Often the best part of traveling to new places is checking out the local cuisine. In Australia, you can always get a meat pie or fish and chips at the nearest pub, but sometimes the occasion calls for a more memorable dining experience. Sydney has world-class eateries, so when you're visiting the Harbour City, enjoy the best.
The view of Sydney Harbour from Quay's dining room is spectacular, and the award-winning "nature-based" modern Australian cuisine created by Chef Peter Gilmore is equal to the setting. Unique menu items include reworked classic dishes and new dishes for each season, including such items as slow-cooked quail with fermented mushroom custard, wild Tasmanian green-lipped abalone, and congee of hand-dived scallops. The wine list is extensive, and wine and food pairings are offered. Quay has made the prestigious World's 50 Best Restaurants list more than once and is the winner of the 2017 Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Restaurant of the Year Award.
Formerly helmed by Chef Peter Doyle (who has since retired), this restaurant creates contemporary Australian food that is seasonally driven and French-influenced. Dine in the heart of Sydney in est.'s elegant dining room with its soaring white columns and decorative ceilings. The dinner tasting menu includes such Australian specialties as sea urchin, poached squid, shaved abalone, and Blackmore wagyu beef, and wine pairing packages are available. The restaurant is just a short walk from Circular Quay wharf and is open for lunch and dinner, except on Sundays. Reserve in advance by phone or online.
A visit to the Sydney Tower Buffet is a must-do experience. It is buffet-style dining with 360-degree revolving views of the city below, so no matter where you sit, the sight of Sydney is breathtaking. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner so you can admire the city by day and see the city lights by night while choosing from more than 60 dishes, including Vietnamese, Australian, Italian, and Japanese cuisine. The buffet also offers a large selection of fresh local seafood.
This Michelin-starred Sydney restaurant offers traditional Japanese dining with a French-influenced twist. Set inside a refurbished heritage-listed building, it is famous for its ten-course tasting menu based on the Japanese philosophy of using natural seasonal flavors and classic French cooking techniques. Chef Tetsuya Wakuda designed his own on-site test kitchen where he creates such unique dishes as spanner crab with yuzu kosho and clam vinaigrette; Marron with Davidson plum and smoked butter; and confit of ocean trout with celery, witlof, and apple. This popular restaurant is often packed, so book well in advance.
Bill Granger's restaurant in the Darlinghurst section of Sydney offers relaxed dining with an emphasis on local seasonal ingredients. A native of Australia, Granger has created a casual atmosphere where breakfast starts the day early with ricotta hotcakes or sweet corn fritters. Or go native and order the Full Aussie: scrambled eggs, sourdough toast, roast tomato, bacon, miso mushrooms, and pork, chili, and fennel sausage. Try the fresh juices and smoothies, such as Bill's Beets with beetroot, carrot, fennel, and apple or the Sunrise with berries, coconut yogurt, and agave.
Founded by world-famous chef Jamie Oliver, Jamie's Italian in Sydney is an upscale dining experience with a casual atmosphere. The venue is on two levels: The lower level is a traditional restaurant setting, and the upper mezzanine has an open kitchen so diners can watch the chefs at work. Set menus of two or three courses are available, as well as an extensive a la carte menu of various kinds of pasta, entrees, contorni (side dishes), and desserts. The lunch menu features a pasta of the week, a fish of the day, and the "classic super food" salad with roasted beets, avocado, grains, broccoli sprouts, pomegranate dressed with harissa and ricotta.
Rockpool Bar and Grill ranks high on the Australian Gourmet Traveller's list. Situated in the 1936 art deco City Mutual Building, the restaurant is a stone’s throw from Sydney Harbour. Popular with locals and visitors alike, the Rockpool is a foodie’s dream. The menu features dishes based on an ever-evolving selection of quality local produce, matched with an awarding-winning wine list with over three thousand wines. Enjoy wood-fired grilled meats dry aged on site that is free of growth hormones and antibiotics. For a more casual meal, enjoy drinks and small plates at the bar, such as the Spanish-influenced potato and chorizo egg tortilla with aioli or clams steamed with Serrano ham and beans.