Balmain’s historical soul is grounded in working-class culture as it was not that long ago it was primarily the home for working families. In fact, it was in Balmain that the Australian Labor Party was formed in 1891.
Balmain has a rich industrial background and was home to coal mines, shipbuilding, metal foundries, boiler making, engineering and soap factories. Because of this tiny cottages were built and rented to the workers. Today they have been restored and enjoy a new and grander life.
Thankfully, Balmain respects its heritage which is now enjoyed a wide cross-section of locals, local enterprises as well as tourists and visitors.
Balmain is only 6km west of the Sydney CBD in inner-city and it lies on a peninsula jutting into Sydney Harbour and surrounding suburbs are Rozelle, Birchgrove, Iron Cove, White Bay, and Mort Bay.
Photo Balmain & Glebe Heritage
One of Sydney’s most interesting shopping strips.
Take a walk on Saturdays from Balmain to the Rozelle Markets. You’ll pass high fashion shops, stores with handmade jewelry, shops with shoes from Europe and unconventional fashion designs. There are stunning collections women’s designer wear at Strelitzia and the Saturday Balmain Markets for recycled fashion, pre-loved books and music, antiques and collectibles.
St Andrews Church
217 Darling Street Balmain
8am to 4 pm Saturdays
Ph 0451 637 701
140 stalls with high-quality art and craft, jewelry, bric-a-brac, books, clothing, footwear, antiques and collectibles, organic fruit and vegetables. More info
Rozelle Collectors Market
Rozelle School 663 Darling St Rozelle 2039
Ph 0402 666 272 (On Saturday & Sunday call 0478 015 203)
Every Saturday and Sunday 9am to 4pm.
Everything from bric a brac, furniture, records and books to vintage clothing and jewelry. Garage sale stalls are a specialty as are antiques and collectibles. All the ingredients are there for the seriously creative or just the practical bargain hunters. There’s a great selection of international food, a massage for the weary and even tarot readings for the curious.
Balmain East, NSW 2041
Rich in history and a fascinating and important part of Sydney’s Port Jackson. Tours are available.
489 Darling Street, Balmain, NSW 2041
Ph 02 9810 8855
Destination fashion store for all Sydney stylistas.
Monday – Friday 10am – 6pm, Saturday 9.30am – 5.30pm and Sunday 11am – 5pm
The Source Bulk Foods
262 Darling Street Balmain,
NSW 2041 Ph 02 9810 0095
Heaven for those looking to nourish nutrition, health and the environment with over 350 raw products lining the walls of this eco-savvy store.
Open Monday-Friday 9am-6:30pm (Thursday open till 7:30pm), Saturday & Sunday 9am-5pm Check the Facebook page for public holiday opening hours.
“A Waterside Enclave”
Private home at Birchgrove
Birchgrove Road, Birchgrove, NSW 2041
Ph 02 9358 2655 Mobile: 0448 700 199
Beautifully renovated home with original charm, catering for family living and entertaining with sweeping open plan living and spectacular harbour views.
Balmain Wharf Apartments
10 Darling St Balmain East
Ph Seint 02 9810 4319 (9am to 5pm)
“Balmain Wharf Apartments are a boutique block of just four luxury apartments in a heritage 1840’s sandstone building. Originally the Shipwright’s Arms Hotel for 140 years, the interiors have been refurbished in designer comfort and luxury mod cons. Only 1 km to Circular Quay or Darling Harbour, our unique harbour location and proximity to the ferry service offers a perfect base from which to explore Sydney’s attractions. The ferry from Balmain East Wharf is the most scenic and convenient public transport Sydney has to offer. All our apartments have views and a balcony looking out to the Sydney Harbour Bridge.” BALMAIN WHARF APARTMENTS
Selected Balmain Restaurants and Cafes
Contessa – Cafe/Restaurant371b Darling Street, Balmain 2041
Ph 02 9555 7399
Open for breakfast and lunch 7 days a week.Casual dining cafe/restaurant bringing a unique slice of New York City cool to Balmain.
“Contessa is a casual dining cafe/restaurant which brings a unique slice of New York City cool to the streets of Balmain. Located on Darling Street and open for breakfast and lunch 7 days a week, Contessa offers a vibrant meeting place for locals and visitors alike to get together and enjoy quality food, beautiful coffee and an exceptional service.” CONTESSA
Bertoni Casalinga – Balmain
281 Darling Street, Balmain NSW 2041
Ph 02 9818 5845
Excellent coffee and home-style Italian fare made to recipes that have been in the Bertoni family for decades.
Blue Ginger Restaurant
241 Darling Street, Balmain NSW 2041
Ph 02 9818 4662
A casual style with a buzzy ambiance, it is one of the most popular Asian restaurant in the inner-west.
350 Darling Street, Balmain NSW 2039
Ph 02 9810 0086
Menu features Central American street food.
79 Elliott Street, Balmain NSW 2041
Ph 02 9810 5466
Modern, authentic Turkish cuisine in a vibrant and fun atmosphere.
Dinner Tuesday to Sunday. Lunch Friday to Sunday. Breakfast Sunday only
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Quotations shown in italics and in quotation marks are supplied by the listed enterprise or sourced from their website or social media.
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