No trip to this wonderful city is complete without a trip to its famous Fish Market - a real foodie's paradise. It is the largest market of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and auctions over 100 species daily. You can have a guided tour or you can take a course at the Seafood School. Best of all, you can eat delicious, freshly landed seafood on the quayside, but watch out - you may have to share your meal with the locals - cheeky pelicans that come right up to the table in the hope of a free lunch.
An Italian restaurant hidden away in Surry Hills. Not easy to find - which makes it even more rewarding - but very busy when we were there. Fantastic, fresh, al dente Italian cooking accompanied by the mother of all wine lists. Try the crab if it's on.
Great restaurant in central Sydney that’s reasonably priced and has soaked up more than a little of the city’s party atmosphere… Loud, funky music makes a great night out but probably not the best romantic meal! They also have a BYOB (bring your own bottle) policy on wine ($2 corkage) that helps save some more cash.
1 Broughton Street (Kirribilli)
Google map: tinyurl.com/re7e9g
For a place to stay, Shangri-la draws the suited and booted but is also the hangout for beautiful people. The Horizon Club serves canapés in the lounge every evening and there’s wireless broadband throughout.
The restaurant Forty One at the top of Chifley Tower has private dining rooms. You can enjoy breathtaking views of Sydney Harbour and the city’s impressive skyline, and the food is also excellent – there's a six-course dinner menu with wines chosen by the sommelier.
This is a restaurant in Manly, a ferry ride away from Sydney's Circular Quay. Despite its name, and the fact that I am a vegetarian, I can definitely recommend it for meat eaters and non-meat eaters alike.
My husband - a meat eater - tells everyone he meets about the steak that he had there, whilst I - a non meat eater - can say that the meal I had there was the most generous and varied vegetarian meal I have ever tasted.
It consisted of every type of vegetable imaginable, fresh and beautifully cooked. Add to this, the fantastic view overlooking Manly Beach and the ocean and the buzzing atmosphere; yes, I would definitely cross the world to eat there again!
Manly, New South Wales - a ferry ride away from Sydney Circular Quay
I've been around the world and have had a lot of pizza, and this pizza was something else. The slice didn't sag, it was sort of in between pan and thin base. The crust was mildly crunchy with a scent of oregano and basil wafting through each crunch. The sauce was just right. The cheese was thick and plentiful, and the pizza had the 'right' amount of garlic (don't you hate overdone or underdone garlic on a pizza?). I can't wait for my next hit... it's a small shop in Harbord (behind freshwater beach). Was staying with friends in Manly, and they specifically took me there (even though Manly has a million pizza joints) and wow. What a pizza.
A good breakfast is a Sydney institution. From fresh fruit to slap up eggs and bacon with all the trimmings. Washed down with a cup of the best coffee to set you up for the day. Don't miss out, avoid the hotel smorgasbord rip offs and you won't blow the budget either.
The best cafes are in the Inner West (Glebe, Rozelle, Balmain), Eastern Suburbs and the sea side suburbs (Bondi,Bronte, Manly). The locals have their favourites and don't like to broadcast their location. But just head for the ones with a crowd and enjoy.
Leichhardt, despite the German name, is home to a large Italian population, and coffee, pasta and gelato lovers are the ones to benefit! Steer clear of the slightly staid atmosphere around the Forum, and head further away from Parramatta Road, where you’ll stumble upon long-running gems such as Bar Italia. Its convivial Italian atmosphere is unmatched on this side of the world.
Take bus numbers 436 or 440 from the city centre.
(Bar Italia, 169-171 Norton St, Leichhardt, NSW 2040)
Sydney does Japanese food far better than the UK. A fun budget option is Ju-Ju’s in Kings Cross, a typical izakaya, complete with karaoke in the corner. For a special night out Tetsuya’s is undeniably one of the great restaurants of the world, but if you want great food without the name-dropping, Uchi Lounge on Brisbane Street provides impeccable quality for in-the-know locals – there’s a no-booking policy at the weekend so get there early!
(Ju-Ju’s, Bayswater Road, Kings Cross, NSW 2011. (02) 9357 7100)
(Uchi Lounge, 15 Brisbane Street, Darlinghurst. NSW 2010. (02) 92613524)
(Tetsuya’s, 529 Kent Street, CBD NSW 2000. (02) 9267 2900)
The cosily bohemian Dean's Cafe serves irresistible nachos and a good selection of drinks. It's a great place to satisfy the munchies or unwind after a big night out. Strawberry daqueries to die for and an excellent Duke Box.
(tel 9368 0953, 5 Kellet St). Dishes $6.70-14.50. Open late. King's Cross, Sydney
A great place to have a ocean feast. Loads of different stalls selling a vast aray of seafoos from Tuna Sashimi to fries fish and chip to live oysters. As fresh as it gets. Choose a selection and sit outside by the bay with the gulls and pelicans. Great food great place to eat. Very cheap too.
Bailmain is a suburb west of Darling Harbour, which is full of trendy bars, restaurants and art shops/galleries. The houses are beautiful and the whole area has a relaxing 'Mediterranean' ambiance.
Can be reached by taking the Woolwich/Birkenhead Ferry from Circular Quay to either Thames Street or Darling Street.
A good place to pick up some more unusual souvenirs - lots of craft stalls here, none of the usual tourist tat - and at decent prices. Or you can just wander around and check out the people, then stop off for a cake from the shop around the corner, just over from the tourist info office. Then, head up to the harbour bridge pylon to check out the views.
The rocks, Darling Harbour
Sydney's food is probably the city's strongest suit. Find Yum Cha in China town or in the old ballroom-style splendour of the Regal. Yum Cha is buffet-style Chinese but fresher and more interesting than anything you have ever tasted in Europe. Thai food is also consistently excellent in Sydney but don't bother with Indian - apart from one or two exceptions (notably Zaaffran, Level 2, 345 Harbourside Shopping Centre, Darling Harbour) it is not as good as in the UK.
The Regal, 347-353 Sussex St
This is the best Indian restaurant in Sydney, according to me. The curries are as authentic as the ones in England. If you see what I mean. If you like curry and happen to be in Sydney, eat at The Clove.
249 Crown Street, Darlinghurst.
Instead of walking or driving around Sydney, to get the best vantage points around the harbour hire a 'Tinny', a small aluminium boat with an engine. You don't need a boat licence, and you can fit 7 or 8 people onboard. You can also organise a fishing licence to catch some fresh Sydney seafood.
Vickery Av Rose Bay 2029 telephone: 9371 7036 or 0416 123 339
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