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Where to Shop Like a Local In and Around Rose Bay

For Concrete Playground: Get all of the essentials — bread, bedding and burgers — plus a few treats in this harbourside suburb.

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When it comes to idyllic harbourside suburbs, it’s hard to look past Sydney’s beautiful Rose Bay. Only seven kilometres from the city, the neighbourhood sports an array of top-notch cafes, stylish watering holes and plenty of independent bakeries, grocers, homeware shops and bottle shops to enjoy. Here, there are loads of opportunities to lend the community and small businesses in the area a helping hand.

To help you make the most of your time in the area, we’ve teamed up with American Express to design your go-to guide of venues to browse in and around Rose Bay. Grab a bite with mates, restock your liquor cabinet or prepare an excellent dinner party by shopping small with just a tap of your Amex Card.

Hotel Rose Bay

As one of the eastern suburb’s most historic pubs, Hotel Rose Bay is a go-to watering hole for locals to catch up with friends over some bevs and sophisticated fare. Said fare is by ex-Catalina executive chef Ian Royle, but if the newly renovated restaurant’s suite of fine dining-esque sharing plates doesn’t curry your favour, the bar menu offers a more relaxed, contemporary take on homey pub classics in an airy and grand venue.

Pita Mix

You can embrace modern Israeli flavours at Pita Mix. This petite restaurant serves comforting tucker with the soul of the Middle East. Pita Mix is a small family-owned eatery. It sources fresh produce from local farmers and markets, and caters for many dietary requirements, and its meats are all kosher. Kick off your meal with starters like cauliflower steak or charred eggplant served with spiced chickpeas, tahini and pita. Next, dig in to chicken shawarma or falafel with your choice of dips and salads, or a beef brisket burger.

Not only does the eatery offer an impressive range of beers and kosher wine, but it also allows BYO for kosher wine, too. Plus, it launches a new specials menu each fortnight for adventurous foodies.

Beds Australia

Take a bit of the best of Rose Bay home with you after a visit to Beds Australia. A staple of Rose Bay’s shopping experience, Beds Australia can help you take your sleep game to a whole new level. The brand is known for its expertise on the right components for a perfect night’s sleep, so the staff make it their mission to find the right mattress for you. The dreamy Rose Bay showroom has it all, with mattresses available to sink into and textiles to style your chosen one with. If you’ve been looking for a new addition to your bedroom haven, this is where to go. But, a word of warning: it’s going to make getting out of your cosy bed every morning even harder.

Jezve Coffe

If you’re scouting for a tranquil spot to enjoy a relaxing coffee, Jezve Coffee in Lyne Park is the perfect escape. Embracing Rose Bay’s vibrant waterside culture, the cafe showcases exquisite harbour views, surrounded by the serenity of Lyne Park and the bay.

Having opened in 2016, the cafe is the place to come for an authentic Turkish coffee experience — a tradition that dates back to the 15th century. Grab your coffee or a fresh juice to go and take a walk along the water, or settle in at one of the outdoor tables for a lazy breakfast. Here, typical cafe favourites are given a Turkish twist, so you can enjoy smashed avo topped with sumac, dukkah and pomegranate dressing or poached eggs with garlic yoghurt, baby spinach, sujuk and chilli butter.

Royal Bakery

Royal Bakery has been around since 2018 and has cemented itself as one of Sydney’s to-go places for authentic Portuguese tarts — the type that has the power to transport you to Lisbon. But it’s also perfected other delicacies, including fluffy doughnuts, coconut brioche rolls, pies and sausage rolls. You’ll be spoilt for choice on weekends when the bakery has a wider range of treats like sweet cream puff pastries, chorizo rolls and palmiers to savour. With everything house-made, Royal Bakery has all the heart of your avó’s cooking at affordable prices.

Sonoma Bakery Rose Bay

Sourdough in Sydney is synonymous with Sonoma Bakery. And though you can get your hands on loaves at grocery stores and markets these days, a visit to one of its bakeries is still a worthwhile experience. And the Rose Bay outpost is quite the bakery.

Aside from the signature artisanal bread that you can buy by the loaf, Sonoma also has quiches, muesli and handmade pastries on offer to takeaway. Our pick is the morning bun.

But we wouldn’t be surprised if you did want to linger over a slice of the good stuff — with eggs or as a sandwich — and a coffee. Because, based on the corner of New South Head Road and Newcastle Street, the bakery is beautiful. A sleek palette of black, white and brass is present in the chequered floor, painted brick walls and leather banquette seating, giving a classy edge to Sonoma’s typically stripped back branding.

Patricks on Bellevue

Patricks on Bellevue is one of those family-run local grocers that you’ll feel really good about yourself for supporting. Sporting fresh produce alongside bread and deli goods, the store also has a fresh juice and yoghurt bar for those on the go. The team is always keen to discuss the produce with you and can help come up with any seasonally appropriate recipes to impress. Established in 2000, the grocer has everything from the basics to the more exotic and is always buzzing with locals grabbing the freshest food.

Rose Bay Drive-In Liquor Store

A mainstay of the suburb, Rose Bay Drive-In Liquor Store is the place to go if you’re looking to grab a bottle of vino or ponder more exotic libations. The store was established in 1950 and has occupied its current digs since 1975. There is plenty to explore at the family-owned bottle shop, which prides itself on a vast hand-selected range of drinks from across the country and the world.

With its wine advisory service, the staff helps advise the best unions of food and tipple for a special dinner party. Drop by to snag a bottle of your preferred tipple on your way to an event — and, if it’s a rainy day, someone will come and serve you right from your car. It also offers delivery across the eastern suburbs, lower north shore and CBD, including glasses, ice and tubs and your pre-chilled booze.

Support the places you love and shop small at the local stores that make Sydney so great. To learn about American Express, its Shop Small initiative and current Shop Small offer, which ends on August 31, visit here. Then, head this way to find more must-visit spots around the eastern suburbs.

Originally published on Concrete Playground, 14 August, 2020.

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