I feel pretty lucky to live in Alexandria – it’s a beautiful and leafy suburb, well-serviced by public transport, has charming street names like Clara, Ethel and Ada, it’s close to the CBD, and a pleasingly diverse mix industrial warehouse space, old-style terraces, and trendy new apartment buildings. There are also loads of lovely green spaces, with the fantastic Technology Park playing host to tonnes of great markets and food events, and we have the likes of Meet Gerard, Fratelli Fresh, The Lord Raglan, The Grounds, Mecca Coffee, Henley’s Wholefoods, The Copper Mill, and John Smith Cafe keeping us fed and watered.
But undoubtedly the most happening food-centric neighbourhood is the Fountain Street precinct, home to a bevy of fabulous eateries and handy local businesses (shout-out to my hairdresser, Marli Rose).
There are some truly winning traditional Vietnamese restaurants on Botany road, right where Redfern borders Alexandria, but we in the Alex’ were seriously lacking a Vietnamese place to call our own. The Nguyen Brothers have filled that void with their click-as Fountain street digs. The slow-cooked pork belly in coconut juice served with a son-in-law egg is a next next level pork experience, and the stir-fried eggplant with pork mince in a seafood sauce is just everything. For those more inclined to sashimi and ramen, Sushi Jones is just over the road.
Alexandrians cried actual tears when the life-affirming Salt Meats Cheese warehouse closed down and deprived us all of their truffle salt, their shelves of interesting oils and vinegars, their cheese room, their peanut butter-making machine, and their excellent pasta-making classes, but things are looking up with the opening of a new shop on Fountain Street. Rather than a grocer, it’s a cafe serving lunch and dinner. Around the corner is one of the newest kids on the block, ChickyCharChar.
Bread and Circus is one of those cafes that people leave their own suburbs to travel to. One of the first businesses to take up shop in the warehouse, the vibe is wholesome food that tastes sensational and makes you feel good.
The guys at Campos have recently extended their digs, taking over the old Stone Rose bakery site and extending their coffee bar to a full-blown cafe space, which butts up nicely against Bread & Circus. The menu is small and to the point, with breakfast classics like a Bacon & Egg Butty, avo on toast, and organic granola on offer. Lunch is also available, and I look forward to getting amongst the Wagu Burger, pronto.
For a sweet indulgence that’s good for the planet, there’s Pana Chocolate, purveyours of raw, organic, vegan chocolate.
Alexandria’s rife with great dining pockets, but Fountain Street is definitely one to add to the itinerary next time you’re in the neighbourhood.