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  • Claire Vorster

Insider Sydney. Where to Eat and Why

Sydney has drawn communities from around the globe, so it’s no wonder this lively city is all about the food. If you are looking for a lazy breakfast, a leisurely lunch or a late dinner, Sydney has it all. So pack your bags, here are our top picks for dining in style.

High End

Marque, Surry Hills

“There are lots of great chefs in Sydney, but I find Mark Best to be the most interesting. Though his roots are French, his food is modern European with Asian influences. It’s a very personal cuisine, and therefore not tied to a specific nationality or movement—it’s more about the quality of the ingredients and using different techniques, as in his pickled Diamond clams with cured sea urchin and hazelnuts. It’s quite an intimate setting—very dark and moody with only 30 or 40 seats.” Peter Gilmore, renowned Sydney Chef, Or try..

Four in Hand Dining Room, Paddington - Five courses, Chef’s menu and a la carte Sepia, City - Eight courses, four-course and a la carte

Up and Coming Sixpenny in the suburb of Stanmore, is run by two talented young chefs, Daniel Puskas and James Parry. Lots of fresh ideas for contemporary food focused on seasonal, local produce.

Coffee Break

Gumption, on the ground floor of the elegant Strand Arcade, is just the thing. Gumption's coffee roasters are bang on trend with all the coffee bean-related nerdery that is popping up around Sydney. Don't forget to take time to admire The Strand's architecture, especially the gorgeous stained glass windows dating back to 1891.

Tranquil Lunch

The Botanic Gardens Restaurant offers delicious food and the opportunity to relax al fresco on its wisteria covered verandah, with spectacular views of the parkland. You can choose fine dining in the restaurant upstairs, or, make your way downstairs to the bustling café. You can even pick up a takeaway picnic box and choose your own spot in the gardens for a relaxing lunch.

Afternoon Tea

Head for the famous Tea Room at Queen Victoria Building. Situated in the original Grand Ballroom of this landmark building, the Tea Room offers a sumptuous high tea complete with fresh scones, jams and clotted cream.

Wine Bar

Love, Tilly Devine is a super little wine bar in Darlinghurst. Owned by Matt Swieboda, ex-sommelier at renowned Quay restaurant, you’ll find interesting boutique wines and funky bar snacks.

Cheap and Cheerful

Chinatown (of course). Stroll down Dixon street to find out where the locals are dining. For super cheap go for the food courts.

El Loco Mexican Cantina for tasty $5 tacos! A great authentic Mexican cantina attached to the Excelsior Pub in Surry Hills, sample delicious tacos and Margaritas in a relaxed setting.

And there’s more..

Cafe Sydney –Sensational Sydney Harbour views.

Bondi Iceburgs Bistro –Overlooking Sydney’s most famous beach.

Sake Restaurant & Bar – contemporary Japanese food in the historic Argyle Precinct at The Rocks.

Ampersand Cafe & Bookstore – Surry Hills, great breakfast and coffee whilst browsing the books.

BaBa Laksa House – Under the Grace Hotel, King Street. Open lunch time, Monday-Friday. Great, cheap Asian food.

Harry’s Cafe De Wheels – Pies, pasties and hot dogs served to celebrities, tourists and locals. Locations include Haymarket and Woolloomooloo.

Happy Eating!

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