Australia, Food, Travel

The Best Lunch and Dinner Spots in Sydney

I’m back with part 2 of my Sydney Eats guide! Here is part 1 The Best Breakfast and Brunch Spots in Sydney. I’ll have the final instalment, desserts, up next week!

I tried to narrow this list down but we are so spoilt for choice this list has grown to 38 places and counting.

As previously noted:

– I have lived in Surry Hills, Redfern and Balmain and work in Chippendale, so most of my selections revolve around these areas. Fortunately, this is where the best food is (in my humble opinion).

– I will update this list as I visit more places, so feel free to bookmark it and come back later.




Ester  – 46-52 Meagher Street (Ester is really helping the revitalisation of Chippendale, and their Modern Australian menu with a Mediterranean influence is sensational. You must try the bone marrow!)


Autolyse – 28 Broadway (this eat-in bakery serves up a huge array of soups, salads and sandwiches. The slow cooked lamb sandwich is divine)



Phamish – 248 Palmer St (seriously delicious Vietnamese food, there’s always a queue but it’s worth the wait!)

Lucio Pizzeria – 248 Palmer St (in the same courtyard as Phamish, this pizza place always hovers at the top of my “Best Pizza in Sydney” list)

Hinky Dinks – 185 Darlinghurst Road (a great 1950s vibe, lovely staff who make amazing cocktails and the perfect American diner snack food to complement it)

Buffalo Dining Club – 116 Surrey Street (this is the place where you think you’ve died and gone to heaven. Ask the waiter for their recommendations and they will bring you plate after plate of cured meats, cheese and pastas. And it’s never very expensive!)


Mr Crackles – 155 Oxford St (if you’re stumbling home after a big night I highly recommend you swing by Mr Crackles. Giant pork rolls, cups of crackle, chilli fries etc. Always amazing)



♥ Menya Mappen 537-551 George St (it’s kind of like a “build your own noodle dish” bar, where you choose your base stock and noodles, and then pile on as many tempura/vegetable items as you wish)

Frankies Pizza – 50 Hunter St (a dive bar serving up margarita slushies and delicious pizza until the wee hours of the morning. It’s super loud, but that’s the appeal, right?)

Hot Star Fried Chicken – 96 Liverpool St (a small Taiwanese takeaway shop serving up huge portions of deep fried chicken the size of your head. They also have great sides – also deep fried. Don’t go when you’re on a diet)

Chinese Noodle House/Restaurant – 8 Quay St (both these restaurants are located in the same area, have grapes hanging from the ceiling and hustlers out the front trying to get you to come in. Both have delicious and cheap dumplings! I still haven’t made up my mind who wins the Chinese Noodle House vs Restaurant dumpling war)

Rockpool Bar and Grill – 66 Hunter St (the best steak, duck fat cooked chips and gorgeous desserts, housed in a beautiful Art Deco building. For when you want to get a little fancy)


Alpha – 238 Castlereagh Street (top notch Greek food, especially the spanakopita, platter of haloumi and slow cooked lamb)


Happy Chef – 401 Sussex Street (my FAVOURITE laksa in Sydney. I get serious cravings for this on a regular basis, especially when sick)


Ramen Ikkyu – 401 Sussex Street (in the same food court as Happy Chef, this is one of the best ramens I’ve had in Sydney)


Bowery Lane – 1 O’Connell St (New York-inspired dining with excellent burgers, slow cooked meats, oysters and a bangin’ cocktail list)


Inner West

Hartsyard  – 33 Enmore Rd, Newtown (the best buttermilk fried chicken with sausage gravy I’ve ever had, along with delicious American desserts and weekly changing soft serves from pastry-master Andy Bowdy)


The Stinking Bishops – 63-71 Enmore Rd, Newtown (Ugh this place. The cheese, oh the cheese. Try it in grilled cheese sandwich form or on a platter with some cured meats)


Mary’s – 6 Mary St, Newtown (home to some legendary burgers and fried chicken, and they recently opened a takeaway branch in the city for more temptation!)


♥ Mantecato – 85 Reynolds St, Balmain (A risotto restaurant. That’s right, an entire restaurant dedicated to one of my favourite dishes. The staff are super lovely, the risottos are spot on and the Italian desserts are magnificent. I can’t wait to return!)


Jasmin1 – 116 Marion St, Leichhardt (delicious and cheap Lebanese food with platters of haloumi, felafel, garlic sauce and meat on skewers!)



♥ Four in Hand – 105 Sutherland St (fancy pub food, great service, I really need to return for the Sunday roast!)

♥ The Nighthawk Diner @ The Unicorn Hotel – 106 Oxford St (one of my favourite burgers in Sydney and they do great shakes as well!)


Surry Hills

Spice I Am – 90 Wentworth Ave (my favourite Thai food in Sydney, closely followed by Chat Thai. Beware, this places is SPICEY and will make you cry. In the best way)

Toko – 490 Crown St (fancy Japanese food, done impeccably well. Yes it’s expensive, but well worth the price)

♥ Porteno – 358 Cleveland St, temporarily closed due to the fire (South American food means huge hunks of meat slow cooked over coals, empanadas and the best brussels sprouts you’ll ever eat!)

♥ Longrain – 85 Commonwealth St (a modern take on upmarket Thai food, one of my favourite date night places)

♥ Yulli’s – 417 Crown St (my favourite vegetarian place in Sydney, I highly suggest you go with a group and get the banquet so you can try as much as possible!)

Vacanza – 414 Bourke St (this place gets crowded early so be prepared to wait, but it’s worth it for the huge pizzas and generous antipasti boards)

♥ 121BC – 50 Holt St (a cosy Italian restaurant with a fantastic menu and great wine list. I just want to spend a rainy night in here eating pasta forever)

♥ Maya Vegetarian – 468 Cleveland St (I love popping in here for a quick and cheap Thali, a selection of various curries, bread and condiments)

Nomad – 16 Foster St (housed in a huge converted warehouse, the decor is gorgeous and the food and wine list even better)


Lucky Pickle – 509-511 Crown St, enter via Holburn St (this tiny hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop has the BEST lunch options. Get the chicken katsu or pork belly rolls and be very happy)


Madame Nhu – 82 Campbell St (fresh and flavourful Vietnamese food, efficient service and delicious Asian-inspired cocktails)


♥ Ko and Co – 6 Hunt St (I never knew Korean/Mexican fusion could work so well. Amazing fried chicken and Korean tacos and a great cocktail and soju list)



I realise my list is woefully neglectful of the delicacies out West, but I rarely go out there. Some highlights include:

♥ El Jannah – Locations in Granville, Blacktown and Punchbowl (huge servings of charcoal chicken, lebanese bread, the best garlic sauce of your life, pickles, hot chips… oh god I love EJ!)

♥ Circa – 21 Wentworth St, Parramatta (my favourite brunch out west, Circa serves up great coffee and delicious servings of breakfasty goodness. Be prepared to wait as everyone else has discovered this gem!)

♥ Vietnamese Food – John St, Cabramatta (I couldn’t make up my mind for the best Vietnamese food in Cabramatta, so just walk down John St and you won’t be disappointed!)

Places still to try:

LP Quality Meats, Chippendale

Burger Project, City (I am like the only food blogger who hasn’t been)

Pei Modern, City

Cafe Paci, Darlinghurst

Red Lantern on Riley, Darlinghurst

Brewistas, Glebe

ACME, Kings Cross

Papi Chulo, Manly

Silva’s Portugese Chicken, Petersham

The Oxford Tavern, Petersham

Billy Kwong, Potts Point

Chester White Cured Diner, Potts Point

Cho Cho San, Potts Point

The Apollo, Potts Point

The Butler, Potts Point

Da Mario, Rosebery

Dragoncello, Surry Hills

Goro’s, Surry Hills

Great Aunty Three, Surry Hills

Mama’s Buoi, Surry Hills

Pub Life Kitchen, Surry Hills

Tokio Bird, Surry Hills

What do you think of my (lengthy) list? Where’s your favourite place to eat lunch or dinner in Sydney?


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  • Reply Nicole- Champagne and Chips January 22, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    I have so much adoration for Buffalo Dining Club. I want them to open one in Melbourne (cheese wheel pasta!).
    Bowery Lane is on my must-do list for next time after reading this :)

    • Reply Swah January 25, 2015 at 10:03 am

      The cheese wheel is next level isn’t it!!

  • Reply Bec January 22, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    I am hoping to go to Sydney soon so consider this page bookmarked! x

    • Reply Swah January 25, 2015 at 10:03 am

      Ooo hope you have a fabulous time! x

  • Reply Gina January 23, 2015 at 11:59 am

    I love Autolyse!
    Thanks so much for the list, I go to uni in the city so I’m looking forward to explore some of these places when uni starts :D

    • Reply Swah January 25, 2015 at 9:59 am

      You are very welcome Gina, happy eating!

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