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By Concrete Playground
July 27, 2020
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By Concrete Playground
July 27, 2020
  shares

Sydney’s inner west has boomed in recent years in all the ways that matter.

Here, you’ll find new restaurants celebrating myriad cuisines, niche bars perfecting both classic and crazy cocktails, independent boutiques boasting vintage collections, and secondhand bookstores with obscure titles and that beloved old-book scent.

We’ve teamed up with American Express to sift through the vast collection of stores spanning Sydney’s inner west and find the creme de la creme. These local gems will no doubt become your new favourites — and you can shop small here with your Amex Card.

GETTING AROUND

If you feel like stretching your legs, Glebe is a short walk from Central Station — but if you aren’t up for the trek, hop on the light rail. For Newtown, take the T2 line from Central. Enmore is a six-minute walk from Newtown Station. The most scenic way to reach Balmain is by ferry, but if you’re prone to seasickness, the 442 bus from the QVB will get you there promptly.

DON’T MISS

If you’re yet to jump on the e-book bandwagon, the inner west will certainly deliver all your physical literary needs. Sappho Books‘ huge collection may take a while to trawl through so, fortunately, there is a wine bar attached. Newtown’s Better Read Than Dead hosts regular author talks and book clubs, while specialist bookstore and gift shop Pentimento is the place to head for hard-to-find titles, candles and stationery.

HIGH STREETS

SWOP Clothing Exchange in Newtown is all about unique, beautiful and sustainable fashion. It’s got both contemporary and vintage threads — all hanging in colour-coded order. Glebe Point Road is the main thoroughfare in Glebe — after walking the length and taking in the stores, stop for a drink at Staves Brewery.

LOCALS LOVE

Connoisseurs of craft brews, organic wines and bespoke spirits are well catered to in this area. From the cosy bars like Earl’s Juke Joint and Where’s Nick to the specialty booze shops like Bucket Boys and P&V Wine and Liquor, the inner west is the spot to track down, or discover, a rare tipple or two.

THE SHOPPING LISTS

Explore five of the inner west's most thriving shopping precincts.

Adrian from Rising Sun Workshop
The Localist: Newtown
Coming Soon

Your Inner West Hit List

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

    North Annandale Hotel

    Come for the live music on Sundays and a chicken parmy.

  • Design & Style
    Newtown

    Mr Burrows Hair Newtown

    Lounge in leather slingbacks while getting your hair washed and massaged.

  • Design & Style
    Marrickville

    That Vintage Shop

    Allergic to IKEA? You'll find old gems at this antiques specialist on Enmore Road.

  • Design & Style
    Annandale

    The Corner Booth

    This Annandale boutique has a surprisingly extensive range of goodies.

  • Design & Style
    Sydney

    Academie Salon

    Treat yourself to a relaxing hair cut in a 19th-century chapel building.

  • Food & Drink
    Marrickville

    Souvlaki Boys

    Find authentic Greek souvlaki in Marrickville.

  • Food & Drink
    Marrickville

    Napoli Food and Wines

    This Italian wholesaler is where to come for deli items from the motherland.

  • Food & Drink
    Burwood

    Farmers Fresh

    Pristine grocer in Westfield Burwood.

  • Design & Style
    Enmore

    Wheelhaus Bicycle Boutique

    Where you'll find road, gravel and cyclocross bikes alongside Attaquer apparel.

  • Design & Style
    Glebe

    Inner City Cycles

    Glebe Point Road's long-standing bicycle shop has a broad range of bikes, including electric and hybrid.

  • Food & Drink
    Annandale

    Annandale Cellars

    Discover preservative-free wines at this independent bottle-o.

  • Food & Drink
    Chiswick

    Chiswick Cellars

    Test your pairing prowess at this bottle shop cum Italian deli.

  • Design & Style
    Marrickville

    Seed Flora

    This events floristry duo isn't afraid to experiment with grand gestures.

  • Food & Drink
    Marrickville

    Panetta Mercato

    A one-stop shop for your grazing platter needs.

  • Food & Drink
    Enmore

    Taste Organic Enmore

    Clean eating in the inner west.

  • Design & Style
    Leichhardt

    Flowers On Norton St

    Pick up posies from $25 a bunch at this Norton Street flower and gift shop.

  • Design & Style
    Newtown

    Route 66

    Surry Hills' longstanding vintage store has started a new chapter in Newtown.

  • Food & Drink
    Annandale

    Cherry Moon General Store

    A cafe, general stores and woodfired bakery in Annandale.

  • Design & Style
    Balmain

    Stem

    Here you'll find a tight collection of Scandi-style furniture, homewares and clothing.

  • Food & Drink
    Glebe

    The Source Bulk Foods

    Pick up organic treats and healthy ingredients at this waste-free corner store.

  • Food & Drink
    Glebe

    Galluzzo Fruiterers

    Find fresh fruit and veg in the bustling hub of Glebe.

  • Design & Style
    Newtown

    Newtown Garden Market

    Whether you have a green thumb or not, these gardening specialists have got you covered.

  • Food & Drink
    Balmain

    Contessa

    A Darling Street coffee and brunch stalwart.

  • Design & Style
    Rozelle

    Tilly's Art & Print

    Your one-stop inner west shop for all the supplies you need to get arty.

  • Design & Style
    Balmain

    Ally Bell Floral Design

    This Balmain florist is a local go-to for fresh flowers and bespoke bouquets.

  • Arts & Entertainment
    Newtown

    Blue Dog Posters

    This is where you can finally get that life-sized Spider-Man print framed and mounted for your wall.

  • Food & Drink
    Marrickville

    Bucket Boys Bar

    The bottle shop's upstairs bar is slinging craft brews, wines, spirits and top-notch toasties.

  • Food & Drink
    Glebe

    The Charleston

    This millennial pink-hued Glebe eatery is inspired by the coastal towns of South Carolina.

  • Food & Drink
    Newtown

    Gurdys

    A Newtown small bar with a focus on sustainability.

  • Food & Drink
    Marrickville

    Ona Marrickville

    The award-winning Canberra coffee roaster has opened its first Sydney cafe in the inner west.

  • Food & Drink
    Newtown

    Flour Drum

    This south King Street gem is serving up banoffee pancakes and slow-cooked lamb ragu with heaps of hospitality.

  • Design & Style
    Glebe

    Mineralism

    Find gemstones and jewels from around the world here.

  • Food & Drink
    Glebe

    Glebe Liquor

    A well-stocked family-owned liquor store.

  • Arts & Entertainment
    Newtown

    Better Read Than Dead

    Thriving since 1996, and keeping the independent bookshop spirit alive.

  • Food & Drink
    Newtown

    P&V Wine and Liquor

    A boutique bottle-o stocking organic wine, beer and spirits, as well as its own pre-batch cocktails.

  • Food & Drink
    Forest Lodge

    Flour Eggs Water

    An authentic pasta bar serving up some of the best pappardelle in Sydney.

  • Arts & Entertainment
    Newtown

    Pentimento

    Present shopping that is easy-peasy.

  • Food & Drink
    Newtown

    Botany View Hotel

    This iconic south King Street watering hole has been revamped by The Lord Gladstone team.

  • Food & Drink
    Erskineville

    Rose of Australia

    A local hang for Erko residents with standard pub grub — and plenty of space for your pooch.

  • Food & Drink
    Forest Lodge

    Belles Hot Chicken

    Finger-licking fried chicken goodness.

  • Design & Style
    Newtown

    SWOP Clothing Exchange

    Uncover some buried fashion treasures at this expertly curated, second-hand shop on Enmore Road.

  • Food & Drink
    Forest Lodge

    Gelato Messina Tramsheds

    There's no such thing as too much of a gelato-flavoured good thing, Messina is proving just that its move into Tramsheds.

  • Design & Style
    Glebe

    Flowers on the Point

    You'll find no nonsense flowers, cards and plants at this reliable gift store in Glebe.

  • Food & Drink
    Camperdown

    The Lady Hampshire

    Camperdown's resurrected pub.

  • Food & Drink
    Rozelle

    Belle Fleur Fine Chocolates

    This Rozelle chocolate shop makes its own a truffles, pralines and caramels.

  • Food & Drink
    Forest Lodge

    Osaka Trading Co.

    From sake and chicken karaage to whisky and edamame, this izakaya has all your Japanese cravings covered.

  • Food & Drink
    Marrickville

    Barzaari

    A modern mixed Mediterranean menu hits Addison Road's culinary black hole.

  • Food & Drink
    Newtown

    Rising Sun Workshop

    A ramen cafe and bike shop run by ramen-loving bikers.

  • Food & Drink
    Marrickville

    The Grifter Brewing Co.

    Marrickville's home of watermelon pilsner.

  • Food & Drink
    Glebe

    The Toxteth Hotel

    This Glebe pub straddles old and new with great pub grub and a mixed crowd.

  • Food & Drink
    Glebe

    Staves Brewery

    Get stuck in with two-for-one pints at Glebe's backstreet brewpub.

  • Food & Drink
    Newtown

    Rosso Antico Pizza Bar

    Perfect pizzas have arrived on Enmore Road.

  • Food & Drink
    Glebe

    Thievery

    The Middle Eastern restaurant home to that burnt butter hummus — and a cracking vegetarian feast.

  • Food & Drink
    St Peters

    The End of King

    The End of King is another reason why we should be exploring the less trodden paths in life.

  • Arts & Entertainment
    Newtown

    Repressed Records

    All the hard-to-find vinyl you could ask for.

  • Food & Drink
    Leichhardt

    Moretti Ristorante Pizzeria

    After 17 years on Leichhardt's Norton Street, this authentic pizzeria is still at the top of Sydney's Italian game.

  • Food & Drink
    Sydney

    Sappho Books Cafe & Wine Bar

    Have tea in the sci-fi section at this long-loved bookstore cafe.

  • Food & Drink
    Drummoyne

    Zeus Street Greek

    The Apollo and Alpha may have put the sexy back into saganaki, but Zeus is taking it smart-casual.

  • Food & Drink
    Summer Hill

    One Penny Red

    The location is great, the atmosphere is just what you want and the food? More than worth the journey.

  • Food & Drink
    Newtown

    The Stinking Bishops

    A place where cheese gets the recognition it deserves.

  • Food & Drink
    Balmain

    Efendy

    Turkish food icon Somer Sivrioglu offers both casual meze and a formal Turkish feast in Balmain.

  • Food & Drink
    Balmain

    The Balmain Hotel

    The West End Hotel is reborn as The Balmain, complete with Flamingo Room and a transcontinental menu.

  • Food & Drink
    Balmain

    The Cottage Bar & Kitchen

    Where every night is the dinner party you've dreamed of one day throwing.

  • Food & Drink
    Stanmore

    Sixpenny

    A tiny seven-table restaurant in culinary ghost town Stanmore is turning heads.

  • Food & Drink
    Balmain

    Cantina Bar

    Cantina Bar makes the grade as a watering hole alone, but additional casual grazing amps up the experience.

  • Food & Drink
    Erskineville

    Cafe Shenkin

    Erskineville's long-loved home of hearty shakshuka and insanely good pastries.

  • Food & Drink
    Erskineville

    The Hive Bar

    A true local bar, the Hive is one of the best spots on the Erskineville Road strip.

  • Food & Drink
    Marrickville

    Factory Theatre

    Live music is the core of the Factory's operation.

  • Food & Drink
    Newtown

    Enmore Theatre

    Sydney's most beautiful theatre maintains an antique, old-world feel inside a contemporary venue.

  • Food & Drink
    Newtown

    Black Star Pastry

    Black Star Pastry offers world-class pastry with an atmosphere (and prices) to make you feel right at home.

  • Food & Drink
    Glebe

    Timbah

    A neighbourhood wine bar pouring whatever's open and dishing out a world of flavours.

Find Your Playground

Eeastern Suburbs Inner West Inner West Northern Beaches Greater Western Sydney South Sydney Inner City
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