In this week's post, Sydney recommends several things to do and places to visit and eat around the neighborhood of Ultimo in Sydney.
Now that I’ve been in Sydney for a little bit, I know my way around a few parts of the city, including Ultimo, the my neighborhood. One thing that the neighborhood has is the main campus for the University of Technology Sydney. One of the main buildings, the UTS Tower, is very recognizable due to its’ height and large UTS sign at the top of the building, and fortunately for me and the other CAPA students, only about a block from our residence. During our first few weeks here when we were figuring out our way around, we were able to look up for that tower and use it to find our bearings and help us make sure we were going in the right direction to get home. Ultimo also has the largest TAFE campus in New South Wales, which is also super close to my apartment and includes the CAPA Sydney building where I take classes.
A breakfast sandwich from Fork and Grind
As for food, one of my favorite places to eat (so far) and hands down one of the best cafes I’ve ever been to is in Ultimo. Behold, Fork and Grind. If I could franchise it and put it on my campus in Pittsburgh I would spend all of my savings and do it in a heartbeat. Because it’s so close to home and classes, we go pretty often, and I promise I have thoroughly sampled their menu. My go-to breakfast/lunch/class break snack is the “Hangover Cure” which is a fried egg, tomato, bacon, grilled halloumi, smashed avocado, and sweet chili sauce on Turkish bread. It might sound like a basic breakfast sandwich but I can assure you...it is much more. I can also speak volumes about their almond croissants, cinnamon scrolls, banana bread, BLTs, wraps, smoothies, and lattes. ☺ And while the proximity and great food is what drew us in, the best part was that Michael and Alex, the owners, learned our names and orders within a few times of being there and treated every customer like they were the best customer.
You can come here for weekly discounted specials.
Another great cafe is Boutic Roasters. They have Brekkie (breakfast) Combos for as little as AUD$7 and also have weekly discounted specials that vary from banana bread to quiche to soup. This was one of the first places I went to as it’s right down the street and on my way to my internship; it's perfect for an on-the-go meal and coffee. It’s a cute little store and definitely a hidden gem. It has a walk-up window that opens out to the street for customers to order, but once that is closed for the day, I wouldn’t be surprised if people walk right by without realizing that there’s even a business there.
Ultimo also has two malls, the Broadway Centre and Central Park Mall. Broadway is the most convenient place for pretty much everything as it has multiple supermarkets, major department/general stores, restaurants, and pharmacies and medical practices among tons of other things. Central Park also has all of these things, but I think what’s on the outside is the coolest part about the place. This very green building is actually the world’s tallest vertical garden.
The world's tallest vertical garden.
Even though Ultimo has pretty much everything you could need, one of the best things about it is its’ proximity to everything. It’s bordered by tons of great suburbs like the Central Business District, Haymarket, Glebe, and Camperdown. That means you can easily get to a few nice areas like Sydney Harbour or Darling Harbour. I love that I am able to walk to these places and relax by the water and people-watch. I
Enjoying music from a jazz band in the park.
f you’re looking for something a little less touristy, you can head the opposite way to the University of Sydney and Victoria park. USyd has a really cool mix of architecture throughout the campus, and I would definitely suggest walking around and over to the park. The one afternoon when I was wandering through, there was a jazz band playing for an audience that had gathered. Also if you’re looking for something to do on the weekend, there’s a few Saturday markets close by. If you’re a dog person, the Carriageworks farmers market will be HEAVEN, but if you’re looking for something a little more thrifty and funky, the Glebe markets are also super cool. If none of these places do it for you, Ultimo is well-served by public transportation. The largest railway station in NSW, Central Station, is right outside the neighborhood and can take you anywhere that’s too far to walk.
Stay tuned for more of Sydney's journey in Sydney.