Sydney’s Hidden Food & Drink Gems

I’m coming up to 5 years of living in Sydney now, and with roughly 5 more months to go, I can feel the tick, tick, tick of my time coming to an end. Part of me is very ready to leave – have been for a while – but another part is a feeling a little panicky at all the places I have yet to explore.

I’ve found a few culinary gems over the years, albeit quite narrow to the North Shore and CBD bubble I’ve found myself in. Below are my favourites, which I hope will serve well as an ideas list for others, as well as a reminiscent look back for myself.


CBD & Surroundings 

The Grounds Of The City: This coffeehouse-inspired inner-city hub transports you back to an era of old-school charm. With dim lighting, pretty decor and cosy tables, you’ll forget that you’re on busy George Street. There’s even a tea lady who roams the room with a trolley full of cakes!

The Tea Cosy: Tucked into Sydney’s historic Rocks area is this Irish treasure, a quaint tea room serving delicious scones baked fresh on premises all day. Using an old secret family recipe, they make their scones from scratch each morning, and serve them warm with Australian-made gourmet jams, and double thick cream. I recommend the pear vanilla jam. Read my review here.


The Tea Cosy

Button Bar: If you’re bar hopping in Surry Hills, Button Bar is well worth the stop. This pirate ship themed bar is decked out with scattered barrels, anchors, and wooden walls with hanging rope to add to the warm ambience. I recommend the spiced rum and freshly pressed pear juice. Read my review here.

El Camini Cantina: Another one in The Rocks, El Camini Cantini is loud and in your face with tacos, American style Tex-Mex food and plenty of margaritas. The music and decor is lively and fun, and they even have 10 cent wing Fridays.

The Squire’s Landing: Found in Circular Quay, this bar/restaurant has a spectacular view of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge,  no matter where you sit. I was lucky enough to visit during Vivid which added to the atmosphere buzz. The Brewhouse menu offers plenty of simple but delicious options such as pizzas, burgers and share plates, as well as several beverages on tap. 


Bar Blaq: Bar Blaq is a training based restaurant and bar, located in a hidden venue above Lane Cove Plaza. What I love most about Bar Blaq is their $10 cocktail menu, which for Sydney prices, is pretty hard to beat! From apple crumble and espresso martinis, to a cosmos, margaritas and piña coladas, there’s something to suit every taste. Read my review on WeekendNotes here.

Burnt Orange: In the stylish suburb of Mosman, Burnt Orange is housed in a stunning sandstone mansion overlooking beautiful Sydney Harbour. You can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as afternoon high tea or cheese and wine while sitting out on a large verandah among the trees. Read my high tea review here.

afternoon tea burnt orange

Burnt Orange

Shorties: Another Lane Cove local (love my suburb), this intimate bar and restaurant is the perfect place to stop in for a drink and share plate. With candlelit tables, a house cocktail list and friendly service, it made my Birthday night out feel a little more special.

New Brighton Hotel: A trip to Manly is my ultimate pleasure in the summer to enjoy a classic beach day. Our regular pit stop is the rooftop garden bar at New Brighton Hotel, where you can enjoy a jug of Pimms, a barramundi burger and views from Shelly to Queenscliff beach.


New Brighton Hotel


Doyles On The Wharf: Situated on the Fishermans Wharf in Watsons Bay, Doyles On The Wharf offers generous helpings of fresh seafood at affordable prices. Grab a takeaway, sit on the beach and enjoy the panoramic view of Sydney Harbour. Read my Watsons Bay post here.

Dunbar House: Also in Watsons Bay, Dunbar House is a gorgeous 1830s waterfront Georgian mansion. It’s a lovely place to enjoy a Devonshire Tea on the verandah.


Dunbar House


The Claypot Taverna: Located on Anzac Parade in Kensington, The Claypot Taverna is renowned for its authentic Cypriot and Greek dishes, as well as its traditional atmosphere and relaxed ambience. I recommend the slow cooked lamb Arni Kleftico clay pot. Read my review here.


The Pie Tin: Found in Newtown, The Pie Tin is an industrial style cafe with exposed bricks and steel which gives it a casual/rustic atmosphere. If you like pie, you’ll love this place! There are around 30 or so sweet pie flavours to choose from, such as Pumpkin, Sour Cherry, Black Forest Meringue, Banoffee, Peanut Butter Choc, Whipped Lime, and Coconut Cream. They also have a wide range of savoury pies such as Lamb and Rosemary, Peasant Stew, Sweet Roasted Duck, and Shredded Pork with Apple and BBQ Sauce. Read my review here

pumpkin pie

The Pie Tin

With a few months left to enjoy, I’m open to culinary suggestions – please let me know where to go!

2 thoughts on “Sydney’s Hidden Food & Drink Gems

  1. Sheree says:

    I’ve only been to Sydney a couple of times but I managed to find a few of these on your list. One of my favourite places for lunch is the Sydney fish market. Go with a crowd, point the digit of doom at my favourite crustaceans (lobsters) which are then cooked to order. Start with some oysters – fabulous, inexpensive meal.

    Liked by 1 person

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