Darlinghurst Exposed: A Cultural and Vibrant Suburb

Play, Sydney / 25 February 2014

People are constantly  dreaming of travelling the world, experiencing unique adventures and searching for cultural diversity and life’s vitality. This innate desire often means that we overlook our own country, and not even that, our own backyard, which can be just as culturally vibrant and exciting.
Once a slum and red-light district, Darlinghurst is arguably now one of Sydney’s most diverse and effervescent suburbs, with plenty of cafes, restaurants, bars, clubs, art scenes and more. It’s a little bubble of spirit and culture; a place where you can’t help but be completely enamoured with its charms and quirks.
Whilst it’s not my own personal backyard but I did recently take a tour through this inner-city suburb and found some treasure.


Infinity Sourdough

A little bakery on Victoria Road, Infinity Sourdough is owned by chef Phillip Searle who brought his passion for organic sourdough to Darlinghurst. A bit of dough from each batch is used the next day to maintain consistency in taste. Infinity Sourdough offers different kinds of sourdough, as well as pies, sweets and some great coffee. It’s open from 5.30am until around 10.30pm but the bakers work through the night so if you’re ever after a late night bread fix knock on the window loud enough and they’ll sell you a loaf. Infinity Sourdough

Boon Chocolates 

Small, decadent chocolates and praline that are natural and always fresh. The bottle and shoe you see below? Chocolate. They do mass catering for events, and are really creative with their chocolate decorations and flavours, like ginger with mandarin chocolate or coffee chocolate. Boon Chocolates


Sedition Barber

Sedition Barber has been a barbershop on Victoria Road for over 40 years. Current owner Michael Joyce is the barber and also uses the small shop to feature his artworks. e small shop. It even hosts the off music festival. Yes, you read that right. With a capacity of about 50 people, various festivals and music acts have been hosted at Sedition. It really must be seen to be believed. Sedition Barber

Darlinghurst Goal & National Arts School

From 1840 until 1912, what is now the National Art School was Darlinghurst Gaol. Though there are still old remnants of the goal days still in tact, the space is now used as a school for arts. This is a cool space with lots of history- worth a wander some time. Darlinghurst Gaol/National Art School
This Darlinghurst gem was opened in 1982 by partners Wayne Harrison and Les McDonald, who still run it today. It’s a beloved space for the gay and lesbian community, with the bookshop specialising in homosexual literature. The Bookshop


The Tool Shed

Toolshed is a clean and safe environment for the local community to purchase sex toys and other sexual fantasy items. The staff are knowledgable about the products and there is no judgement at all. Enter via an old elevator by the back, but make sure you don’t go up to the top level (unless you want to) as it’s a well known sex-bar! The Toolshed

Platform 72

Platform 72 on Oxford St sells a plethora of things including art work by local artists and designers. Selling jewellery, art, homewares, sculptures and art, Platform 72 supports Darlinghurst artists and their work, taking no commission for the sales. Platform 72

He Made She Made

He Made She Made is another cultural space and platform that promotes the work of local artists. Since opening in 2011, it has showcased over 300 artists, designers and makers throughout the community. He Made She Made

Pocket Bar

You’ll find popular small bar Pocket Bar on the corner of Crown and Burton Street, often with a line snaking out the door on the weekend. Popular for it’s delicious cocktails (and fabulous names like a snozberry and freaky tiki tea) and array of crepes, Pocket Bar is the spot for afterwork drinks or pre-drinks on a Saturday night on the town. Pocket Bar

Bar Reggio

Bar Reggio is one of Darlo’s best Italian eateries. It’s well known amongst the locals for serving up delicious Italian-fare at very reasonable prices. Bar Reggio

Love, Tilly Devine

With reference to the 1920’s infamous madam, Matilda ‘Tilly’ Divine, this hole in the wall bar is a converted cellar of a bottle shop on Crown St (the above pic is not Tilly, it’s the lovely Maxy, one of our Darlo tour guides). Offering over 300 different wines from all around the world, Love Tilly Devine won ‘Best Bar List’ 2013 in the Australian Wine List of the Year. Love, Tilly Devine
Tell us, where are you favourite Darlinghurst spots? Any hidden secrets or places missed on the list?