Are you looking for tips on places to eat in Sydney?
We touch on eight different neighbourhoods with a specific focus on 14 restaurants we have personally enjoyed eating at.
14 Places to eat in Sydney
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.
Buddha’s delight vegetarian salad
Grilled 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.
At Ms G’s a graffiti-like mural dominates one wall, chairs are mismatched, and the tabletops are lacquered with woodchip.
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 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.
Our visit to Chinta Ria was our first experience with Malaysian food and it was delicious. This tofu laksa was sublime.
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.
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.
The salt and pepper bug tails with yuzu pepper mayonnaise and lime were delicious.
Don’t forget a sashimi tasting plate.
and the 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…
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 decendents. 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Try something from their market fish menu. I loved this barramundi.
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
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!
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!
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.
Price: lunch specials from $9. Dinner from $15
Where: 413 Pitt street (easy walk from Central station)