Affectionately known as The Cross, this has always been the late-night heart of Sydney. There’s everything you could want in an entertainment precinct, from small bars to pumping nightclubs, cutting-edge theatre to chic restaurants. Kings Cross is also home to two major Sydney landmarks, the dandelion-shaped El Alamein Memorial Fountain and the giant neon-lit Coca-Cola billboard.
Arts, culture & history
All the attractions are a short stroll from each other. Griffin Theatre Company performs at the intimate SBW Stables Theatre. It’s where many famous actors, including Cate Blanchett, got their start. Kings Cross Theatre puts on plays on the second floor of the Kings Cross Hotel. Local galleries also hold regular exhibitions, and Kings Cross Comedy Club by Happy Endings is the place to go for laughs.
Discover the area’s notorious history on a guided walk. Journey Walks: History, Crime and Culture tours of Sydney offer a riveting tour that explores the razor gangs of the 1920s. You can read a potted cultural history of The Cross in bronze plaques set in the footpath along Darlinghurst Road.
Patrons outside the Griffin Theatre Company, Kings Cross - Credit: Ken Leanfore
Dance the night away at Flamingo Lounge, Boogie Mountain, Kings Cross Pavilion (housed in the former World Bar building) or Eros, where visitors are encouraged to come for a late-night dinner but stay for a boogie. Sweetheart’s Rooftop is an open-air bar on the top level of the Potts Point Hotel, which is actually in the heart of The Cross. Kings Cross Hotel is another multi-level venue that also includes a rooftop bar and restaurant
For late-night cabaret, head to swish, 1930s-themed Dulcie’s, and for an intimate, jazz-infused speakeasy, make tracks for Eau de Vie. Named after a Kings Cross bar owned by the notorious 1950s gangster Abe Saffron, The Roosevelt is great for an Old Hollywood-style cocktail – think dirty martinis and waiters decked out in suspenders and bowties. At the end of a big night, stop by Thirsty Bird for excellent fried chicken.
Kings Cross has everything from high-end to cheap and cheerful dining. Book into Ezra for modern Middle Eastern, Farmhouse for an ever-changing five-course set menu, Chula for Mexican plates and agave spirits, Bar Lucia for tapas and wine, and Penny’s Cheese Shop for the best cheese toastie in town. The Kings Cross food markets on Saturdays are also fantastic.
When it comes to coffee, Café Hernandez has been serving espresso since 1972 and Jeremy & Sons also do a great brew. Frankie’s Beans roasts its own beans as does Primary Coffee Roasters.
Ezra, Kings Cross - Credit: Nikki To | Buffet Digital
Kings Cross station is just one train stop up from Martin Place. Or, from Hyde Park, walk 10min up William Street.
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