Brooklyn. Shoreditch. Le Marais. Now check out the inner-west Sydney suburb gunning for the title of the world’s coolest suburb: Marrickville.

The best pub

The Henson (pictured top) is commonly cited as having one of the most kid-friendly beer gardens in Sydney but its generous pub menu – with everything from the Dan-Dan noodles to a 300 gram Angus sirloin steak – deserves just as many accolades. It’s the pub of choice for federal Labor leader and local MP Anthony Albanese, who can regularly be found at the front bar, chatting to constituents over a schooner.

The best breakfasts

VN Streetfoods, Sydney

Marrickvillians seem to spend more time in cafés and restaurants than they do in their own kitchens. The suburb’s hero pre-midday eats are the chunky vegan toasties from Matinee Coffee, the cod roe omelette from Japanese comfort-food café Kurumac (107 Addison Road; 02 8593 9449) and STIX’s corn fritters with Black Forest bacon and a sous vide egg. Then, of course, there’s the herbaceous beef or chicken pho,noodle soup that’s traditionally eaten in the a.m. in Vietnam. Every local has their favourite pho joint – most are open by midmorning – and it’s often the less glamorous ones that tick the flavour boxes best. Huong Giang (287 Marrickville Road; 02 9569 3698) brews a rich pho stock with the right balance of aromatics. If you get up late, head to Vn Streetfoods (294 Illawarra Road; 02 9559 4149) for its acclaimed pho and Bento-style meal boxes.

The best bakeries

Bourke Street Bakery, Sydney

In the battle of the baked goods the only question is: sweet or savoury? Local delights include the sticky baklava from the Hellenic Patisserie & Gelato Bar, the cruffins from Baked Republic and the pork and fennel sausage rolls from Bourke Street Bakery

The best creative space

Graffiti, Faversham Street, Sydney

Fancy yourself as Demi Moore in Ghost? Clay Sydney holds weekly beginner clay art classes that give you a quick introduction to throwing pots and plates on a pottery wheel, including sessions where you BYO wine. Date night sorted.

The best market

Virtually a spiritual ritual for inner-westies, Marrickville Markets (142 Addison Road; 02 9999 2226) is the place to be on Sunday mornings. Shop for a haul of organic vegies and a stack of fresh dips from Valley Falls Syrian Food. And join the queue for caffeine from Alex’s Coffee.

The best breweries

Sour beer from Philter Brewing, Sydney

What do you get when a suburb is home to loads of creatives and a large amount of warehouse space? Breweries. Lots of them. Here, there’s a craft-beer brewery round almost every corner, each with its own schedule of tastings, special events and food-truck residencies. Spend an afternoon wandering between The Grifter, Philter and Batch.

The best live performance

On any given evening expect to see a live band, stand-up comedy act or dance production at The Factory Theatre, one of the inner-city’s best loved and most eclectic venues. Grab a pre-show feed at the hip beer garden at The Vic On The Park, just a few steps up the road.

The best walking track

The Cooks River, Sydney

Point your car south in Marrickville and you’ll eventually reach the Cooks River, which marks its lower boundaries. A gently winding walking-and-cycling track follows the length of the waterway, dotted with off-leash dog parks and playgrounds.

SEE ALSO: Neighbourhood Watch – A Guide to Redfern

Image credit: Christopher Pearce

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