Best places in Sydney for food
In Singapore, different neighbourhoods are known as the go-to for various things. Tiong Bahru is practically synonymous with cafe-hopping, the hip Telok Ayer district is known for great bars and restaurants, and Clarke Quay is where the nightlife establishments are poppin’. The same applies to Sydney, which is where this list of best places in Sydney for food comes in.
To help you maximise your itinerary, we’ve sorted these recommendations for food in Sydney based on precinct. That way, you can dedicate time to explore all their offerings and enjoy quality nosh along the way.
1. Surry Hills – Aesthetic cafe stretch with unique fusion brunch
Cafe-hopping in Australia sits close to #1 on many Singaporean travellers’ itineraries, given the Land Down Under’s renowned coffee culture. To check off must-visit cafes in the most efficient way possible, head straight to Surry Hills. The brunch and coffee hotspot has an entire stretch of aesthetic cafes, all serving solid cuppas and unique dishes.
Image adapted from: @cuckocallay, @cuckocallay
Arguably one of the most famous cafes in Surry Hills is Cuckoo Callay. The 2-storey establishment has a gorgeous interior as well as a breezy alfresco area where you can soak up some sun and people-watch to your heart’s content.
Leek, Brown Butter & Gruyere Toastie from Bourke Street Bakery (left), sweet and savoury pastries and drinks from Lode Pies (right).
Image adapted from: @bourkestreetbakery, @the.nomlicious.diary
Pastry enthusiasts can check out the iconic Bourke Street Bakery for handmade baked goods and toasted sandwiches stuffed with goodies, and Lode Pies for gourmet pastries featuring fancy ingredients such as mandarin orange jam and Wagyu brisket.
Their signature 485 Breakfast Plate.
Image credit: @fouratefive
For something a little different than your typical brunch platter, swing by Four Ate Five for the usual suspects but with a Middle Eastern fusion twist. Besides breakfast pastries, housemade muesli and rice bowls, they’ve got classic Shakshuka, Lamb Fatteh (flatbread with slow-cooked lamb shoulder), and Beetroot Labneh (Greek yoghurt on sourdough).
As far as breakfast for champions is concerned, try out their filling 485 Breakfast Plate comprising falafel, tahini, Israeli pickles, and an assortment of other flavour-packed components.
A cocktail making class at Brix Distillers.
Image credit: @brixdistillers
Bonus: If you’re the sort who prefers to get more hands-on with your food and drink, Klook has some popular F&B tours in Surry Hills available to book. You can go on a Sydney Brewery, Winery and Distillery Tour for a selection of Sydney’s best tipples. Or, head to the Brix Distillers Rum Distillery for a tour as well as a cocktail-making class.
Other things to do in Surry Hills:
- Have a “Paint and Sip” art jamming session with wine at Cork & Chroma.
- Shop at retro 70s and 80s fashion boutique, Zoo Vintage Emporium.
- Immerse in the arts and culture scene at the Brett Whiteley Studio museum.
2. Newtown – Award-winning viral desserts & exotic cuisine
The exotic brunch fare from Four Ate Five might have tipped you off, but Sydney’s foodie scene is as diverse as the city’s multicultural population. It shines through in the cuisine offerings, and Newtown is a shining beacon of this, a trendy bohemian precinct with a concentrated cluster of international cafes, restaurants and bars.
Black Star Pastry’s Insta-famous Strawberry Watermelon Cake (left), Cow And The Moon’s award-winning gelato.
Image adapted from: @blackstarpastry, @cowandthemoon
How trendy, you may ask? Well, Newtown is home to Black Star Pastry, the birthplace of the Insta-famous Strawberry Watermelon Cake that has inspired trips to Sydney from Singapore in its own right.
Tip: For more world-class desserts, swing by family-run gelato shop, Cow And The Moon. Having been in the biz since 1993, they clinched the top spot for Best Gelato In The World in a Gelato World Tour competition – trumping artisans from Italy.
Authentic Nigerian food at Little Lagos, an African bistro and bar.
Image credit: @alittlelagos
As for the sheer diversity of cuisines available, we’re talking Turkish food at Konak, Greek at Steki Taverna, Mexican and Peruvian fusion at Calle Rey, and perhaps one of the toughest cuisines for Singaporeans to find but one that will set your taste buds on an adventure – Nigerian food at Little Lagos.
Some of the sights you can expect to see on the tour, where classic architecture meets new-age street art.
Image credit: Klook
To work up an appetite for your next feast, sign up for a Newtown Food & Street Art Tour via Klook.
Not only will you get to explore the precinct’s numerous murals and street art pieces – perfect as backdrops for your OOTDs – the tour also includes savouring multicultural cuisine at 3-4 curated spots. These include Egyptian, Pakistani, Thai and Japanese food.
Other things to do in Newtown:
- Catch music and comedy acts at the Enmore Theatre, Sydney’s oldest theatre.
- Peruse quirky fashion and other retail finds at boutiques along King Street.
- Check out alternative performances at The Vanguard, from live music to burlesque.
3. Alexandria – Former industrial area with rustic farmhouse cafe
Alexandria has undergone a major transformation since its industrial beginnings, and is now home to one of Sydney’s top spots for food, vibes, and next-level aesthetics. We’re talking about The Grounds of Alexandria, a rustic farmhouse cafe with a bakery and florist onsite for you to live your country–life fantasies while in the comfort of the city.
Image credit: Herry Lawford
A quick Google Image search will reveal its IG-worthy nature, with plenty of lush greenery and colourful blooms naturally beautifying every corner.
Some of the gourmet offerings available at The Grounds’ various restaurants and cafes.
Image credit: The Grounds
Within The Grounds, you can choose to dine at The Cafe, The Potting Shed, and The Garden – each with a different menu and ambience to look forward to.
Image credit: @marryusgary_celebrant
Apart from dining and snapping up a storm of enviable pics for the ‘Gram, you can also stroll through The Grounds Markets which opens on Saturdays and Sundays. Independent stallholders set up shop to sell apparel, jewellery and accessories, and nifty items for your home such as miniature potted plants.
Image adapted from: @rocksbrewingco, @rocksbrewingco
While you’re in the precinct, be sure to knock back some pints at Rocks Brewing Co. Tap House. The open-concept brewery serves no less than 20 types of beer and cider on tap, for even the pickiest folks to find their perfect poison.
Other things to do in Alexandria:
- Take a class at VIVE Cooking School, which teaches a wide range of classes covering French tarts and handmade pasta to molecular cuisine.
- Get takeaway food and drinks for a picnic and stroll at the vast and scenic Sydney Park.
4. Glebe – Unique eateries like a bookshop-cum-cafe & bar
First things first, let’s get that curious question out of the way: it’s pronounced “Gleeb”; not “Gleb”, nor “Glebby”.
Glebe is a quaint neighbourhood in inner-western Sydney, poised to become one of the most happening suburbs with hip dining, retail and lifestyle establishments dotted throughout. Expect to see plenty of vintage charm and beautiful architecture, as the precinct is home to lots of heritage–listed buildings.
Bibliophiles have much to look forward to at Sappho Books, Cafe & Bar, an old-school secondhand bookshop housing a cafe and bar as well.
Image adapted from: @sapphobooks, @sapphobooks
The shop space is estimated to have been built in the 1880s, so setting foot in the vintage store is enough to whisk you to a simpler time. Take a moment to browse through shelves upon shelves of more than 30,000 books, including mega rare titles and books that are now out of circulation.
The cafe space is flooded with sunlight, making it a popular spot for locals to get some reading or work done.
Image adapted from: @mystoryofjourney_austral, @sydneyeats___
To keep your stomach satiated as you lose an entire afternoon in bookworm heaven, head to the in-house cafe which is helmed by specialist baristas. Besides quality coffee and tea for your sipping pleasure, the cafe also serves brunch favourites like pancakes, Eggs Benedict and Croque Madame.
Come sundown every Wednesday to Saturday, the cafe space comes alive as a bar. You can get all sorts of alcohol – from local beer and ciders to refreshing sangrias and tasty cocktails – and tapas to munch on.
Image credit: @thecharlie_glebe
Speaking of drinks, The Charlie might very well be one of the prettiest bars you’ll ever lay eyes on. Going against the standard look and feel of typical bars, the popular Glebe watering hole is decked out in white and baby pink shades.
Image adapted from: @thecharlie_glebe, @thecharlie_glebe
They’re known for their Instagrammable cocktails, with one-of-a-kind concoctions centred around cotton candy – “fairy floss” as the Aussies call it – and even, wait for it…Singaporeans’ favourite Milo.
Other things to do in Glebe:
- Hunt for bargain treasures at the Glebe Markets which takes place every Saturday.
- Spend an evening at The Little Guy, a bar with weekly activities like Music Bingo, free games of pool and popcorn.
5. Marrickville – Bar hotspot with rooftop garden brewery & gin hall
We’ve saved the best for last for folks who are serious about their drinks. Not only is Marrickville a vibrant arts and entertainment district with film, music and drama theatre performances as well as live cabaret and comedy acts across various venues within the precinct, it’s also an absolute hotspot for bar crawls.
The Henson’s arcade and beer garden.
Image adapted from: The Henson
Some notable examples include The Henson – which houses both a brewery and vintage-style bar with an in-house arcade and beer garden for you to knock back a pint or two while enjoying some fresh air, and The Bob Hawke Beer & Leisure Centre – a new kid on the block that’s teeming with kitschy decor from 70s and 80s Aussie culture.
Philter’s Brewing rooftop garden (left), Poor Toms’ Gin Hall (right).
Image adapted from: @philterbrewing, @poortoms
Those with a penchant for vibes and aesthetics can make a beeline to Philter Brewing – a brewery and restaurant with a stunning rooftop garden to chill and enjoy the breeze, and Poor Toms – a distillery with a beautiful botanic-themed Gin Hall and IG-worthy drinks.
Tip: If you prefer to follow along a curated tour instead of planning your own itinerary, sign up for Klook’s Marrickville Behind The Scenes Brewery Tour. It encompasses tours and tastings at 3 different breweries, so all you have to do is show up, and make sure your body is ready for some tipple.
Other things to do in Marrickville:
- Head to the Marrickville Organic Food Market which is open on Sundays. Besides organic produce, there are also vendors selling gourmet food, potted plants and fresh bouquets, and various souvenirs and knick-knacks – including crystals and gemstones.
- For a truly unconventional experience that’ll make for a memorable day out, book a Flying Trapeze class via Klook. Don’t worry, it’s completely safe and beginner-friendly.
Explore the best food in Sydney, Australia
Besides the cafe, restaurant and bar must-visits listed above, you can find plenty of activities on Klook to help you explore all the best food in Sydney.
The Observatory Hill Private Luxury Picnic overlooks Sydney’s cityscape.
Image credit: Klook
For instance, a Bottomless Brunch with all-you-can-drink sparkling wine, prosecco or rosé would be the perfect way to toast to the return of travel with your squad. If you’re planning a special occasion – like an anniversary or even a proposal – for your boo, look no further than the Observatory Hill Private Luxury Picnic to set the mood.
The Vivid Sydney Festival transforms the harbour into a vibrant display of lights and colour.
Image credit: Vivid Sydney
Having champagne and oysters at sunset, with incredible vistas of Sydney at Bar 83 by Sydney Tower will also make for an unforgettable experience, or you could even take to the seas with a catamaran cruise complete with drinks and canapés.
FYI, the catamaran cruise will also sail along Sydney Harbour at the Vivid Sydney festival. The highly-anticipated event takes place 27th May to 18th June 2022, combining rousing live music performances by local and international artists and awe-inspiring light installations cast upon iconic Sydney landmarks.
What better way to torch some calories than to saunter along the festival’s longest ever light walk. All in preparation for more feasting ahead, of course.
Bonus: To save some moolah on your trip, use the promo codes <RENEWYOURSELF> for $30 off all New South Wales activities (min. spend $150), and <SGCARAU00> for 10% off all car rentals in Australia (min. spend $200).
Find out more about the best places in Sydney for food
This post was brought to you by Destination New South Wales & Klook.
Cover image adapted from: Herry Lawford, The Grounds, @thecharlie_glebe, @thecharlie_glebe
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