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NEIGHBORHOOD GUIDE

A guide to local favorites around Bourke Street

  • By Riley Wilson
  • Photos by Brook Mitchell
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Bourke Street
Sydney
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Leafy Bourke Street is at the heart of Surry Hills — a funky, cosmopolitan hotbed for aesthetes and the design devout. A straight shot from Central Station, it’s a bit less frequented than better-known Crown Street, full of eclectic shopfronts and creative types pounding laptops while sipping flat whites. Bakeries, galleries and offices tentacle off into graffitied residential alleys and community-run missions, the suburb’s spirit etched in the terrace-shaped shadows of its industrial past.

Meet Riley Wilson

Riley is a native Sydneysider who grew up between Australia and America, with extensive travels throughout Europe and Asia along the way. She’s a journalist and a lover of beach volleyball, roller-skates, olives and tea.

Want to get in touch?

mail-solidEmail bytheway@washpost.com
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Bourke Street

Bourke Street Bakery
An Aussie pastry initiation comes in many forms: one’s first lemon or custard tart; sausage roll (pork and fennel here); or flaky, hot morning danish. All are available at this tiny corner shop, the birthplace of this now international bakery.
Bourke Street Bakery, 633 Bourke St. Surry Hills NSW 2010, Australia
Bills
If breakfast culture is a religious experience in Sydney, then Bill Granger is its patron saint. The stacked ricotta hotcakes are decadent — best enjoyed in the luxurious window-side banquette in the sun.
Bills, 359 Crown St. Surry Hills NSW 2010, Australia
Formaggi Ocello
Cheeseboards for dinner are a bit of an Australian delight, influenced by our European communities and a love for dairy-based snacking. Stock up on international cheeses, meats, pickles and pasta here, or order a curated cheese plate to go.
Formaggi Ocello, Shop 16, 425 Bourke St. Surry Hills NSW 2010, Australia
The Sydney Rainbow Crossing
Despite Australia’s delay in legalizing same-sex marriage, Sydney is a proud LGBT-inclusive city, with an annual weeks-long Mardi Gras and rainbow flags billowing year round. This bright, curved pedestrian walkway connecting Taylor Square and Oxford Street with Surry Hills is one testament to that.
The Sydney Rainbow Crossing, Bourke and Campbell streets Surry Hills NSW 2010, Australia
The Brett Whiteley Studio
Australian artist Brett Whiteley lived in and worked out of this space for four years. It was opened as a museum in 1995, three years after his death, at the back of a leafy side street. There’s a giant burned matchstick out front, an homage to Whiteley’s sculpture “Almost Once,” which sits in the Domain.
The Brett Whiteley Studio, 2 Raper St. Surry Hills NSW 2010, Australia
Vacanza Pizzeria
Sparsely decorated, thin-and-crispy southern Italian pizza, on a corner, with loud banter and chili oil shared among the punters? Yes, please. Go for the Il Pizzaiolo Diavola and revel in the hot sopressa.
Vacanza Pizzeria, 414 Bourke St. Surry Hills NSW 2010, Australia
Riley Wilson
Riley is a native Sydneysider who grew up between Australia and America, with extensive travels throughout Europe and Asia along the way. She’s a journalist and a lover of beach volleyball, roller-skates, olives and tea.
Brook Mitchell
Brook is a contributing photographer to The Washington Post based in Sydney.

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