From red lights to luxury: where to eat, drink and stay in Sydney's Kings Cross

Sydney's Kings Cross is emerging as a surprising destination for luxury-seeking travellers. Here's where to find the area's best restaurants, bars and hotels.

After Sydney's controversial lockout laws spelled the end of an era for Kings Cross, the infamous strip is looking for a new life in the lap of luxury.

While gentrification has long been at work in Potts Point and neighbouring Darlinghurst, visitors to the area typically sought  its nightclubs, strip joints and Sydney's cheapest backpacker hostels.

Yet, as tourism numbers rise and accommodation prices in the CBD swell, will we start to see more visitors flocking to the city's exciting fringe suburbs?

"It’s definitely changing, along with the face of the area," CEO of the Lancemore Group, Julian Clarke, confirmed upon the relaunch of his boutique Larmont Hotel in Potts Point.

"Potts Point has long been a tourism hotspot, it’s just reinventing itself. The backpackers are still there but they are accompanied by informed travellers who are keen to stay outside of the CBD."

While Kings Cross is outside the CBD, it is within a 10 minute walk of the city's heart. It's also a gateway to Sydney's east, most notably Bondi Beach, and home to some of the city's best dining experiences.

For Julian, Potts Point is the ideal location for tourists looking to live like a local. If you're planning on swinging by, here are the restaurants and bars you'll need to complete your trip.


The Apollo

For something hearty, head to the Apollo for a Greek feast, starting with the honey saganaki cheese ($17) and baked cauliflower filo with anchovy butter ($14), followed by the lamb shoulder ($38-$80).

44 MacLeay St, Potts Point  |



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If you're dining for two, share the 'Aguachile' ($18-$20) - Mexico's answer to ceviche - and a couple of tacos for a fresh summer meal ($13-$15). You also can't leave without enjoying one of Chula's famous margaritas.

Shop 7, 33 Bayswater Rd, Potts Point |

Billy Kwong

One of Australia's most respected chefs, Kylie Kwong, heads up this Australian-Chinese establishment to great acclaim. The delicate Chinese flavours are incredible and, thanks to Kwong's passion for local ingredients, guests can also sample native Australian foods cooked to perfection. Needless to say, you'll want to make a reservation!

1/28 MacLeay St, Potts Point |


While most Sydney restaurants wouldn't dare not cater to a range of dietary requirements, Yellow has an entirely plant-based menu for vegetarian and vegan diners. Try the luxurious five-course brunch for a one-of-a-kind Sydney breakfast experience.

57 MacLeay St, Potts Point |



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Honorable mentions: Cho Cho San, Bills Darlinghurst, Ms.Gs, ACME, Fratelli Paradiso - the options are endless.


Dear Sainte Eloise

This cosy wine bar will appeal to those who love an intimate but happening hub. The extrensive wine list will suit all budgets with a glass ranging from $10 to $25 and bottles from $45 and up.

5/29 Orwell St, Potts Point |



This is another wine bar (Potts Point has quite a few of these), this wine list was named the best in 2017 by the Sydney Good Food Guide. There isn't a lot of space for a drink as Monopole is primarily a dining venue, but if you're a small group, you should be able to nab a spot.

1A MacLeay St, Potts Point |

Eau De Vie

Eau De Vie has a baffling cocktail list and over 500 spirits behind the bar, so take advantage of the bartenders' knowledge! The speakeasy style also means it doesn't look like much from the street. If you're unsure you're in the right place, you probably are.

229 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst |


The Larmont Sydney

After Lancemore Group CEO Julian Clark travelled to 100 boutique hotels around the world, he decided to pool his learnings and put the very best of them into effect at The Larmont Sydney. The hotel caters to everything the modern traveller needs, from Netflix and Apple TV to unlimited access to the nearby Anytime Fitness gym and Body Mind Life yoga studio.

2-14 Kings Cross Rd, Potts Point |


Feature image: Instagram/@DearSainteEloise

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