Be it the trendy cafes in the local markets or the upscale fine dining restaurants, Sydney has a lot on its platter that makes the reputation for its food and drinks scene well deserved.
1: The Bennelong
Apart from being the brainchild of locally renowned chef Peter Gilmore, Bennelong also enjoys arguably the most iconic location in Australia, inside the famous Sydney Opera House itself. Fittingly you have pre- and post-theatre options tailored for those attending a show at the prestigious venue.
The restaurant takes its name from the point of its location; one used long ago for Aboriginal gatherings. Conversely, tables set under the soaring ceilings sport a fully Australian menu that is modern with a vengeance.
2: CHISWICK at the Gallery
CHISWICK is another one that sports its premium location within the Art Gallery of New South Wales. It is arguably the best pick among the many establishments patronized by celebrated Australian chef Matt Moran.
Particularly of appeal is the view, especially from its contemporary dining room that overlooks the Sydney Harbor. Equally important is the highly specialized cuisine, that has most of the ingredients sourced from the restaurant’s own kitchen garden.
3: Showbox Coffee Brewers
Sydney takes its coffee very seriously. It is this nowhere evident than at Showbox, where specialty brews rule the roost. The cafe sits just a few blocks from the beach in the Manly beach suburb.
A café-cum-music spot with a trendy décor full of an alternative mindset and an all-day fine menu to boot. If here for brunch, you should not miss the Pegg Roll of crispy Serrano ham and ‘messed up eggs.’
4: Bills, Bondi
The popularity of this Bondi eatery is evident from the ever present queues outside Bills. The establishment has another two Sydney joints, located in Darlinghurst and Surry Hills, but the off-the-beach location of the Bondi outlet seems to make it the pick of the lot.
Open from 7 am to 10 pm daily, it serves lip smacking food throughout. Splurge on a lavish ‘Fresh Aussie’ breakfast, or the calamari salad for lunch or choose the wagyu burger at dinner, be sure to wash ’em down with a cocktail or two.
5: Café Sydney
Café Sydney has been a fixture on the city’s dining scene since the start of the millennium and a long-time favorite of locals and travelers alike.
Mainly due to its scenery-hogging rooftop location that overlooks Circular Quay, it’s not just the view that gets people excited. The food is equally impressive, with an ever-evolving, upscale menu that is based on seasonal produce. The seafood dishes are especially good, and there’s an extensive Aussie-sourced wine list to savor as well.
6: Spice Alley
Broadly modeled on Singapore’s famous hawker centers, Spice Alley is a stylish street-food heaven that hosts a variety of stalls that serve an excellent selection of Asian cuisine. The choice is extensive and of high quality.
The market in the courtyard behind the Kensington Street Laneway in Chippendale draws big crowds on all days. Must visit stalls include the Bang Luck Thai Street Food, the Hong Kong Diner and the Alex Lee Kitchen (Malaysian.)
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