Inner West is Best? Why We Love Erskineville

Go To Guide #18.09


How lucky are we to call this slice of Sydney home? Between King St and Mitchell Rd lies a strip of pubs, cafes and small businesses that make the small suburb of Erskineville one of the friendliest destinations in the city!! Granted, there is a small technicality that we might not be geographically in the “inner west” of Sydney – but we’d like to argue that by being on the border and having the enthusiasm of a labrador puppy after a nap, we’ll be considered an Inner-Westie.


There is an incredible spirit that is unique to our neighbourhood, that has grown and evolved over the decades. With a locally focused, family friendly and LGBTQIA+ spirit, served with some of the best eats in the Inner West – here are some of our top picks for where to go in Erskineville for the goods:


Go To Guide: Erskineville #1


Best Use of Chilli: MAGGIE’S THAI 75 Erksineville Rd | You can’t swing a cat in Sydney without hitting a Thai restaurant, but the little slip of a restaurant that is Maggie’s Thai has been serving up authentic Thai cusine using locally grown and sourced ingredients that tickle all the locals taste buds. The Jungle Pork Curry has basically carried us through winter, warming loins left, right and centre. Plus, they do BYO (enough said). Note. no cats were harmed when researching for this blog.


Best Home Made everything: FLEETWOOD MACCHIATO 43 Erskineville Rd | Fleetwood Macchiato have been single handedly keeping the management team at The Imperial caffeinated since we closed for renovations back in September 2017. Owner Tara and her friendly staff produce incredible baked goods, cordials, pickles and preserves and even some FM merch! If you’re a coffee and brunch snob, you will not be disappointed.
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Collage of photos, home baked brownies, jars of pickles and the interior of a cafe
Best Queer Culture: IMPERIAL ERSKINEVILLE, 35 Erskineville Rd | Obviously we can’t write a “best of erko” list without putting yours truly on it! The Imperial Hotel (or the Impy as the locals call us) has been an LGBTQIA+ icon since 1983, infamously breaking the rules and flying a rainbow flag for 35 years! After an eight month closure and multi-million dollar reno, this old gal is back and more booti-ful than ever – dishing up some of the finest drag, queer performance art and parties in the hemisphere! There’s plenty of love in our house…

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Group photo of drag queens and performers saying cheers to each other

Best Blooms: THE FLORAL DECORATOR 112 Erksineville Rd | From posies, potted cacti and single stems – the team at The Floral Decorator (led by owner Kelly) have been on the Erskineville strip for 18 years. Welcoming and with an easy-going, eager to assist attitude, combined with their passion for floristry makes for our pick of the bunch – pun intended, especially when it comes to who provides our Priscillas restaurant flowers.
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Photo collage with a florist arranging flowers and buckets of flowers in a rowBest Small Bar: THE HIVE BAR 93 Erskineville Rd | Nailing the positive vibes across all channels are the legends at Hive. With epic burgers and vegan food to boot, plus some serious cocktail knowledge AND vinyl DJs 5 nights a week – the Impy kids are obsessed with Hive’s themed parties and the Dollar Bin Darlings the last Sunday of every month. Oh Yes Henny.


Best Pub Classics: THE ROSE AUSTRALIA 1 Swanson St | With head chef Chris Bell at the helm, the pub grub at The Rose is second to none. Delicious, affordable, familiar (yet incredibly inventive) – from $10 Spag Bol to sophisticated dishes like the Whey Braised Lamb and humble homemade Pork & Veal Sausage Rolls (literally the yummiest sausage rolls in the world), this family friendly Erskineville favourite has no shortage of character and charm. Get in my belly.
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An image of a chicken parmi on a plate, covered in melted cheese, with a terracotta pot of gravy being poured over the top
Best Smokehouse Fare: THE ERKO 102 Erskineville Rd | Keep it Frothin’ is their motto, and froth we shall. The smoker in the beer garden of The Erko has become an icon of the local community, producing some of the best smoked meat and Sunday grub this side of the hemisphere. Wash it all down with a local beer while you’re playing pool. Sundays sorted.


Best Bacon & Eggs: SHENKIN KITCHEN 51-53 Erksineville Rd | Aside from the iconic Shakshuka, this local favourite knows how to serve up the most moorish, hangover cure, no regrets Bacon & Egg Wrap. We’re talking layers of melted cheese, an eggy omlette, bacon & their famous Allenby sauce (wrapped in grilled pita). You’re welcome.


Your favourite hangout not featured? Let us know who’s the bees knees and why!