According to LA Times food critic S. Irene Virbila, “Nobody does the sexy, beachy restaurant better [than Sydney]. Funny thing is, Sydney seems to do practically every other genre spectacularly well, too”. Here’s a list of 8 favourite Sydney restaurants.
1. Longrain (Thai)
The Thai food at Longrain is amazing. You can taste each flavour in your meal separately and the food is so fresh! Longrain don’t take bookings so it’s best to turn up well before the doors open for dinner at 6 pm. If you do have to wait, there is an attached bar where you can enjoy a few drinks before your meal. Address: 85 Commonwealth St Surry Hills
2. Billy Kwong’s (Chinese)
Billy Kwong’s is the best Chinese restaurant in Sydney. It is also one of the best restaurants in Sydney, period.
Billy Kwong’s signature dish is the duck, although the seafood and fried rice will also blow you away. Like Longrain (above), Billy Kwong’s don’t accept bookings. Simply turn up early (doors open around 6pm) and you’re all set for a night indulging your senses. Address: 355 Crown St Surry Hills.
3. Phamish (Vietnamese)
The salt-and-pepper squid at Phamish is the best I have ever tasted. The atmosphere is cozy yet upbeat.
With plenty of bars and ice cream places around the corner, you’re sure to have a most pleasurable evening. Address: 354 Liverpool St Darlinghurst Sydney.
4. A Fish Called Paddo (Seafood)
I challenge anybody to find a better tasting seafood or fish dish in Sydney. The thing I love about A Fish Called Paddo is that even though the benches are so uncomfortable, I keep coming back for more. I’m there once a month at least!
After you eat, head across the road to the Royal Hotel for a drink. Address: 239 Glenmore Rd Paddington. (Head for the main roundabout in Five Ways Paddington. You can also visit their sister restaurant, A Fish Called Coogee - the food’s just as good - at 229 Coogee Bay Rd, Coogee Beach).
5. Bondi Social (Contemporary Australian)
The Bondi Social restaurant has one of the best views imaginable of Bondi Beach. This is because it’s one of the few restaurants not on street level, but rather, one storey up (above Gloria Jeans).
Along with the great view, the chef’s original recipes also have to be tasted to be believed. You’ll find plenty to choose from on the contemporary menu. Address: 38 Campbell Parade Bondi Beach (above Gloria Jeans).
6. Gelbison’s (Italian)
Gelbison’s Italian restaurant is packed even on a Monday night. That says more than I ever could about how good the food is here. Their standout dish is, for me, the eggplant pizza (Pizza Parmigiana). One Sydney band loved the pizza here so much they named themselves after the restaurant! Address: 10 Lamrock Street Bondi Beach.
7. Five Oh’s ($5 Steaks)
If you want a cheap meal, order a $5 steak at Five Oh’s. It doesn’t get much better than that. Do the owner a favour and drink here afterwards so he can make some profit. Address: Level 1/ 186 Arden St Coogee (Above McDonald’s. The entrance is around the corner on Alfreda St).
8. Mille Lira (Italian)
I love this Italian place because you can draw on the paper tablecloths. The friendly wait staff even provide crayons! The food is delicious to top it off. Try and get the outdoor window table upstairs. It’s people-watching city! Address: 252 Coogee Bay Road Coogee Beach.
BONUS: Zinzana’s (Middle Eastern)
Zinzana’s has the best falafels and schwarmas in Bondi. It’s a takeaway (food to go) place with a couple of chairs if you want to eat in. Grab the food and head for the beach. Address: 141 Glenayr St Bondi Beach.