Welcome to Balmain. A happy community and if you live in this area, you feel like you have hit the Sydney lifestyle jackpot. Once an artists haven (and to some degree, this chic, upbeat, popular and trendy inner western area of Sydney still is), it is now also a social mecca for successful professionals. Balmain has something to offer people of all different ages and backgrounds. When paying a visit to Balmain, be sure to keep the following in mind, and if you are up for a bit of a walk and you are coming from the city, then be sure to catch a ferry from Circular Quay wharf number five to Darling Street Wharf and Balmain East.
Coffee heaven for sure. There is much choice when it comes to great cafes, and while most offer quality coffee, there are a few coffee establishments that I would avoid. Balmain has high standards when it comes to coffee, and chain store coffee stores do not stand a chance, just look what happened to Starbucks in Balmain some time ago.
Balmain attracts many quality baristas and there are a couple of establishments that you cannot go wrong with as the coffee is always pleasantly consistent despite Cafe Berlin and Fundamental Food Fresh being around for quite some time.
Other great places to enjoy a quality (and well roasted) coffee include The Little Marionette, Brioche and Little Ethels.
There are some quality restaurants that have been around for literally donkey's years, such as Satasia, and newer restaurants such as the Little Darling Diner that provide great dining experiences. Expect to enjoy a variety of different cuisine choices.
A great oasis for studying and reading the latest magazines and newspapers. A great children's reading area with the most comfortable beanbags are also provided. This library provides a great reserve service and although it costs $2 per book, the service is still fantastic. The quick turnaround times for sourcing books from Leichhardt library (if the book you wish to borrow is not available at Balmain) is fantastic. The librarians also come across as being extremely helpful and friendly.
Whether you are eating out or going to an independent deli, you will not be disappointed with the food available. Delmain Providore have hit the nail on the head with their cafe and deli (cheese shop) concept. Similar establishments include Ralph's Delicatessen and Joe and Roy's Mixed Business with a smart deli and florist blended in together. Foodies, rejoice.
Speaking of food, Zumbo's is still quite busy (especially on weekends) and a great locale to go to try a new wacky invention from the Zumbo camp; provided you don't mind a massive sugar rush. Otherwise just a macaron (or two) will do.
Balmain is also starting to make a great name of itself when it comes to enjoying quality massages. There are a few cheap massage shops setting up shop along popular Darling Street, and if you are after a quality cheap thai massage or acupuncture session, you will not be sucked dry. Otherwise Nature's Energy is the place to go for a real indulgent, feel good and knots destroying massage.
The high quality silver jewellery available at Juel
If you are a fan of silver jewellery, you will love the jewellery collection that owners Elsa and Tegan create. You never know what great creations this dynamic duo are going to come up with next. From what started as a simple jewellery market stall, well over 10 years ago, has become a silver jewellery hot spot in Balmain, let alone for inner Sydney. A beautiful shop with great customer service.
A fantastic park. A great oasis to sit down and enjoy a picnic lunch, and is a great locale for singles, couples and families alike. A great park to chill out and unwind, and if you are lucky, you will also catch glimpses of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.