Combining a rich cultural history with an active arts community, contemporary café culture and more good food options than you could swing an empty stomach at, Redfern is an inner-city suburb with the perfect balance of grit and refinement.
JUAN Bowl & Tea is a modern Japanese restaurant that focuses on variations of one specialised item: don, a dish that pairs neat domes of rice with toppings such as silky egg and slow-cooked pork katsu. A lesson in not judging books by their covers, Happy D's dishes out perfectly juicy dumplings and beer in a charmingly retro setting. The recipes used at RaRa Ramen are top secret—and understandably so. The hearty yet delicate bowls of ramen served here (including a very impressive vegetarian option) are a singular kind of soul food.
A place self-described as being "Where suits and locals come together," follow the neon-lit sign to Misfits, a cosy yet uber-glam bar where vintage celebrity portraits line the walls and cocktails are paired with contemporary dining. To max out on meat while you sample from a range of more than 400 whiskies, head to Mjølner, a Viking-themed bar that provides the kind of fortification that would sustain a pillaging army.
Opened by the team behind television comedy show "The Chasers", Giant Dwarf is a performance space that acts as a basin capturing Sydney's boon of creative talent. Oddball comedy shows, storytelling evenings, miscellaneous performances and hybrids thereof are all part of the venue's ever-evolving program. 107 Projects is another creative space that offers live music nights and film screenings alongside opportunities to get creative yourself—whether that means Chinese calligraphy lessons, a glass-blowing class or a hip-hop dance session.