Planning in Sydney can be difficult. Not only is the city itself huge – giving many of us pause when we need to think about leaving our LGAs – but there are so many great local spots that sometimes, we don’t want to venture beyond those places we already know and love.
But, like our very name alludes to, we’re not about gatekeeping here at Secret Sydney. That’s why we’re letting you in on some of our own secrets with our latest project that will see us leave our stamp of approval on our very favourite local spots. So, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the bright blue Secret Sydney stickers adorning the windows of our favourite local businesses – because if you see one, you know you’re on to a winner.
We started out with some old and new favourites from Bondi to Bankstown and beyond, but stay tuned as we add more to our list. Want to plan your next great Sydney adventure? Scroll to the bottom for an easy-to-see map of all the places we’ve featured.
Secret Sydney-approved has just been given a whole new meaning, and you’re coming along with us for a new journey. Now that is no secret.
Here are the first five spots that received our Secret Sydney stickers:
Tothy Brothers Deli, Wheeler Heights
Industrial northern beaches ‘hood Wheeler Heights might not be the most obvious spot for a sandwich deli in Sydney, but the two-handers at Tothy Brothers Deli are some of the best you’ll find on either side of the harbour.
The sun-drenched spot has also become a regular in the lunch rotation of managing editor and in-house sandwich connoisseur Nik Addams, who has diligently worked his way through the menu (because, you know, journalism). “While I’ve come to accept that the decision overload whenever I’m at Tothy Brothers is inevitable, I keep going back to the juicy Nashville hot chicken on the fluffy potato roll, as well as the OG, an elite take on the classic reuben which features layer upon layer of house-corned beef brisket, swiss cheese, pickles, mayo and mustard, and is totally worth the afternoon food coma.”
Ommi Don, Chippendale
It might be a newcomer on the Sydney dining scene – it opened in May 2023 – but Ultimo’s Ommi Don has already become a firm favourite of Secret Sydney’s community manager Chreshall Nikhil. Tucked away in a nondescript arcade right next to Broadway, Ommi Don serves up an excellent and affordable range of Taiwanese-style don and housemade sides from an impressive menu overseen by Omar Hsu, an alum of Aria and North Bondi Fish.
“The wagyu beef noodle soup and fried chicken with golden kimchi are my top picks,” recommends Chreshall. “The crispy, flavorful chicken combined with the tangy and slightly spicy kimchi creates a perfect harmony of flavours that’s simply irresistible.” We couldn’t agree more.
Clay Sydney, Marrickville
Don’t mind getting your hands dirty? Marrickville go-to Clay Sydney has you (and your hands) covered. This welcoming space allows you to unleash your creativity by crafting your very own pottery piece, making it a fun and hands-on artistic destination in the heart of the inner west.
And it’s a favourite of Secret Sydney video producer Jarrad Shaw, too, who loves it for “its vibrant atmosphere, skilled instructors, and the chance to take home a tangible piece of art”.
Gertrude & Alice, Bondi
Staff writer and content queen Ria Lawrence champions this cosy bookshop & café in the heart of Bondi, now marked by a Secret Sydney sticker. Gertrude & Alice is the ideal spot to grab a chai, pick out something engaging from the stacks, and sink into those comfy green armchairs for an afternoon of R&R (that’s reading and relaxing, FYI). Dedicated fans can even rock the store’s excellent merch!
Little Tripoli, Greenacre
They say you always remember your first – and managing editor Nik definitely doesn’t forget his first proper Lebanese breakfast. The location: buzzing family-owned Greenacre spot Little Tripoli. The experience: an impossibly large feast of silky fresh hummus and labneh, zingy foul, fluffy falafel, perfectly scrambled eggs with sujuk, fresh fattoush with lashings of sumac and lemon, and a mountain of oven-fresh pita with which to soak it all up.
“Not to overstate it, but my life was irrevocably changed when I discovered the experience that is the Lebanese breakfast,” says Nik. “I’m originally from Melbourne so I’ve always taken breakfast seriously, and Little Tripoli is one of my favourite spots in Sydney to start my day.”
It’s no secret, and this is just the beginning!
Where should we go next? Drop us a DM on Instagram to champion your favourite spots in town, and keep checking this article and our socials to find out where else we’ve given our stamp of approval to. And of course, use the map below (viewable via desktop) and our Google list (accessible via mobile) to plan your next visit to one of these amazing local spots!