Best Restaurants You Can't Miss in Sydney

Too many restaurants, not enough time could be the motto of Sydney. That also goes for cafes and pubs. It’s true that there are so many places to eat in Sydney and most won’t disappoint you. These were just a couple of the places I tried out — or walked by and salivated at — while in Sydney.

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Cafes | My Favorite Restaurants in Sydney | Great Restaurants in Bondi | Cheap Eats | Open all night | Pubs and Bars

Best Cafes in Sydney

One of the best coffee shops in the city is easily Marlowe’s way.

One of the best coffee shops in the city is easily Marlowe’s way.

Delicious food and coffee at Marlowe’s way, a cafe in Sydney’s CBD.

Delicious food and coffee at Marlowe’s way, a cafe in Sydney’s CBD.

Marlowe's Way

Location | Instagram
My favorite coffee shop in all of Sydney. We went here literally multiple times a day. The vibe is so cool, the coffee is so good, and the food is so cheap. Sadly, it is closed on the weekends. But, it is open late on Thursdays and Fridays and offers happy hour specials as well.

Bar Cycle is a great place to enjoy morning coffee in Sydney.

Bar Cycle is a great place to enjoy morning coffee in Sydney.

Bar Cycle

Location | Menu
Super cool waterfront cafe in The Rocks. They cater to the bicycle scene in Sydney and even offer discounts for cyclists. The outdoor tables and views are a great way to start your day.

A great coffee shop to check out is Grumption Coffee in The Strand Arcade.

A great coffee shop to check out is Grumption Coffee in The Strand Arcade.

Grumption by Coffee Alchemy

Location | Website
Located inside of the Strand arcade this is a great pick me up for a day of shopping or a quick break during the heat of the afternoon. One of the only coffee shops near CBD that is open on the weekends.

A morning snack from Dutch Smuggler Coffee in Sydney’s CBD.

A morning snack from Dutch Smuggler Coffee in Sydney’s CBD.

Dutch Smuggler Coffee Brewers

Location | Instragram
Closed on the weekends like most coffee shops in CBD, but opens early (7 am) during the week. The toasties in the morning are great and obviously, they have some great coffee.

Mecca coffee is a popular morning coffee joint in Sydney’s CBD.

Mecca coffee is a popular morning coffee joint in Sydney’s CBD.

Mecca

Location | Menu
Beans are sourced from El Salvador and Ethiopia here. The cafe is modern and has outdoor seating.

Best Restaurants in Sydney

Room Ten

Location | Instragram
One of the best places we ate lunch while in Sydney. Their menu is very healthy and fresh yet super filling. It is a small cafe, hilariously small actually, and you will probably be sitting outside. Don't miss their lemonade.

Dining room at Cho Cho San, one of the best places to eat in Sydney.

Dining room at Cho Cho San, one of the best places to eat in Sydney.

Cho Cho San

Location | Menu
Located in Woolloomooloo this Japanese restaurant serves modern cuisine that is presented beautifully as well as imaginative cocktails that are simply delicious. The decor is very Brooklyn (read as hipster) with light wood and bright natural light. I suggest getting a reservation ahead of time if possible.

A Tavola Darlinghurst

Darlinghurst Location | Bondi Location | Menu
Housemade pasta. Do I need to say anymore? Ok fine, I will. Service is impeccable here and the atmosphere - with their long communal tables - is cozy and inviting. A Tavola has been around for a long time and it is easy to see why.

One of the best places to eat in Sydney is at Grounds of Alexandria.

One of the best places to eat in Sydney is at Grounds of Alexandria.

Grounds of Alexandria

Location | Menu
A former pie factory holds this unique restaurant that has hearty, delicious food sourced from their organic garden. Brunch is specifically fantastic here and shouldn't be missed even if the Grounds of Alexandria is a bit of a hike - out in Newtown - to get to. It’s also an instragrammers dream location. Check out their Instagram for inspiration.

Chica Bonita

Location | Menu
Ok, this Mexican joint isn't in Sydney, it's actually in Manly beach. But, if you decide to take the ferry over there (and you should) then come here for dinner. The cozy venue offers plenty of seating and has some great Mexican plates. It is also pretty cheap for budget travelers in Sydney.

Best Restaurants in Bondi Beach

Funky Pies

Location | Menu
I've talked about this place in other guides, if you're vegetarian or vegan you really shouldn't miss it. They make over 30 types of Australian 'meat' pies that are completely vegan. You shouldn't leave without trying the Australian specialty and this is a perfect place to do so.

Lox Stock & Barrel

Location | Menu
An NYC-style deli for my fellow city dwellers who are missing home. It's a popular brunch place so expect a line. The bagels are great and taste just like home.

Chapter One Cafe & Wine Room

Location | Menu
This is where we started our day when we visiting Bondi. The inside of the cafe is exceptionally cozy and has big couches to stretch out on. The coffee was great as were the croissants and pastries.

Three Blue Ducks

Location | Menu | Instagram
Technically Three Blue Ducks is in Bronte, not Bondi. If you are doing the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk (and you should) this is a great stop mid-day for lunch. The modern cafe serves upscale - but not too expensive - dining. Their bread is sourced from Iggy's Bread right next door - another great stop if they haven't already sold out for the day - and their produce comes from an organic garden out back. OH, and their eggs come from the chickens in that garden. Seriously, one of the best dining experiences we had while in Sydney.

Cheap Food in Sydney

Cheap food is delicious at Chat Thai

Chat Thai

Various Locations: Haymarket, Circular Quay | Menu
There are a couple of these in the city, one in Circular Quay, one in Westfield Sydney, and one in Haymarket. They offer late-night food and big portions. A wide selection of Asian food from curries to noodles. Quality can be hit or miss.

Late night food is great at Frankies, they also have a really cool atmosphere.

Frankies Pizza

Location | Menu
A great place to grab late-night food, Frankies is open till 3 am most nights and 5 am on Sundays! They have pinball machines (so fun!) and happy hour from 4 pm to 6 pm on select beers and pizzas. Bands play on the weekends.

Open All Night in Sydney

A great all night option is Pancakes on the Rocks. They serve more than just pancakes!

A great all night option is Pancakes on the Rocks. They serve more than just pancakes!

Pancakes on the Rocks

Location | Menu
A long-running diner that is open all night and known for their pancakes (duh) but also has pizza, ribs, and brekkie.

Best Pubs and Bars in Sydney

Hero of Waterloo

Location | Menu
A long-running (built in 1844!) old-world pub in the rocks that also offers great food, ghost tours, and live bands.

Fortune of War

Location | Menu
Built in 1828, this gorgeous pub has food and live bands. The cocktails are particularly fantastic.

The views are incredible at Opera Bar - but the drinks are pricey.

The views are incredible at Opera Bar - but the drinks are pricey.

Opera Bar

Location | Menu
A bit expensive due to the close proximity to Sydney Opera House but most say the views are worth it.

Final Thoughts

Planning a trip to Australia in general, can be overwhelming. Everyone has an opinion on this beautiful location and you may be frozen and unable to plan anything. Rest assured that no matter what you choose to do in Australia or where you choose to stay in Australia you're going to have a beautiful time. 

One last thing... even though researching ahead of time is great, I definitely recommend bringing an Australian travel guide along with you. Here are some of the travel guides I used during my trip...

Also, a super common question I get is: What camera do I use for my travels. The body is a Nikon D5600 and I use the kit lens and a Sigma wide-angle lens which I am genuinely obsessed with.

My full list of travel gear, that I take on every trip can be found here.

And of course, if you have any questions DO NOT hesitate to reach out to me via Instagram, Twitter, or just shoot me an email (tessajuliette at gmail dot com). 

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