Sydney is a sprawling city of over four million people, spread over a vast coastal basin, with Sydney Harbour and the Opera House as its centrepieces. A rich and diverse culture makes Sydney an ever-shifting kaleidoscope of experiences. Thus, to enjoy eating out in Sydney, whether in an upscale fine dining restaurant or a food court, we must appreciate the diverse ethnicities that have migrated over and added to Sydney’s gastronomical delights.
Here is a list of Sydney’s best places for eating out and solo dining.
With cultural diversity comes a spread of European and Asian-influenced bars and restaurants all over town. Here are our top 10 recommendations for eating out in Sydney.
1. Fortune of War Bar
With 15 beers on tap, both local and imported, the Fortune of War is the oldest continually licensed pub in Sydney. The bar retains its old charm at The Rocks, home to the city’s first buildings. Opened in 1828, this heritage bar has built an enviable reputation with tourists and locals by providing warm traditional service in a hamper style and a cosy ambience. Catch traditional live jazz on Sunday afternoons from 3 pm to 6 pm. **Fortune of War is at 137 George Street, The Rocks, Sydney.
2. Rockin Burger
A delightful burger joint is just a few blocks from Fortune of War! The burgers are hefty and ooze flavour with every bite. Burgers are so simple; it’s just layers upon layers producing this explosive complexity of gustatory sensations. The toppings are what keep many of its patrons coming back for more. One of their standouts on the menu is the Roo burger; you can order from various preparations. **Rockin Burger is located at George Street, The Rocks, Sydney.
3. Park St & Mezz Bar
Hotel Coronation is home to two bars, Park St and Mezz Bar.
Park St has contemporary decor, while Mezz is stylish. The Park St Bar is a great venue to enjoy a drink with friends during rush hour or a quiet meal at any time of the day. While the Mezz Bar is a great meeting place that doubles during the week as a restaurant and cocktail lounge. The food is lovely and of decent value. **Both bars are located at 5-7 Park Street, Sydney.
4. La Renaissance Café Patisserie
La Renaissance Cafe Patisserie is like experiencing a little French oasis in the middle of old Sydney with a pleasant courtyard at the back. Established in 1974 as a family business with a reputation as the city’s finest patisseries, one can enjoy delicious cakes, pastries, savouries, chocolates, macarons, croissants, brioche and éclairs to your heart’s content.
**The patisserie is located at 47 Argyle Street, The Rocks, Sydney.
5. The Rocks Foodies Market
Nestled in the heart of The Rocks and near the magnificent Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Rocks foodies market opens Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. Apart from beautiful arts and crafts on sale, it features a range of exquisite food choices with over 20 stalls showcasing fresh fruit juices, bread, sushi, kebabs, paella, grilled salmon, chocolate, and so much more. Here, you can taste, smell and buy a gift. **The Rocks Foodies Market is at Jack Mundey Place, corner of Argyle and George Streets, Sydney.
6. LG Food Court below Woolworths
Open daily for lunch until 3 pm, this lower-ground food court is
perfect for a quick lunch. It’s a small air-conditioned area in the CBD that sells an array of mouth-watering Malaysian and Thai cuisine at reasonable prices. It’s quite packed at noon, so head down early to get a table. Malaysian hawker dishes like Nasi Lemak, Chicken rice and Assam Laksa, along with the famous Mix Rice option, can be found here. A decent plate of Chinese mixed rice could set you back AUD 7 – that’s great.
**The Food Court is below the Woolworths Supermarket at 303 Pitt St, Pittsway Arcade, Sydney.
7. Adria Rybar & Grill
Adria Rybar & Grill sits on Cockle Bay Wharf, one of the
world’s premier dining and entertainment destinations with spectacular water views and stunning architecture. Offering seafood dishes, spit roast meats and pasta, Adria is an upscale restaurant with a warm atmosphere with a laid-back and stylish feel any time of day. Capturing the Adriatic coastal region’s flavours from Venice to Crete, the restaurant is ideal for family and business luncheons.
**Adria is located at 108 The Promenade, Cockle Bay Wharf, Sydney.
8. Guylian Belgian Chocolate Café
If chocolate is your passion, drop by Guylian Belgian Chocolate.
Cafe for the finest chocolate spread, exquisite cakes and sumptuous desserts. The cafe’s sophisticated European ambience lends itself well to a shopping break, a business lunch or a decadent high tea. Options are plentiful, from milk chocolate and golden hazelnut torte to dark chocolate raspberry cheesecake – they solve every chocolate desire. The cafe also offers a range of salads and baguettes as well.
**Guylian is located at East Circular, Quay Shop 10, Opera Quays, 3 Macquarie Street, Sydney.
9. Maya Tandoori
For a taste of India, visit Maya Tandoori for authentic Indian
cuisine catering to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Chow down on tandoori, biryani, naan, lamb rogan josh, butter chicken, kofta curry or even prawn jalfrezi. Their menu is impressive, and their flavours are fresh and well-balanced. End dinner with savoury or sweet Indian treats at Maya Sweets next door. The restaurant has a home delivery service too. **Maya Tandoori is located at 468-472 Cleveland Street, Surry Hills, Sydney.
10. Zellini’s Café
For the best hot chocolate, milkshakes and vast slices of delicious cakes, head to Zellini’s Cafe in Randwick. Located a little outside the CBD and boasting a large menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner at reasonable prices, the restaurant is known for its ample portions. Before heading out, make a point to visit this cosy eatery for a big breakfast or fabulous sweet treats.
** Zellini’s is located at 34-38 Belmore Road, Randwick, Sydney.
Whether a solo traveller or a Solo Sydneysider, everyone loves good food and a night out on the town! A rich ethnic background offers diners a never-ending array of food from around the world when they visit Sydney.
Rosemarie John is a writer, an avid photographer and the author of her blog Scribbles of an Electronic Gypsy. She blogs on travel, food, people, and aviation in Indonesia. Her writings and photographs portray a kaleidoscope of all things travel-related mixed with just the correct dosage of history and culture.
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First published in 2013, last updated in April 2023
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