Best of Sydney

BEST HARDWARE: Bunnings, Mascot

Say what you will about corporate behemoths, but they do occasionally do the trick. Not only does Bunnings’ Mascot branch stock everything imaginable when it comes to hardware, the staff actually know what they’re talking about, and are even kind enough to explain it all when you clearly don’t. With around 20,000 customers each week, […]

BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE: Telstra, Broadway

Dear readers: it’s not that I don’t trust your judgment. Call me jaded, but when you nominated Telstra as the place to go for good customer service, I was sceptical. I was also wrong. Ten minutes in the Telstra Broadway branch were enough to convince me that someone is actually paying attention to that sun-faded […]

BEST CHEAP THRILLS: Newtown Variety

Amidst the chaos of Newtown’s bustling main artery, Newtown Variety makes thrift shopping incredibly entertaining. You might say it puts the gain in elbow-deep bargains. If you’re prepared to pass on Variety’s oft-trod, over-priced neighbours, you’re sure to unearth plenty of satisfying two-dollar gems. A truly addictive hunting ground, Newtown Variety is jam-packed with – […]

BEST BOOKS (SECOND HAND): Berkelouw Books

There’s nothing like putting your face in an old book and breathing in deeply – well, until you start to think about how many people might have sneezed in it over the years. It mustn’t be too much of a concern for Sydneysiders at large, because clearly the Berkelouw book business has continued into its […]

BEST BOOKS (NEW): Ariel Booksellers

You know that friend of yours who always has at least three Booker prize-winners nonchalantly strewn across his bedroom floor? The one you kind of suspect is doing it on purpose and who, let’s be honest here, probably has an attic filled with well-thumbed Harry Potter paperbacks? Well, that friend probably shops at Ariel. Not […]

BEST BAKERY: Sweet Infinity

Sweet Infinity head chef Leanne Beck gets around. The pursuit of pastry-making has taken her as far afield as Paris and London, but these days she’s happily sequestered away in Sydney, where she churns out 400 brownies a week. The 28-year-old lists Russell Crowe amongst her regulars, but no one’s here to drop names: the […]

BEST BLING: Harlequin Market

Walking into Harlequin Market is like stepping into the most popular girl in school’s closet (if you went to school in a time warp between 1954 and 2009, in Paris). The jewellery is to die for, a mix of vintage and new pieces from Bakelite, Chanel and more.  Clothing from cult labels Preen and Proenza […]

BEST BIKES: Deus Ex Machina

Deus Ex Machina literally means "god from the machine" – and after fifteen minutes in this store, bike fans will think they've found heaven. Perhaps best known for its custom-made fixed-gears and limited edition Deus shirts, the Camperdown shop also stocks bike frames and accessories of all shapes and sizes. Plus, if it all gets […]

BEST PLACE TO TAKE NANNA: The Tea Room

I’m not quite sure what it is about the Tea Room: the pouffes and high teas, perhaps? The ever-so-quaint waiters who swan from table to table, happily pulling chairs out for the ladies and making puns about waterfowl? Or is it just the giddy thrill of finally being allowed to drink from the good china? Whichever […]

BEST SPANISH: El Bulli

Hola! Raise your sangria to an old reader favourite, El Bulli. If it’s authentic tapas you’re after – or empanadillas, paella or zarzuela, for that matter – give the overpriced CBD Spanish Quarter dives a miss and head straight on over to Surry Hills or Randwick. It might not have quite the cachet of its […]