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Moving to Sydney. Best Place to Live?

I'm moving to Sydney in March and we're still unsure of where to live. We're going to be spending four weeks in corporate accomodation before we decide where to rent (in the short term) I was wondering if people could help me narrow down my search...

Proximity to the CBD is really important to us and we've already ruled out Manley (an early favourite) because of the commute. Balmain is currently a front runner because of the frequent ferry service. Glebe, Cremoyne and Kirribilli I think are going to be worth a look too.

What my guidebooks don't tell me is what the food purchasing options are like in these areas. I currently live in Islington, chosen mainly because there are two very good butchers, one great fishmonger (and one less good one), a branch of the best cheese shop in London and a weekly farmers market. I'm not a big fan of supermarkets and prefer to buy local produce frequently, rather than do a weekly supermarket run. Are there any areas that you would especially recommend as being good locations to procure good produce? Any shops, markets or stores you'd recommend? Is there one especially food-oriented suburb that sticks out for you?

Would really love any advice and look forward to sharing my experiences of moving to Sydney with you.

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  1. Hi there, I lived in Sydney a couple of years ago, so here's what I know.. any native Australians please correct me if I am wrong. Mostly I know areas by their restaurants, there are so many cuisines and it is relatively cheap to eat out you may find yourself doing that a lot. Surry hills esp Crown St has the highest concentration of great restaurants..Bills, Billy Kwong, Prasits, RQ, Red Lantern, Tabou.. the list goes on. Darlinghurst is also great for food, Onde, Sel et Poivre, Bills.. Newtown is more grungy but has great eating options Thai, Vietnamese lots of cafe and bars.. Leichardt is known for its italian restaurants. In terms of food shopping I kow that paddington has smaller fruit and veg shop, a butcher, fishmonger and french bread shop.. Mostly though there a big supermarkets.. there are regular farmers markets but I don't know where they are. A useful blog that I ahve recenlty discovered is grab your fork which might be of use to you.. enjoy!

    1. Hi Suzi, Rekha has given you some good information on restaurants and some neighbourhoods. The public transportation system in Sydney is better the closer that you are to the CBD. You will find good green grocers, butchers and bread shops in most areas of Sydney. Do you want to live near the water? I've lived in the Eastern Suburbs for almost 20 years now. You can get to Bondi Junction by bus then it's a quick train trip into the City. The ferry is a great way to travel but it sometimes has it's limitations. The last Rose Bay ferry for example is 7:15 pm during the week. I'm not sure about Balmain. You can use your four week period to get around Sydney and visit these various areas. A word of caution - the Sydney rental market is real hot (if you believe the press) with stories of people paying above the quoted rent in order to secure a flat or house. Good luck. You will find Sydney a great place to live regardless of which neighbourhood you choose.

      1. Interesting question. Good food shopping in Sydney is not universally good across all suburbs. In fact even the supermarkets are highly variable so it is good to check out the quality of the local "Coles" or "Woolies" because they vary a lot (unlike the UK), thus one Coles can be great, another poor. Even if you try and avoid them, it is good to have a reliable one as a stand-by.

        Leichardt is great, it is the historic centre of the Italian community and has a good butcher (AC Butchery), greengrocer, coffee (bean & machine) shops, deli's, and just up the road in Haberfield really good bakeries (for boxes of Italian pastries and bread).

        The Glebe/Balmain area is quite a short drive from Leichardt and good in it's own right. Randwick has a growing reputation with "Terry Wright Gourmet Meats" gaining a strong reputation. There are now Farmers Markets (or Growers Markets) in many suburbs - but to be honest I rarely get out of bed early enough to get to them before the best has gone.

        One thing I did find was no matter how good the suburb was for shopping I always needed to go across town for that essential ingredient - not such a hassle as the inner suburbs are not that spread out.

        I live in Paris at the moment, but return to Sydney soon. I am looking forward to shopping for food like asian vegetables, exotic fruits, great (cheap) meat etc. But I will miss the cheese shops. The Australian "craft" cheese industry is getting better all the time but it still has a long way to go (unfortunately I believe, by law, all cheese needs to be pasturised to be sold in Australia).

        Have fun.

        2 Replies
        1. re: PhilD

          Hi, just a quick word -- not sure about all cheese, but Roquefort is allowed in Australia. There are two fantastic cheese shops close to that area -- one in Leichhardt (Staffords), on Balmain Road and another in Haberfield.

          1. re: PhilD

            Anyone thinking Sydney farmers' markets are really farmers' markets needs to be a bit careful. Few - even the biggest - have many (if any) farmers or growers. The exception is the Hawkesbury Harvest markets on at Castle Hill, Rouse Hill (outer NW suburbs) and in front of St Mary's Cathedral in the city on Fridays. Even then, they're pretty relaxed about whom they allow in. Almost every other one, including the big Good Living Market at Darling Harbour (once a month) are loaded with people buying at the wholesale market and reselling or supplementing their offerings with extras from wholesalers. Never trust a market in Sydney selling mangoes or bananas or pineapples, all of which have had to be driven from a thousand kilometres distant.

          2. I forgot one other point - buy a copy of the "Sydney Morning Herald" good food guide when you arrive. A great source book for restaurants (I find it reliable) and it has a section on the best food shops which will get you started. They also have a section on the papers web site called "Good Living"
            Another good source of info is the Helen's blog

            1. Native Australian here... I lived in Sydney for about five years before moving to NYC. I lived in the east, in Elizabeth Bay as well as in Annandale (inner west).

              I did most of my grocery shopping in Chinatown and at the market in Paddy's (on the edge of Chinatown/Darling Harbour-ish). The inner west is fabulous for Italian, Portuguese, Greek etc.

              There is a fabulous store in Zetland (or is it Alexandria? Blocked out of my brain!!) called Fratelli Fresh - there are lots of other Mediterranean ethnic grocers around there as well.

              I found my time in the east much easier, proximity to trains being the main point. Unless you have a car, your main options on the west or south are bus. Unless you live MUCH further out... On the other hand, the west is where all the fun food stuff happens. And it's REAL, unlike the east.

              Balmain is nice, Cremorne and Kirribilli are very difficult to get to and out of, to be honest. If you want proximity, I'd stay on THIS side of the bridge.

              Good luck.

              2 Replies
              1. re: sodahq

                Am so glad someone mentioned Fratelli Fresh! the best grocer/ deli/providor I think in Sydney

                1. re: sodahq

                  If I may ask, since I am looking to relocate to Sydney, AU - what is the reason you moved to NYC from Sydney? :)

                2. Thanks for that, it's really helpful. I guess we're off soon so I can start trawling the suburbs!

                  1. I recenlty moved from New York City to Sydney. I live directly in the CBD, but I wish I lived in a neighborhood just outside the central city called Woolhara. It's really beautiful and peaceful, but with great restaurants (bills, Bistro MonCur, Buon Ricardo, etc) and beautiful botiques and antique shops. As far as food shopping goes, Simon Johnson and Jones the Grocer are two fantastic gourmet providores. And the Edgecliff station is like a mini food hall, with, butcher counter, bread, fresh pasta and a Harris Farm Market store.
                    It's very easy to get to the city center from there, too....by bus or train station at Edgecliff.
                    Definitely get the SMH foodie's guide from a bookstore. Has best providores and farmers' markets in Sydney.

                    1. Redfern particularly east of Elizabeth street is a great place to live. Lots of rennovated terraces. It is about ten minutes walk to central train station, close to Crown street and Dank street which both have lots of restaurants and cafes, half an hour walk to the centre of the CBD and a short drive or bus ride to Coogee beach. Redfern has quite a bad reputation but if there are any problems they tend to be around the Redfern railway station, there is no need to go near there. The reputation also helps make it slightly cheaper.

                      1. Hey, another Sydneysider checking in. Much good advice has already been given, but I will add my two cents.

                        I live in Glebe, which is very handy, (15min bus, 30 min walk) to the CBD. Nearby there is the Broadway Shopping Centre, a regular mall with Coles and Bi Lo (supermarkets) Harris Farm (speciality green grocer) and other food stores, including a butcher, fish shop, deli etc. Oh, and there are other stores as well, selling boring necessities such as clothes.

                        Also nearby, a 15min walk, are the Sydney Fish Markets, which are just fantastic if you like seafood. Freshest fish in Sydney, straight from the boats, as well as a deli, greengrocer and plenty of stores selling cooked fish. They also have highly respected cooking classes conducted here.

                        I agree Surry Hills has the best restaurants, but I don't think the produce is the best in that area. Farmers markets are another great thing, I know of three within a ten minute drive of Glebe. These are held only on the weekends.

                        Excellent, hope you find somewhere you love!

                        1. Suzi

                          Well done on making the move to Sydney you will love it. Lots of good tips above. Leichhardt (note the to 'h') is a great location, especially if you like Italian. Glebe and Balmain are also good. and those suburbs are all around each other.

                          With Balmain one end is the ferry and one end you are near Victoria Rd really convieniant for buses into the city. People find the ferry isnt as convieniant and find they still use the bus. It will depend on where the office is located in the city. You may find that you have a long walk from the various city ferry wharfs to your work.

                          Harris Farm is great and also Macro Foods (if you like organic) I live accross the road from a Harris Farm and i am in there every day. The only negative is that they dont have basic like cleaning products and tooth paste which i find i make a monthly trip to a local supermarket for.

                          Check out www.realestate.com.au when you type in the above suburbs check the box for the surrounding suburbs when it searches. That helps know what is nearby.

                          SMH is good every tuesday is the Good Living pull out. This is what produces the Good Food Guide. Sydney Cheap eats is also good. Check out Harris Farm and Marco foods on the web. Fratelli Fressh and acound it is great for food but you dont want to live in the area as it is very industrial. The first saturday of every month SMH host the Good Living Growers Market. It is on the water side of the Casino. I go every month (would happily meet you for your first trip). There is also a similar market with most of the same stalls in North Sydney. Also check out www.theessentialingredient.com.au sadly they also move to the North. But as previous said I would avoid living North of the Bridge it is just a pain.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: ozgirlkim

                            Thanks for the suggestions. This is really good advice and I'd definitly like to take you up on the offer of meeting up at the market. I was really lucky and got to meet some really lovely people via foodboards in the past, but my sense is that this doesn't seem to be so prelevant in Oz (people meeting up I mean, not people not being lovely). Am in right?

                            1. re: Suzi Edwards

                              Suzi - how do you manage to live in Sydney? How do you feel so far? I plan on relocating there also, but don't know anything about Sydney. Just learning about it slowly. :)

                          2. Balmain is nowhere near as convenient as it looks and initially seems. I can't actually believe some of the people above live there. I lived there for a year - buses are exceptionally slow (but this is true of all buses into the City, generally it is a method of transport to be avoided in Sydney) into the city and ferry is also slow - it takes a bit of a roundabout route.

                            I think whisp is closest in suggesting Woollahra. The inner eastern suburbs (inc Paddington and Surry Hills here) have the highest concentration of good mid range restaurants and cafes. There is a sliding scale of inner urban cool to more suburban grandeur as you head east from Surry Hills through Paddington to Woollahra. Some of the houses in Woollahra are amazing, and amazingly expensive. It is one of the most exclusive suburbs in Sydney, a similar feel to Mayfair, but in a more laid back Austrlaian way with more trees, and less extreme high end boutiques. Depends on your stage of life and person taste as to what you prefer. Just spend some time in those areas when you arrive. I would say Surry Hills is most like Islington.

                            I wouldn't dismiss Kirribilli as easily as some above. It is over the bridge but a genuinely convenient 6 min ferry to circular quay and a $20 cab into the city. It has a really nice community feel and plenty of decent restaurants. It is a bit annoying though if all of your friends are based in the east - which may well be likely if you work in the city. Cremorne and Mosman are OK on the ferry but a real hassle by road into the city.

                            Many other newly arrived Brits also like the idea of living at the beach - just don't do it in Bondi with all your compatriot backpackers - Bronte is my favourite. Again just spend some time in the strip between Bondi and Coogee to get an idea. Commute to the city is a pain from here though.

                            Also, the very best restaurants are actually most highly concentrated in the City - think Tetsuyas, Guillame at Bennelong, Quay, Aria, Rockpool, Forty-One, Bilsons, est. In my experience, for city workers Friday social life revolves around the city (inc king street wharf, cockle bay etc) and saturday will be eastern suburbs. There must only be a couple of 3 hat restaurants out of the city - Claudes and Marque (Woollahra and Surry Hills respectively) are the only ones coming to mind.

                            Over 10 years I lived Lower North Shore (kirribilli and neutral bay), inner east (paddington) and inner west (balmain and glebe). My favourite time was working in Circular Quay and living in Kirribilli - just be prepared to pay the $30 cab on saturday night to meet up with your friends in the east!

                            BTW, coming from London you are going to love eating out in Sydney. In my view the quality is similar (if not a little better - certainly with seafood and asian inspired food) but the cost is about half. Compare £400 at Gordon Ramsay to $500 at Tetsuyas. $40-50 mains were the very top as I left a year ago, try finding a top end main at £20 in London!

                            1. I am moving to Sydney in May and have been struggling with the same question. I am from Hampstead and similary, like the local shops and farmers markets.
                              Good luck in finding a place Suzi, I'd be interested to know where you finally choose! :)

                              1. Hi Suzi,

                                Same Suzi form EG? If so, I'm the same Sandra... We also just moved to Australia, leaving lovely Baker Street behind... we are in Melbourne now for 3 months and then moving to Sydney by June, same situation as you, 4 weeks of serviced apts and then must find a place to live! Have you seen anything you like yet?

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: sandra in australia

                                  Well, we've just got a place and it's in Balmain. We went for the Rozelle end so that we have more food foraging choices. Thing I noticed is that many of the western suburbs are really small. so the difference between say, Rozelle, Birchgrove and Balmain is pretty minimal. We did find that the estate agents were a bit strange. I'd just recommend having lots of ID and documentation before you go!

                                  Thanks for all the help and ideas.

                                  1. re: Suzi Edwards

                                    Hope you found the Orange Grove farmers markets at the Orange Grove Primary school?

                                    1. re: Suzi Edwards

                                      Hi Suzi,

                                      My husband and I are relocating to Sydney in August. We have corporate accommodations for 4 weeks as well, and then we start our search. How do you find Balmain? Did you find any other places that you liked as well?

                                      1. re: leche

                                        We really didn't look at many other places to be honest. Balmain is really lovely and it's perfectly placed for food. We're close to Leichard for Italian (great butcher too) and close to the fish market too.

                                        I would really recommend it, but I do also think that the North Shore has lots to offer.

                                        1. re: Suzi Edwards

                                          Glebe is very very cute - and close to little shops, cafes, a public pool.... Very laid back - a little hippie feel. I loved staying there. Also within walking distance to the Sydney Fish Market - and even downtown if you have energy!

                                          1. re: Suzi Edwards

                                            Hi Suzi

                                            My husband & I are also moving to Sydney in a couple of months. We have 4 weeks as well to look for a house (on rent) His office address reads North Sydney. From your experience so far, any suggestions?


                                            1. re: divyadrao

                                              Lived in North Sydney off of Blues Point. Loads of little restaurants, nice shops. Ferry and train nearby.


                                              1. re: divyadrao

                                                North Sydney office then try to stay north of the bridge. Too much traffic to travel over it each day to work, though the trains are reliable to Nth Sydney. But plenty of lovely places to live near there: Waverton, Wollstonecraft, Kirribilli, Cremorne, Neutral Bay would all be good places to start. www.domain.com.au is also a good site to start looking.

                                      2. I know I am seriously late on this topic, but the thing with Sydney is, it really depends what you are after, what your interests are, what you like to do in your free time, where you are working and how you plan on getting there, whether you have children, what your budget is, whether you want a house or an apartment, swimming pool, backyard, entertaining deck or whatever. Like London, Sydney has lots of little pockets.

                                        I don't like supermarkets either (and let me tell you, the english ones are much better) and find ways to get around them (until recently -- I have now started my own business to overcome this), sourcing great local produce.

                                        DON'T go to manly, or coogee unless you want to live with backpackers!

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: kmh

                                          Hello kmh

                                          After reading your response above, I was wondering whether you might be able to help. My husband and I are due to relocate to Sydney by the end of the year and are pondering where to live/settle. One of us will be working in Sydney CBD and the other in parramatta. We were thinking of moving to Manly as we wanted to be near a safe swimming beach and the ferry ride to CBD is so wonderful. We are searching for a beautiful and safe beach suburb with good nursery/schools nearby and a good selection of family residences (houses). We like going out for meals/cooking and would like to have shopping facilities nearby. any ideas?

                                          1. re: rpm

                                            Hiya, from limited experience in Sydney, Manly is not a great place to commute from - the ferry is great, but remember it will stop at a certain time and may not start early enough for you - the drive from Manly to the CBD can take up to 90 minutes if you hit rush hour/school run traffic, the opening of the Spit Bridge and traffic on Military Road... and then you have to get to Paramatta...

                                            That's my "one" cent...

                                        2. Oh since you like markets, check of the Pyrmont market that happens on the 1st Saturday of the Month near the Casino. really quite a good place to get a great range of things. Theres a food market every weekend somewhere in Sydney - but Pyrmont is the best

                                          Since your in Balmain, you also have the fish market clos eby - its a bit uncordinated in my own view - but the Sydneysiders up here like it.

                                          1. Hi, my husband and I - and our 2 toddlers moved to Sydney 3 months ago from Ft. Lauderdale. My husband works in North Sydney, and my kids are going to preschool in the CBD. We are living in Double Bay (aka "Double Pay")... but there is a reason they call it that. We are about a 5-10 minute drive from downtown, the ferry picks up basically from our backyard and is an incredibly enjoyable 8 minute ride to Circular Quay, or 30 minute bus, or quick train ride from Edgecliff station. The public schools here are very good also.

                                            So onto the food, from anywhere in Double Bay you can walk to the shops with several excellent produce shops (which also have fresh yogurt and make fresh juice), a good butcher, and a good cheese shop with some deli items. The only thing not so convenient would be a seafood store, for which you would most likely go next door to Rose Bay or to the Edgecliff Station shops.

                                            As a side note, you can also walk to a small nice beach that has a sidewalk and benches (next to the ferry wharf). There are lots of wonderful little cafes and shops in every direction, and with the close proximity to everything there is a reason it is more expensive,

                                            There are also other areas in the Eastern Suburbs which are nice, and a good location for someone working in the CBD.
                                            If you need more info about what we've done regarding moving-- send me a note back.
                                            Good luck with your research!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: FLgirlgoneSydney

                                              unfortunately though, double bay would not be convenient for getting to Parramatta if you are working regular office hours
                                              I can understand the attraction for an expat of double bay, however ...
                                              rpm where have you gone?

                                            2. just reading this older thread - suzi, where did you end up?

                                              and the others chiming in as well - did you all find a good neighbourhood?

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: fooftales

                                                We ended up in Kirribilli, couldn' be happier, everything is 'here' and of it's not, it's 10 minutes away!

                                                1. re: sandra in australia

                                                  Love Kirribilli..it reminds me of Coronado in San Diego..
                                                  I lived briefly in Rose Bay and just loved it..was back a couple of years ago..
                                                  Stayed at the FS and took my dh to Lord Nelson's Pub and Tetsuya's..
                                                  I am so happy for you Sandra!

                                              2. I'm a Canadian that have lived in Sydney for two years previously. I lived in a suburb by the name of Huntley's Cove which is located in the north shore area. It's very close to the CBD by bus or ferry. The area is safe and it's easy to get around if you do not have a car. If I were to move back to Sydney I would look in this area to buy or in Ryde. You can easily go to the fish market or the fruit markets by car or by bus. Centrally located and safe.

                                                1. Hi:

                                                  Pardon the interruption, but please keep the queries and responses on this thread focused on the chow aspects of places to live. We've removed some discussions about weather and general cost of living issues, as they are beyond the scope of this board.

                                                  Thank you!

                                                  1. Just noticed how old this thread is! But it might help someone else anyway.

                                                    I'm going to recommend the Inner West also. As previously mentioned, Leichhardt & Haberfield are great for Italian food. Balmian & Rozelle has some lovely providores. And with the organic growers' markets on the weekends at Lilyfield and Marrickville, I think if you slot yourself in around the general Inner West area you'll be quite happy with all the other discoveries you'll make every day.

                                                    Having said that, I have also lived in the Eastern suburbs, and the Clovelly/Randwick area is also great for food. Particularly Terry Wright the butcher, and the Hungarian patisserie.

                                                    Good luck!

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Natters

                                                      I would choose Rozelle over Balmain. Rozelle has the best organic food store/cafe in Sydney called About Life; the best spice store in Sydney called Herbies, and plenty of good pubs (The Welcome Hotel) and cafes. If you move here, you will rely on buses which can be slow during peak hours.

                                                      Leichhardt and Haberfield have excellent Italian food. Leichhardt has a shopping centre with a very good butcher (AC Butchery), and an excellent green grocer (Norton Street Grocer). Haberfield has the best pizza, bread, and Italian supermarkets in Sydney. Transport for both of these is via bus. During peak hour it can take about 35 -40 minutes to get into the city centre. There is plenty of stopping and starting.

                                                      I wouldn't rave about Glebe's food. It's OK for an occasional visit but if you are choosing the location of your home according to food, then Leichhardt or Rozelle would be much better.

                                                      In the eastern suburbs, Surry Hills is very good but the shops are not concentrated in the one area, which can be a pain. Potts Point has really come up in the last couple of years and now has some very good providores including Jones the Grocer, and Fratelli Fresh. Woollahra is upmarket and has great produce and cafes and restaurants. I would avoid Bondi Junction because it is chaos- it comes with being Australia's largest shopping complex. Potts Point is on a train line and is close to the city centre which means you can walk there. Ditto for Surry Hills.

                                                      Randwick in the east is good too. It has a village shopping centre with a good green grocer, a great French bakery, some interesting Asian cafes and a couple of supermarkets. It's on a busy bus route so getting in and out of the city centre will be easy.

                                                      On the lower north shore, Neutral Bay has a huge range of food including an organic butcher, a couple of good green grocers, 3 large supermarkets, cafes, sushi places, restaurants, a gourmet butcher, bakeries and a some good cake shops.

                                                      There is a website that provides plenty of information on good cafes, food providores etc in many Sydney suburbs and it's called www.cityhobo. There is one section in particular which is good, called "Musts" and it lists some of the best places to get cakes, pizza, yum cha, breakfast etc in Sydney. It's all broken down into north, south, east and west so you can find something in your area quite quickly.

                                                    2. Any particular suggestions for gluten-free vegans considering moving to Sydney for a couple years? We're thinking Glebe or Newtown. One of us would be working in the CBD, other unknown. We hope to get by without a car.

                                                      7 Replies
                                                      1. re: lgss

                                                        stick to the inner city suburbs and you should be ok. all very cosmopolitan and asian diners are everywhere so rice not wheat based meals are easy to come buy.
                                                        There's an awareness, but don't expect to be hugely inundated with options at niche eateries. BUT, it would be much easier to get by than northern Europe for example.
                                                        Glebe is quite grungy in parts , as is Newtown - both being so close to Sydney University.
                                                        If you get in th pocket of Newtown down near Erskineville and MacDonaldtown you should be alright. All of these (except GlebE) have a railway station.
                                                        You could get by in these suburbs without a car (depending where you worked). So long as you're heading to the city, public transport is fine. if you want to go anywhere else (and you will) it's a bit tragic. There are lots of options eg. go get - car by the hour, as well as bayswater cars - that are cheap for when you do want to get around.
                                                        I don't think there is a woolworths in Newtown (in fact most of inner Sydney is poorly serviced by supermarket chains, thank God!) but you will have no shortage of places to shop for groceries. There is a massive MALL between newtown and glebe (westfield broadway) that you can get just about anything mass produced.
                                                        good luck.

                                                        1. re: kmh

                                                          There is a Woolworths (and also a great green grocer) at Marrickville Metro, a Coles and another great green grocer at Broadway shopping centre (which is in Glebe). Plus an IGA at Newtown - a lot smaller but ok for basics.

                                                          I think if you live in Glebe, you can usually walk into the city so that might be a good option. Some parts are lovely on the water too, which you could never say for Newtown.

                                                            1. re: kmh

                                                              Newtown is grungy and thus not lovely to look at, but it is unpretentious and has lots of great places to eat.

                                                              1. re: SydneytoWaco

                                                                King Street is grungy. Living in Newtown need not be grungy, particulary off King st toward MacDonaldtown and Erskineville.
                                                                There is great variety to eat in Newtown but lots of it isn't very good.

                                                                1. re: kmh

                                                                  I meant being by the water was lovely.

                                                                  Erskineville is fantastic. And Erskineville village is much lovelier than Newtown.

                                                                  I can't agree that Newtown is unpretentious - I live nearby myself, but I find Newtown to actually be one of the most pretentious places in Sydney, mainly for people's attempts to constantly convince themselves how unpretentious they are.

                                                      2. I moved to Glebe recently (from SF and then Bangalore and now Sydney) and find lots of great places to shop - Harris Farm in the basement of the Broadway shopping ctr is one of my favorite, also fish at Paddy's market on Friday (and fruit there too), also a bus goes from here to Balmain and Adriano Zumbo has a great little bakery. I also like to take the 370 which goes right through Newtown and Glebe and go to Aldi in the Leichardt MarketPlace. I also like to go to the IGA in Haberfield and the chocolate shop there. Life is good! I haven't yet found one cheese shop that I love, but I have found some good cheese at various farmer's markets. We made it out to Flemington once by train, a little hard to carry large qtys back, but lots of inexpensive produce.

                                                        1. Nice place you found. It's very much indeed fun to live here. There's a lot of restos here in some areas and the people are very warm too. Looking forward to have a nice hang out with some new people like you. You take care and goodluck :) You can also check out some stuff about Sydney in this site: http://moving2sydney.com/

                                                          1. Interesting discussion. My family (husband, 2 kids & I) are thinking of moving to Sydney (from country NSW) too. My husband's job, if successful, would be based in Rozelle. But we couldn't afford to live around there or at any of the other suburbs previously mentioned. We're more looking for suburban life. We're thinking around Ryde or further west of there but are not really sure of the culture and feel of this area. We used to live in the inner west (before kids) and would love to have the access to a great variety of eateries that we had there, without the crowded-in feeling. And after living in the country we are wanting to avoid a huge commute. Any thoughts anyone?

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: ktmcf

                                                              Eastwood area perhaps. My husband grew up around there, and it's quite a nice, leafy, suburban, family type of suburb. But these days it has a large Asian population as well, and it quite well known for some fantastic Chinese & Korean restaurants.

                                                            2. many thanks for the good advice