For a snapshot of what's trending in the city, Darlinghurst is your best bet. This high-energy suburb is a hotbed for creativity of all types—and good food is one thing that you'll find around pretty much every corner. An insider tip? While the main drag of Oxford Street is definitely worth a good look-in, make sure to veer off into the back alleys. This is where you'll find the smaller and more eclectic boutiques, cafés, restaurants, bars and theatres that really cement this suburb's reputation as a creative precinct.
For adventurous Japanese food, follow the scent of grilled meat to Chaco Bar, a yakitori restaurant with an urban aesthetic and a menu of bold, authentic flavours. Another side of Japanese cuisine is on show at Sandoitchi Cafe, a bright venue specialising in towering katsu sandwiches, while Big Poppa's is where to go if nothing but cheese will satisfy. The late-night restaurant has a menu that is heavy on dairy-forward goodness and an upstairs cocktail bar that stays open until 3am.
Despite its non-descript entrance, Shady Pines Saloon is one of the city's most well-known bars. Once inside, you'll find yourself in a taxidermy-filled, dimly lit den of sophisticated iniquity where the whisky flows and the beer comes in boot-shaped pint glasses. A more contemporary experience can be expected at This Must Be The Place, a sustainability-focused bar where organic produce drives the creative cocktail menu.
Beautiful, handmade ceramics with individual colourways and markings can be found at Studio Enti, a retail store slash workshop run by local ceramicist Naomi Taplin in Darlinghurst's Foley Street Creative Precinct. An institution for all things print and literature, Ariel Booksellers is where locals go to find new releases, cult classics, and glossy design books. And speaking of design, Bermuda Black is a local fashion label whose style revolves around conceptual, technical shoes and garments made in-store.