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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Win a staycation at The Star here in Sydney
You’ve been nose to the grindstone all year, and it’s already mid-winter. Maybe your boss doesn’t believe you’ve earned a special treat, but Time Out does, and so do our friends at The Star. That’s why they’re giving away a premium staycation to one lucky winner and their companion. The prize includes: One night’s accommodation for two at The Darling (which is incidentally Sydney’s only five-star boutique hotel, as rated by independent luxury hotel rating system Forbes) Breakfast for two at Harvest Buffet Lunch for two at Black Bar & Grill Dinner for two at Sokyo A big $500 credit at The Darling Spa That’s right – a night in the lap of luxury, three fantastic meals in top-notch restaurants, and an amazing massage, facial, body wrap or manicure. Everything you need to feel special again and ready to face down the pointy end of the year. To win this excellent prize, head to The Star's competition page, and hey – good luck.
See Danielle Cormack in this hilarious take on a classic
It’s not every day you see a play written entirely in rhyming verse. When Molière was working in the 17th century, almost every playwright was using rhymes to show their quick wit and extensive vocabularies. But although Lin-Manuel Miranda made rhyming couplets cool again with his hit musical Hamilton, the comedic potential of a killer couplet has been largely forgotten in the theatre. (So has the joy of a great dirty rhyme; although most still remember that “there once was a man from Nantucket”.) Wentworth star Danielle Cormack is about to dive headfirst into a world of rhyme as she makes her return to theatre after three years with a new adaptation of Molière’s The Misanthrope at the Sydney Opera House from August 28. “I’ve been doing a lot of screen work so I was really excited to get back on stage,” she says. “And what better way than to throw myself into the belly of the beast doing a Molière?” Not that this production will be much like what Molière might have envisioned. The play retains Molière’s plot – the central character Alceste finds himself in serious trouble as he shuns high society’s hypocritical niceties – but has been translated and updated into modern Australian English by Justin Fleming. It’ll sound just like the conversations you might hear walking up to the Opera House; apart from the fact that everything rhymes. Helpmann Award winning director Lee Lewis has worked on two of Fleming’s Molière adaptations before, which have proven hugely popular with a
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Side with Amex Sydney | American Express x Time Out
What's better than a main meal? One with sides. Pay with your American Express® Card at these leading restaurants, and you'll be rewarded with a complimentary side for your first main meal ordered. Want to know more? Check out our Side with Amex FAQ. For more great offerings, return to the American Express casual dining guide.