Food,  Sydney

Where to eat & drink in Sydney

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Sydney is a foodie’s paradise, full of great restaurants, cafes, and bars.  I sampled quite a few of them in my years living there.  Even on recent work trips back, I was lucky to check out a few new places and revisit some oldies but goodies.  This list is by no means a list of the latest and hottest, but it’s a list of some of my favourites.

Where to get a good drink:

Palmer & Co – slightly hidden, behind Mr. Wong’s and the Establishment Hotel on George Street, Palmer and Co. is a prohibition style bar with yummy but expensive cocktails.  Some nights, there’s a live band, the servers are dressed the part, in flapper girl outfits and suspenders.

The Winery – just off Crown Street in the heart of Surry Hills.  The first time I saw this place, I thought I had entered a posh garden party.  Think florals, eccentric furniture, and lots of wine.

Opera Bar – so iconic and such a great atmosphere on a sunny day.  You might have to fight for a table, but it’s worth it for a chance to soak in the views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

The Bar at the end of the Wharf – a bit of a long-winded name, but this is a hidden gem with brilliant views of the Harbour.  It’s also the perfect place for a drink before/after catching at show at the Sydney Theatre Company or Sydney Dance Company.

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Where to get food glorious food!

Spice I am – This one has been around a while; I remember going the first time with a few work colleagues back in 2010.  Still remember being blown away by the flavours.  Since then I’ve become a massive fan of Sydney’s Thai food.  There are multiple Spice I am locations now and you can’t go wrong with any of them.  Some are a bit fancier and more atmospheric than others.  The massaman curry is a must.  Warning, there are a number of other Thai/Asian restaurants on my recommendations list below…I am Asian after all haha.

Chat ThaiExtensive menu, strong and flavourful dishes, great locations.  Chat Thai can get very busy, so you’ll have to be prepared to wait a bit.

Chin Chin – The original is in Melbourne.  I had a birthday meal at the newly opened location in Sydney last December.  At the time it was popular and hard to get into, but worth the effort.  Definitely go with a group so you can order a large variety of plates to share and try a bit of everything.

Almond Bara tiny little restaurant that’s been around for ages.  Make sure you make a reservation in advance.  They do Syrian food…which to my untrained palette is quite similar to Lebanese or Turkish food.  They have lots of hummus and dips, and do a nice roast cauliflower a really yummy chicken and yoghurt dish.

Na Zdrowie – don’t ask me how to pronounce this restaurant’s name, I only know that they have the most delicious cabbage rolls (Golabki).  I’ve been here a few times, and despite going in with intentions to order something new, I always end up with the cabbage rolls.  The perogies and duck are also good.

Apollo – Delicious Greek food in a beautiful setting.  Not usually a fan of lamb (I don’t like the gamey flavour so pretty much never eat it), I was convinced by a friend to share a slow roasted lamb shoulder at Apollo in Elizabeth Bay.  The meat was melt off the bone, super tender, and not gamey at all!  If you like lamb, this is a must try.

Fratelli Fresh – These guys have several locations, but my favourite is the one on Bridge street.  It’s good for an after work Italian meal and this location has a pizza oven so make sure you get a pizza to share.

Happy Chef Laksa – this is my favourite place for Laksa in Sydney.  Having lived in Singapore, I can say this isn’t the most by-the-book laksa shop; instead you’ll find a huge variety of different noodles and topping choices served in laksa broth.  My favourite is the vegetable laksa — those puffy tofu pieces soak up all the yummy laksa soup and are a perfect mouthful…just make sure it’s not too hot!  Located in the upstairs food court at 401 Dixon Street in Chinatown.

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Brunch

I LOVE brunch, a love I definitely developed in Sydney.  There are so many amazing brunch places, and new ones popping up all the time.  These are a few faves I’ve been to multiple times over the years, but I’m always keen to try new places whenever I visit.

Bang Bang – for the potato stack.  This is a small little cafe on a quiet street in Surry Hills.

Salina’s – I love having lunch at Bronte after walking the coastal track from Bondi.  You can try any of the cafes along that strip for a decent meal.

Shuk – A bit out of the way in North Bondi, but with an Israel inspired menu, this is not your usual eggs benedict place.

Trio – right on Campbell Parade and a great place to have a meal by Bondi beach.

For the latest and greatest, I rely on these sites for recommendations:

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