An attempt to visit every suburb in Sydney.

This next suburb is best known as Sydney's Italian quarter. But how does it fare for a Saturday afternoon stroll? Leichhardt

Quietly Italian: Leichhardt

This next suburb is best known as Sydney's Italian quarter. But how does it fare for a Saturday afternoon stroll?

Leichhardt

It was my birthday a few weeks ago. To celebrate, Mrs Completing Sydney took me out to a birthday lunch and adventure in the city. For dessert, I was ushered onto a Sydney bus from behind QVB,
dropping us off at this bus stop that turned out to be in the Inner West suburb of Leichhardt. Because I'm insufferable, it was thus natural that I complete this suburb while we were out here.
So when the missus takes you for dessert in a suburb famous for its Italian influence, what do you end up having? 

A tiramisu perhaps? Canolli? Panna cotta? Maybe even something Nutella-y?

No, we were here for peanut butter. 
Peanut butter bar
I had seen this place online a few weeks prior and the idea seemed interesting - a casual restaurant centred entirely around peanut butter, with the stuff featuring in their burgers, wings, loaded fries, and, of course, desserts.
As a lover of chocolate and nuts together, we opted to share a cookie skillet. This was a hot pan with a large and gooey chocolate cookie (biscuit), scoop of vanilla ice cream, and of course, a small jug of peanut butter.
Go the ooze factor.
To wash it down, I thought I'd try a peanut butter beer. Yes, even the beer has PB in it. 
The dessert, as you may expect, was delightfully sinful (although I thought the $16.50 ask was a bit cheeky for a cookie, some ice cream and a few spoons of PB). 

The beer? Well, let's just saw there's a reason you've never had a peanut butter beer before. 

With the birthday sweeties out of the way,
it was time to find out what Leichhardt has to offer, starting with a walk north up Norton Street (presumably named after the antivirus). 
True to the theme, there is that smattering of Italian flavour here, with places named things like "Bar Italia", "La Gardenia",
and "Pawsum".
The handful of stores to the north of Peanut Butter Bar soon finished though, and the walk instead brought me through some typical Inner West houses, with cute exteriors and no garages,
although there is still a patch of Italian stores across the road. 
This house brought to you by Fisher Price. 
We soon hit the reason that we headed north away from the town centre in the first place - Pioneers Memorial Park. 
This is a perfectly acceptable local park, with the typical trees and walking paths you'd expect, 
this spaceship,
and the memorially bit promised by its name. 
Neat entry arch out the front too. 
Exiting through the arch, 
we headed back south towards the Leichhardt CBD where we started off. 
That's one attractive margarita pizza. 
We soon hit the bus stop that we started from and continued up Norton Street. 
This direction seems to be a little bit less Italian, with a number of Asian eateries dotted up the road instead. 
More interesting though, is the vintage post and telegraph office, 
which sits by a couple of other interesting old buildings just off the main drag, 
such as this house with a name (old fancy houses always have names), 
and this Methodist church which was sadly obstructed by Leichhardt's foliage. 
Back on Norton Street, more interesting old buildings made themselves known, 
most notably the town hall building, 

(with its own Big Ben).
Even some of the shopfronts have flair. 
Continuing on, we also stumbled upon some art by the local primary school kids. 
The kindergarteners channelled their inner Picasso, 
while the older kids drew accurate representations of 2020. 
Ahmad gets it (although that mask should really be covering his nose too). 
As I continued down Norton Street, I started to notice something about this place. 

It's way quieter than I was expecting. 
I don't know if we were here at the wrong time (Saturday afternoon seems like a good time to visit somewhere though),
but the deeper I headed into Norton Street, the more "forgotten" things seemed to feel. 
I had one more point interest that I wanted to check out before calling it a day though, and that was the Italian Forum. 
This place describes itself online as the "cultural home of Sydney's Italian community", and so we entered through this arcade, 
passing Italian themed stores such as The Merchant of Venice,
and Beirut Charcoal Chicken.
On the other side of the arcade is an admittedly very Italian looking place. 
So I think anyway. I've never actually been to Italy. But where is everyone?
At this stage, I was a little bit underwhelmed by Leichhardt's Saturday afternoon offerings, so we backtracked up Norton Street to pick up our groceries,
and hopped on another bus to leave the suburb. 
Leichhardt: Today I found out that Leichhardt it spelt with two Hs. 

2 comments:

  1. Nowadays both Haberfield and Five Dock have surpassed Leichhardt as the culture heart for Italians in Sydney.

    Sidebar- do you have a map that shows all the suburbs you’ve completed?

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    1. I've heard Haberfield has some amazing Italian food - it's one I'm excited to check out sooner rather than later.

      And yes, this page has a map of everywhere I've been. There's a google map embedded in the page (which you can also open by itself to just see the map).
      https://www.sydneycompletion.com/p/suburbs.html

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