Fast becoming one of the trendiest areas in town, Redfern is embracing its boom with an influx of cafes, restaurants and bars, complementing the preexisting classics that locals have been quietly enjoying for years. Here is but a small taste of five ways to eat your way through Redfern.
Social Laneway Espresso
This delightfully friendly, family-run cafe opens up early each morning to help locals greet the day with a decent coffee and a simple brekky. Bacon and egg rolls are amped up in their Social Laneway style and there's a short, sharp, affordable menu of eggs dishes, wraps and pastries that make a tasty uncomplicated breakfast or lunch. Take the time to have a chat to the owners one day, or read the articles on the wall to discover their interesting, complex, inspiring and international story. There's a community vibe here and they seem to be doing well with their aim to create a bit of a social institution, and not just another cafe.
A couple of years ago Scout's Honour opened up on George St, just tucked around from the main Redfern St precinct, and quickly built up a loyal following of sandwich, salad and coffee lovers. They do a sit down brekky menu, and an assortment of sweet and savoury baked goodies lines the counter, but the jewel of Scout's crown is its seasonally evolving menu of salads and sandwiches (pictured). Inventive, sizeable, flavour-packed creations that form the takeaway lunch of many a local worker, these babies are not to be missed on a journey through the food offerings of Redfern.
The plastic tables, laminated menus, no-fuss decor and complete lack of empty seats at meal times instantly tell you that this is going to be a good place. And indeed this longstanding institution serves up one of the best phos on this side of Cabramatta. It's cheap and cheerful and utterly delicious. There's more to the menu than pho of course, including a few Vietnamese staples that are less commonly found on Sydney menus. A must try for a casual dinner in the area. BYO.
Ciccone & Sons
Dessert time, and in Redfern that means gelato. And gelato in Redfern means Ciccone & Sons. Only a couple of years old, Ciccone & Sons has filled a gap in the local food scene, saving Redferners from treks to the ever feared evening queue at Messina. The menu isn't enormous but there's an excellent collection of creamy classics, fruity sorbettos and their own inventions. Give the matcha or black sesame a whirl, or their signature buttermilk and passionfruit flavour. They'll do you an affogato too, or pop into The Bearded Tit up the road where they serve it with a shot of alcohol.
This is basically the Italian Rock'n'Roll bar you didn't know you needed in your life until you found it. Italian food, Italian drinks, old school rock'n'roll tunes blasting from the speakers, the odd frypan percussion solo from the bar... they sure aren't fans of the dull moment here. Come by early in the night to take advantage of Vasco's gnocchi hour - not just happy hour drinks but a free drink with any gnocchi order. Settle in with a spritz, an old fashioned, or just a decent glass of wine, and watch the antics get quirkier as the night progresses.