A Working Holiday Maker’s Guide to the Best Places in Sydney


UK expat Ashley Leszczuk reveals what it’s like living in Sydney and what gems he’s found around the city. 

Name: Ashley Leszczuk
Occupation: Underwriter, Crisis Management
Current Location: Darlinghurst, Sydney
Originally from: Chelmsford, Essex

What was your first perception of Sydney when you moved here?

Actually how small a city it is, which is great for getting around and exploring suburbs, far easier than London or New York, for example, where I’ve lived and worked before.

What’s your favourite restaurant in Sydney?

There are so many great restaurants around the suburbs, and, especially where I live, there is so much choice and I have never had a bad experience. One place that I do love and go back to again and again is Ziggi’s in Chippendale. Ziggi creates Aus-raeli food, a mix of Australian and Israeli cuisine. There is always work from local artists hung on the walls, and sometimes you may even see artists working their magic in the bar itself.

What’s your favourite place to hang out on the weekend?

I don’t really have a ‘best place’, as there are so many places to explore. From wandering around Darlinghurst/Surry Hills/Potts Point, to catching the ferry to Manly Beach, to a lazy Sunday on the Opal card, which basically involves wandering down to Circular Quay, picking a wharf at random, picking a destination at random, getting off the other side and finding somewhere to eat. Your own mini adventure of a Sunday afternoon.

Where will you find the best cup of coffee?

Without a doubt, the best place I have found is the Crown Street Grocer, on the corner of Crown and Foveaux Streets. Great selection of overseas blends and a perfect spot to sit in the window seats, rummage through a local paper and people-watch (my favourite past-time).

Where’s your favourite place to go for breakfast?

The best spot I have found is on Bayswater Road, Kings Cross at Uliveto Cafe. Tucked away, this is a great spot.

What’s the best secret hangout you’ve found?

Any of the small bars: Mojo Record Store, Frankie’s Pizza, The Barber Shop, Ramblin’ Rascals – the list can be quite endless. Although these are still busy, they are away from your standard watering holes and have a great mix of local beers and classic cocktails. Or, just get out of the city and go to anywhere in Newtown/Erskineville!

Where’s the best beach to escape to from the city?

If you have access to a car, head north to Palm Beach. About an hour’s drive north of the CBD, it’s a great spot for surfing and body boarding. Alternatively, I quite enjoy walking from Manly to Shelly Beach – it only takes about 15 minutes or so, and it’s a lovely little spot with a great bar/restaurant next door to sit back and relax after exhausting yourself in the sea all afternoon.

What are the best things about living in Darlinghurst?

I love Darlinghurst. There are laneways with secret cafés, secret bars, great pubs, a 20-minute walk to the city, a 20-minute walk to Elizabeth Bay Parklands, a bus to Bondi in 30 minutes. It really is central enough for a lot of things. You have Surry Hills on the doorstep, Paddington, Moore Park for footy and all things sporting.

What’s the best thing you’ve discovered about living in Australia to date?

Australia has an amazing array of good ales, combined with some amazing food. You really can’t go wrong to kick back, find a spot and watch the world go by.

Post contributed by BBM – see more tips for getting started in Australia here.

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