Through The Local Lens: Where To Go In Sydney, Australia

Dhruvi Modi , 16 May 2019

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page. -Augustine of Hippo

Of all the activities in the world, my favourite one is to travel. To explore different cities, with names I cannot pronounce, in languages we only hear about—that is what brings me the most happiness. As an avid traveller, the number one worry I have is: Am I seeing everything worthwhile in this city? Regardless of where I am—in the busy streets of Bangkok or on the beach in Monaco—getting the most of the city that I am visiting is my number one priority. However, most of the websites such as Trip Advisor or Quora mainly recommend touristy activities to do. So what about the hidden and local aspects of the cities that are interesting?

A city is as beautiful as the people living in it, and touring it through the eyes of a local is always a good idea. So, welcome to this new blog series: Through the Local Lens, where I give you a generous insight with tips on visiting some of my favourite cities all over the world, but with a local twist. Let’s put the touristy landmarks with a hundred selfie sticks all up in your face aside for a while. For now, I would like to take you on a tour through the hidden gems of these famous cities that I have visited, especially recommended to me by locals. First stop: Sydney, Australia.

Sydney Bondi Icebergs

Though widely known for its Opera House and beautiful beaches, Sydney is much more than that. With a buzzing nightlife and a vast variety of food options, Sydney is one of the best places to go for a relaxing, yet adventurous trip.

Food and Beverages

My favourite part about Sydney is definitely the wide array of places for all you foodies out there! From Regents Place to Chinatown, Spice Alley to the posh Opera House – there is something out there for everyone to try.  Here are my top recommendations:

1. Gumption: The Strand Arcade, George Street

Touted as the best coffee in Sydney, head over to Gumption to grab a flat white! (or whatever else you drink). They offer a wide selection of everything coffee for all you coffee-addicts.

2. Lord of the Fries: George Street

Vegan heaven, LOTF is the perfect place to go for your guilty meat cravings. They are a pure vegan fast food chain that serves the best fries I have ever tasted. Their seeming heart attack-inducing burgers make it difficult to believe that they have no meat at all. I highly recommend the sweet potato fries and the Spicy Burger.

3. Uncle Tetsu’s Japanese cheesecake: Regents Place, George Street

Japanese cheesecake…um, what? Yes, you heard me right! As absurd as it sounds, it is just as popular and yummy. Right in the heart of Sydney’s centre, the restaurant has long queues and a one cheesecake per person policy. It definitely lives up to the hype!

4. Aqua S: Regents Place, George Street

While you’re at it with the Japanese cheesecake, stop by Aqua S for the most delicious concoction of soft-serve ice-cream the city has to offer. Going along with the Instagram aesthetic, the ice cream parlour has mouthwatering flavours such as sea salt, cookie butter and Black Hawaii.


A must-do in the largest city in Australia is going out to rooftops and exploring the bar scene.

Here is a list of my personal favourite bars:

1. Soda Factory: Surry Hills

Hidden behind a phoney 1950’s Coca-Cola vending machine door, Soda Factory is a US-style secret bar. With a menu specially curated to fit the 1920s vibes, you enter a speakeasy type of an area, with a buzzing nightlife. For a hidden bar, it is quite packed with students and young professionals.

2. Taylor’s Rooftop: Pitt Street

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Sunny days call for rooftop lunches 🌞

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Right above the four-storeyed Republic Hotel is Taylor’s Rooftop Bar. I don’t know about you, but I am a sucker for rooftop bars – rooftop bar hopping being one of my number one things to do in a new city. Try Taylor’s Pimms No. 1 Jug which will make you get another one.. and another one.

3. Lobo Plantation: Clarence Street

I present to you another hidden gem of Sydney—I had to walk by this spot at least twice before realising where the entrance is. Lobo is an underground moody bar, where the bartender is one of the best in the city. Not only will he suggest a delicious cocktail, but he will also recommend other hidden gems around the city that only a local knows.

4. O Bar: George Street

Set up high on the 47th Floor on Australia Square, this 360-degree rotating lounge and bar will leave you breathless. With stellar views of the harbour bridge, the opera house and the CBD (Central Business District), I highly recommend visiting at sunset.


Lastly, we move onto nightlife, one of the most happening activities in Sydney. With a city full of thousands of students and young professionals, your Saturday night must include a nightout.  After a chill bar scene at either of the bars mentioned above hope along to some of my favourite clubs:

1. The Ivy Night Club: George Street

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How did we lose Our Minds 😈

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With more than four floors, this nightclub has to be the best one I’ve ever been to. They have a rooftop bar and pool, with themed parties every week, a lounge and innumerable dancing areas. Make sure to dress up fancy in heels and suits, because this is also one of the most selective clubs in the city.

2. Marquee at The Star: Pyrmont

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Back for Halloween this Wednesday main room 🎃

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An award-winning nightclub with its sister clubs in New York and Las Vegas, Marquee at The Star has a fancy line up of international and local artists, DJs, urban dancers. Don’t be surprised if you run into celebrities there! While being pricey, the cocktails are delicious and the vibes are unparalleled.

These were my tips and recommendations for visiting Sydney, Australia! What do you think about these places? Any that made your bucket list? Which city do you want me to cover next? Leave us your comments below!

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