The Best of Bondi

Bondi Beach is a vibrant neighborhood that’s both down-to-earth and sophisticated. Home to surfers, artists, hippies, foreigners, wealthy suburbanites, and a large population of Hasidic Jews, Bondi is infinitely interesting and full of life. Here’s what to check out.

Sydney, Australia
Australia’s most famous beach has played many roles throughout history. In 1907, a group of local swimmers became the world’s first lifeguards; during World War II, it was fortified by barbed wire and iron stakes; and over the last few decades, it has become a play land for international backpackers. More recently, the bohemian surf hood has morphed into a lively dining and shopping hub, with restaurants ranging from standbys like Sean’s Panaroma to the friendly burger joint Bonditony’s to Italian favorite Da Orazio Pizza and Porchetta, opened by Icebergs Dining Room owner Maurice Terzino. (Don’t miss the pool and sauna at Icebergs either.) Once fed, check in at the QT Hotel, shop along Gould Street, and walk the stunning Bondi to Coogee coastal path.

Anyone can swim in this glorious pool for a mere $5.50. Mon-Fri: 6:00-6:30pm Sat, Sun: 6:30-6:30pm Closed Thursdays.
31 Lamrock Ave, Bondi Beach NSW 2026, Australia
Gallery director Adrian Newstead sources bark paintings, sculptures, and ceremonial artifacts from Aboriginal artists throughout Australia and curates works for local and international shows.
The hike from Coogee Beach to Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia, is one of the best urban paths I have experienced. Although you’re never far from the city, the walk feels quite scenic at times, and the many beaches you come across along the way are all beautiful. Of course, you can always walk from Bondi to Coogee if you find yourself heading in the other direction. Either way, you’ll find yourself at one of Sydney’s top beach destinations. The hike is an easy walk that will include towering cliffs, sandy beaches, public pools, rock formations, parks, and epic vistas along the 6-kilometer trail. You could do the hike in a few hours, but it would be best to allocate at least three hours to fit in a stop at Bronte Beach for lunch or drinks. And if it is a hot day, you’ll want some time for a swim!
75-79 Hall St, Bondi Beach NSW 2026, Australia
The Harris Farms retail center that began openings in 2013 has a few additions for 2014, the first being the highly-anticipated Da Orazio Pizza + Porchetta owned by Iceberg’s Maurice Terzini. Terzini hired a pizza chef from Naples, who cooks fluffy, stretchy, and perfectly charred pies in a wood-fired, brick oven. You can’t go wrong with the margherita-like Reginella, but if you’re feeling more adventurous, try the Prosciutto, the Diavoletta (topped with hot salami), or the vegetarian Caponatina (with zucchini, eggplant, and bell pepper). Since porchetta is also in the restaurant’s name, you have to order some pig; your options are a pork platter served with lemon wedges or the Focaccia Con Porchetta sandwich. Desserts are Italian classics plus a cleansing dish of watermelon. Judging by the noise and the crowds, the pizza here will be tough to beat.
270 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach NSW 2026, Australia
A North Bondi Beach institution since 1993, Sean’s Panaroma is known for unpretentious yet delicious fare, served in a homey dining room alongside fresh-cut flowers and views of Australia’s most famous beach. The simple chalkboard menu of entrées, mains, and desserts changes weekly—sometimes daily—based on what’s growing locally and at owner Sean Moran’s farm in the Blue Mountains (which also hosts stays). The waitstaff is tried and true, with a deep knowledge of Sean’s organic ingredients and wines. On your next visit, you might be treated to burrata-stuffed squash blossoms, a comforting arrangement of steaming mussels and perfectly seared tuna, Sean’s signature free-range herb “chook” (chicken), and a biodynamic red wine from New Zealand.
1 Notts Ave, Bondi Beach NSW 2026, Australia
Overlooking iconic Bondi Beach, Icebergs is arguably Sydney’s most scenic restaurant. The food, from local shrimp to braised beef cheeks, lives up to the setting. 1 Notts Ave., Bondi Beach, 61/(0) 2-9365-9000. This appeared in the August/September 2013 issue.
241 Victoria St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010, Australia
A scoop of Italy in Sydney, this gelato mecca has foodies and bloggers queuing up all week. Go for the salted-caramel-and-white-chocolate gelato, one of the store’s best sellers, or try the “Poached Figs in Marsala” flavor, which is beautifully sweet and infused with a real fig taste. Also not to be missed is the ice cream cake cabinet, which features a dazzling display of colorful, futuristic-looking creations. Gelato Messina’s original location is in Darlinghurst, but outposts can be found in Surry Hills, Pyrmont, and Bondi Beach, among many other neighborhoods.
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