A local’s travel guide through the pages of the March book…
Sometimes we make a little joke about a subconscious (or perhaps conscious) nomadic triangle in Australia, which exists of three common points — Byron Bay, Bali and Bondi Beach. You find similar people in these destinations and for good reason, too: a laid-back beachside culture, which still resonates a sense of bohemian freedom and self-expression — away from the big city lights.
On any given day you can pass by wetsuit-clad surfers catching the first light, latte lovers and their pedigree pooches tumbling out of beachside cafes in an assortment of activewear and a mix of wet-haired commuters running to the bus, vegemite and avocado sourdough toast clasped tightly in their mouths. It can be hard to distinguish between the super wealthy and the super poor. Everyone is barefoot, tanned and more than a little bit salty. At one table is a struggling artist working three jobs to pay for fine arts supplies; at the next is a famous actor or real-estate mogul, but everyone blends seamlessly and happily into the seaside culture (until one steps up into their shiny fast SUV, sandy feet and all). That’s Bondi and that’s why you have to love it!
A healthy local rivalry spans across Bondi’s three areas: North Bondi, the town centre and South Bondi. But no matter where you reside, everyone falls under the entrancing spell of the famous “Bondi Bubble”, the condition that is: once you are there, you hardly ever leave. There is great nightlife, good surf, beautiful food, and vivacious energy all year round. Sometimes it’s easy to forget the rest of Sydney exists when you’re gazing out over the southern headlands as the sky turns from a pale pink to a deep mauve on a balmy summer evening from the North Bondi Grassy Knoll. But besides a world-class beach that has it’s own reality TV show for over 10 years running, and the famous Bondi-to-Bronte coastal walk, the café culture has to be Bondi’s biggest draw card. Green smoothies, incredible coffee and avocados rule the roost in Bondi, and here are our picks of the favorites.
Eat/Drink North Bondi
Porch & Parlour
110 Ramsgate Ave
Fresh, insanely tasty food from breakfast through to dinner. A combination of the food, coffee and friendly service this spot is top of the pops! If it’s a date, start with a cheese platter and a fragrant cocktail at sunset and go from there, though we can never go past a breakfast date. Try the warm green brekkie bowl and find the recipe here!
North Bondi Fish
120 Ramsgate Ave
The best ocean vistas from North Bondi, cool cocktails and a little kingfish sashimi make this institution a hard one to resist.
2/93 Glenayr Ave
Great, fresh salads are the perfect Bondi meal for lunch (or dinner). ‘Insane is the grain’ with haloumi and grilled chicken is our pick. Grab a table and a fresh coconut and watch the world go by…
CrnWarners Ave & Wairoa Ave
As the name suggests, fresh, raw Japanese foods, paired back with sake makes a light and tasty seaside dine.
Eat/Drink Town Centre
79 Hall St
Popular is an understatement. Another great and highly successful café by Sydney native Bill Granger. We can never go past the breakfast of corn fritters with bacon and avocado salsa.
57-59 Beach Rd
A lively bar-com- dumpling house. Where the beer is cold and the lights are dim, a great spot to meet friends.
6/61 Hall St
You may mistake the line outside and the beats for a Bondi nightclub — don’t be dismayed, it’s just ice cream. We are scared to suggest trying just one flavour…those who have tasted it know what we mean!
The Bucket List
The Bondi Pavilion, Queen Elizabeth Drive
What was one summer many years ago just a pop-up bar is now an institution right on the esplanade, smack-bang in the middle of Bondi. A busy beachside bar, where the wine comes in bottles and the hangover is free.
Eat/Drink South Bondi
Bondi Icebergs cafe & dining room
1 Notts Ave
One of those places you must go at least once, if not all the time. The service is excellent, the wine list perfect and the view, one of the most famous in Australia…need we say more? Take in the sunset in the cocktail bar with some polenta fries before your main meal in the 5-star dining area.
8 Campbell Parade
Beer-o-clock? The anchor is a relaxed venue situated just across the road from iceberg pool. Take a peek at their menu — full of fresh, island-inspired meals. This is where you’ll find locals with long hair and big smiles relaxing over the weekend.
281 Bondi Rd
Delicious wood fired pizzas and a mix of Italian dishes. Indoor and outdoor seating, including a cosy upstairs wine bar. Bonus points if you can snag a seat on the balcony overlooking Bondi Rd.
To discover more of Bondi’s best dining, entertainment, accommodations, shopping and day trips, download the full guide at The Vista.