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Eating out in Sydney

The wonderful thing about food in Australia is the sheer variety available. This is thanks to the mix of immigrant cultures and of course, the wealth of culinary talent. Sydney has so much deliciousness to look forward to – for every kind of diner.

In Sydney, you are never too far from a good meal or a great cup of coffee. Sydney has a number of food hubs, some that have been around for a long time, and others that are relatively new entrants. There are three food precincts you should check out to explore the best of Aussie cuisine.


No matter what the weather, the stretch between the celebrated seafood-focussed Cirrus and Barangaroo House is always packed with locals out to get some good food. Barangaroo House bookends the precinct, with the large circular building that houses House Bar, Bea and Smoke. At the other end you’ll find Cirrus, with an un-matched wine list and sustainably caught fresh seafood. Of course, Cirrus and Barangaroo are in hot demand, but there are plenty of other options. If you are looking for a casual lunch, then the selection of restaurants behind Wulgul Walk is where you should head to. Check out Banksii for Aussie plants, Belles Hot Chicken for fried chicken heaven, Love.Fish for everything from the sea, and Lotus Dining for contemporary Chinese food.

Steam Mill Lane, Haymarket

Bordering Chinatown, you’ll find Steam Mill Lane. It lies between the convention centre and Paddy’s Markets. Known in the food circles as ‘Sydney’s largest little laneway’, it stretches for just 70 metres but packs in so much. Try the sandwiches at Marrickville Pork including their Banh Mi, which is a lovely rendition of the original. If you are looking for a spot of Japanese with DIY sashimi bowls, pop into Fishbowl. Then go to Bang Bang, a Kabukicho Japanese whisky bar with a soundproof karaoke dining room, for nights where you want to be serenaded terribly by people you like.

The Rocks and Circular Quay

There is a specific area that you should visit in this food hub and that is the one that begins at Suez Canal, follows a curve and ends right across from Circular Quay Station. Tayim is where you stop for some modern Middle Eastern food. At the end of this road is the Vegas-inspired, 1950s vibe exuding ‘Maybe Sammy’. For whisky connoisseurs, the Doss House has the best whiskies and a sophisticated setting to sip it in. But, there’s more than 50 restaurants in The Rocks, from steak to fine dining with a view, casual cafes to crepes, you’ll find your new local here.

Besides these food precincts, there are a few classic food hubs if you happen to be in the vicinity. When the urge for some Indian food grabs you, head on over to Harris Park, which is home to Sydney’s Little India and has around 20 other restaurants that dish out just about any cuisine you could dream of. And what’s a metropolitan city without a China Town? Centred round Dixon Street, Haymarket, this is where you go for dumplings, noodles and all things Chinese. Chatswood is another area for some good Southeast Asian fare. Fairfield is where you will find the oldest of Chilean restaurants. And we cannot leave out Bondi, for relaxed after-work grub and takeaways by the beach.

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Dishes to eat

Now that you know the best places to head to for a good meal, here are seven dishes that are woven into the fabric of the country and which definitely should feature on your to-eat list.

Burger with beetroot: The beetroot burger is one that is a must-have in Sydney and is quite intrinsic to Australia’s culinary scene. Not many places in the world would consider putting in slices of beetroot over a nice Australian beef patty… and it’s good to know you can get this Kiwi classic over the ditch too!

Green chicken curry pie: A specialty of Sydney, this brings together fluffy pastry with a heart-warming Asian style green curry. It’s unique but a surprisingly enjoyable melange of flavours.

It’s good to know that Kiwi classic meat pies are obtainable here too – they silence the rumble of the loudest hunger pangs.

Seafood pizza: The Italian pizza has found its way into several countries and as a result has many variations. In Sydney, thanks to the nearby coastline, the seafood pizza is an eternal favourite among diners. Squid, prawns, clam and fresh seafood are often loaded onto pizzas and it’s a treat for seafood lovers.

Kangaroo: If you are looking for something slightly off-beat, then Kangaroo meat is what you should keep tummy space for. A delicious national symbol, Kangaroo meat is well known to be low in fat and healthy. The best way to enjoy the meat is to have it grilled rare or medium-rare. Anything more could result in a texture similar to a piece of leather.

Crocodile meat: Here’s another meat that is quite unique to the region in terms of being a culinary delight. Often enjoyed grilled, snappy is first marinated in a range of spices for several hours. Much like the Kangaroo, it is to be grilled medium to medium-rare. The tail is believed to be the best in terms of texture and taste.

Aboriginal fare: And no, this isn’t a healthy layer of Vegemite on toast. The original people of the land ate a diet rich in seafood, locally grown herbs and plants, and anything else that lived locally. It’s worth seeking out a local restaurant that specialises in this – the food can be like nothing you’ve ever tasted before. Gardeners Lodge Café serves ‘bush food’ as well as giving a bit of information about Aboriginal culture.

When it comes to good food – Sydney offers the best of pub grub and fine dine, with all else in between. You are never too far from treating yourself to something good.

There are many guides to eating out in Sydney including:

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