Inner West in Sydney
The Inner West of Sydney stretches from the small inner city suburb of Chippendale (south of Central Railway Station) to the secondary railway hub and business-retail centre of Strathfield to the west. Areas of interest to the traveller would include: Newtown, Glebe,Balmain, and Leichhardt.
The Inner West suburbs are amongst the oldest parts of Sydney. They developed along Parramatta Road, the road that links the City of Sydney with the City of Parramatta, at the source of the Parramatta River. The architecture of the Inner West ranges from terraced houses to small mansions and reflects its development in the Victorian (1840-1900) and Federation (1901-1914) periods. The area is quite culturally diverse. Its proximity to the Sydney central business district makes it ideal for city commuters and an alternative base for business.
The main form of public transport to this district from the city is bus, with numerous and frequent Sydney Buses routes leading to the Inner West. Route numbers in this area of Sydney begin with 4 or 5; useful routes include the 431-434 to Glebe/Balmain, the 436-440 and Metrobus 10 to Leichhardt, 422-428 to Newtown, the 480-483 to Strathfield Station and the 500 buses which travel up Victoria Rd past the suburb of Drummoyne. Note that some buses may be marked "Prepay Only", you must buy tickets from ticket outlets such as newsagents or convenience stores as they are not available for sale on buses.
Ferries from the city provide a scenic route to the area via the inner harbour and Parramatta River, stopping at various wharves along the way. The most useful for travellers are the wharves at Balmain. Access to the ferry services is from Circular Quay.
By light rail
Another possible means of access to the Inner West is on the Metro light rail service, which travels from Central station via Darling Harbour to Glebe and Lilyfield (near Leichhardt). This is an interesting way to travel, as it follows the old goods (freight) lines which serviced Sydney's ports.
Only the more southerly parts of the district are served by rail lines:
- The Cityrail  Inner West line passes through this district, stopping at Macdonaldtown, Newtown, Stanmore, Petersham, Lewisham, Summer Hill, Ashfield, Croydon, Burwood and Strathfield.
- The Cityrail Bankstown line stops at Erskineville, St Peters and Marrickville.
Both lines are served regularly: about once every 15 minutes outside of peak hour, with services commencing at about 5AM and ending about midnight.
- The Enmore Theatre, 130 Enmore Road, Newtown. ph 02 9550 3666. fax 02 9550 2990. email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Enmore Theatre is one of Sydney's premier smaller live venues. International acts who have performed here include the Rolling Stones, Ani Difranco, Flaming Lips, Eels, the White Stripes and Asian Dub Foundation, Joe Cocker, Michelle Shocked, Dandy Warhols, Jethro Tull, and Mars Volta.
- The Annandale Hotel, corner Parramatta Rd and Nelson St, Annandale ph. 02 9550 1078 is another of Sydney's best pub venues. It hosts many of Australia's best known indie bands and international acts. Cult Movie night ('Cult Sinema) on Mondays.
- Newtown's main street, King Street is architecturally probably the best preserved Victorian high street in Sydney. Neglect preserved it in the first place - no money was to be made by knocking things down in the twentieth century, and now regulation more or less ensures that more is being conserved and restored rather than demolished. Along its length you'll find the usual mix of shops in a major city's boho zone: second hand book shops, over thirty (at last count) Thai restaurants, Vietnamese restaurants, cafes, clothing shops and an assortment of odd quirky little places.
- New Theatre (address: 542 King Street, Newtown)
New Theatre is one of the oldest continuously producing theatre companies in Australia with a proud history that is intertwined with much of Sydney's social development and Australian theatre history.
From our beginnings as a political workers' theatre, we have grown to become one of Sydney's leading independent community theatre companies. Our productions range across drama, comedy, musicals, gay theatre, family shows, political cabaret and specialised education programs. We have revisited classic texts with bold new interpretations and premiered some of the finest contemporary writing.
- Newtown Festival is held annually in November and features local bands, crafts, food and cultural activities. Camperdown Park, Newtown.
Newtown and Enmore are also home to Reclaim the Streets, Under the Blue Moon , zine and comic fairs, Walk The Streets, and other alternative festivals and activist events during the year.
- The regular markets in Glebe and Rozelle (near Balmain) are a great place to shop with the locals and look for unusual bargains. Held in the grounds of the local public primary schools the Glebe markets are on every Saturday and the Rozelle markets both Saturday and Sunday.
- The Camperdown Bowling Club also hosts markets on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month - starting on February 13th 2010. Have some fun playing barefoot bowls and check out the markets while you're there.
- Gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Road, Glebe (new books) and 191 Glebe Point Road, Glebe (second hand books). ph 02 9660 2333 (new book store) and 02 9552 2526 (second hand).  For booklovers, Gleebooks is Sydney's premier independent bookshop catering for a wide variety of readers. There is also a Gleebooks bookshop in the inner-west suburb of Dulwich Hill.
- Gould's Book Arcade 32 King Street, Newtown. ph 02 9519 8947.  Gould's is likely the most chaotic used bookshop in the world. Specialties include Marxism, Labour history, magazines, and Australian history. Open until midnight daily.
- Sappho Books Cafe & Wine Bar  is a large general second hand book store. It is located next to Gleebooks, with an upstairs area and incorporating a cafe in its leafy courtyard which becomes a wine and tapas bar at night. Sappho is quickly gaining prominence both as a great book store and for the quality of its coffee. 51 Glebe Pt Rd, Glebe. Ph 02 9552 4498.
- Better Read Than Dead, In the heart of Newtown. This is arguably one of the Inner-west's largest book stores with a large selection of biographies and hard to find titles. The store also has an ABC shop upstairs.
- The shopping complex at Birkenhead Point contains a large number of designer factory outlets for fashion on the cheap. Currently being redeveloped, and a little messy, and doesn't make the most of its spot by the harbour. It can be accessed by ferry or buses along Victoria Road.
The Inner West is really a great place to eat, with a choice of "Eat Streets", where you can get to, and stroll along and do some menu inspecting before you choose your favourite.
- Thai Style (address: 16 Burwood Rd Concord) (directions: cnr Parramatta Rd and Burwood Rd) 9745 4405
Great Thai food at great local prices, eat in, book a party or get takeaway.
Fuji Teppanyaki Japanese restaurant, 246 Burwood Rd, Burwood, ☎ +61 2 9745 3188. Not only do they serve the usual sushi and sashimi, their specialty is hot-plate style cooking show (teppanyaki), which the chef cooks and serve all the fresh produce in front of you.
If you are not in the mode for Asian cuisine there are also a range of cafes in Burwood towards the northern (Westfield Shopping Center) end. Or alternatively Concord, has a small italian quarter, where you can find a range of Italian restaurants serving wood oven fired pizza and home made pasta. Best of all the gelato shops runs all year round, serving home made desserts. Take bus 464, 466 from opposite side of Burwood train station.
Balmain is a cosy neighbourhood with lots of cute houses and quirky shops. Ballast Point Park is a great spot for a picnic with a view over the Harbour bridge. You can get to Balmain by ferry or bus. There are also a lot of pubs around and a good selection of restaurants, mostly located around the main street, Darling Street.
- Rosso Pomodoro (address: Shop 90-91, 24 Buchanan St, Balmain (White Bay)) 9555 5924
open: 6PM-10PM, Tuesday-Sunday
This is a bit further out of Balmain in a more residential area, but they serve excellent authentic Italian pizzas.
- Pomegranate Thai (address: 191 Darling Street) (02) 9555 5693
Excellent and authentic modern thai food.
- Riverview Hotel (address: 29 Birchgrove Road, Balmain) 02 9810 1151
price: Prices - Bar menu: Tasting plates $10, Pizzas $18. Dining room: Entries around $20, Mains $ 25-30
open: Bar: Mon-Sat 12-12, Sun 12-10. Dining room: Fri-Sun 12-3, Mon-Sun 6-10
You can choose to eat in the dining room upstairs but you can also choose from a selection of the same menu and eat in the bar. The menu is Modern Australian and courses are well thought through and executed. The bar also offers tasting plates and pizzas.
- Concentrated on Glebe Point Road, there is a variety of excellent restaurants to suit a range of budgets.
- Badde Manors (address: 37 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe) +61 2 9660 3797
open: 7.30AM-Midnight (until 2AM Fri/Sat)
Cozy vegetarian cafe with great desserts.
- Inferno (address: Broadway Shopping Centre, 2 Bay St, Broadway) +61 2 9211 4141
- Saigon Saigon (address: 97 Glebe Point Road, Glebe) +61 2 9660 3888
Vietnamese restaurant with a nice low-key atmosphere and soft lighting. Try the salt and pepper squid.
- The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay (address: Located at the end of Ferry Road) (directions: From Pyrmont Road turn right at Taylor Street and then right again at Ferry Street and continue to the end of the road. The Restaurant is by the water) (02) 9518 9011
price: Prices approximately $27 for starters and $ 40 for mains
open: Lunch Thurs- Sun from noon, Dinner Tues-Sun from 6 pm
Fine dining, Modern Australian, specialising in seafood.
- Glebe Point Diner (address: 407 Glebe Point Rd) (02) 9660 2646
price: Prices around $18 for starters, $25-30 for mains
open: Lunch Fri-Sun from noon, Dinner Mon-Sat from 6 pm
Modern Australian with french influences with a carefully selected seasonal menu. Fine dining feel but a relaxed and un-pretentious atmosphere.
- Almustafa (address: 23 Glebe Point Rd) (02) 9660 9006
price: Prices around $10-15 for starters, $14-28 for mains
open: Sun-Thur 5.30-11pm, Fri-Sat 5.30-12
Authentic Lebanese family friendly restaurant with cosy atmosphere. Great for vegetarians. BYO wine.
Norton Street is Sydney-speak for Italian, although the food here is generally pricey and mass-prepared. As a rule, avoid restaurants in the Italian Forum as they're generally touristy. Thai, Brazilian and Lebanese restaurants have also recently opened in Leichhardt. For more Italian options go to nearby Haberfield.
- Braza Churrascaria (address: 13 Norton Street, Leichhardt) +61 2 9572 7921
Popular Brazilian BBQ restaurant recently opened in Leichhardt - all you can eat for $38. Extremely busy on weekends, so bookings are advised. Not recommended for vegetarians!
- Bar Italia (address: 169 Norton Street, Leichhardt) +61 2 9560 9981
A Leichhardt institution renowned for their award winning gelato - which attracts lines that go out the door on Friday and Saturday nights (and constantly increases the price). Bar Italia also have a strict rule of nothing but regular milk in your coffee - so if you want soy or skim get your coffee elsewhere. Staff can sometimes be abrupt and rude, but it's well worth it for the gelato.
- Martini (address: Level 1 99 Norton St, Leichhardt (enter through Palace Cinemas)) +61 2 9568 3344
This place sells the typical woodfired pizza and pasta, but go here for the movie meal deals where you get a pizza or pasta and a movie ticket for around $15 - almost the price of an adult movie ticket.
- La Disfida (address: 109 Ramsay St, Haberfield) 9798 8299
Excellent authentic Italian pizza. In Haberfield, which is down the street from Leichhardt. A bus from Norton St or Marion St can get you there in about 5 minutes.
- Pasticceria Papa (address: 145 Ramsay St, Haberfield) 9798 6894
This place is famous for their ricotta cheesecake, but they also serve hot foods such as foccacia, arancini, etc.
- Ocean Foods (address: 154 Lyons Rd (Cnr Gipps St), Drummoyne) +61 2 9181 4336
Some people claim (including the shop) that this is the best fish and chips around. Prepare for a queue if you come on a Friday night or the weekend.
The King Street strip is a cheap eats paradise, with food from all corners of the globe, including a strong Thai presence. Try also the Portuguese bakeries of nearby Petersham for their famed custard tarts.
- Green Gourmet (address: 115 King Street, Newtown) +61 2 9519 5330
open: Lunch 12PM-3PM; Dinner 6PM-10PM
A specialist 100% vegan Chinese restaurant and grocer. They do an all vegan buffet - but beware, they charge according to the weight of food on your plate and include the (very heavy) plate's weight.
- Guzman Y Gomez (address: 175 King Street, Newtown) +61 2 9517 1533
Great fast food style Mexican.
- Izote (address: 6 King Street, Newtown) +61 2 8084 9651
open: 5.30PM-Late, Tuesday-Sunday
Nice Mexican food, down the Sydney Uni end of King St. One of the only places in Sydney where you can get ceviche, and they also serve a decent chicken mole.
- Kilimanjaro (address: 280 King Street, Newtown) +61 2 9557 4565
open: 12PM-3PM weekdays, 12PM-late weekends
This African restaurant has good tasty meat dishes. Be prepared to squint a bit at the chalkboard menu when you go in, and be sure to order side-dishes: the mains are not very large. They don't really cater to vegetarians. Mains approx $15, sides $5. Nearby sister-restaurant Lat-Dior (see website) is open for dinner.
- Thai La-ong (address: 89 King Street, Newtown) +61 2 9550 5866
Thai La-ong has some of the spicier dishes among Newtown's many Thai restaurants. Their yellow curry and pad see eiw are worth a special mention. The restaurant is not air-conditioned and can be a bit uncomfortable on hot Sydney summer nights. Mains approx $10, but daily lunch specials include a plethora of generous mains for $6.
- Crispy Inn Bakery (address: 203 King Street, Newtown) +61 2 9557 3910
Across the road from yet another 7-11, and much more interesting. They're always baking, so there's always something fresh. They have a variety of pies, cakes, rolls, and loaves.
- Bitton Café (address: 37a Copeland St, Alexandria) +61 2 9519 5111
open: open from 7AM, closes 5PM (Sat/Sun) or 7PM (Mon/Tue) or 9PM (Wed-Fri)
A small gourmet cafe opposite Erskineville Park, mixing French Cuisine with Indian spices. Their homemade speciality jams are sensational. A popular breakfast spot for locals, expect to wait for seating on weekends. Mains $15-20.
- Thai Pothong (address: 294 King Street, Newtown) (directions: 50m from Newtown Station) +61 2 9519 8050
price: Mains $15-$29
open: Lunch 12-3PM (Tue-Sun) Dinner 6PM-10/11PM (7 days)
One of Sydney's premier Thai Restaurants with understated black and white decor and awesome but relatively pricey food. This place won Thai Restaurant of the Year for several years running many years ago, and one taste of the food will show you why. It has since expanded three times and incorporates a Thai gift shop.
- Guzzle Tandoori (address: 453 King Street, Newtown) +61 2 9557 3537
Excellent authentic Pakastani meals, typically about $15/person. Save some room for the dessert naan, delicious!
- Sumalee Thai @ The Bank Hotel (address: 324 King Street, Newtown) (directions: Next to Newtown Station, enter through the main bar and go down stairs) +61 2 8568 1988
This institution of Newtown was completely rebuilt in 2006. Its secret beer garden - Sumalee Thai - has probably the best Thai in Sydney, although some dishes are very spicy. The menu looks expensive but each dish will be enough for two people. Finish the night at the cocktail bar upstairs (see listing in "Drink").
- Linda's on King St (address: 341 King St, Newtown) (directions: 50m south from Newtown Station) (02) 9550 6015
price: Mains $28
open: Tue-Sat from 6PM
- Rowda Ya Habibi (address: 101 King Street, Newtown)
open: 10:30 AM-midnight
This dingy looking store is far and away the best place for a take away doner kebab in Newtown. Unlike other Newtown kebab stores, which seem to largely cater to drunk people stumbling out of pubs, Ya Habibi's kebabs are fairly authentic (the tabouleh and sauces are made by the owners, and they include a very tasty pickled red cabbage), and at $5.50 AUD for a falafel roll or $6.50 for chicken or lamb, are actually a little cheaper. Also worth checking out are their dolmas ($1.50 each) and their large, soft and delicious pieces of turkish delight (80 cents each or $5 for a box, but most of the time the box is worse value).
- AB Hotel (formerly The Ancient Briton), 225 Glebe Point Road, Glebe. ph 02 9660 1417. This hotel has just undergone major renovations and is looking great with a Russian theme inside. The AB claims to have Sydney's coldest beer on tap. It's a large and not terribly crowded local pub with pool tables, couches and a bar made out of a fishtank. Cajun food is served daily, about $15 mains including Jambalaya, fried chicken, fish cakes and sweet potato pie.
- The Bank Hotel, 324 King Street, Newtown. ph 02 9557 1692. This is an enormous pub only 2 minutes walk from Newtown train station. It has a Thai restaurant (see listing in "Eat") as well as a bar. Wednesday night is lesbians' night. Look out for half-priced cocktails early in the night and cheap jugs of beer. Level access and lift, disabled toilet on lower ground floor.
- The Town Hall Hotel, 326 King St Newtown. ph 02 9557 1206. Dirty, noisy and seedy, this pub is otherwise known as The Townie and is the best place in Newtown. Older residents of Newtown and horse race punters drink downstairs, everyone else heads upstairs to Platform 8. Home to most of Sydney's indie band scene at one time or another.
- The Imperial Hotel, Erskineville Road, Erskineville (next to BP service station).  The Imperial, 5 minutes from the heart of Newtown is a gay and lesbian pub and nightclub which features entertainment late THU-SAT. This pub featured in the opening scene of 'Priscilla, Queen of the Desert'.
- The Sydney Rowing Club, 613 Great North Road, Abbotsford. 02 9712 1199.  Sydney's Original Rowing Club, established in 1870, is a historic site with a chic and contemporary venue on a glorious riverside setting, just 20 minutes ferry ride from Circular Quay. With fresh seafood available everyday for lunch and dinner, an expansive beverage list and live music on the riverside deck Thursday, Friday and Sunday, it's the ultimate setting for the archetypal Sydney experience.
- Harbour Breeze Lodge, 5 Collingwood Street, Drummoyne. ph (02) 9181 2420. fax (02) 9799 0738. email email@example.com. Clean, quiet, budget accommodation especially suited to holiday-makers, business-people, working-travellers and students who require affordable three-star accommodation just minutes from Sydney CBD by ferry or bus. The stately Victorian building has a leafy rear garden, bright and spacious rooms, and an upstairs guest balcony that attains fresh gentle breeze off harbour waters. Rates: $60/night for single, $80/night for twin or double, $90/night for family. Weekly rates are available for all lengths of stay.
- The Abbey On King, 379 King Street, Newtown. 379 King Street, Newtown offers backpackers and budget minded travellers a friendly atmosphere and a clean, secure place to stay in the heart of cosmipolitan Newtown. Predominantly dormitory style accommodation with some single and double rooms. Features include a internet lounge with fast connections, a fully equipped kitchen and dining facilities, laundry and ironing facilities, free linen, large showers, crystal clean amenities, free pay TV, storage lockers and safety deposit boxes.
- Billabong Gardens, 5-11 Egan Street, Newtown. ph 02 9550 3236 or 1800 806 419 (freecall from within Australia). fax 02 9550 4352. email firstname.lastname@example.org. Located in a quiet side street off bustling King Street, Billabong Gardens is a purpose built hotel/motel offering excellent quality accommodation no matter what your needs. From comfortable doubles with private bathroom to multi-configuaration family rooms or even hostel beds, Billabong offers a complete range of options for the budget traveller looking for true value for money. Facilities include a solar heated pool surrounded by a tropical courtyard with bbq area; large fully equipped communal kitchen; laundry; TV lounge with free internet terminals; free Wi-Fi in all rooms, on-site security parking (fee); and all just a 5 minutes by bus to the city, close to all Newtown live venues (including the Enmore theatre) and 5 minute walk to the RPA Hospital.
- Glebe Point YHA, 262-264 Glebe Point Road, Glebe. ph 02 9692 8418. fax 02 9660 0431. email email@example.com. A backpacker hostel located on the major Glebe Point Road food area. Dorm beds $24-$28 per night. $68 per night per double or twin room.
- Broadway University Motor Inn, 25 Arundel Street, Glebe. ph 02 9660 5777. fax 02 9660 2929. This motel has basic rooms in the usual motel style: double beds, television, small private bathrooms. It is within easy walking distance of Glebe Point Road, and is also on several major western bus routes. It is located about 10 minutes bus ride from the city. Double room $140 per night for two people.
- Annam Suites Cascata, 5 Croydon Street in Petersham. ph 02 9569 0547 - A boutique executive apartment building located just 10 minute drive from the CBD. Architecturally designed with many features like the striking steel and glass waterfall tower lift and magnificent views of the Sydney skyline and Harbour Bridge from most of the Executive Apartment Suites. The apartments feature all the latest in stainless steel appliances, 2 Bathrooms one with a bathtub, 32’’ LCD TV and a beautifully appointed interior design furniture package.Rates 2br $220 per night 3br $300 per night minimum 3 night stay.
- The Marrickville Metro shopping centre (34 Victoria Road, Marrickville) has two supermarkets, a Kmart and a typical range of specialty stores. 
- Church Street Medical Practice (Church Street, Newtown) is one of the best general pratice clinics in the Inner West.