Yvonne C Lam is a freelance writer

Yvonne C Lam

Yvonne C Lam

Articles (5)

The 49 best rooftop bars in Sydney

The 49 best rooftop bars in Sydney

We're all about a secret underground dive bar or two – but in a city as beautiful as Sydney, it seems like a damn shame to retreat into the depths for every tipple. From a sundowner by the harbour to a sunny rooftop in the Inner West, our town is awash with sky-high watering holes. So we've rounded up the best spots in the city to sip a cold one under a gorgeous open sky. But drinkers beware: Sydney's rooftop bars play host to some of the most contested seats in the city, so get in early for a spot in the sun.  Stay in the loop: sign up for our free Time Out Sydney newsletter for more news, food & drink inspo and activity ideas, straight to your inbox. For more al fresco drinking try one of Sydney's best beer gardens. Looking for another top-notch watering hole? Check out the best bars in Sydney.

The best places to eat in Sydney's Inner West

The best places to eat in Sydney's Inner West

Sydney's Inner Western suburbs have a well-earned reputation as the boho bloc of the city, with arty enclaves in places like Balmain, Marrickville and the rainbow streets of Newtown, where Sydney's counterculture communities still thrive in spite of soaring property prices. And with those creative energies comes a whole plethora of good eats to fuel the community spirits of the Inner West. Workday lunches could be anything from Egyptian street food to dumplings, tamales or banh mi, and when you don't feel like cooking dinner, there's pretty much no corner of the globe or price point not catered to. Want to eat on one of the city's most respected fine diners? Sixpenny is hiding in the residential streets of Stanmore. New world pizza? Hit Bella Brutta in Newtown. Nigerian, Pakistani, or Mexican? Got them all. And if it's the first meal of the day that concerns you, we've got top-tier coffee to spare and avo toast enough to finance a first home owner's grant. If you're hungry in this 'hood, these are the best places to fill your tank. Jump to a section: RESTAURANTS CAFES PUBS 

The best places for pasta in Sydney

The best places for pasta in Sydney

Whether it’s a simple spaghetti with garlic, oil and chilli, ravioli stuffed to the high heavens, or lovingly layered lasagne, few foods give us the feels quite like pasta. Let’s be real – Sydney’s Italian restaurant game is seriously strong on all fronts, but when the hour calls for carbs, these are the spots that turn flour, eggs and water into small miracles. Time out Sydney's critics and pasta lovers – including Food & Drink Editor Avril Treasure – have smashed their fair share of pasta in town, and here are our favourites. Stay in the loop: sign up for our free Time Out Sydney newsletter for more news, food & drink inspo and activity ideas, straight to your inbox. Need an aperitivo before you chow down? Knock back a cocktail at one of the best bars in Sydney. After a slice of two? Here are the best pizza joints in Sydney.

The best cocktail bars in Sydney

The best cocktail bars in Sydney

No one is pretending that cocktails are a cost-effective way to relax or party in Sydney. In a city where a $25 cocktail isn't an uncommon price tag, you really want to know that what's in your glass has been shaken and stirred by the best in the business. Here, Time Our Sydney critics, including Food & Drink Editor Avril Treasure, have put together a list of the best places for cocktails in Sydney that you can always trust to give you an outstanding drink in exchange for your hard-earned. You're welcome.  Want something a bit stiffer? Try one of the the best bars in Sydney. Or still hungry? Try one of Sydney's best cheap eats. Or head up to one of Sydney's best rooftop bars.

The best restaurants in Newtown

The best restaurants in Newtown

For decades Newtown has been an evolving creature, where creativity abounds and self-expression is paramount. And yes, while we still want to #keepnewtownweird and vegans are still well catered for, there's plenty on the dining scene to keep even the most straight-laced pearl clutchers happy, too.  There's high-end dining to be had in this rainbow neck of the woods, but also a bunch of hyper-focussed regional diners dishing up everything from Egyptian street food to killer pizza and fiery Chinese hot pots. Time Out Sydney's critics, including Food & Drink Editor Avril Treasure, have eaten their way around King Street and beyond to bring you this guide to Newtown's best restaurants. And if you're thirsty, check out our guide to Newtown's best bars here. RECOMMENDED: The best Sydney restaurants for your dining hit list

Listings and reviews (10)

Goodfields

Goodfields

Lobster for breakfast, anyone? The father-and-son duo behind Butcher's Block in Wahroonga have opened Goodfields, a modern, summery cafe just across the road from Lindfield station. The crustacean in question comes as a butter-roasted lobster tail with lobster-hollandaise, poached eggs and crushed peas on a seeded bagel. Priced at $26, it's probably the next millennial brunch dish up for a skewering by any journalist keen to admonish first home-buyers. There's a Mediterranean vibe across the rest of the food menu, from the slow-roasted lamb and labneh on pita for breakfast, to the crisp skin salmon with beetroot hummus and feta for lunch. Unconventionally for Sydney cafes, they're open beyond 3pm, meaning Goodfields is here for both a good time and a long time.

Tayim

Tayim

From the food to the decor, it's old meets new at Tayim. The heritage building's sandstone walls have been restored, and complemented with contemporary marble and wood finishings. Over at the open grill, head chef Ran Kimelfield (ex-Nour) dishes up modern Middle Eastern fare – you'll see skewers of lamb kofta and kangaroo, shakshuka with grilled sardines, and roasted eggplant with raspberries and a labne emulsion coming off the pass. The wine list has been curated to pair with the earthy, spicy flavours. Next door, the Tayim Deli services the takeaway lunch crowd with falafel-stuffed wraps and salads of roasted cauliflower and Israeli couscous.

Frenchies Brasserie (CLOSED)

Frenchies Brasserie (CLOSED)

We like it when things crop up in surprising locations. Like this classic French restaurant run by a chef who's trained with the esteemed Joël Robuchon in Elanora Heights. Head chef Fabian Oliveau is set on bringing French cuisine to this humble Northern Beaches enclave, whose biggest attraction historically has been its golf course. At Frenchies Brasserie, you'll find Parisian classics like twice-baked Gruyère soufflé, steak frites (Black Angus sirloin or eye fillet with French fries) and poulet Basquaise (slow-cooked chicken with olives, capsicum and tomatoes). The wine list is curated by owner David Singer, who in a previous life was the chief operating officer at United Cellars, a major Australian wine retailer. From the drinks to the food, it seems like you're in good hands.

La Favola

La Favola

It's a choose your own adventure of the carb kind. At this Newtown joint, it's all about marrying your preferred pasta shape with one of six sauces. A fusilli carbonara, perhaps? Or a fettucine dal mare (with seafood, garlic, chilli and white wine)? At this modest-sized eatery, space is a prized commodity. So too is a table at peak meal times, when locals flock for bowls of pasta, made fresh in-house on the daily. Keep an eye out for the specials board, where you'll find a limited-time only entree, main and dessert on offer.

The Lord Wolseley

The Lord Wolseley

In a leafy pocket of Ultimo you’ll find this old timer that strikes a comfortable balance between the old ways and the new. Traditional pub fixings still have pride of place in the public bar. There’s an old propeller blade mounted on the red walls above the requisite Reschs and Kent Old Brown posters, the ceiling is proper pressed plaster and the windows are painted in peeling Celtic script. There’s no beer garden but they have co-opted an outdoor section of the neighbouring park for alfresco beers and a Sunday barbecue each week. The newer elements to the Wolseley are all found out the back in the bistro. Sydney pub food has come a long way. First it was the Gravox-and-frozen-schnitty days of yore, then the $5 grill-your-own steak epidemic of the noughties, and now, this – a former fine-dining chef helming the kitchen at Ultimo's Lord Wolseley Hotel. John Javier (formerly of Quay, Momofuku Seiobo, and chef-owner of now-closed mod-Chinese diner Master) does wagyu steak Wednesdays, Sydney rock oyster Saturdays, and barbequed octopus with salsa verde in between. The wine list is mostly Australian, with a cheeky 2008 Bordeaux thrown in because ... why not? You'll just need to remind yourself you're eating in an inner-city pub.

Holly

Holly

If you didn't Insta it, did it even happen? From the Palm Springs meets Art Deco interior, to the vibrant, colour-popping dishes, Holly is super snap-worthy. Consultant chef Tomislav Martinovic (ex-Fat Duck) has worked his magic on the all-day-breakfast menu, so you'll be chowing down on pickled beetroot eggs with labneh, "not smashed" avo, and chilli fried eggs with pumpkin and charcoal bread come breakfast, brunch or lunch. They take their coffee seriously too, with your pick of espresso, batch brew, cold filters and pour-over. Located on Hollywood Avenue, it's a breath of fresh air to have a Bondi Junction cafe spot that's not located in a shopping centre.

Poor Tom's Gin Hall

Poor Tom's Gin Hall

4 out of 5 stars

To find this house of craft gin, where Poor Tom’s have been distilling their own small batch juniper spirit in a converted Marrickville warehouse since 2015, you’ll need to look for the partially-opened corrugated roller door tucked amidst a motorcycle repair shop and a metal stamp factory. And it’s worth hunting down, because now they’ve added a bar to their operation. The gin hall possesses a church-like reverie – white walls, a backlit archway, and a mysterious clay shrine behind the counter (an altar to Ginsus, their gin god and mascot). There’s about 30 bar stools scattered about that you can pull up to the marble-topped service area. This is an elegantly pared back, soul-cleansing sorta place. On the menu are three house gins, each offered in a classic gin and tonic (paired with a specific tonic water), shaken in a martini, or fashioned into a changing line-up of cocktails. And in a pleasant contrast to so much of Sydney’s bar scene, the drinks menu has wallet-friendly cellar door prices. The Sydney Dry Gin – the original commercial batch of Poor Toms spirit – shines in an eight-dollar G&T. It’s a balanced, delicate cocktail; the gin tart and floral, with notes of strawberry and green apple; and the Strangelove light tonic providing an uncomplicated canvas canvas for the botanicals in the spirit. Things get fruity with a strawberry Gin G&T. The gin has been steeped with young ginger, hibiscus and strawberries, giving it a pretty as pink hue and a super-floral, berry-hea

Nameless Bar

Nameless Bar

3 out of 5 stars

One thing is clear at Down N’ Out – you must like cheese. Specifically, that yellow, square-shaped, processed stuff that bears the mysterious label of 'American cheese'. It’s everywhere on the menu at this burger joint: melted over a fresh-off-the-grill wagyu patty; deep-fried as a cholesterol-chart-busting cheese patty, and in sauce form atop a serving of fries. The latter are called tiger fries, and with the option to have your patty cooked tiger-style (with caramelised onions and mustard), international burger fans might clock similarities with a certain US chain with whom the Sydney venue have been engaged in some legal entanglements. The burger menu is short and simple – two cheeseburgers, a chicken, a mushroom, and a notorious weekly special. On our visit it’s the Ryde or Die, stuffed with fried chicken, mac ‘n’ cheese, bacon sprinkles, cheese and bacon ball 'dust’. Call the doctor. The Single cheeseburger has a wagyu beef patty, and the grill must have been scorching hot to achieve such a charred crust on a burger that remains pink in the centre. The paper wrapping contains the mess of melted cheese and special sauce (similar to Thousand Island dressing); whole lettuce leaves provide reprieve; and a soft bun is lightly toasted for structural stability and a slight charred flavour. It’s a decent, solid burger. Surprisingly, it’s the vego offering that wins us over. Too often a whole portobello mushroom soaks a vegetarian burger through. Here, the mushroom is panko-crumb

Hyde Park House

Hyde Park House

3 out of 5 stars

Sydney is a city of renovators. There’s a reason that The Block is one of our most-watched television shows — when we’re not knocking down walls and tiling kitchen floors, we love watching others do the same. So, when Darlinghurst’s Hotel William gets a cool $5 million revamp, we sit up and take notice. The ugly duckling pub on the corner of Yurong and William Streets has been rebranded as Hyde Park House, and comes complete with a glam izakaya rooftop bar to boot. The ground-level Public Bar has had a spruce, but still exudes classic ‘Aussie pub’ vibes with counter meals to match; upstairs, the Jessie’s cocktail bar, is big on comfy lounges and zebra taxidermy. But we’re here for the rooftop bar, which opened fashionably late in the first week of July. Slim’s Rooftop is named after American socialite photographer Slim Aarons, though it could equally refer to the narrow stairs leading to rooftop — there’s a good amount of side-sashaying and waiting-on-the-landing as staff and patrons patiently wait to climb up or down the stairs. But don’t despair, because it’s a stairway to heaven. Slim’s is an open-air oasis with succulent plants and low walls, allowing for stunning views of the art-deco buildings on William Street and the glittery skyscrapers of the not-too-distant CBD. There’s a few rooftop bars in this part of Sydney — the Taphouse and the East Village Hotel are not too far away — but neither sport the glorious ruffled pink umbrellas found here. Food-wise, there’s an

Small Talk Coffee and Snacks

Small Talk Coffee and Snacks

3 out of 5 stars

Focaccia is having a revival. The white bread-stuff, traditionally sandwich-pressed until it looked like hot cardboard and historically paired with the ’90s café beverage of choice, the frappé, is back in vogue. At least that’s the word on the street in Dulwich Hill. Small Talk Coffee is a local pit stop for flat whites, filter coffees and focaccias. Sam Terrey, an ex-Mecca staffer, runs a one-man show, simultaneously playing the roles of owner, barista and baker of the daily fluffy slabs of high GI bread, complete with an oven-blistered crust and a sprinkle of salt. It’s like a big, warm pillow and all savoury dishes from the eight-dish menu are served in, with, or atop it.None of the focaccia sandwiches come packed with sun-dried tomatoes (the ’90s can keep them). Instead, there’s a mushroom toastie, filled with sautéed mushroom, ricotta, cheddar and melted scamorza (smoked mozzarella sourced from Marrickville’s Vannella cheese factory). Three cheeses might sound like heavy going, but the crunch of pickled purple sauerkraut saves it. Ham and egg is a lighter, more refined version of a traditional bacon-and-egg roll. The ham is from Dulwich Hill Meats down the road; the egg, juuust hard boiled and squished into the bread and bound by a housemade, sweet and smoky barbecue sauce. Terrey bakes a batch (or two) of pastries every day and these handheld treats are the only challengers to the focaccia’s top billing. Sticky cinnamon buns make a regular appearance; if you’re lucky, y