As a currently unemployed human, I’ve been trying desperately to look past my bank balance and find any kind of silver lining to focus my attention on. My three (coming on four) weeks back in the beautiful city of Sydney, have provided a few bright sides to the world of unemployment. Number one, I am now fully up to date with Dr Phil and Masterchef and number two, despite the fact that I am now fatter and poorer, I’ve had the chance to wander the city aimlessly and eat whenever and wherever I fancy. Tough life, right?
This wasn’t just for my benefit though. I was doing this for you guys, I swear. You see, having tested some of the best feeds that this city as to offer I thought I’d put together a little list of my favourites, just for you. Selfless, I know. As I’m a lover of breakfast, burritos and alcohol expect to find a plethora of all three throughout.
Abduls, Surry hills
From the pavement, Abduls could be easily missed or simply ignored as just another under-decorated, family owned eatery, haphazardly placed among trendy bars and cafes in Surry Hills. Take my word for it, this place is, like, really fucking good.
Whether you’re a fan of Middle Eastern Cuisine or not, there’s no way you couldn’t find something to eat here. It’s a fairly simple, easy to navigate menu and you get your choice of basically any kind of meat on a platter accompanied by the usual middle eastern delights: Tabouli, Baba ganoush, Lavash bread, pickled peppers, olives and the best (also the only) stuffed cabbage I’ve ever had.
The owner/mumma, who I assume runs the show, brings the menus and complimentary Lavash bread (amaze) with a no nonsense, ‘hurry up and order’ kind of style you’d expect from the place. The relaxed vibe of the restaurant made it way too easy to finish two bottles of red and an extra, totally unnecessary, serving of the incredible homemade hummus.
If I’ve not convinced you already I’ll just say a few more words…
Hummus and BYO alcohol. It would be rude not to.
This definitely isn’t a wing and walk in kind of joint. Despite having expanded from the original hole in the wall style place, you will still be struggling to get a seat without a booking; but what screams delicious food more than a fully packed restaurant?
I don’t claim to be an amazing cook, but I do make some pretty killer Mexican food, so for a Mexican restaurant to win me over it has to be pretty freakin' impressive. Chicabonita happens to be not only perfectly located in the gorgeous Manly but also serves up some of the best Mexican food I’ve had in my twenty something years. Quirky mismatched furniture, colourful graffiti style painted walls and moustache clad gentlemen making margaritas….do I need to continue?
“Chica Bonita is that place where we wanted people to forget where they are and enjoy a moment that could be anywhere…”
With an ethos like that it’s easy to see why everyone flocks to Chicabonita, with the sun on your face, burrito in hand and a jug of margaritas on the way this truly is the perfect Sunday sesh venue.
Fountain, Potts Point
If you’re looking for a breakfast in Potts Point then look no further. This place has such a detailed menu that even the fussiest eater will find something delightful. If you’re looking for a hangover cure, the duck fat hash is out of this world and exactly the kind of fatty delicious mess your body is screaming at you to ingest. If the duck fat doesn’t cure you, they do jugs of Bloody Mary…JUGS.
Marcelle, Potts point
Located just across the road from the iconic Potts Point Fountain, these guys also do a killer breakfast and the coffee is so good, I had three followed by a mild coffee induced panic attack.
Have some work to finish? Assignment needing a last minute re-read? This cosy little venue is perfect for those lazy laptop under arm, all-day breakfast, coffee drinking kinda mornings.
“All round goodness” is how they describe themselves on their website, and they are not wrong. Why buy a house when you could have their Smashed avo and sweetcorn salsa? Priorities people.
The Anchor, Bondi Beach
The Anchor screams hipster from the moment you step inside, and as hipsters often do, these guys know what’s good and great in the world. With a seaside tattoo parlour vibe, the venue is small and cosy and definitely somewhere you could imagine yourself staying until the early hours of the morning.
With ingredients like scallops, marinated feta, artichoke puree and something called green dragon mayo littering the menu, it really was one of the hardest menus to choose from, in the best way possible. Washed down with an incredible Pina Colada this place was definitely worth the trek to Bondi.
Palmer & Co, CBD, Abercrombie Lane
Tucked away down on Abercrombie Lane (just off Pitt street) Palmer & Co is the perfect distance for one last stop before hoping on your Ferry or train home, coincidence? I think not. They must have sensed my appetite for a late night espresso Martini.
Themed like a 1920’s prohibition den, you totally expect the fuzz to bust in at any time. Beautiful, flapper style dressed waitresses and gorgeous suspender clad men serve you ridiculously priced cocktails and delicious bar snacks. Definitely my kind of place.
The food menu isn’t expansive but it changes regularly and is still a great option for a date night or ladies night with their incredible cheeseboards and share plates sure to brighten up your evening.
The “research” for this article was a totally awful way to spend my first few weeks in Sydney but, readers, for you I will continue my exploration of the culinary culture of Sydney and will update the list as I see fit. To those more versed in the cities foody gems further suggestions will be thoroughly investigated.
P.S As a poor twenty something human I also want to stress the incredibly helpful nature of the app First Table. If you’re not using it, get on it.
Anna Wall is a self-confessed hedonist and self-appointed travel expert. She drinks coffee until its appropriate to move on to wine and believes that there is nothing more satisfying in life than good wine and a good book. She's scared of balloons, the dark and of growing up.