Sydney’s bustling Lower North Shore and the Hayden Orpheum

The Sydney nightlife scene is improving in small ways – literally.  Small bars and venues are popping up all over Sydney, especially in the last couple months as new, and old, owners start gearing up for Christmas.  This may come as a shock to most, but yes, there are some great areas other than Surry Hills within Sydney.  If you live on the North Shore and are looking for options closer to home, or even live south of the Bridge and are after something different, the Lower North Shore is worth checking out.

There are so many great venues that are cater for all occasions. Whether you are looking to catch up with mates for a few beers, a cocktail with the lady friend or something cheap and cheerful as you save for that overseas holiday, I guarantee you will find it. Places such as Crows Nest, Neutral Bay and Cremorne have just kept growing and growing. Here’s a few notable bars and restaurants.



So_Cal’s new terrace.

So_Cal: is a new ‘Californian’ themed bar in Neutral Bay. Despite only opening last week they have drawn large crowds, and I’m sure after your first visit you’ll be hooked on their delicious cocktails and friendly service. With a nice outdoor area they are definitely worth keeping in mind over the summer.

The White Hart: sits amongst a row of quality bars and eateries on Grosvenor St in Neutral Bay. The bar has an extensive cocktail list with specials that always push the boundaries. Their Gin and Rum selection is also excellent.

The Foxtrot: is a quaint little gem on Falcon St in Crows Nest next to Lee’s Fortuna Court. They’ve always got a great selection of craft beers on tap and a handy cocktail list that can be enjoyed in a secluded lounge area out the back, perfect for an after dinner drink with a lady.


Pork Belly

Berkshire pork belly at La Grillade.

La Grillade: the Crows Nest icon has undergone some significant changes in the last 18 months. Whilst the cooking style and quality has remained on point the restaurant has seen a serious re-brand and has adapted its offering to coincide with the changing nature of Sydney’s dining seen.

Eno Pizzeria: is a fabulous Pizzeria on bustling Grosvenor St in Neutral Bay. I can’t believe people actually eat overpriced pizza at The Oaks when you could walk 100m down the road and have an epic glass of Chianti and a slice of Lucifero from Eno. Seriously good stuff!

Radio Cairo: If you are in the mood for something a bit different, Radio Cairo in Cremorne is the place to go. The restaurant has a great atmosphere and a menu sporting a mix of cuisines, developed by a Sri Lankan owner and Indonesian head chef.  The bar contains an incredible selection boasting great value cocktails, and an extensive beer and wine list. Located opposite the cinema, it makes the perfect addition for the dinner/drinks/movie combination.


Photo Credit: Simon Mittag

The presence of Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace in Cremorne offers a unique experience for all, working as part of a symbiotic relationship with other local venues.  The theatre has a long history, first opening in 1935.  The Orpheum was renovated, reopening in 1987, and now features six cinemas, each with their own distinctive Art Deco charm. Dinner and a movie really couldn’t be easier. The unique character of the Orpheum combined with the growing bar and dining scene within the area is a hit on all accounts, and that is why I am recommending it as a top summer date idea.  So next time skip Hoyt’s, grab dinner and experience the grandeur of the Hayden Orpheum.

Feature Image: Ross Honeysett

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *