It’s hard to picture the industrial Pyrmont of old – home to sandstone quarries, a massive sugar refinery and a busy port. The 1990s kicked off an explosive period of urban renewal that continues to this day. In recent years, Pyrmont has seen an influx of residents and employers alike, making this a bustling and fun section of the city.
It’s no wonder people flock here. Architecturally speaking, there’s everything from heritage sandstone buildings to state-of-the-art structures. There are plenty of options for bars, restaurants, shopping and entertainment too.
We asked locals about their favourite parts of the suburb on Facebook and via #SydneyLocal on Instagram. Here’s what they had to say.
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“Pioik Bakery made Pyrmont a better place” – recommended by Mirko on Facebook.
Pop in to Pioik for a bit of baked goodness. This bakery, whose moniker comes from the ancient Egyptian Coptic word for ‘bread’, delivers on its name. Baskets of fragrant loaves line the brick walls, while other goodies bake in the humming open kitchen. Glass cases beckon with other breakfast, lunch and dessert delights. Grab a biscotti or meringue on the go, lunch on toasted sandwiches and flatbread pizzas or linger over can’t-resist sweets.
“Wander towards the waterfront and you’ll chance across Clementine’s tucked in a stone-walled courtyard. Locals come for the superb coffee and stay for the banter with founder Eric Mendoza while tucking into a truly memorable melted cheese and smashed avo toast smothered with chilli lemon.” – recommended by Lucinda on our online form.
We hear the meatball sub and choc chip cookies are pretty great too! Plus, it’s a great spot to grab a takeaway coffee and head down to the waterfront for a harbourside stroll.
“What’s better than alfresco brekkie at Morso? They do a breakfast gnocchi – with poached egg, bacon and truffle oil – that might just be my favourite morning meal in Sydney!” – recommended by Kathleen on our online form
Café Morso combines gourmet coffee and generous servings with stunning waterfront views. Don’t need a caffeine fix? Try one of Morso’s rich milkshakes, cold-pressed juices, smoothies or ‘breakfast tonics’ ( cocktails). The primarily Australian wine list is lovely, too. You’ll find meals here that you won’t find elsewhere. For breakfast, try the lemon and mascarpone hot cakes with almond praline butter, rhubarb and apple compote. For lunch, the hot-smoked barramundi pate with house-made lavosh and caper relish. It’s a pretty special spot, and for special occasions, you can even hire the venue for private night-time events.
“Best coffee in the area!” – recommended by Nicole on our online form.
With such a strong work ethic in Pyrmont, it’s no surprise the cafe culture is alive and thriving here. This cosy indoor/outdoor spot is known for its friendly staff and good food. Want lunch for brekkie or brekkie for lunch? Social Brew won’t judge. Its all-day breakfast and lunch menus have you covered. Plus, the café is pup-friendly, so your dog can also socialise at Social Brew.
“For shopping, you cannot go past Urban Oasis on Harris Street – an eclectic mix of homewares, fashion and accessories from mainly local designers” – recommended by Marie on our online form.
More than a decade old, this retail gem is now a neighbourhood veteran. Open 7 days a week, Urban Oasis is as much a destination for a well-edited range of women’s fashion as it is for homewares, books, toys and children’s clothing. The boutique has a particular focus on Australian design and is a saviour for anyone looking for gift for the next anniversary, baby shower or birthday.
“Had an amazing experience at The Darling Spa … sun, steam, essential oils, massage and warm ginger-cinnamon tea with friends” – recommended by @zeinachalich with the #SydneyLocal hashtag
If you really want to show yourself a bit of TLC, deliver yourself into the capable hands of the team at The Darling Spa. Located on Level 2 of the Darling Hotel, it’s the perfect place for pampering. This luxe spa features a decadent list of face and body treatments, from facials, body wraps and massages to pregnancy treatments, couples indulgences and group packages.
“The place for the freshest prawns in Sydney. Seafood cravings ticked!” – recommended by @jelak.not with the #SydneyLocal hashtag
This massive fish market complex on Blackwattle Bay is a foodie paradise. Seafood retailers sell all the fresh fish, crustaceans and shellfish you need for a veritable seafood feast. Plus, you can find all the delicious accompaniments here, too. Sydney Fish Market is also home to a number of restaurants and cafes: Blackwattle Deli, Fisherman’s Fine Wines, Gregory’s Bread and Vic’s Meat Market. There’s also Waterside Fruit Connection greengrocer, as well as Boat Shed Gifts. Take your haul home or enjoy an alfresco lunch on the waterside boardwalk. If you want to do more than just buy and eat the fish, behind-the-scenes fish market tours happen every weekday. The on-site Sydney Seafood School offers a program of cooking classes every month.
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There are plenty of shining stars of Pyrmont nightlife. When the work day’s done, head to one of these brilliant bars and restaurants.
“The perfect Pyrmont bar” – recommended by Naomi on Facebook.
Down-to-earth, warm and welcoming, this is a favourite spot for after-work drinks for employees from local tech and media companies. Sometimes there’s just nothing better than a fresh thin-crust pizza alongside an easy-drinking glass of white wine or a cold draught beer. You can have a decent but relaxed chat about the carefully curated wine list here. The interiors are eclectic and homey and the lush courtyard, formerly a stable, is an unexpected bonus in use all year round.
“Bar Zini is amazing!!!!” – recommended by Lisa-Anne on Facebook.
A fresh, Italian-inspired menu and cool winebar vibe. Bar Zini is the ultimate relaxed after-work drink and dinner destination. Housed in a bygone-era terrace house, Bar Zini offers innovative, daily-changing dishes. It’s also a great spot for an intimate lunch or breakfast while people watching on Harris Street.
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“A great addition to Pyrmont” – recommended by Christine on Facebook
This neighbourhood fixture and character-filled pub, one of Sydney’s oldest, has seen a recent renaissance. The Terminus closed its doors more than 3 decades ago but reopened in March 2018 in all its green-tiled glory. With celeb chef Colin Fassnidge as the man behind the menu, you know the pub grub is a cut above. Come in for the casual eats, cocktails, craft beers and courtyard. Stay for the ‘new local’ community vibe.
“For dinner, Made in Italy and Le Trader are good choices, serving up Italian fare and French dishes, respectively” – recommended by Marie on our online form.
Now a chain of 6 outlets, Made in Italy’s first location was right here in Pyrmont. The restaurant prides itself on the best ingredients and a personal touch. That means you get handmade pizza dough and pastas, premium antipasti, slow-cooked sauces and garden-fresh salads. Be sure to save room for the Nutella calzone – hazelnut heaven!
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this hole in the wall serves up classic French fare. Get your snail on with escargot à la bourgogne. Satisfy your cheese craving with soufflé trois fromages et son veloute d’asperges (3-cheese soufflé with asparagus cream). End on a sweet note with crêpes suzette. Bon appetit!