Welcome to Chippendale — AKA ‘Chippo’ to us locals. Over the past decade or so, our home, proudly bound by its working-class roots, has made a name for itself as not only a foodie fantasy land but a club-kid-hot-spot (hello, the Abercombie!), arts and architectural-hub too. Formerly (we’re talking 19th century here) an industrial warehouse precinct, Chippendale has since emerged as a thriving, contemporary enclave of music, flavour and creative learning (UTS), all the while refusing to disown its gritty history. From live, experimental music venues like Phoenix Central Park, to the renowned White Rabbit Gallery and our chilli-chasing neighbours at Spice Alley, Chippendale’s long been recognised as a space for established and emerging artists, chefs and entrepreneurs to share stories from in and around Sydney.
So, whether you’re drawn to industrial architecture, fascinated by history, or simply seeking a little art-spiration, we beg of you — explore! Bop on over to that dance floor, slurp up that ramen and gaze into the eye of Sydney’s past. It’s all here.
White Rabbit Gallery:
Just a hop, skip, and jump from The Old Clare lobby, The White Rabbit Gallery awaits as your first and most important destination. Opened in 2009 by philanthropist Judith Neilson, this renowned contemporary art space showcases captivating works by Chinese artists, housed in a former Rolls-Royce service depot where automotive history meets the powerful narratives of groundbreaking, oftentimes highly political, Chinese art. Let’s not forget to mention they also serve very very steamy dumplings and high tea
If you’re a dumpling, ramen, ginger, garlic and/or biang biang noodle enthusiast, Spice Alley is a must-visit. AND it’s right next door to us, so! This vibrant hawker-style food court offers a variety of Asian cuisines, from sweet-savoury Malaysian satay to steaming bowls of Vietnamese pho made with bone-broth. Grab a seat at one of the communal tables, bring a pal or dine solo — this place is a makeshift cinema for people watching. More info here.
An innovative mixed-use development that seamlessly blends residential, retail, and recreational spaces. Take a leisurely stroll through the beautifully landscaped Central Park Mall, lined with an array of boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants. A must-see: the iconic vertical gardens known as the “living forest,” which add a unique touch to the urban landscape. Hot tip: lay down in the grass and daydream a little.
Okay this one is very important for music lovers and fans of White Rabbit’s Judith Neilson, who has created a space where architecture, interior design, and the arts converge, offering diverse performances ranging from classical recitals to edgy performance art. Tickets? Nup, it’s entirely free. You can find the line up here, it changes monthly!
For avid readers of our Locals by Locals journal series, we filled you guys in on Central stations ‘it’ spot feat. all things candle concept stores, pizza clubs and art spaces. In a nutshell, this is the place for all you creative-enthusiasts and quirky knick-knack hoarders — from Nonna’s Grocer fruit or butter candles to pop-up gallery space SHADES, the events here rage like wildfire and change weekly, more intel here.
Nestled within Central Park, Kensington Street is a hub of gastronomic delights and cultural experiences. From Burlesque performances to Truffle parties (yep), there’s something for every palate and perspective. Think contemporary Australian cuisine, Sicilian wine tasting events and $1 dumplings every Monday. For the full street line up, slink over here.
Chippendale is home to the prestigious University of Technology Sydney, and a visit to its campus is a treat for architecture and design enthusiasts. Brutalist enthusiasts will marvel at the cutting-edge buildings, including the quintessential central Sydney view of the UTS Tower and the Frank Gehry-designed Dr. Chau Chak Wing Building. Hot tip: Take a stroll through the leafy Alumni Green park, a popular spot for students and locals alike. Picnic = perfect.
Look, we couldn’t not. For a taste of the aforementioned industrial history, pay a visit to the Old Clare Hotel. IYKYK and if you don’t, we’re housed in two heritage-listed buildings now layered with all things fine dining and beer-centric, from certified seafood lovers haven, Longshore to Clare Bar, TOCH Bar and the rooftop. P.S the views up top are pretty fab, think panoramic city views, skyscrapers, big sky and endless pool.
If you’re in Chippendale on a Saturday, make sure to stop by the Eveleigh Farmers Market. Located in the historic Carriageworks, this bustling market showcases an array of fresh produce, artisanal food products, and handmade crafts. Sample local cheeses, buttery as heck, freshly baked pastries, and glowing, organic produce.
For more, simply check in at Reception — we’ve got allllll the local intel.