In terms of quality, you’d be hard pushed to beat out Sydney - in any realm. Look at the natural wonders of the city - the beaches and parks - and you’ll be unable to stop yourself from comparing every other beach in the world once you’ve experienced it. Observe the people - holding doors open or waitstaff in buzzing cafes - and the impact of their kindness will be long-lasting. And the food..? Oh, the food. Spinach you can eat like crisps, chicken that is so succulent you’ll wonder out loud how-did-the-chef-do-that, and avocado that is always perfectly ripe. When it comes to quality of life, you win, Sydney.
You’re in the land of extraordinary coffee and the best cafes, so straight to sipping at Ruby’s Diner in Bondi. Ruby’s Diner doesn’t really resemble a diner, and don’t go expecting hotcakes and waffles. Ruby’s is home to smoothies of vigour, kombucha on tap, a breakfast salad that can’t be missed and gluten- free bread you’ll pretend you have an intolerance for. If more hearty is your style, hit up the sweet and tender brisket and the scrambled eggs which employ plenty of cream and spring onions.
Shop 1, 173-179 Bronte Road, Waverley
+61 0404 379 585
Walk off breakfast and jet lag on the iconic Bondi to Coogee Walk. It’s five kilometres of unadulterated beauty. Grab a gelato from the newly opened Israeli gelato spot (good old Jewish ice cream) to fortify you on your stroll. We hanker for the diary free dark chocolate daily; it’s everything you want from dark chocolate sans the immediate dairy hangover-post indulgence.
182 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach
Anita's Gelato - Sydney
Coogee Pavilion is a recently renovated multi-storey eatery by mega-group Merivale who are responsible for some of the more popular restaurants around the city. The food isn’t tricky, but it’s straight up tasty and is meant for sharing. Sashimi and oysters are some of the freshest we’ve ever tasted and the spicy salumi pizza cooked in a wood fired oven, irresistible. Stay for sundowners if you have time.
169 Dolphin St, Coogee. +61 02 9240 3000
Pre-dinner wines and cocktails at the iconic Chef Neil Perry’s restaurant Rockpool Bar and Grill. The more casual steakhouse iteration of Neil’s 27-year-strong fine dining eatery, Rock-pool, this palatial room upheld by imposing olive-hued pillars has stately wine and cocktail menus and is one of the best in the country.
Rockpool Bar and Grill
66 Hunter St, Sydney CBD. +61 02 8078 1900
Ume No Yado Yuzu Sake at Sepia - the wine pairing is a must have at this restaurant
Sepia is one of the four restaurants in the state of NSW that has been awarded three chef hats by the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Food Guide, a leading authority on the city’s food. Husband and wife duo Martin Benn and Vicky Wild manage to strike the balance between sophistry, friendliness and technique with a broody dining room of dark hues coupled with swift service. If wine pairings get your heart racing, sommelier Rodney is almost a destination in himself–let him choose your wine and prepare to be wowed.
201 Sussex St, Sydney CBD. +61 02 9283 1900
The Grounds at Alexandria must be visited for one of the best avocado toasts in the land. Also,get the gluten free hotcakes which are ridiculously fluffy and come in a skillet.
Newtown street art is expressionist and is so valued to the point there are now collaborations between governments, owners and street artists that have devoted walls in this area which are set aside for specific forms of art. The best way to get a grasp of the local scene is to hit up a dedicated culture tour, runs by Culture Scouts.
Young Henry’s brewery is the spot for locally made beer and now gin, run by men who are bearded, tattooed and some of the kindest you may meet.
The Grounds at Alexandria: Building 7A, 2 Huntley St, Alexandria +61 02 9699 2225
Culture Scouts: +61 02 9016 5531
Young Henry’s Brewery: D & E, 76 Wilford St, Newtown +61 02 9519 0048
avocado toast at the Ground at Alexandria
Time for the coffee lovers to geek out. Stripped back coffee finds its zenith at Artificer, an airy and bright corner cafe that sells only really excellent coffee. With no need to focus on pumping out banana bread or quinoa porridge, the men in charge are attentive to the sourcing, roasting and brewing that best represents each beans’ unique qualities.
Artificer Coffee: 547 Bourke St, Surry Hills
Butter is all at once a hip hop bar, sneaker store and fried chicken eatery. It’s weird, but it really works. Delivering good times, good food and good jams, the chicken burger is wonderfully tender, owing in part to the miso butter that covers the chicken fillet. The fried chicken is covered in a sauce that manages to capture Korean fried chicken, Southern fried chicken and a healthy dose of BBQ sauce, and the fries are dusted in nature’s MSG: mushroom powder. Save room for the soft serve, which changes regularly with flavours like butter pecan and peanut butter.
Butter: 6 Hunt St, Surry Hills. +61 02 8283 9416
Butter Sydney's Fried Chicken Burger
Paramount Pictures has its Australian HQ placed in east Surry Hills, which has been overhauled by Singaporean property investor Ping Jin Ng, and re-imagined as a centre for both public engagement and private business. A display of awe-inspiring bronze and curved wood, the Paramount Coffee Project, The Golden Age Bar and Cinema are all in operation and the most recent addition of a luxury shared office space, cements the area’s growing attraction to key corporate players and is a mighty fine spot to work from for a day (desks can be hired at $50 an hour or $250 for the day).
Paramount by The Office Space: 55 Brisbane St, Surry Hills NSW 2010. +61 02 8218 2180
Venus Cafe has modern, chic interiors to align with the vibe of the publishing house of Broadsheet above and The Stables retail below. In the cafe are staff that match the salads - cool, fresh and inventive- and the smoothies make for a lovely way to refuel. Our favourite is the vegan frappe which is comprised of almond milk, dates, espresso and sprinkled with toasted almonds.
Venus Cafe: 352 Bourke St, Surry Hills. +61 02 9331 7053
Vegan coffee frappe and salad at Venus Cafe - Surry Hills
Eating and drinking at Bennelong is the Australian equivalent of eating at the top of the Empire State Building. Between the masterminds of chef Peter Gilmore and restaurateur John Fink, Bennelong is breath-taking and great for a casual experience with the Cured & Cultured Bar or for a more leisurely three-course meal.
Bennelong: Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point. +61 02 9249 8000
Billy Kwong is built by a truly admirable woman and her team. When it comes to celebrity chefs, Kylie Kwong is the real deal. Daily specials that make use of the freshest, local produce and make every visit unique.
Billy Kwong: 1/28 Macleay St, Elizabeth Bay NSW 2011. +61 02 9332 3300
Pork buns at Billy Kwong