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Sydney for epicureans

Do you navigate the world via your tastebuds? Then you're in foodie heaven in Sydney

Food at Aria
Photograph: Anna Kucera
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Sydney is one of the world's great dining cities. With access to a stunning range of excellent produce, and a local population anxious to stay abreast of food trends, you can eat like royalty in Australia's largest city. Sydney's multicultural history has brought influences from all of the great cuisines of the world, not to mention an Italian-inspired coffee culture. Nor has the art of the cocktail been neglected: you can experience world-class mixology at exciting hidden city bars. Whether money is no object or you're on a budget, here are some recommendations for every epicurean.

Cod with Jerusalem arichokes at Saint Peter
Photograph: Daniel Boud

The 10 best restaurants in Sydney

Start your culinary journey in Sydney by choosing from the 10 nominees for Time Out's Restaurant of the Year 2018 award. The ultimate winner, Saint Peter in Paddington, heralds nothing less than a new chapter in Australian seafood dining. Or head to Aria, the aspirational diner that is hitting new highs; Bert's, the classic luxe restaurant up on the Northern Beaches; Billy Kwong, creating modern Chinese food using native Australian ingredients; Ester, which has won this award twice before; Fred'slike Julia Child doing French Country in the Hamptons; Hubert, the underground French bistro that has flipped the definition of CBD dining; Paper Bird, a wonder of modern Korean; Sixpenny's five-star degustation dining; and Yellow, possibly the nest vegetarian restaurant the city has ever seen.  

Interior at Tramsheds
Photograph: Robert Polmear
Restaurants, American


Forest Lodge

The heritage-listed Tramsheds in Forest Lodge have been gutted and renovated to a high sheen, filled with an all-star roster of restaurants and services, and the result means it's a bit of a desination for dining. Post up on the pale blue leather seats around the bar at Bodega 1904 for South American-inspired fare and kickass wine. Head round the corner where Flour Eggs Water is making fresh pasta. Try Osaka Trading Co for light, modern Japanese fare. Sustainable fish eatery Fish and Co are the go for fish and chips, or some take-home treat like fish pâté or cured salmon, and Belle’s Hot Chicken is slinging fried chicken sandwiches and amazing natural wines.

People eating at Dixon House Food Court

Chinatown Food Courts


Sydney's Chinatown offers a wealth of authentic Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Malaysian, Korean and Vietnamese street cuisine, all very cheap and addictively delicious. Head to Eating World for Sydney's best ramen shop, Gumshara; Dixon House Food Court for hotpot and Asian desserts; and Sussex Centre Food Court for laksa at Happy Chef and some fiery Korean noodle soups at the Sparrow's Mill Express.

People sitting inside at Door Knock
Photograph: Ryan Stuart

Hidden bars of Sydney

Sydney's CBD boasts a number of hard-to-find bars that reward the intrepid with excellent, creative cocktails and oodles of atmosphere. Seek out the Baxter Inn, an underground whisky cellar featuring scrolling library ladders; PS40 for mad cocktail experimentation; Door Knock, a subterranean cocktail lounge with great Japanese snacks; the Barber Shop, a gin palace hidden inside an actual barber shop; and Old Mate's Place, a new rooftop bar with cocktails, beers and Philly cheesesteaks.

Somewhere to stay

A room at Sydney's West Hotel
Photograph: Paul Gosney
Hotels, Luxury hotels

West Hotel

Darling Harbour

A boutique accommodation project from Hilton down amongst Barangaroo’s new towers offers an elegant, welcoming home base from which to see Sydney.