Friday, May 25th, 2012
A Foodies’ Guide to a Weekend in Sydney
Sydney is a veritable food utopia with a world-class reputation, bolstered by internationally-acclaimed chefs, fresh locally-grown produce and stunningly scenic settings.
From The Shire to Parramatta and Coogee to the Northern Beaches, alfresco restaurants, lively gastro pubs, on-trend bars, boutique cafes, ethnic eateries, and fresh food markets dot the city, offering inspiration and satisfaction at every turn.
While out-of-towners generally visit Sydney to shop or take in art, the theatre or sports; the city’s food scene is reason enough to spend a weekend in the picturesque metropolis. In recognition and celebration of the city’s dining scene, we’ve pulled together a weekend guide to food in Sydney.
Upon arriving in Sydney make your way straight to North Bondi Italian on Ramsgate Road at Bondi Beach. A casual alternative to the area’s increasingly upmarket restaurants, North Bondi Italian features a mouth-watering yet simple menu. The meals are rustic – meeting Nonna’s standards – and the atmosphere is effortlessly chic.
Eat: Spaghetti arrabbiata with crab, tomato and a hint of chili, cooked in a paper bag | Drink: Blood orange Campari cocktail | Tip: The restaurant has a ‘no bookings’ policy, so get there as early as possible | Price: Mains: $20–$29
Sydney has markets and sights to see galore, so before you get stuck into the action, fuel up at Bourke Street Bakery in Surry Hills. A quaint corner shop with impressive artisan breads, pastries and gourmet goods, Bourke Street Bakery is a local favourite and in hot demand.
Eat: Pork and fennel sausage roll (and a chocolate tart for later) | Drink: Coffee or an ol’ fashioned lemonade | Tip: Get there early – they open at 8am on Saturdays – there’s normally always a line, but it moves quickly | Price: Pies: $5–$5.30, Sausage Rolls: $4.50, Pastries: $3–$5.50.
Sample the region’s finest fresh produce and most organic foods with a trip to the monthly Pyrmont Growers Market at Pyrmont Bay Park. Adhering to the slow foods movement philosophy everything on sale is grown or made within a 160km radius Pyrmont. Not far away on Wilson Street in Darlington, the Eveleigh Growers Market also impresses. A true foodies’ paradise, here you’ll find Kylie Kwong serving steamed pork dumplings; Alex Herbert frying up omelettes; Tony Bilson assembling steak sandwiches; and 70 other providores hawking organic produce.
Worn out after meandering the markets? Head to Darlinghurst’s busy South Dowling Street to South Dowling Sandwiches. Unassuming with a simple premise and superb service, the store has a cult following. Exquisite bread spilling with fillings, wrapped in alfoil, South Dowling Sandwiches’ oversized creations pack a punch.
Eat: Chicken schnitzel, herb potatoes, red pesto and roasted carrots | Tip: Avoid going at noon… while the line moves fast it can be excruciating on a hungry stomach | Price: From $8
After a day of quick bites, it’s time to salute the city at Australasia’s most awarded restaurant, Quay. Voted by S.Pellegrino as one of the world’s top 30 restaurants, the 3-Hat and 3-Star Circular Quay restaurant, situated in the Overseas Passenger Terminal, serves original and visionary dishes and enjoys specular views of Sydney Harbour.
Eat: Degustation Tasting Menu – plates include poached southern rock lobster, roasted partridge breast, and smoked and confit pig cheek | Drink: Wine match with Australasian and European wines | Tip: Book months in advance | Price: Tasting Menu: $220, Wine Match: $95 – $175 per person
Regardless of whether you feel satisfied, it would be a crime not to drop by Darlinghurst for gelato from Messina. Setting the benchmark for gelato in Australia, Messina only uses raw and natural ingredients and makes all their 40 flavours from scratch.
Eat: Dulce de leche (milk and caramel), gianduia (chocolate and hazelnut) or apple pie | Drink: Milkshake | Tip: Buy a double scoop… it’ll blow your mind twice | Price: $3.90 a single scoop or $4.90 for a double.
There aren’t many better places to spend a Sunday morning in Sydney, than Bill’s in Woollahra. The setting is spacious and relaxed, the staff are attentive, and the food is simple, but excellent. The restaurant’s namesake and chef, Bill Granger has authored several acclaimed cookbooks, and owns cafes throughout Australia and in London and Japan.
Eat: Ricotta hotcakes, scrambled eggs or corn fritters | Drink: Signature Sunrise Drink | Tip: The café opens at 8am, get there early to beat the crowd | Price: Breakfast: $8 – $25.
The eastern suburbs are jam-packed with things to do and see… Once you’ve done and seen it all, head east back to Bondi for lunch at the iconic Icebergs Dining Room and Bar. Perched on a cliff at South Bondi the Sydney institution’s floor-to-roof windows showcase sweeping views of the world-famous beach, while the kitchen churns out a special beef menu and classic Italian staples, infused with Sydney’s freshest seafood.
Eat: Ribeye Steak | Drink: Toast the view with a glass of Veuve Clicquot | Tip: Reservations are recommended and valet parking is available | Price: Mains: $18 – $165
At the opposite end of the beach, the vibrant Beach Burrito Company is the perfect setting in which to finish a weekend in Sydney. Lively and hip Beach Burrito is a prime spot for a relaxed Sunday night out. The menu offers filling and affordable Mexican classics like burritos, quesadillas, taquitos and tacos and some yummy and inventive additions.
Eat: Chipotle chicken bowl | Drink: Frozen margarita | Tip: Go with a beer lover – Beach Burrito stocks a number of Mexican beers and serves Coronas by the bucket | Price: Mains: $9.95 to $18.95
Taste the flavours of Sydney… Virgin Australia operates flights to Sydney daily, direct from all Australian and New Zealand capital cities, and most regional centres, as well as South Pacific capital cities, Los Angles, Bali, Papua New Guinea and Abu Dhabi. Our holiday partner, Blue Holidays offers a range of great Sydney holiday packages, from $358.