Little Black Book

A Local’s Guide to Marrickville, Sydney’s Coolest Suburb

by Shelley Simpson
Two Photo courtesy of Two Chaps.

Block out out a few hours to explore Sydney's hippest suburb with this hit list from the founder of minimalist ceramics line Mud Australia.

MARRICKVILLE, Australia - My relationship with Marrickville began almost 20 years ago when I was living in Bondi Beach and needed a bigger studio. In those days, it was difficult to get a good coffee in Marrickville, but now there’s an entire food and culture revolution with everything from gin distilleries to beer breweries, fantastic bakeries, wine makers, organic markets, art, and more. What really drew me to the area, and what I consider the most fantastic thing about Marrickville, is that there is industry in close proximity to Sydney with a magical mix of many cultures including, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Italian, and Greek. As a local, these are the businesses I find myself visiting over and over again.

Two Chaps
122 Chapel St.; +61-2-9572-8858
A local, organic vegetarian restaurant on our block. Best doughnuts in the Sydney area and magnificent salads in a cozy space with exposed brick walls throughout.

Feather and Bone
8/10-14 Lilian Fowler Pl.; +61-2-9818-2717
An amazing butcher with a sustainable approach. One of the best parts of this deli is that the people behind it truly care about what they’re doing, which can be seen (and tasted) in their food.

Sift Produce
8/10-14 Lilian Fowler Pl.; +61-2-9818-2717
An organic, local forager, available on the weekends at Feather and Bone. The best part? If you can’t get to Marrickville on the weekend, you can place an order with their team and they’ll deliver a mixed box of fresh fruits and vegetables to your door.

Poor Toms Gin Hall
6 Chalder Ave.; +61-2-9557-2282
Our team’s favorite place for a Friday afternoon finance meeting. They have a bespoke and seasonal cocktail list. Be careful — the strawberry gin is dangerous.

Shelley at the Mud Australia headquarters. Photo courtesy of Mud Australia.
Photo courtesy of Feather and Bone.

Pizza Madre
2/205 Victoria Rd.
The brainchild of Piero Pignatti Morano (founder of Two Chaps) serving up sourdough woodfired-pizza and Negronis on tap. The gluten-free version is a real game-changer.

Marrickville Bowling Club
91 Sydenham Rd.; +61-2-9557-1185
A classic Australian music venue, loved by all. A great place for craft beer, good food, and live music any day of the week.

Gelato Franco
281 Marrickville Rd.
The newest gelateria in town, a favorite of the team and perfect for a hot day. It’s an old-school-looking place and the only shopfront on Marrickville Road front with wood-paneled windows opening to the street and no sign.

Illawarra Road
The best, most authentic Vietnamese food can be found on this street, which hasn’t changed in my 20 years in Marrickville. I recommend the Bún Thịt Nướng at Hello Auntie.

Henson Park
22 Centennial St.
A lovely park near the center of town. Each year they host an annual Reclink community cup, which has a great community atmosphere. The event celebrates Australia’s dynamic music and community broadcasting sectors all while raising funds to help Reclink Australia provide sporting and art opportunities for disadvantaged Australians.

Photo courtesy of Sift Produce.

Petty Cash Café
68 Victoria Rd.; +61-2-9557-2377
A cozy little café known for brunch and espresso. I love grabbing lunch from this spot and heading over to nearby Enmore Park – it’s an iconic Marrickville spot recognizable by its vintage rocket ship play equipment.

Marrickville Market
142 Addison Rd.
My favorite Sunday activity. I go for the fresh produce, cheeses, breads, and local organic foods.

Mud Australia
76-78 Chapel St.
The studio isn’t open to the public on a daily basis; however, if you keep an eye on our Instagram feed, we often hold events or have open-studio days where the public can come in and take a peek at the production space and buy pieces of our ceramics line. To see the full range, our closest shop is in Surry Hills.

Where to Stay

If you’re looking to stay in Marrickville, I always recommend an Airbnb in nearby Newtown. Otherwise, we’re lucky to be a hop, skip, and a jump away from Sydney where there are some great boutique hotels such as Paramount House Hotel in Surry Hills and The Old Clare Hotel in Ultimo.

Keep Exploring Sydney

Fathom’s Sydney Guide
The Artsy Insider’s Guide to Sydney’s Emerging Chippendale Neighborhood
The Essentials for Visiting Manly Beach