For most people, there are plenty of reasons to travel to Sydney, Australia before food is even considered. Between the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, and Bondi Beach, the city is known for a number of famous sights. It’s also one of the best cities in the world for combining modern attractions with natural beauty, thanks to the surrounding coastline and national parks. In other words, there’s a lot to enjoy about Sydney no matter what kind of traveller you happen to be. And that goes for the foodies as well!
Because of some of the aforementioned features and attractions, great restaurants are sometimes further down the list of reasons to visit this wonderful Australian city. But that doesn’t mean they’re not around. Here are some of our picks for fun places to eat in town.
We’re starting with an unconventional choice. The Paddington is almost as much of a bar as it is a restaurant. But it’s being run by Ben Greeno, a British chef who’s worked in Michelin-starred establishments and recently headed up Momofuku Seiobo in Sydney. Eater includes Paddington as the first of the 10 hottest new restaurants in town, thanks to a trendy, open atmosphere, refreshing cocktails, and a rotisserie-focused menu. Lamb, whole birds, and carrots are among the highlights, according to the post in Eater. It’s also a great location for tourists to enjoy, because it’s within walking distance of Centennial Park, which should be explored.
Right in the heart of the city, the Old Clare Hotel calls itself the best place to stay in Sydney. It’s an older establishment that’s been refurbished of late, and now combines its vintage exterior with a chic, appealing interior. There’s an array of modern facilities including comfortable rooms, a gorgeous rooftop pool, and the stylish house pub “The Clare.” But the hotel is also home to Automata, one of the hottest restaurants in town. It’s another establishment run by a Momfuku-Seiobo alumnus (in this case Clayton Wells), and the menu is both elegant and delicious. You’ll pay up front for a five-course meal and take what they give you, but you won’t be disappointed. At the time of this writing, for instance, Automata is featuring interesting items like steamed hapuka, black angus tri-tip, and a roasted grain parfait for dessert – though the offerings change regularly.
In case you didn’t get the idea yet, you should probably try this place as well! It’s actually located within The Star, a casino resort that’s a treat in and of itself. You can play some hands at a poker table, sit in for live bingo, or play the slots. You can also learn to play roulette, which you may be surprised to learn is one of the more historic casino games, having been enjoyed by casino goers for generations. It’s a fun night out in the city no matter what you get up to. But Momofuku-Seiobo is the highlight, even if some of the talented individuals behind it have moved on to their own establishments. It’s a restaurant owned by the legendary David Chang, and featuring his trademark blend of sophisticated preparations and casual flavours, and it may well be the best restaurant in Sydney.
Located in the Surry Hills neighbourhood near small but charming Prince Alfred Park, Porteno is definitely a nice way to mix up your culinary experience in Sydney. It’s an Argentinian establishment, less than a decade old and yet firmly established as one of the more enjoyable restaurants in town. Chefs Elvis Abrahanowicz and Ben Milgate have designed a pretty thorough menu, though the pork dishes, chimichurri, and paté are among the highlights. Additionally, co-owner Joseph Valore’s wine list is more or less legendary in town.
How could you not want to check out a restaurant with this sort of name? Travellers may also get a kick out of the fact that it’s located on “Australia Street.” Oscillate Wildly is a small restaurant run by Karl Firla, who focuses on degustation (which is to say a bunch of planned tastes in succession with no menu). As Time Out notes, the specialty is frozen, shaved foie gras, though you’ll find a lot of interesting components to the many-coursed meal. Throw in a clean atmosphere, beautiful food presentation, and a nice wine list, and it’s an excellent fine dining option to round out our list.