14 Places to Eat in Sydney

Are you looking for tips on places to eat in Sydney?

We touch on eight different neighbourhoods with a specific focus on 14 restaurants in Sydney we have personally enjoyed eating at.

Potts Point

Potts Point is a small, densely-populated suburb of inner-city Sydney, right next door to the infamous Kings Cross area. There are lots of interesting options in this area, but recently we enjoyed Ms G’s.

1. Ms G’s Restaurant

There is a reason why Ms G’s chef Dan Hong appeared on the TV hit show MasterChef a few weeks back. His fusion of Asian cuisine are out of this world with taste and originality.

You can order small tapas style dishes or larger main meals. The ingredients of the dishes, particularly dessert, seem weird, but when you pop them in your mouth they just explode with flavour.

My picks – the grilled corn on the cob with parmesan and lime.

a plate of food
grilled corn on the cobb

Buddha’s delight vegetarian salad

A plate full of food
Vegetarian salad

Grilled King prawns

A plate of food
King prawns

Ms G’s kooky cocktails are very famous and come in a special sealed cup. My pick is the Pina ‘Pearled’ Colada which comes with green tapioca pearls in it adding a strange texture and flavour.

A glass of alcohol
Pina “pearled” Colada

At Ms G’s a graffiti-like mural dominates one wall, chairs are mismatched, and the tabletops are lacquered with woodchip.

people sitting at tables in a restaurant
M’s Gs
people sitting at tables in a restaurant

Where: Ms G’s is at 155 Victoria St, Potts Point; ph 02 8313 1000

Prices: Entrees $6-$18; Mains $15-$30; Desserts $12

 Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour is adjacent to the city centre and is a large recreational and pedestrian precinct. With 39 restaurants, Darling Harbour offers lots of dining options and venues consist of restaurants, cafes, and bars.

Darling Harbour consists of three stunning locations -Harbourside, Cockle Bay and King Street Wharf with many restaurants situated on the edge of Sydney Harbour providing picturesque waterfront dining.

2. Chinta Ria

Chinta Ria is a Malaysian restaurant situated in Cockle Bay. Its third story rooftop terrace location gives you views of the bustling harbour below, yet offers you tranquil seclusion with its courtyard tucked away beyond the hedges of trees, ferns and shrubs.

people sitting at a table
Chinta Ria
a cafe
Eat in Sydney

Our visit to Chinta Ria was our first experience with Malaysian food and it was delicious. This tofu laksa was sublime.

a bowl of soup
Laksa Tong

Ikan Melody is lightly spiced fresh fish of the day pan-tossed with onions, curry leaves, lemongrass then simmered in a coconut broth of eggplant, green beans & tomatoes.

A plate of food
Ikan Melody

Where: Roof Terrace, Cockle Bay wharf 201 Sussex St Sydney  02 9264 3211

Prices: Entrees- $9-15 Mains: $19-32

The Rocks District

The Rocks District is an historic area of Sydney’s city centre, and it just might be our favorite part of Sydney. With it’s cobble stone lane ways, historic buildings, endless pubs and great atmosphere, it’s a place we frequent regularly.

3. Sake Restaurant & Bar

Set within a designer space in the historic Argyle Precinct at The Rocks, Saké Restaurant & Bar serves contemporary Japanese food with a menu that changes with the seasons.

Yes, the sushi master  head chef,  Shaun Presland, was also on Masterchef this season. I feel quite special to know I’ve been dining at some of the best restaurants in Sydney.

I felt the food at Sake was some of the best Japanese Ive ever eaten.

My picks: The steamed prawn dumplings melted in my mouth. I would have been content to eat just bowl fulls of that.

A bowl of food
prawn dumplings

The salt and pepper bug tails with yuzu pepper mayonnaise and lime were delicious.

a plate of food
salt & pepper bugs tails

Don’t forget a sashimi tasting plate.

A plate of food
sashimi tasting plate

and the Miso soup.

a bowl on a table
miso soup

You can enjoy communal banquet dining, sit with friends at a traditional Japanese sunken table, or dine solo at the sushi bar. You can order à la carte or from Saké’s range of set banquet menus, vegetarian and “no raw” options are also available.

Where: 12 Argyle Street The Rocks Sydney NSW 2000

4. Australian Hotel

Need more of a budget pub meal?

Possibly the oldest continuously licensed pub in the City of Sydney, the Australian Hotel is an attractive and well preserved example of Edwardian style architecture, it’s FAMOUS for its Kangaroo pizzas

Kangaroo Pizza - see our list of 14 places in Sydney to eat!

Where: 100 Cumberland Street The Rocks

Price: Entrees: $8-$15 Mains: $16-$26

5. Harts Pub

Another great pub for a bite to eat, and a beer, is the Australian owned and operated Harts brewery lead by 5th and 6th generation convict descendants. It’s said their craft beers bring to life the true stories of early Australian convicts and settlers.

Harts pub is also well known for their tasty croc bites.

a plate of food
Croc bites

Where: Corner of Essex & Gloucester St, The Rocks

Price: Entrees: $7- $15 Mains: $16- $26


Chinatown in Sydney is a place we venture to quite often. We love Asian food. We love authentic Asian food. And we love value for money. It’s no secret Sydney can be an expensive place to visit, and Chinatown is a great budget option.

Located in Haymarket, it is Australia’s largest Chinatown

6. Dixon Street Food Court 

One of the best options is to head for the food courts on Dixon street. There you will find just about every Asian cuisine you can imagine: Chinese, Thai, Malaysian, Cambodian, and Vietnamese. Not only that, the dishes are cheap and tasty. 

And the service is quick. You can generally walk into this food court and be sitting down with your meal in front of you within 10 minutes. So if you are looking for a casual and super budget friendly experience, this is for you.

Phnom Penh Teo Chew Noodle House

One of our picks within Dixon street food court is the Phnom Penh Teo Chew Noodle House which has a great selection of soups, noodle and rice dishes.

a menu
Noodle House
people sitting at tables in restaurant
Food court
A plate of food
Vegetarian Laksa

7. Mamak

Mamak is an institution. Get here early as the line will be out the door, filled with diners eager for a sample of their divine roti and curries. They also have a location in Chatswood which we discovered was just as busy

My favourite here is definitely their roti entree. and roti desserts…

Where: Goulbourn St, Chinatown

Price: Entrees and deserts: $5.50- $11.50 Mains: $8.50- $19

Surry Hills 

Surry Hills is an inner-city suburb, and Crown Street is the heart of the Surry Hills community, featuring a great mix of cafes and restaurants serving a wide variety of cooking styles and cultures. The suburb has one of the highest concentrations of restaurants.

8. Ampersand Cafe & Bookstore

The Ampersand Cafe & Bookstore is the sort of place where you can take your time sipping coffee, browsing the book shelves, and munching on a freshly made sandwich, salad, pasta or cake.

For us we really enjoyed the morning breakfast.

A plate of food

There isn’t a whole lot of seating, but you have the choice of outside at bistro tables, inside on the street level, or upstairs. Get a seat upstairs to sit amongst the books and watch the world pass by below.

9. The Bourke Street Bakery

Bourke Street Bakery has turned into a Sydney institution. And judging by the line up out the door is evidence enough for the quality of their hand made products.

people standing in line
Bourke street bakery

Where: 633 Bourke St, Surry Hills

Price: $3- $20

10. El Loco Mexican Cantina

El Loco is a great little authentic Mexican cantina attached to the Excelsior Pub which serves awesome tacos and Margaritas in a very relaxed and chilled setting. Sit indoors and enjoy the colourful interior, or outdoors on the footpath. It’s cheap, all tacos are $5 which is hard to get in Sydney, and no need to book, just pop in.

Where: 64 Foveaux Street, Surry Hills

Price: $5 – $15

Bondi Beach

The most famous of all Australian beaches. We highly recommend if you venture out to Bondi that you do the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk and try these two restaurants.

11. Icebergs

Icebergs Bondi Beach
View from Icebergs

Oprah had lunch at Iceburgs and Kylie Minogue books the entire restaurant out for private parties when she is in town.

Perched on the cliffs of South Bondi and above the famous swimming club that started this famous place, the views from Icebergs are what you come to Australia for, the dining elegant, and the Italain inspried food delicious.

The Orecchiette Pasta, Broccoli, Garlic, Anchovy, Hint of Chilli is one of their signature dishes.

Orecchiette pasta icebergs
Orecchiette pasta

Try something from their market fish menu. I loved this barramundi.

close up of food
Aussie barra

Iceburgs is expensive though, so it is one of those spulurge places. Although, you can eat at the swiming club bistro below for a much cheaper experience with the same views!

Where: One Notts Avenue Bondi Beach

Prices: Entrees: $11-26 Mains:  $26 – $44

12. Speedos Cafe

Speedos Cafe Bondi
Please leave the speedos at home

Please, if you come to eat here, then ditch the budgie smugglers (banana hammocks). I know it might sound cute to wear speedos in the Speedos cafe but it does not look cute.

We came here for lunch after our Bondi surfing lesson and the food did not disappoint our hungry tummies. It has a laid back vibe and is perfect for people watching out onto the beach.

I highly recommend the Thai prawn salad washed down with a mango smoothie. Refreshingly yum!

Thai prawn salad Speedos cafe
Thai prawn salad

Where: 126 Ramsgate Ave North Bondi Beach next door to Let’s Go Surfing.

Prices: $13- $20


13. Sea Bay Chinese Restaurant

This restaurant is small and non-descript, but full of happy eaters. The meals are huge and cheap. Don’t miss the vegetarian dumplings ( seriously the best we’ve had), the home-made noodles were soft and the flavour a mix of fish and soy, and the pancakes!

eat in sydney

Price: around $10

Where: 372 Pitt St, Sydney (about a 5 minute walk from Central Station).

14. Thanon Khaosan Thai Restaurant

Thanon Khaosan makes us feel like we are back in Bangkok. Not just because of the cheap authentic Thai food, but they actually have a tuk tuk parked inside the restaurant and a street cart at the entry. It’s a popular lunch and dinner destination with a layed back atmosphere in a great central location.

eat in sydney
pad thai

Price: lunch specials from $9. Dinner from $15

Where:  413 Pitt street (easy walk from Central station)

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37 thoughts on “14 Places to Eat in Sydney”

  1. I’m very proud to say I’ve eaten at 11 out of 11 of your recommendations. (I suppose that comes from spending far too much of my youth not learning how to cook and finding excuses to go out on weeknights!)
    Great tips, though – they’re all fantastic places.

    1. In Paddington I love the food at the Four in Hand pub.
      In Surry Hills, I’m a fan of Red Lantern (great Asian fusion).
      In Bondi, it’s bit of a cliche, but North Bondi Italian is delicious!
      In Woollahra, you can’t go past Bistro Moncur (the cheaper one above the pub – not the expensive one next to it!)
      In Darlinghurst, I’ve had some of the best pizza in Sydney at Bar Reggio (although Love Supreme in Paddington and Pizza Mario in Surry Hills are also great!)
      And my favourite sushi is Sushi Suma on Cleveland St.
      (Can you tell I very rarely left the Eastern suburbs? 🙂 )

      1. Turtle – I hope you try Dukes Bistro above the Flinders Hotel in Darlinghurst then. (Taylor Square)

        Went there last week and was amazed by the food! $60pp for a 6+course degastation with matching wines. Rivalled Tetsuya’s foodwise.

        Great customer service, easy place to get a booking and seriously yummy food.

  2. I honestly could not pick a favourite from the sublime listing above. Next time I am at Bondi I am going to see if there are any banana hammocks (never heard of that one before) – Hope there are not any.
    We do not often get to Sydney, but I am bookmarking this post right NOW!

    1. We only discovered banana hammocks living in the US and found it hilarious!! Sydney has so many great restaurants. I’m sure we’ll be able to come out with another post soon.

  3. When my friend said he was taking me for the best laksa in Sydney, I was excited. When he led me into a food court and told me we’d be dining under fluorescent lights, I figured he was pulling a prank. Wrong! The Noodle House (#6) was one of my favourite (and most filling) meals. Yum.

    Another place I loved for both the food and the vibe was the El Loco Cantina at the Excelsior Hotel. Fun, bright, quirky, and the tacos were something to write home about. Def check it out!

    1. That is funny Jenny. It does look so dodgy but once you try the food and the price you’ll be taking your own friends there.. and your dates too!
      Thanks for the Mexican tip. We’ll put that on our list of places to check out

  4. I went to the Harts pub on my very first day in Sydney, after a 24 hour flight and suffering from the 12 hour time difference. the food, as I recall, was awesome. Not quite as awesome as the entertainment, which took the form of a fellow Brit wandering in and asking for a pint of Fosters. The bar lady laughed a lot 😉

    1. That is priceless!! I always say that to non–Aussies when they ask me about Fosters, “don’t ask for one or you’ll get laughed out of the bar.” Never heard of it actually happening though! Love it

      1. She actually followed up with a request for Carling. When they didn’t have that either (despite the vast array of beers on tap RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER), she settled for a coke. I wept slightly inside.

  5. C&C, great post, and I hope to visit a couple of your recommendations this August/September.

    I’ve got a few more; your kilometrage may vary:

    * Although it’s been a couple of years, a bunch of us visited Rubyos in Newtown during the Sydney International Food Festival. Nice place, attentive service, great food.
    * One of my go-to places in Sydney is BBQ King on Goulburn St. between Sussex St. and George St. in the City/Chinatown, when I’m craving for bbq-pork. I’m going to have be on the lookout again for a good authentic bowl of wonton noodle soup, though I’ve read online that wontons in Sydney tend to be more pork than shrimp (boo).
    * I might also have to go back to a Lindt Café to get me some hot chocolate, made with melted Lindt chocolate. Alternatively, I can get a chocolate milkshake, made with Lindt chocolate. Yeah, you get the picture.
    * When I’ve got “Lust” for German pastries, I’ll head to the Luneburger German Bakery. I’ll even turn their heads by having a brief conversation in German with the staff – the last time I visited a couple of years ago, the front counter was staffed by young Bavarians, clearly oot and aboot in the world.

    Eat well, and travel! 🙂

    1. Great suggestions Henry! I have heard great things about BBQ King. I think we’ve never been there because we’re vegetarian(well we eat seafood) and we just assumed there would not be much on the menu for us. But perhaps we should take a look.
      We had a mocha at the Lindt Cafe the other week but weren’t over the moon about it. I think we were expecting too much having heard so much about it and we had the most amazing mocha in Auckland which I think could never be beaten!

      Must try the German Bakery. We really have to get to Newtown to try some restaurants. I have a friend who owns a Thai restaurant there and I told him I’d come visit.

    1. Oh will have to check that one out. We don’t eat a lot of Indian but I do enjoy it when I do. Surry Hills has the best vibe. We love it there. My parents were born and raised in Surry Hills so I have a strong connection with the area.

  6. They all look so incredible! You have me craving a good laksa right about now! Love the Speedos cafe – a good day at the beach needs a good lunch stop! I agree – cover up those speedos! Roo pizza sounds good – will have to add that to my list of places to go on my next visit!

    1. The speedos have to go! The roo pizza was delicious. It is on the small size though so you might want to order some garlic bread or dessert to go with it.

  7. Wow, some of these dishes look so delicious! I wish I had known you when I was in Sydney a little over 2 years ago. I don’t think I ate anywhere notable when I was there.

  8. This is awesome because everytime I am in Sydney I struggle finding a good place to eat (that’s affordable). Now I know where to go! Not sure if I’ll be able to try that kangaroo pizza or crocodile yet though…

  9. Christy @ Technosyncratic

    I never thought to put lime on corn before — what a brilliant idea! If I ever head to Sydney, I’m definitely bookmarking this guide. 🙂

  10. Craig – Ampersand is my breakfast spot. Its in Paddington (not Surry Hills).

    They do the best Bircher in Sydney!

  11. A few recommendations: For a cheap meal with a view of the opera house, eat on the rooftop at the glenmore in the rocks. On a Monday they do a great $12 steak special. Cargo in darling harbour, has a great view of cockle bay and has a $10 steak special mon-weds. By wynard, bar 333 do great meals and cheap specials every night $10-13. I find in china town the Sussex street food court (up the escalators) is better quality than Dixon st food court, in particular the Korean in the corner – big bowl of noodles and a soup for $9. Another good food court is above paddys market and on the top floor of market city. Worth a mention is the pork roll shop next to the bus stop on George street opposite scruffy Murphy’s, $4.50 for the best Vietnamese pork roll in Sydney. Great blog Guys.

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