Having spent the last few years living abroad I now wish to rediscover my home city of Sydney to keep that 'travelling feeling' and share my findings with those that might want a bit of inspiration.
Published February 6th 2013
Good wine, nice decor - the new Crows Nest hotspots
The North Shore suburb of Crows Nest has always been known by locals as home to countless restaurants with a few bars scattered around for good measure. However, the last 18 months has seen the emergence of several new drinking hotspots; revitalising nightlife on the North Shore. Now one can go for a drink without a hefty dining price-tag, in aesthetically-pleasing surrounds to boot! Here is a shortlist of our new favourites
1)The Foxtrot Only a small sign and a wrought-iron lamp mark the entrance to this relatively-new small bar that entered the scene in 2011. Away from the smorgasbord of eateries and bars on Willoughby Road; this eclectic bar doesn't receive the same foot traffic so thankfully you can always seem to find a seat.
The lower levels are a jumble of vintage furniture artfully lit with dim lighting, whilst the strains (sometimes live) of 1920's music instantly encourage patrons to relax whilst transporting them back to the prohibition era. If you wander up the staircase next to the bar you'll find a second level with astro-turf and Victorian outdoor seating sets just dripping in fairy-lights; absolutely perfect for a girlie night out with cocktails (moderately priced around the $16 mark); which are by the way are completely lethal!
2) Small Bar Sister to the original Small Bar on Erskine street in the city, Crows Nest Small Bar has become a local favourite due in large to the expanse of street seating, 'wine garden' out the back that can fit about 40 people and long indoor tables. The garden is once again female friendly; the many tables adorned with fair lights and candles providing a much-needed haven from the hustle and bustle of Willoughby Road. Best of all they have a diverse sharing menu to keep hunger at bay whilst you while away the hours; click here to view. Wine is fairly priced coming in from 6.5 for a glass/34 for a bottle and they have plenty of ciders and beers to keep the men happy.
3) Stoned Crow Once a seedy 'old-mans' bar, the Stoned Crow has been completely revitalised into a weekend staple for North-Shore lads and ladettes. Boasting a diverse beer, wine and cocktail menu (inclusive of frozen cocktails; perfect for summer evenings) and a lengthy food menu ; there is something available for even the pickiest eaters. The décor here is quite funky with the use of foliage, cow hide and rich woods to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The bar opens through large windows to the street which is fantastic – allowing plenty of fresh air inside and for you to spot your friends before entering! Best of all; this local hotspot offers daily specials for anyone wishing to dine affordably. The pizzas on special on Saturdays and Sundays are a treat – particularly the Mexican lashed with ground beef, guacamole, sour cream and sweet chilli will send you straight back for more – whether your jeans buttons will allow it or not!
4) Bavarian Bier Café A welcome addition for all beer-lovers; a branch of the ever-popular Bavarian Bier Café has finally opened in Crows Nest. Schnitzel lovers rejoiced; for previously the only Bavarian option in the Nest was Stuyvesants House in Alexander Street; schnitzel and beer with a hefty price tag. The Bavarian is a fantastic venue for groups with its long tables and benches and plenty of space to provide distance from private diners. The décor is similar to the other branches; light wood panelling with blue accents. The only downside is that whilst there are numerous European beers available (and wine for the girls) the food menu is not cheap; and the focus is on individual meals rather than sharing plates so you need to come hungry!
Some of the Pizza offerings at Flynn's; many more food options available
5) Flynn's Food & Wine A bar for those who don't like bars! Flynn's Food and Wine has been open for just over 18 months and is developing a strong following; from those who know it's there! Located on Alexandra Street; 1 door down from Montezuma's this bar and restaurant is a classy evening out for diners, drinkers or both. The vibe weigh's more to the restaurant feel due to the quality of the menu and design of the interior; however is ideal for those that enjoy a good conversation to accompany a quality drop or two without banging hips wrestling for space. Bar staff aren't afraid to enjoy a chat with their patrons; one even indulging in nicknaming my father 'Princess' on an evening I took him as my date. The décor is reminiscent of an English Auntie's dining room with patterned wallpaper, wooden furniture and table candles. For a charming (and grown-up) night out with the girls you cannot do much better at such reasonable prices.