Discovering Eastwood: A Guide to Sydney's Korean Food and Products Scene
If you live in Sydney or are visiting Sydney and feel like eating Korean food, then here are the places you can try.
Korean immigration to Australia can be traced back to the late 19th century, with a significant increase in the 1970s and 1980s. There was a slowdown in immigration during the late-1990s due to the IMF crisis (International Monetary Fund), however, Korean tourists along with working holiday people, and overseas students have continuously come to Australia and also to New Zealand. (In fact, it was the mid-1990s that I, along with my parents, moved to New Zealand.)
Anyway nowadays, it is not difficult to find Korean food or products in Sydney. There are about 4-5 suburbs where a lot of Koreans are living and staying (when they are visiting), and in those areas, there are streets lined with Korean restaurants, bakeries, cafes, and supermarkets.
Here are the four main places that can be called a little Korea outside Korea.
Since I recently visited Eastwood, I will provide a more detailed look at the area but I will still share the basic locations of the other areas too.
City of Sydney: Pitt Street
(especially from 250 - 371 Pitt street, crossing Liverpool street)
There are Korean restaurants, hair salons, and shops. This is more popular for tourists and visitors who are staying near the city.
Strathfield Koreatown: Strathfield Station
This suburb is popular among Koreans and has a large Korean population. As soon as you walk out of the train station, you can easily see the array of Korean cafes, restaurants, hair salons, and more. The Strathfield station is a transportation hub, making it a very convenient location. If you are using trains, it is only 15 min from the city.
Lidcombe: Lidcombe Station
According to the 2022 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Lidcombe has the highest Korean population in Sydney, with about 3500 Koreans living in the area.
You will find a big Korean market inside the shopping centre, where you can buy almost everything you need.
Eastwood, Rowe Street: Eastwood Station
If you are taking a train, as you come out of the station, you can see a public library on one side. If you head towards the library, you will find Chinatown where you can see all sorts of Chinese restaurants, groceries, and stores. So, if you would like to get to the Korean side, you need to exist opposite the library side. Immediately after the exit, you will see Korean signages along the street.
What you can find in Eastwood Koreatown
Korean Banchan (side dish) stores
Koreans typically always have several side dishes with their meal. Kimchi is one of the common side dishes and then there are literally countless various sorts of them such as marinated fish cakes, small pancakes, different types of kimchi, pickles, dried radishes, and seaweed, just to name a few. They are all prepared in small containers, allowing you to purchase only what you need.
Korean restaurants, bakeries, and cafes
If you are not Korean, then, you may visit the area to try Korean foods! There are many different Korean restaurants that serve seafood, meat, chicken, and street snack food!
I posted a similar article on my Korean blog about Eastwood. Because my intention was to let people know what is available, not to promote any particular stores,
I tried taking photos without the actual name of the restaurants. So my apologies if you were looking for a particular recommendation.
However, the street itself is not stretched out long, you can stroll around the whole place within 20 minutes. I recommend browsing the area first, and then choosing and trying a restaurant you like.
Korean groceries, cosmetics, and general house products
There are also several supermarkets in the area that sell Korean imported fruits and vegetables, as well as locally grown ones. For certain types of Korean food, you need that particular vegetable and that is why I often come here too.
The markets usually sell household products such as kitchenwares, bathroom amenities, and cosmetics. Basically, you can get almost everything you need from Korea here.
I remember once my friend from Korea asking me if I needed anything as she thought I probably couldn't get things here. I said it was basically Korea here. LOL. (although, I quickly changed and said, yes, please send me anything! haha)
Finally, there are also music schools, hair salons, a chemist, and a post office but these may only be useful for those who prefer Korean services.
I hope you enjoyed the little tour of what you can expect in Eastwood and where you can get Korean food and products in Sydney. If there are any particular Korean dishes you would like to know more about or have any questions regarding Korean culture or food, please comment below. I will assist to the best of my ability.