“A political battleground and creative frontier, there’s no neighborhood in Sydney quite like Redfern — an area caught between past and present,”says Sophia de Mestre, founder of Culture Scouts. Unrecognizable 10 years ago, today Redfern is emerging from social struggle to become one of the most vital places in the city. Walking its streets, you’ll witness how the deeply rooted indigenous history entwines with an emerging creative scene of bars, cafés, restaurants, and design retail.
Wild Cockatoo Bakery
You’ll be out of luck if you swing by in the afternoon — the fresh breads, tarts, and meat pies sell out by noon, gobbled up by devotees who pray that this unassuming bakery doesn’t get noticed by the masses.
30 Botany Rd
Ciccone’s small-batch gelato is the perfect accessory for your Redfern walk. Flavors change regularly as the incoming local produce evolves with the seasons. You can’t go wrong with anything honeycomb or passionfruit.
The D E A Store
Every place has a thing, and every thing an exact place, at this dainty, detail-oriented boutique specializing in ceramics and succulents.
The Bearded Tit
This bar-meets-gallery is a queer-positive performance space with a retro Winnebago parked in the back courtyard. It’s the tits.
Ladies who lunch take their town cars from Vaucluse — Sydney’s Beverly Hills — to this gay-owned retailer importing the finest wares and fabrics from Asia and Scandinavia. Think Marimekko, textured wallpaper from Japan, and luxuriant Thai silk.
Moya’s Juniper Lounge
Though Moya doesn’t strive for a speakeasy vibe, it’s entrance is easy to miss, attracting in-the-know locals who dig a good Negroni and throwback decor mimicking an old London watering hole.
If you lived in Redfern, this is where you’d meet your friends for easy, pan-European dishes (from bratwurst to spaghetti) in the front, and GDR — a bar that looks like a canasta lounge from 1960 — in the back.
With good food and drink and drink, and plenty of millennial pink, this hangout for every stripe of Sydneysider hides above a Domino’s Pizza.
Like one of those dusky antique shops found in a forgotten town, this reliquary is bursting at the seams with old Australian wares: wooden furniture, vintage crockery, and fresh flowers, all placed under the watchful eye of taxidermied game.
Come for the beer, stay for the award-winning bar food at this small, subway-tiled hangout, named for a notorious tomcat who roams the neighborhood.
*This story is part of our '99 Things We Love About Australia' feature in the August issue of Out.