I’ve lived in East Sydney since 1997 and have loved every minute of it.

I’m close enough to fun and work that I can walk or catch a cheap taxi, but far enough away that I can stay in and miss absolutely everything.

Living close to the action isn’t for everyone. I grew up in central Queensland, where nothing really happens – though the day a truck tipped over, expelling cows who ran crazily through the streets, was a lot of fun.

Many think of the area as just nightclubs and pubs, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  This week I’m going to let you in on a few secrets learned from many years of trial and error – Maxi’s Best Eats!

My favourite coffee comes down to two places – which just happen to be side by side on Stanley Street.

First is Giotto where your barista, Tam, a very cute Thai boy, personalises each coffee and remembers almost everyone’s as they enter the café.

Right next door is Third Village, with bulky tattooed barista Heath. Here the coffee is always yum and so is Heath.

To mix it up, Kawa on Crown Street makes a delicious Chai tea in gorgeous floral teapots. The Chai made with soya milk is the best- though personally I don’t usually drink soya. Kawa’s chocolate brownies also deserve a visit.

For sandwiches there is only one place to go and that is Kings Lane Sandwiches on Kings Lane.  They are only open on weekdays and do a selection of sandwiches and salads.  It gets quite busy but the food is to die for so it’s worth getting there early or waiting in line.

Another great eat is at Pieno Café, beside Thomas Dux on Crown Street.  They serve a fabulous Chicken Schnitzel sandwich with Italian coleslaw – great before or after a big night out.

Maybe I was the last to know, but I have also recently discovered how good the restaurant upstairs at the Courthouse Hotel is.  I have been twice in the last 3 weeks and loved it. From Mixed Grill to Roasts, to the biggest homemade pie I have ever seen, the food is amazing and reasonably priced.

When finishing the night off with something sweet, I cant beat the boys at Cold Rock.

I’ve been an ice cream fan for years and it doesn’t hurt that the boys are so spunky.

So next time you think that you have to stay away from the “ghetto” or the “scene” to be good, realise it’s not all about nightclubs.  Maybe it’s your will power that needs to be looked at.

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