Just 3 kilometres from the city, Paddington is the boutique birthplace of some of Australia’s favourite fashion labels.
Known by locals as Paddo, the tree-lined streets and buildings of this sartorial wonderland were among the first to be deemed fit for historical conservation in Australia. Saunter through the leafy backstreets to find galleries, interior designers and antiques dealers.
The beloved and historic Oxford Street connects the area from Darlinghurst all the way up to Woollahra and Centennial Park. Wander north from Darlinghurst along Oxford Street, and you’ll find yourself in Paddington’s beating heart: Five Ways. Formed by the intersection of Glenmore Road, Goodhope, Heeley and Broughton streets, Five Ways is a hub of cafes, wine bars and shops clad in gorgeous Victorian-style terraces.
We recently called out for Paddington locals to reveal their favourite boutiques and other haunts. We unpicked the thread of Facebook posts and #SydneyLocal hashtags to bring you the word from those in the know.
Paddington by day
“My favourite best kept secret is Funkis Köket cafe. It’s a local’s cafe – still very hidden, and people know about it only via word of mouth” – recommended by Freyja on our online form
How about beginning with breakfast, Scandinavian style, at Köket? The cafe is tucked away in the backyard of Funkis, a sleek Scandi fashion and homewares store. It offers up local and organic produce for your brekkie or brunch. Try the Scandi Bake of organic eggs, spinach, zucchini, mushroom, soft goat cheese and truffle oil with sourdough.
“Coffee and food at its very best, along with exceptional customer service where they know everyone in my little family by name” – recommended by Kate on our online form
Pusher is perfect for a little mid-shop stop-off. It features locally renowned customer service, designer-decayed interior, love-heart-adorned cappuccinos, and delicious baked goods and lunch options.
“You can order your fish and chips here … and batter done here is as soft, lightly crispy and fluffy as croissants” – recommended by @see.taste.do with the #SydneyLocal hashtag
The Fish Butchery is not your average fishmonger. Owned by the same team from renowned local seafood restaurant Saint Peter, the shop focuses on sustainably caught, underused seafood species. It doesn’t look like your average fish shop, either. Rather than selecting your fish off mounds of ice, it’s all about sleek surfaces and stylish glass display cabinets. Have an expert fish butcher prepare your order for you to cook at home or indulge in delicious takeaway.
“Best cakes in town!” – recommended by Trudi on Facebook
This lively little cake studio at Five Ways is the project of 2 fashionable friends. Julian, an art director, and Orlando, a cake designer, have joined creative forces to produce cupcakes that are delicious little works of art.
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“My favourite local spot to get wonderful coffee, bread, and yummy muffins and cakes” – recommended by @alan_toohey on Instagram
Pop into the bright, white storefront of Infinity Bakery. Here, the classic Parisian-style bakehouse brings together the traditions of levain (sourdough starter) baking and a genuine focus on sustainable practices using local produce. You’ll feel fittingly French with one of the bakery’s City Whites bread sticks under your arm.
“One of the cutest shops in William Street. The chocolates and packaging are both divine.” – recommended by Madeleine on our online form.
A truly unique boutique, Just William Chocolates makes delicate and delicious confectionary wrapped up in pretty packaging that also looks good enough to eat. Indulge your sweet tooth with a decadent chocolate truffle (or 2), go nuts for some hazelnut bark or pick up some sweets for your sweetie.
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When you find a pre-loved heaven your walk turns into a shopping spree. I decided to call it #shopercise 🏃♀️💰😂. And when you start thinking about the next FOTF outfit and most shoes in the shop are your size you know you are in trouble. Most expensive walk EVER!!! 😬🤭 #getracy #dinuovopaddington #preloved #recycledfashion #shoes #shoppingheaven #paddington #vintage #getracy #fashionblogger #onlineshopping #belts #handbag #millinery
“I feel runway-ready with the steals and deals I found here!” – recommended by Kathleen on our online form.
Channel your inner Carrie Bradshaw and carry out some great deals on high-end recycled designer fashions at Di Nuovo. This small, not-your-average secondhand shop is a treasure trove of preloved fashions, features garments and accessories from both Australian and international designers. And with regular shipments coming in all the time, there’s always something new to love (again). Di Nuovo is di place to shop!
“The mood here is so calm and chilled. The displays are effortless and on point, it makes every single book look enticing. Good coffee. Old books. Super chilled. Three levels.” – recommended by @nyanyaho via Instagram
Whether it’s eggs benedict and Dr Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham, a breakfast bowl and A Gentleman in Moscow or a sandwich and the latest self-help best-seller, Ampersand is where it’s at for a book and a bite. This cafe-bookstore combo is a refreshing reminder of what it’s like to relax with a good book – one whose pages you have to turn!
“Papinelle always brings the romance and elegance to bedtime. Amazing customer service!” – recommended by @sally_ann28 on Instagram.
Find some of Sydney’s prettiest PJs at Papinelle’s flagship sleepwear store. Open 7 days a week, Papinelle has everything you need to ensure the sweetest of dreams: pyjama sets, knickers, robes, eye masks, slippers and more. With Papinelle’s beautiful prints and soft and sexy fabrics, you’ll be the belle of the boudoir!
The Intersection is home to flagship boutiques of Australian fashion legends like Camilla and Marc, Ginger & Smart, Lee Mathews and Zimmermann. It’s also the location of some very popular and selfie-worthy public art pieces.
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Paddington by night
From art-house cinemas to art deco wine bars, there’s plenty to keep you here until fashionably late.
“Heaps on offer!” – recommended by Jo on Facebook
Owned by 3 brothers, Joe, Anthony and Carmelo Cipri, this classic Italian trattoria is a true family affair. In the kitchen, chef Carmelo fuses the contemporary with the traditional. Order yourself some of his legendary grilled calamari with preserved lemon, crispy herbs and toasted breadcrumbs. Cipri is also known for its service, cheerfully handling any food intolerances upon request.
“Love Supreme – best pizza and Italian wine” – recommended by Anna on Facebook
With a tagline like “Emotional pizza for one and all”, it’s hard not to have a soft spot for Love Supreme. Earning a string of recommendations from Paddington locals, this Italian kitchen lets you pair your pasta or pizza with an authentic Italian cocktail, or take your pick from the extensive Italian wine list.
“I’ve lived in Paddington for a couple of years now, and the best bar for a cocktail or drink with friends – Tequila Mockingbird” – recommended by Jordan on Facebook.
Brilliantly named, Tequila Mockingbird is a Five Ways favourite cosily tucked into a 2-level Paddo terrace and bubbling with life. From its beautiful little outdoor courtyards both on the rooftop and downstairs, you can enjoy the boldly flavoured, tapas-style menu in whatever dining space suits you and your companion(s).
“We are spoilt for choice!” – recommended by Trudi on Facebook.
The Stables is a restaurant and bar folded into the stylish sandstone of one of Paddington’s picturesque lanes. You can enjoy the buzz of the atmosphere (and the cocktails) at the white marble bar, or dine on a designer dish such as the miso-braised eggplant with parmesan and shallots.
“Best $15 steak!” – recommended by Jordan on Facebook
An eastern suburbs favourite, The Royal is a heritage pub. It will quench your thirst for the local while you enjoy the pub classic menu before indulging in cocktails and bubbles with the well-heeled on the rooftop. Been punishing that credit card in the boutiques? You can rest your wallet with a $15 feed for weekday dinner here.
Recommended by Andrew on Facebook
Paddo Inn’s grill is overseen by celeb chef Matt Moran. The atmosphere (and wine list) has a smile-inducing quality that you need to check out. If the grill doesn’t tempt the tastebuds, try the gin-cured ocean trout on the raw menu.
“This place is designed to feel like home … an open-style kitchen, buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto and coriander-flavoured oysters. Mmm” – recommended by @looks_and_cooks on the #SydneyLocal hashtag on Instagram
With an open kitchen at its heart, Fred’s is an opportunity to gather around the hearth. The restaurant is known for a seasonal menu that’s devoted to sustainable produce and the farmers that bring it to the table.
“Exquisite, technical, flawless seafood brunch dining” – recommended by beldonlo via the #SydneyLocal hashtag
Named after the patron saint of fisherpeople, Saint Peter is the restaurant of the aforementioned Fish Butchery. If you didn’t get your fill at the takeaway earlier, you’re going to want to stop in to this sparse sandstone seafood sensation. Your reward will be the most delicious yet simple seafood you can shake a fishtail at … and perhaps a cheeky glass of vino or 2, you know, for the water content.