While Bondi Beach itself is a huge drawcard to the area, there is also a thriving foodie scene from cute little wine bars and small pubs to authentic Italian or delicious Asian fusion restaurants.
It’s admittedly hard to look past the main strip since there’s some great variety at your fingertips, but if you stroll a little bit further away from the sand you’ll find an amazing array of great bars and restaurants.
The best way to experience all Bondi has to offer is to spend a few days staying right in the center of the action at the newly opened Adina Apartment Hotel Bondi Beach on Hall Street.
Café Bondi (http://www.cafebondi.com/index.html)
Café Bondi is a casual dining restaurant located on O’Brien Street, just a short stroll up from the beach.
They’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner but I found breakfast to be the main attraction.
Brekkie items like eggs florentine or french toast are served until 3 so it’s a great spot for brunch.
Depending on your hunger level you can opt for something like the Big Breakie which includes 2 eggs, 2 sausages, grilled tomato, bacon, grilled mushrooms, hash browns and toast or something a bit lighter like their fruit salad with museli.
Their menu is also quite customizable and caters well to those with dietary restrictions.
Lunch options are varied and well-portioned.
During my visit I had a delicious pan fried tiger prawn and calamari salad with a vinaigrette and mixed leaves, a perfect light meal during a day at the beach.
Trio is a beautiful café located just up the hill on Campbell Parade with panoramic views of the beach and the ocean.
Their breakfast and brunch dishes are inspired by Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines so you can have something a bit more adventurous then your everyday corn fritters or eggs on toast.
Trio also doesn’t skimp on portions and the dishes are very generous.
For the sweet tooth they have delicious mango and lime buttermilk pancakes or a banana and nutella brioche bake with hazelnut crumble and dulce de leche.
Or for something a bit savoury you can go for their smoked salmon bruschetta with grilled asparagus, dill crème fraiche and boiled egg or their ‘boss eggs’ which consist of scrambled eggs with feta and truffle oil served
with sourdough toast, avocado and prosciutto.
And if you just can’t make up your mind you can go for the trio breakfast tasting plate which includes bircher muesli, French toast, pancakes, corn fritters and shakshouka.
Paper Planes (http://paperplanesbondi.com/)
Located in a small little alleyway across from Misschu is Paper Planes, a cozy Asian fusion restaurant.
The restaurant is decorated with a crisscross pattern of painted skateboards and delicate paper cranes, perfect for a romantic dinner or a catch-up with friends.
Some of their standout dishes include the salmon tartare nachos with wasabi miso dressing served with prawn crackers and their spicy tuna roll with apple, togarashi chilli, chives and tobiko.
The restaurant caters well to those who simply want to snack on a few things or for larger groups looking for a full meal.
It’s a great spot to bring a group and introduce them to the amazing variety of food available in Bondi.
They make things simple for bigger groups with their banquet meal which includes their famous PaperPlanes ‘Kick Flip’ Platter with an array of fresh sushi rolls served on their signature skateboard deck.
Also recommended are their cocktails like the Tokyo POP made with Pimms, St Germain, garden fruit, lemonade and a Pop Rocks rim.
A Tavola (http://www.atavola.com.au/)
While A Tavola is new to Bondi the Italian restaurant been gaining fans for years at their Darlinghurst location.
A Tavola has earnt itself a reputation of being one of Sydney’s best places to go for authentic Italian pasta.
Just don’t expect to go back and have the same pasta dish each time you visit.
The menu exists on several blackboards within the restaurant that are constantly changing.
Once the fresh produce of the day comes in several seasonal dishes are created and star on the blackboard that very same night.
‘A Tavola’ means ‘to the table’ and encapsulates the homey, family feel of the restaurant.
One long marble table sits in the center where plenty of customers can sit back and relax while beautiful pasta dishes are cooked for them on order.
During our visit we sampled the pappardelle with wagyu beef shin, red wine and horseradish.
The pasta was silky smooth and light and drenched in a rich, homemade tomato sauce.
The highlight though was the triangoli con funghi e piselli, small ravioli type pasta with wild mushrooms, peas, sage, poppy seeds and a delicate buttery sauce that made you want to lick the plate clean.
And when we thought the meal couldn’t get any better they brought out their signature dessert: cremino al cioccolato.
The deceiving dessert looks exactly like a cappuccino but is actually a multi-layered dream of sweet flavours and contrasting textures.
With soft meringue, salted caramel ice cream, hazelnut chocolate fondue and crushed amaretti biscuits, it’s a bit of heaven in a mug.
Bondi Hardware (http://bondi-hardware.com.au/)
Bondi Hardware is a quirky little bar and restaurant located on Hall Street.
The bar is built into a former hardware store and they’ve kept the theme going strong with nuts and bolts on the menus and antique hammers strewn across the table.
With a short beer list, a wine list including a mix of classic and modern varietals and a killer cocktail list, it won’t be hard to find something delicious to drink.
Their cocktail menu was put together by owner Hamish Watts and features a number of simple yet different drinks.
The attention to detail is impressive as well, each cocktail has a beautiful little garnish and is served in its own unique glass.
The Mexican Garden was a refreshing, slightly sour cocktail made with tequila, muddled limes, basil and passion fruit syrup.
Another favourite was the Old Cuban, rum with lime and mint topped off with Champagne.
If you’re in the mood for sharing Bondi Hardware also features a number of cocktail pitchers that serve up to four people like their Turbo Pimms and Spiked Iced Tea.