A funny thing about Australia: we have an entire population of famous celebrities who are completely unknown outside the country’s borders. I’m still discovering who most of them are—blame my Yankee blinders…or the fact I don’t watch a whole lot of locally produced television. So there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be eating breakfast right next to a famous person who’d send any normal Australian into a tizzy on sight and not even realize it. But that’s not to say internationally recognized superstars don’t go out when they’re in Sydney, either—Rihanna dropped into the Darlinghurst institution Beppi’s for a hearty Italian meal during one of her recent tours, and Courtney Love caused quite a stir when she went shopping at the popular Surry Hills boutique Wheels and Dollbaby a couple of years back. Here are five more spots you’re likely to spy a famous face—Australian or otherwise.
Sheraton on the Park
Sheraton on the Park is a popular spot for famous people swinging through Sydney—and on top of that, they have an ace bar in the lobby where you might catch a business bigwig in the middle of a drinks meeting. I’d suggest dropping in for a beverage or two…just make sure you pay more attention to the door at the entrance than the person you’re sitting with. You wouldn’t want to miss Rihanna waltzing by, would you?
Oprah Winfrey famously dropped in to Bondi Icebergs during her much-ballyhooed 2011 visit to Australia, which means this place has essentially been anointed as a go-to for anyone with a global profile. But even the plebes among us feel pretty special simply walking through the doors of this beachside icon, which boasts excellent food or, if you’re simply wanting to throw back a few drinks, a nice balcony for tippling.
This newish eatery in the recently renovated Bondi Pavilion keeps popping up in the weekend gossip pages, mainly because a good number of Australian celebrities are rushing in to try its fresh Asian dishes like five-spice duck pancakes, prawn and sweet pea dumplings, or cuttlefish ‘chips’ sprayed with lemon.
Look: it’s not exactly the sexiest place in town, but it is the first and last port of call for high flyers touching down and taking off from Sydney. If you’re at the airport—and especially if you’re a passenger on a long-haul flight, keep your eyes peeled at the gate, on the plane, near the baggage carousel, and everywhere else. I’ve seen James Cameron, Ben Lee, and Russell Crowe here. You might, too.
An absolute legend, Quay—which sits right at the end of Circular Quay and offers breathtaking views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge—is often named the number one restaurant in Australia. Not to mention it usually makes those “Top Restaurants in the World” lists you frequently find in travel magazines. So the chances you’ll see a big name salivating over a dish of mud crab congee or sipping on a tasty mojito are pretty high.