All Articles On the record: A musician's guide to Sydney's top spots

On the record: A musician's guide to Sydney's top spots

Tripadvisor caught up with rising musicians Gareth.T, slchld, Carla Wehbe, BOY SODA, Blusher, PANIA, and RIIKI REID to get the scoop on their Sydney faves.

RIIKI REID (New Zealand), Carla Wehbe (Australia), Gareth.T (Hong Kong), slchld (South Korea), BOY SODA (Australia), PANIA (Australia), Blusher (Australia)
From left to right: RIIKI REID (New Zealand), Carla Wehbe (Australia), Gareth.T (Hong Kong), slchld (South Korea), BOY SODA (Australia), PANIA (Australia), Blusher (Australia)
Image: Warner Music
Tripadvisor in partnership with Warner Music
By Tripadvisor in partnership with Warner Music23 Nov 2023 3 minutes read

If you’re looking to explore Sydney beyond the Opera House and Bondi, read on. We got rising music artists to share their freshest picks, like hometown girl Carla Wehbe’s favourite vegan restaurant and R&B singer Gareth.T’s go-to vintage store. This fun mix of Australians and returning travelers love Sydney for its eclectic neighborhoods and breezy vibe.

From indie cinemas to under-the-radar beaches, see which spots in Sydney have kept them coming back for more.

What’s a cool or underrated spot that you'd recommend?

Blusher: We had a really nice time at The Rocks once, when the markets were on and we got a cup of tea and a scone. I would highly recommend going down that way on a Sunday. I'd say also Glebe Markets.

Carla Wehbe: One of my favourite spots in Sydney is called Dudley Page Reserve. It's not too far from Bondi, but there's this massive grass area and you can see the whole harbour from there—the sunset’s amazing. You can just have a picnic there and hang out with your friends.

Gareth.T: Last time I came, we went to this vintage secondhand clothing shop called Storeroom Vintage, and we bought a couple of different pieces of clothing. I bought a whole Hello Kitty outfit, a Stussy scarf, and a couple of T-shirts. And a Pitbull T-shirt.

RIIKI REID: Everyone is like “Bondi”! But I think the best beaches are a few spots down—Tamarama and Bronte. My favourites. That's where I'm going to go in my downtime while I'm here.

slchld: We went to the Featherdale Wildlife Park and saw a lot of cool animals that we could probably only see in Australia, like wombats. And that was very exciting.

The Rocks, Dudley Page Reserve, Tamarama and Bronte Beach
From left to right: The Rocks, Dudley Page Reserve, Tamarama and Bronte Beach
Image: Tripadvisor

What’s your favorite place to eat or drink?

BOY SODA: One of my favourite spots at the moment, at the top of Burwood Road is Burwood Chinatown. It’s got food, sugar cane, a little outdoor beer area, lots of street markets, and a little arcade with lots of pink lights. There are some really good dumplings at the back-end section of it. They take a little while but they’re fresh.

Blusher: There's this sake place in Surry Hills, I think it's called Nikkei. Great sake and Japanese. They have a bunch of different sake flavours. There were really sweet ones and really dry ones.

Carla Wehbe: It's a tricky one for me because I have so many allergies, so I can't have gluten, dairy, eggs, sugar, almonds, mushrooms. There's actually a vegan Vietnamese place in Newtown called Golden Lotus, and I'm there a lot. I get the chicken cashew with rice and vegetables. It's really good.

PANIA: My favourite place to eat in Sydney would be Butter. I would order their classic burger, but change the sides to two tenders and then get the garlic sauce on the side, and chips. And there's a spot in Marrickville called Thirsty Monkey that has the craziest acai bowls.

Butter, Burwood Chinatown, Nikkei
From left to right: Butter, Burwood Chinatown, Nikkei
Image: Tripadvisor

Where’s a great spot for music lovers?

Carla Wehbe: There’s a record store in Newtown called Repressed Records. That's really cool. I go in and buy a bunch of stuff a lot.

PANIA: Golden Age Cinema. Beautiful spot. Small, intimate. I played my first show there. I like that spot, it’s cool.

RIIKI REID: One of my favourite shows I've ever been to here was Parcels, and it was at Enmore Theatre in Newtown. It's just such a cool, beautiful old building. Very 70s, very retro. I'd love to do a show there one day.

Repressed Records, Golden Age Cinema, Enmore Theatre
From left to right: Repressed Records, Golden Age Cinema, Enmore Theatre
Image: Tripadvisor

What pleasantly surprised you about Sydney?

Gareth.T: Coming from Hong Kong, first of all, the air is a lot nicer. In Sydney, the streets are a little less packed and I think people are really nice here.

slchld: The people here. Generally, everyone has a soft, gentle demeanour, which I do enjoy. I'm originally from Canada—I live by the waters too—so there are a lot of similarities that I see, like beautiful clouds and stuff.

Any travel tips for someone visiting for the first time?

BOY SODA: Try everything, catch a ferry, go to Manly—touristy things that you're like, I don't need to do that. But when you do, they're really, really fulfilling. We got an aquarium, lots of beautiful bars, live music places, and a couple of hidden bars around the city as well.

Carla Wehbe: Bring comfortable shoes, because it's a pretty wide city so you got to be doing a lot of walking. Ask locals where to go because it's hard to stumble across things in Sydney. But the locals will know the cool spots. And visit the Inner West. I think it's a really cool area of Sydney. A lot of vintage stores, a lot of really good food, and it's not in the main city. You meet a lot of really cool people.

PANIA: I would say go to all the different areas because there are crazy food spots that are really authentic, depending on what area you’re in.

Quotes have been edited for length and clarity.