City guide: the Khoollect community’s guide to Sydney

***Rachel Khoo would like to thank all the inspiring people who helped make the Khoollect studio a hive of creativity. Although the Khoollect studio’s doors have now closed, you can keep up with Rachel’s newest adventures on and on Rachel’s Instagram and Facebook pages – and, continue to enjoy the Khoollect website’s stories and recipes, which will remain available.***

Some days, when the sun’s hiding its rays behind a grey London sky, the Khoollect team’s minds begin to daydream of sunnier destinations — places where the city mingles with picture-perfect beaches and locals sip cold beverages while looking out over a wide blue harbour. Somewhere like Sydney, for instance.

The Khoollect community is scattered far and wide, with many khoollectors dwelling on the sunlit shores of Australia. So, we put the call out to our community to reveal where Sydney’s locals eat, shop and play. Here’s what they told us:

Out and about

With enviable weather almost all year-round, those lucky Sydney residents spend ample time soaking up the sunshine in outdoor spaces. Naturally, many of our community’s recommendations were beach-oriented and this city is home to some of the world’s best.

If you’re hoping to soak up some salty sea breezes in, and feel the sand underfoot, head to one of the city’s many neighbouring beaches: our community’s top picks were Manly, Coogee, Balmoral and Bondi Beach. For those who are prefer a calmer, wave-free swim, the Mahon Pool at Maroubra is a popular choice. And, after a dip in the ocean, if you’re feeling particularly active you can hop on your bike and cycle up to North Head Sanctuary to take in views of the city and its surrounding regions. For more sweeping views, walk up to Barrenjoey Lighthouse at Palm Beach.

Not ready to head inside just yet? Take a stroll along the iconic Harbour Bridge, meander around The Rocks, and watch the ferries glide into Circular Quay. On Sydney’s south coast, white-sand beaches stretch further outside of the city and are popular among surfers.

Sydney Guide by Khoollect Community


Eat, drink and play

All that swimming, cycling and strolling is bound to work up your appetite, or at least earn you a refreshing beverage. Here’s where our Sydney-dwelling community eats and drinks:

If it’s your first time in town, you can find Opera Bar perched beside the city’s best-known landmark, the Sydney Opera House. This popular watering hole presents an idyllic spot to take in a sunset over the harbour.

Sydney is a multicultural hub where restaurants serving cuisines from all over the world sit side-by-side. With a large population of Lebanese people based in the city, there’s no shortage of delicious Lebanese food available. Try our community’s suggestions: Jasmin1 Leichhardt, Kadmus or Kazbah.

For the best in Asian culinary fare, head to Chinatown for authentic dishes, King Street in Newtown for a selection of Japanese eateries, and to Chatswood for tempting Thai food. If fine dining sits high among your pastimes, sample the flavours of award-winning establishments Testuya or Rockpool.

For a spot of seaside dining, with menu items showing off Sydney’s proximity to the sea, The Boathouse and Bathers Pavilion gathered many votes from our community, as did Doyles on the Wharf.

Surry Hills and Newtown clocked up many suggestions, with Newtown’s Bach Eatery, Bloodwood and the Continental Delicatessen leading the way. Surry Hills’ Bourke Street Bakery cannot go unmentioned — a name synonymous with delicious bread and sweet treats. For some greenery pop in to Cat Alley, also in Surry Hills, and, for a late-night tipple, The Baxter Inn in the CBD has our readers’ stamp of approval. Want to hop out of the CBD? Step into Sydney’s inner-east and visit popular institution The Grounds of Alexandria, boasting a range of multi-functional spaces for eating, drinking, relaxing and learning. For one of the fanciest breakfasts you might ever encounter, head to 5thEarlRosebery. It’s an Instagrammer’s dream come to life.

And if you need a magazine for your trip home, try Beautiful Pages in Darlington for some papery inspiration.

Check out our foodies’ guide to Sydney and the Khoollect forum to find out where  Sydney-siders are hanging out, and join in to tell us what you’d add to the guide. You can tag us @khoollect in your Sydney pictures on Instagram too.

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Sonya Gellert

Sonya Gellert is a contributing writer and associate editor for Khoollect. She lives in Sydney....

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Khoollect community members Jess Jackson and Abbey Sands