Bondi is a tourist magnet, yet retains a fiercely proud local culture – hence the ‘Bondi Bubble’ moniker. There are two types of people here: those trying desperately hard to look effortlessly cool and beautiful; and those effortlessly cool, beautiful people who don’t have to try at all. (Nikki Wallman)
It’s friendly and welcoming – to anyone who respects the hallowed turf. Stay long enough, and the knots in your city-slicker shoulders may just start to untangle.
Start with breakfast at Three Blue Ducks (143 MacPherson St, Bronte). The simple, delicious food bursts with flavour and attention from the super (hot) chefs in the kitchen. It transforms to more upscale for dinner and is worth venturing a little out of the way for.
From here, tread the stunning Bondi to Bronte coastal walk, then take a dip in those world-famous waves. Head up to cute-as-a-button hangout Porch Bread and Wine Parlour (110 Ramsgate Ave), where the menu reads like a warm hug, baked goods are on display and the staff are super friendly.
Pop by Camilla (132A Warners Ave) down the road for luxe, boho kaftans and, if it’s Sunday, make Bondi markets (Bondi Public School, Campbell Pde) your next stop. Cult label Lover got its start here, and you’ll find other great emerging designers plus a reliably good selection of vintage, homewares, and jewellery.
Meander around to Tuchuzy (Shop 11, 178 Campbell Pde) for supremely covetable pieces from the likes of Acne, Current Elliott, and Missoni. Carousel (4/95 Gould St) showcases an eclectically cool range of eyeware and beachy-yet-glam threads from Oscar the Third, Lilya and Hussy, and The Academy Brand (Shop 2, 79 Gould St) stocks classic-cut yet laidback basics for blokes. Pop in to Aquabumps Gallery (151 Curlewis St) and take one of Eugene Tan’s iconic Bondi surf prints home with you – they ship everywhere.
Give in to those gorgeous views and make a beeline for The Bucket List (northern end of the Bondi Pavilion) for lunch. Grab a bucket of prawns, a bucket of Coronas and nab the comfy lounge seats at the front for ultimate beachside proximity. Other drinking hotspots include Anchor Bar (8 Campbell Pde), The Crossing (13 O’Brien St) and Tokyo-pop styled Paper Planes (Shop 15, 178 Campbell Pde).
For everything in one handy venue, The Corner House (281 Bondi Rd) is perfect. Try the slow-roasted pork belly with apple, cress and radish salad; or spaghettini with Alaskan snow crab and chive beurre blanc (be sure to ask the super-friendly staff for wine suggestions) downstairs, then waddle upstairs for a couple of whiz-bang cocktails.
Don’t miss North Bondi Italian Food (118-120 Ramsgate Ave), and for the ultimate Bondi experience, Icebergs Dining Room and Bar (1 Notts Ave). Celebrating its 10th anniversary, a new Italian-focused menu just launched, featuring elegant antipasti (raw tuna and bonito, salsa verde, dwarf truffle peaches), ‘primi’ pastas and lip-smacking mains. Or simply order a cocktail from the bar, sit back and pinch yourself. You’re welcome.