Riverside hosts plays from around the world, talks from acclaimed authors, and comedy acts. It hosts festival shows, popular sing-a-long sessions the theatre is praised for its accessible performances for kids.

HIGH STREETS

Church Street provides an excellent base for exploring Parramatta’s shopping and dining district. And Penrith’s High Street is where you’ll find the best independent shops and bakeries, alongside crowd-pulling late-night eats like charcoal chicken joint El Jannah.

LOCALS LOVE

Harris Park is where locals come for authentic Indian street food, found inside a row of heritage cottages. Taj Indian Sweets was one of the first eateries in the area, opening 15 years ago, leading the way for South-East Asian grocery stores, sari shops and restaurants like halal butcher Desi Kasai and upmarket diner Ginger Indian.

THE SHOPPING LISTS

Explore three of the greater western suburbs' thriving shopping precincts.

Your Western Sydney Hit List

Looking for fresh produce, funky cheese or a one-of-a-kind gift? Find what you're looking for here.
List
Map
  • Design & Style
    Parramatta

    Culture Kings Parramatta

    Sneaker freaks can get their kicks right here.

  • Food & Drink
    Parramatta

    PappaRich

    Come for the buttery roti, stay for the Milo Dinosaur.

  • Design & Style
    Castle Hill

    Royals Hair

    Cuts start from a reasonable $80.

  • Design & Style
    Concord West

    Cycleworld

    Where to go when you want your dream bike build.

  • Food & Drink
    Holroyd

    Ribs & Roast Pty Ltd

    A speciality sous vide meat business with two decades of experience.

  • Travel & Leisure
    Castle Hill

    Temple Skincare & Spa

    A mini oasis in the Hills.

  • Food & Drink
    Castle Hill

    Northwest Growers

    The fruit from this family run grocer comes straight from the owners' orchard.

  • Design & Style
    Penrith

    Esteem Hair Beauty Spa

    This local beauty bar is a local's go-to to feel good and look even better.

  • Design & Style
    Penrith

    Your Floral Indulgence

    Head here when you want beautifully arranged flowers without the pressure of picking a certain style.

  • Design & Style
    Penrith

    Deus Ex Machina Penrith

    Motorcycle culture-inspired clothing (and you don't even need to own a bike).

  • Food & Drink
    Penrith

    Gelato Messina Penrith

    Pick from 40-plus flavours (or just stick to that salted coconut and mango that you know you love).

  • Design & Style
    Penrith

    High Street Music

    This local music store has a combined 65 years experience teaching and sharing its love of music.

  • Food & Drink
    Parramatta

    Adora Handmade Chocolates Parramatta

    Take your pick from a cabinet of handmade gourmet chocolates.

  • Arts & Entertainment
    Parramatta

    Beatdisc Records

    Stop by to thumb the vinyl, but stay for the live music performances.

  • Food & Drink
    Parramatta

    Temasek

    Where Parramatta locals get their Malaysian laksa and Singaporean chilli crab fix.

  • Travel & Leisure
    Parramatta

    Velocipede

    Kit out your new wheels with help from expert cyclists.

  • Food & Drink
    North Parramatta

    Riverside Brewing Company

    A brewery inspired by long Aussie summers.

  • Design & Style
    Parramatta

    Dot's Flower Shoppe

    Parramatta's go-to florist has three decades of expertise.

  • Food & Drink
    Parramatta

    Butter Parramatta

    The trio of box-fresh footwear, fried chicken and French bubbles reigns supreme.

  • Food & Drink
    Parramatta

    Nick & Nora's

    Enjoy incredible views, a luxe 30s-inspired fit-out and a covetable Champagne collection.

  • Food & Drink
    Parramatta

    Paper Plane Cafe

    Bright, fresh fare and farmhouse vibes.

  • Food & Drink
    Parramatta

    The Coffee Emporium Restaurant & Bar

    There's a new contemporary dining breeze blowing through New South Wales' second biggest city.

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