A foodie's guide to dining and drinking in Sydney
The Sydney restaurant hit list
Unless you have the metabolism of a nine-year-old and the finances of a Kardashian, you never stand a chance against Sydney's ferocious dining machine. The openings just don't stop – and ain't nobody got time to keep on top of what's what. Except us, of course. Behold: our eat-and-destroy list, a guide featuring some of the best new restaurants you need to try, along with some old standbys still doing things right. Go forth – and eat all the things!
The 27 most Australian dishes in Sydney
No matter how you feel about nationalism, there's one thing all Australians can agree on. We make pretty epic food. We thought we’d celebrate our country with some of Sydney’s finest fare. We’ve found the 27 most Australian dishes that Sydney has to offer. From the best pad Thai to our raddest lamington and most delicious native plant stir-fry. Here is our list, in no particular order, of Sydney's best takes on Australiana:
The best cheap eats in Sydney
In a perfect world, we'd spend every night enjoying fine cuisine at Sydney's most indulgent restaurants. We'd be at Quay, Sepia, Rockpool Bar & Grill... anywhere, really, that requires half (or all, or far more than) what's currently in your bank account for a shared plate. But we do not live in a perfect world – sometimes the stove is broken, the thought of checking your balance makes you break out in hives and skipping meals seems a viable option. But you don't have to do that! There's a host of restaurants all around our fair town serving up tasty food at prices that won't leave your wallet empty.
The best bars in Sydney
This has been the year Sydney’s bar scene got classy. People who not so long ago wouldn’t have touched a straight liquor cocktail with a bargepole are now ordering up Old Fashioneds and Sazeracs without a second thought, and they’re loving it. Sure, the lockout laws continue to dampen the late-night hijinks, but that just means our party starters have had to get creative. New bars are still popping up in any underground space, hidden enclave and lofty spot that becomes available, and the yardstick for bar snacks has been set at an all-time high. The old guard have applied fresh vigour to the cocktail craft in the last 12 months. New additions have reminded us that the best drinks aren’t always the booziest; orange wines are everywhere we look; and this year heralded the rise of locally distilled spirits. Way to level-up, Sydney.
The best pubs in Sydney
Charge your glasses, friends, and join us in a toast to Sydney’s pubs. To the fusty watering holes that champion the old ways: they’ve still got a pie warmer behind the counter, the footy is on the TV and their Reschs is cold and clean. And to the young guns swinging open the saloon doors to local breweries fermenting up a flavour storm in all corners of the city. Great evenings have been built on a foundation of schnitzel and steak, but we’re also showcasing the local pubs getting creative with counter meals and ensuring the tucker is top-notch. All up it’s been a ripper year for the Sydney pub scene: this guide is where we get to sing the praises of the best in the business.
The best things to do in Sydney
The best art galleries in Sydney
Sydney is busting at the seams with great art – from major institutions like the Art Gallery of NSW and the Museum of Contemporary Art, to incredible privately-owned but publically accessible (and free!) galleries like White Rabbit, and right down to a thriving scene of independent and artist-run initiatives. Below are some of our favourites.
The best walks in Sydney
Coastal walks, bush walks, historical walks and inner city ambles: there are many routes to choose from to discover Sydney from a new angle. See our list of ten favourite places to wander and remember to pack a camera – these walks offer some of the best vantage points for snapping our city at its best.
Indigenous tours in Sydney
From tours that take you to previously restricted bushland to self-guided, inner city augmented reality apps that show you what life was like before European settlement in Australia – these Aboriginal led and operated businesses share knowledge and history that dates back thousands of years. Find more walks in Sydney or explore our harbour islands.
Free things to do in Sydney today
Sydney may have been voted the second most expensive city in the world to live in, but if you look closely you will find cheap and free things to do on any day of the year. Want LOLs without the price tag? Here's where to find free comedy nights in Sydney. Or a cheap date idea? See these venues for free live music on any night of the week.
Most popular events in Sydney
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Sydney Open is a chance to have a stickybeak in the landmark buildings that make up the city’s skyline and gain access to otherwise closed off spaces over one weekend, like ancient fraternal organisation headquarters or the building that inspired a 1930s moneybox. This year you can be one of the first to see the new Arup offices in Barrack Place, take a peek inside the rarely-seen Chief Secretary’s building and go behind the scenes of Sydney’s best architecture. Explore Sydney's CBD like never before and discover its hidden art, architecture, history, and heritage. Book in for one of the exclusive Focus Tours, which will take you inside some of Sydney Open's most interesting spots including rarely seen habourside heritage spaces and architecturally-designed private residences. The most popular option is the Sydney Open Pass, which gives you access to more than 40 buildings on the Sunday. Buildings on the program include Seidler’s modernist marvels Australia Square and Grosvenor Place, the Great Synagogue’s intricate and inspiring ceilings, plus Parliament House and St James Road Banco Court. And, if you purchase a Sydney Open Pass before October 14 you can go into the draw to win a Golden Ticket to the coveted Tank Stream tour. Find out more about Sydney Open.
Get a taste of Cuba at Bungalow 8
If you've been daydreaming about a sun-soaked Caribbean holiday but lack the adequate funds, then spring at Bungalow 8 is for you. Harnessing the waterside views of their harbourfront location, the King Street Wharf mainstay is transforming into a tropical Cuban-inspired paradise from October 15 until December 29. The Little Havana pop-up at Bungalow 8 is your sun-soaked go-to for long afternoons and warm nights spent sipping Mojitos, snacking on empanadas, and enjoying festive live entertainment. Start your tropical holiday at Little Havana at Bungalow 8 by trying some cocktails and delicious snacks from their Cuban Delights menu. A custom outdoor bar will be serving up Bacardi Mojitos on tap for you to enjoy outside by the harbour. Pair the refreshing cocktail with serves of plaintain chips, empanadas, grilled chorizo, and fried gabanzos, and you've got yourself a golden recipe for kicking back by the harbour. Make the most of the Little Havana festivites with a group of mates or a special someone by securing one of their special party packages. Book in to one of their cabanas, which entitles you and your crew (of any size) to two hours of bottomless Bacardi Mojitos and a Cuban feast for only $69pp. Just like the real Havana, live music will be an essential part of Bungalow 8's Cuban-inspired experience. Every Thursday you can enjoy hits from La Fiesta, a percussive party band with stellar vocals that always gets the dancefloor started, and sample free bites from the m
An Enemy of the People
This brand-new version of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People by Melissa Reeves sees the 1882 masterpiece reappropriated to modern times, all while maintaining its comedic spark and fierce political undertones. The timely redux – directed by Anne-Louise Sarks – stars 2017 Helpmann Award-winner Kate Mulvany as doctor Katherine Stockman. One day she discovers that the water supply for which the town is famous for is poisonous. This disturbing piece of information does not rattle the people of the town and the community refuses to believe there's an issue. Stockman grapples with whether she should stand by her tight knit community, or fight for the truth, even if it comes at the cost of income, family, and identity. As always Belvoir brings thought-provoking stories to the stage with this captivating play at the Upstairs Theatre.
A guide to shopping on the Central Coast
Passionate shop owners will make sure your wardrobe and home is fitted out with wares thatchannel the coast’s laid back vibes, with ethically made clothes, hand carved furniture andlocally sourced flower arrangements. We stopped into a bunch of the Coast’s favouriteshops to get the lowdown. Want more? Check out our guide to eating and drinking on the Central Coast.