My Top 10 are mostly located within the Sydney city area and should be easily accessible for the visitor on a whirlwind schedule.
Wagyu burger from Plan B
Top 10 Sydney Cheap Eats for Tourists
Updated 26 October 2011 (listed in alphabetical order)
- Bills, Surry Hills for Bill Granger's famed eggs - and ricotta hotcakes!
- Cafecito, Sydney for Brazilian homestyle favourites in the heart of the CBD
- Chat Thai, Haymarket for fiery Thai dishes and a supper menu that runs til 2am
- Din Tai Fung, Sydney for precision dumplings and a behind-the-scenes show
- El Loco, Surry Hills for Mexican street food and mystery tacos
- Harry's Cafe de Wheels, Woolloomooloo for Sydney's legendary pie and mushy peas
- Lindt Cafe, Martin Place, Sydney for exquisite desserts in a beautiful building
- Malay Chinese Takeaway, Sydney for some of the city's best laksa
- Mamak, Sydney for fresh roti made with spectacle
- Miso, Sydney for a crumbed pork cutlet that is more like a religious experience.
Fish and chips at Doyles on the Wharf
Delicious Eats for the Intrepid
(listed in alphabetical order)
- Adriano Zumbo, Balmain - Take your tastebuds on an adventure with wild flavoured macarons and ornate desserts.
- Australian Heritage Hotel, The Rocks - Keen to eat crocodile, emu or kangaroo? Try them on pizza washed down with a local beer - the range of Australian boutique beers is staggering.
- David Jones Food Hall, Sydney - On a budget? Make your own DIY picnic from Sydney's premier food hall and eat on the grass beneath the trees at Hyde Park across the road.
- Doyles on the Wharf, Watsons Bay - Bask in the sun on a leisurely ferry trip from Circular Quay to Watsons Bay. Wander the scenic walking paths to work up an appetite and then feast on fish and chips on the wharf, soaking up the glorious harbour views.
- Gumshara Ramen, Sydney - Ever wondered what a stock made with 120kg of pork bones tastes like? Dig into a bowl of tonkotsu ramen and expect a collagen rush like no other.
- Hurricane's Grill, Bondi Beach - Every tourist ends up at Bondi Beach, so after a day of saltspray, tuck into a full rack of sticky smoky marinated ribs that will leave you licking your fingers. Bibs are provided so making a mess is half the fun.
- Nippon Club, Sydney - The decor may be dated but the menu will transport you straight to Japan.
- Sydney Fish Market, Pyrmont - Take a seafood sightseeing tour and then hand-pick your own banquet to eat alongside the giant pelicans on the wharf.
- Una's, Darlinghurst - Like your schnitzel? Dig into a giant-sized schnitzel that threatens to hang off the side of your plate, served with crispy potato roesti of course.
- Kopitiam Malaysian Cafe, Ultimo - Enjoy hawker-style Malaysian fare just down the road from the Powerhouse Museum.
Spices from Valley View Continental Groceries, Bankstown
Rewarding Food Adventures for Those Willing to Travel
Sydney is a treasure trove of eats from all around the world, many of them found in cultural communities that cluster in suburban pockets. I often think there's nothing better than hopping on a train and spending a day browsing the fascinating grocery stores, bakeries and restaurants in the suburbs. Why just visit Sydney when you can visit China, Vietnam, Lebanon, Turkey, Portugal and Korea as well?
(The following list is ordered by approximate geographic distance from the Sydney CBD. For public transport options from where ever you are, please use the 131500 Transport Infoline website or phone 131 500)
Petersham (15 min train trip from Town Hall - Inner West line)
You haven't had a barbecue chicken until you've tried it Portugese style, flattened in half, brushed with peri peri chilli sauce and cooked on a rotisserie over charcoal. There are several different bbq chicken shops along Canterbury Road but the highlight of any trip to Petersham is the amazingly flaky Portugese custard tart from Sweet Belem - think a crusty base so crunchy it sounds like you're eating a potato crisp. If you're still around for dinner, check out the modern Greek offerings at Perama, finishing with their homemade olive oil ice cream.
Haberfield (50 min bus trip or a 15 min taxi ride from Town Hall)
Ramsay Street isn't bustling with people but there's a lovely village feel to this food rich suburb. Bring your shopping bags and fill them with fresh cheeses from Paesanella, crusty ciabatta loaves from Haberfield Bakery, deli items from Lamonica IGA, handmade chocolates from Colefax and the divine light-as-air ricotta cake from Pasticceria Papa. End your day with traditional wood-fired pizza from La Disfida.
Ashfield (21 min train trip from Town Hall - Inner West line)
Make your own Ashfield food tour through fishmongers, Asian bakeries, Chinese grocery stores, Indian spice shops and Filipino treats. There are countless dumpling houses to choose from but I love the super cheap soup dumplings and crispy-bottomed panfried buns at Shanghai Night.
Campsie (37 min train trip from Town Hall - Bankstown line)
Campsie is known as Little Korea, but amongst the Korean grocery stores and restaurants, you will also find Chinese BBQ houses, Indian spice stores and Lebanese baklava. My favourite feed is the jeyuk bossam from Korean favourite Se Joung.
Lakemba (42 min train trip from Town Hall - Bankstown line)
Never tried Lebanese pizza? It's yours for $1 with an oregano pizza, or try a $1.50 spinach pie. Explore Indian spice shops, Lebanese bakeries and Continential groceries on your Lakemba food tour. Work up an appetite for the best falafel in Sydney at Jasmin. You will eat yourself stupid and pay about $10 for the pleasure.
Auburn (26 min express train trip from Town Hall - Western line)
The streets of Auburn are as far from everyday Sydney as you can get. The smell of charcoal in the air comes from the freshly grilled kebabs that will take you straight back to the memories of your best meal in Turkey. Wander the streets and make up your own food tour but do not leave without enjoying the unique stretchy pleasure of dondurma ice cream from Mado Cafe.
Bankstown (52 min train trip from Town Hall - Bankstown line)
Bankstown is one of Sydney's true cultural melting pots. Meander you way through Lebanese baklava, an Eastern European deli, a Chinese herbal store, spices piled into pyramids you might find in a souk, and African, Filipino and Asian groceries. Vietnamese pho noodle houses abound but it's hard to go past the famed Pho An.
Cabramatta (50 min express train trip from Town Hall - South line)
You could almost trick yourself into thinking you are in Ho Chi Minh City as you walk the streets of Cabramatta with your own DIY food tour. Enjoy the sensation of getting lost in the myriad of arcades selling exotic tropical fruits, bolts of fabric, Asian groceries and takeaway snacks. Tuck into a bowl of the Vietnamese staple, pho noodle soup or Vietnamese-style deep-fried spring rolls. Sweet tooths will revel in pandan waffles and shaved ice with choose-your-own jellies and sweet beans, but the truly adventurous will only have eyes for the nutty richness of an avocado smoothie from Hung Vuong. Try it. It's amazingly good.
All lists are subjective, so what do you think? Leave a comment with your tips on Sydney's best eats for tourists or provide your comments on the ones listed above.
And if you're a visitor to Sydney then I hope you enjoy our diverse array of culinary fare. Leave a comment if you use this list and let us know your thoughts on the food you found.
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9/05/2009 10:31:00 pm