Things to Do in Glebe: The Inner-West Gem

Take time to explore this suburb filled with vibrant cafes and waterfront walks.

Bookended by parks—Victoria Park to its east, and Jubilee Park/Bicentennial Park to its west—the inner-west suburb of Glebe has a distinctive villagelike atmosphere, plus a buzz that comes from being adjacent to the University of Sydney. This venerable university is a destination itself; and its Nicholson Museum of antiquities and its Macleay Museum of natural history are open 10 am–4:30 pm, Mo to Fr; and noon–4 pm first Saturdays.

Discover the Chinese architecture of the Sze Yup Temple (©Keren Lavelle)

Lined with interesting shops, cafés, restaurants and historic houses, Glebe Point Road is one of Sydney’s great "high" streets. It is bisected by St Johns Road, home to the glorious Glebe Town Hall. Glebe’s many buildings of note include Bidura (357 Glebe Point Road), the 1835 Lyndhurst (61 Darghan St.) and the Sze Yup Temple.

Homemade soup from Mano Espresso (©Mano Espresso)

Where to Dine

You can eat your way around the world by sampling Glebe’s vast range of eateries, from Vietnam to Greece via Mexico and India. Queue up to get a seat at the inexpensive Thai restaurant Tom Yum Tum Gang (249 Glebe Point Road). Good burgers and pizzas can be found at The Record Crate and seasonal/regional Italian dishes at Restaurant Ombretta. Head to Na Zdrowie for excellent Polish food and a vast choice of vodkas. The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay specialises in seafood; its signature dish is snapper pie.

Wine and dine on Italian at Restaurant Ombretta (©Restaurant Ombretta)

Cafés are in abundance. Just staying on Glebe Point Road, you can sample Italian style at Il Cortile Caffè; eat fine empanadas at Bariloche (333 Glebe Point Road); revel in the art deco surroundings at Astor Espresso; or indulge in fine pastries at Sonoma Café Glebe or La Banette Patisserie (18 Glebe Point Road). Immediately adjacent, Mano Espresso and The Wedge Espresso, are also popular. For something stronger, there is almost as much choice, ranging from traditional working-class pubs (try the Nag’s Head Hotel), to cocktail/wine bars (such as The Different Drummer, and relaxing surroundings and good food in a small bar (Timbah).

Shop till you drop at Broadway Sydney (©Broadway Sydney)

Where to Shop

Though every second stall at the Glebe Markets (every Saturday) seems to sell second-hand clothing, there are still gems to discover here. In addition to major chains, the multistorey Broadway Sydney is home to more than 100 speciality shops, ranging from an Apple Store to an Oxfam Shop selling free-trade craft items and biodegradable coffee pods. The knowledgeable staff at Gleebooks makes it a pleasure to visit; Gleebooks Secondhand is also worth a rummage; or perhaps gardening bookshop Florilegium has what you want.

Find a bargain at Glebe Markets (©Keren Lavelle)

Fine fresh or deli food (and fresh banter) can be had from Galluzzo Fruitiers and their delicatessen next door. The Inner-City Clay Workers Gallery, has a range of interesting ceramics; the Glass Artists’ Gallery showcases contemporary glass art. The Works Glebe sells wares made by the creative types who work in the cooperative warehouse above it. Medhurst & Sons stocks dozens of ciders plus craft beers. Browse furniture and homewares at Ruby Star Traders and Orient House.

Cycle your way around the Glebe foreshore (©Roshan Sukhla)

Don't Miss

The latest must-do is to walk or cycle either way along the wonderful Glebe Foreshore Walk (from Bicentennial Park to the Sydney Fish Markets at Pyrmont), admiring the great harbour views.

Getting There

Glebe is just a short 5–10 minute taxi ride from the city. The 400s-numbered buses leave from Castlereagh Street to travel along Broadway/Parramatta Road; get off at Victoria Park to walk along Glebe Point Road. The 431 bus travels directly to Glebe Point; the 470 bus to Lilyfield goes via Derwent Street. The fun way to get to Glebe from the city is to catch the light rail, which departs from Central Station; get off at the Fish Markets, Glebe or Jubilee Park stops.