Whether you’re a self-confessed foodie or simply love a good meal and fine wine, Sydney is always ripe with new flavours, restaurants and neighbourhoods to try.
With a culinary scene that’s diverse and ever evolving, Sydney is a destination that’s easy to explore by the mouthful. From talked-about cafes popping up in leafy pockets to upmarket restaurants opening their doors on prime waterfront real estate, all tastes are catered for.
The obvious place to start is Darling Harbour. It’s central yet laidback, easy to navigate and flaunts an overabundance of choice alongside beautiful, breezy harbourfront panoramas. One of the hottest new restaurants to hit the waterfront here is The Port – a new French eatery with a contemporary, chic atmosphere and an obvious love for seafood.
For drinks, head to Zephyr atop the Hyatt Regency; it’s new and glam, offering stunning views over Sydney and Darling Harbour by day and night. Alternatively, drop by Cafe del Mar for a taste of the delicious tacos taking over the new winter menu.
Once the new dining and entertainment precinct at the International Convention Centre is up and running, expect a barrage of new restaurants to fling open their doors at Darling Harbour too.
Don’t stop there. Keep walking along the waterfront to discover Sydney’s newest eating and drinking precinct – Barangaroo – right next door. The streets and promenades of Barangaroo are buzzing with wonderful cafes, tempting pastry shops, chic wine and tea bars, and a fabulous range of eateries.
Sit down to sustainable local seafood merged with native Australian ingredients at Cirrus; enjoy Chinese-Australian fusion cuisine at Lotus; or get a taste of Belles Hot Chicken – the chef, Morgan McGlone, honed his fried chicken skills in Tennessee so you know it’s going to be finger-lickin’ good. On the global front, flavours are inspired by all corners of the world, from Turkey to Japan and Spain.
Another popular dining hotspot that’s perhaps not so well known among visitors is the hip inner-city neighbourhood of Chippendale, a short walk from Central Station on the verge of Surry Hills. A stroll along Kensington Street – the suburb’s ‘eat street’ – reveals a plethora of restaurants nestled among art galleries and shops in beautiful colonial buildings.
Head straight to Spice Alley for your pick of six hawker-style diners in an atmospheric laneway lit by glowing lantern ceilings, whether it’s Malaysian, Cantonese or Singaporean that entices. Back on Kensington Street itself, there’s no shortage of small restaurants that are big on flavour, or cosy little bars and coffee shops pouring some of the city’s best coffees.
Other areas fast becoming favoured haunts among Sydneysiders are the suburbs of Rosebery and Alexandria.
This is largely thanks to The Cannery, a huge 4,500-square-metre warehouse precinct that's home to a mouth-watering lineup of destination diners, such as Black Star Pastry, Archie Rose Distillery, Da Mario, Three Blue Ducks, and Saporium, an all-in-one greengrocer, butcher, baker, coffee roaster, restaurant and cooking school.
In St Peters you’ll discover a similar concept at Precinct 75, a creative food hub that’s taken over 12 buildings of a former paint factory.
The Grounds of Alexandria is also a must, which has its own coffee roaster, cafe and markets set among olive trees and gardens.
And still, a wander along the local streets dishes up even more options, from the traditional family-inspired multicultural eats at Grandma’s at Rosebery to the organic and biodynamic items on the menu at Bread and Circus.
Whether it’s your first time to Sydney or you’re a regular visitor, there’s always a new foodie find to circle on the map and tackle with your taste buds. Why return to the usual eat streets when you can take a new bite out of Sydney?
Feature: Barangaroo (Image: Destination NSW)