Is it a wine bar, or a restaurant? Actually, Monopole is a little of both. Located not far from Elizabeth Bay, this upscale eatery features a menu that's heavy on charcuterie — all made in-house — imported cheese from as far away as France, Italy, and the Netherlands, and other worldly dishes that are expertly conceived and plated with care. And then there's the wine. Over 500 rare and boutique bottles, including over 30 by the glass or carafe. So whether you're hungry or just thirsty, there's plenty of reason to stop by.
Ever tried to decide between heading to the local record shop or stopping somewhere to have a drink? Neither have we, but at Mojo Record Bar, it's not even an issue. This unique spot sits below street level, and features a well-stocked record store — with a huge selection of vinyl — in the front, and a terrific bar in the back. As you might imagine, this combo makes for some very relaxed browsing experiences, and killer tunes on the speakers in the bar. Shop, drink, whatever — just make sure you go.
Typically when you hear the words "shirt" and "coffee" or "drink" used in the same sentence, someone's describing and unfortunate spill that happened at an inopportune time. But at the Shirt Bar, these strange bedfellows come together to create a fantastic shopping experience. Situated on Sussex, this intriguing shop offers a huge range of shirts and ties form the likes of Ganton, Jensen, and more, as well as joe from Fat Coffee, a selection of dark spirits from all over the world — including 12 single malt whiskies — signature cocktails, Australian wines, and champagne. Sure beats the department store. [Scouted by Tyler]
Tokyo's fish market might get all the attention, but the Sydney Fish Market is an equally great place to shop. The largest market of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and the world's second-largest seafood market (only Tokyo is larger), this vast market is home to fresh catches from both local seas and international waters, and trades over 14,500 tons of seafood every year, with up to a hundred species of local examples traded every day. Inside, you'll find stands selling nearly every imaginable type of fish, shrimp, crab, lobster, and other sea-dwelling delicacies, as well as a handful of shops and eateries offering everything from Wines and bread to pizza and, of course, sushi.
Most themed bars try to remove incongruities. Vasco basks in them. Named after 1980s Italian rock star Vasco Rossi, this Sydney-area establishment has its roots in cocktails — the founder Max Greco was formerly the head bartender at Eau-de-Vie — but blends its high-brow mixology with a rock-n-roll vibe that includes Fender bar stools, a killer jukebox, bathroom walls lined with records, and photos on the wall from famed rock photographer Ross Halfin. If that wasn't enough, the place also features a kitchen cranking out a short but satisfying menu of Italian fare, ranging from brushetta and calamari to Italian-style hot dogs and gnocchi with bolognese.
As you could probably tell from the name, Méjico serves up Mexican fare. What you probably can't tell from the name is that this new Pitt St. eatery is serving up some of the finest Mexican in the country, thanks to a commitment to market-to-table freshness. Ceviches, tacos, multiple salsas, and made-to-order guacamole all make appearances on the menu, as do tequila-focused cocktails, a huge selection of tequilas and mezcals to enjoy on their own, and a selection of Mexican beers and Spanish/South American wines. The cool atmosphere — exposed brick, open ceilings, and concrete floors enhanced by hand-painted graphics, woven pendant lamps, and rough timbers — completes the experience.
Many of the top butcher shops in the US are relatively new affairs, sprouting up from demand for quality, sustainably-, naturally-, and responsibly-raised meats. Sydney's Victor Churchill, on the other hand, has a history dating back over 130 years. Founded by the Churchill family in 1876, the shop has seen only four owners in its lifespan, with the current owners bring the boys behind Vic's Premium Quality Meat. And while it's history is long, the shop itself couldn't be more modern, with rich, dark woods, brilliant lighting, and Apple Store-worthy glass, making it that much easier to investigate the various cuts before making your selection. [Scouted by Matt]
Restoring a historic department store, or even a theater, doesn't sound too outlandish. Restoring both and then turning them into a hotel? That's significantly more original. And that's exactly what happened with Design Hotels' QT Sydney. Housed in the heritage-listed Gowings department store and State Theatre, the central business district hotel offers 200 guest rooms, each designed to accentuate the unique design features of the buildings' pasts, while adding in a number of sleek contemporary elements. Most rooms include an oversized tub and shower, flat panel TVs, and sexy lighting, while outside your door, you'll find the Gowings Bar & Grill, the spaQ, a lively lobby that's connected to a café and wine bar, and the Gilt Lounge for late-night entertainment — so there's basically no reason to leave if you don't want to.