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5 cool places to eat and drink in Sydney

Sydney has so many great places to eat and drink, here are five of my faves to get you started.

Confession: It had been three years since I last jumped across the Tasman to Sydney. But Auckland’s bigger and more popular girl-next-door has so much to see and do, I really should go more often. As soon as quarantine-free travel is a thing of the past, that is!

These five really cool places I found to eat and drink in Sydney are diverse as well as mainstream.

A little taste for every bud.

Opera Bar

An oldie but a goodie. And let’s be honest, you’ll be wandering down here anyway!

The name is a little misleading though as it’s more than a bar and is not actually in the Sydney Opera House. Instead it’s down the steps along the waterfront below the mighty angular caps of the tiled House. It sprawls along with tables and chairs and a few umbrellas for the lucky ones who get there first.

Behind are various food outlets for dining there or taking away, perhaps to the Botanical Gardens behind you. I didn’t eat here, instead opting to people-watch in the blazing heat of the late afternoon Sunday sun as girls teetered on ridiculous high heels and the band played.

Opera Bar Sydney
The hubub of Opera Bar looking towards Circular Quay


This is a fancy pub that is more wine bar and bistro in Woolloomooloo.

Pop upstairs for a cocktail from their gin or vodka list at an outdoor table. Order a light lunch of Greek lamb gyros and a bowl of beer battered fries and catch up with old friends in this newly gentrified neighbourhood.

Tilbury Hotel Sydney cocktail
My Heaven On Her Lips cocktail – gin muddled with strawberries and mint


There are about a dozen restaurants all nudging each other on the 100-year old Woolloomooloo Wharf (also known as Finger Wharf) under the very cool Ovolo Hotel.

Manta is a seafood restaurant that serves up delicious, albeit spendy, fish. The hubby and I started sharing a sashimi tasting plate with a little of three types of raw fish, gently dressed with a tasty dressing. I then went for the entree of crayfish lasagne (a teeny square) with a crab bisque that was poured over it at the table.

H-man chose the toothfish from the chilly waters deep in the sea of Tasmania. It was a small wedge for $55, but a meal to remember. We also had a side of green beans with caramelised onions and toasted hazelnuts. A lovely treat night.

Read my review about staying at the amazing Ovolo Hotel here >>

Manta Woolloomooloo
Manta is peeking through the art in front of the wharf

Din Tai Fung

If you’re a Chinese dumpling fan then these restaurants are a find.

The main one is in World Square in Chinatown down George St (a couple more are in food courts).

I love the Shaolong bao, freshly steamed homemade dumpling with liquid stock, and this place does them with crab and pork. We also had the kung pao chicken, battered calamari (husband is a sucker for this dish no matter the ethnicity) and some crispy wontons.

Din Tai Fung Sydney
Liquid stock in a dumpling is the best EVER

Meat & Wine Co

If you’re after a juicy steak, I was recommended Kingsley on Woolloomooloo Wharf and also Meat & Wine Co in Darling Harbour.

The latter was within walking distance from our inner city hotel (Travelodge Wynyard) so we opted for a stroll down to the buzz and it was worth the uphill walk back!

Without a booking we were lucky to be seated before our drinks at the bar were served – and it was a Monday night.

I had a medium-rare rib eye and my red-blooded male went for a medium-rare New Yorker. We both opted for mash (chips or salad were the other choices) and picked sauces for $4. Mine was peppercorn and his was blue cheese.

Washed down with a Barossa merlot and this was another fabulous meal to write home (or a blog) about.

Darling Harbour steak house
This is Monday night. It would pay to book!

I have popped over to Sydney a few times. One time I braved a surf lesson on Bondi Beach. I’m gonna say right now, I was more Bridget Jones than Paige Harob, but in this post you can share the (trauma) lesson, and a laugh, with me.

On another visit we headed north and got out of Sydney to spend a couple of nights at Palm Beach. It was here I learned to stand up paddle board. And one tip stopped me falling in! Once I got that in my head I was away.

If you’re looking for cheap or free things to do in Sydney, you’ll love the insights from fellow travel blogger Jen Lyons, a Sydney local.

Learning to surf Bondi Beach
Riding my first wave! Pic courtesy of Abi King




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Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio in NZ every Sunday. Former Travel Editor at Yahoo NZ and current freelance writer for a few newspapers and mags from time to time, I set off on this travel writing journey 20 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for my newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!