Where to eat in Sydney

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During our stays in Sydney, at the start and end of our road trip, we ate out more than anywhere else in Australia. There are some places we just had to try, but most of the time it was out of convenience, being away from our AirBnB apartment. During the rest of our time in Australia we drove around in our campervan, mostly cooking our own food at the kitchens of the various campsites where we spend our nights.

We love the free water you get in more or less every restaurant in Australia. They should start doing this in Belgium too! The B.Y.O concept is very interesting as well, but we only made use of that once. If you’re not used to it, it’s hard to remember that it’s even an option.

In this blogpost we’ll share our Sydney food experiences, giving some tips on where (not) to be for cheap eats, a solid meal, or some fancy food. Note that all prices are in Australian Dollar.

Cheap eats in Sydney

Don’t want to spend too much, but have a great experience nevertheless? Here are some tips for cheap eats in Sydney.

Depending on how much you like to spend on wine, a picnic in one of Sydney’s many parks can be one of the cheapest dinner options in town. On Australia Day we did a picnic at the tip of the Royal Botanic Gardens, near Mrs Macquarie's Chair. What’s more romantic than enjoying a cheese platter and some wine on a blanket while watching Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge? I can’t think of anything either.

Perfect Picnic SpotPerfect Picnic Spot
Le Grand CaféLe Grand Café
Harry's Cafe de WheelsHarry's Cafe de Wheels
Delicious TartifletteDelicious Tartiflette

When in Sydney, you just have to try the Aussie pies from  Harry's Cafe de Wheels. They’ve been serving pies and hotdogs to celebrities, locals, and tourists alike for over 70 years now. They have several locations all around Sydney. We walked past the one in Woolloomooloo and later ate at the one in Haymarket. Brecht ordered the Steak Mushroom Tiger ($8.20) and loved it. Unfortunately the Beef, Cheese, and Bacon Pie was sold out, so I settled for the Veggie Tiger ($7.30), which was a little bit of a disappointment. FYI: Tiger means you get the pie with mushy peas, mash, and gravy.

One time we had lunch at Le Grand Café, situated in the Alliance Française building in Sydney. We love French cuisine, especially a good quiche. However, the Quiche Lorraine ($10) I ordered was not as good as the quiche Brecht makes back home. It was a little bland. You get a green salad on the side as well, which is nothing more than lettuce. The balsamic vinegar added some taste to the quiche though. Brecht’s tartiflette ($15) was way better, but probably a bit overprized and not technically a cheap eat anymore. All that aside, it’s a nice little café with friendly staff. We got a tasty strawberry tart as a complementary dessert, which was very much appreciated!

Foodcourts at shopping centres are usually good spots for a cheap eat too. We ate twice at the big foodcourt of the  Macquarie Centre. The first time we shared a large Tandoori Chicken Platter ($13.90), the second time we both ordered a spud. Brecht got the Suprema ($9.90) while I tried the Popeye Spud ($8.50). The food was good, but don’t expect to be blown away.

When we arrived in Redfern by train from the Sydney Airport we were starving. We just crossed the street from the train station and entered the first small restaurant we saw:  Billie Swings. We both had an OK Wagyu Burger ($10 each) and some complementary water. Not a spectacular first experience with food in Sydney, but Brecht wanted to avoid me getting hangry.

Spuds at Macquarie CentreSpuds at Macquarie Centre
Billie Swings Wagyu BurgerBillie Swings Wagyu Burger
Swedish Meatballs during a Shopping SpreeSwedish Meatballs during a Shopping Spree

After a couple of days of exploring Sydney we could pick up the Spaceships Campervan that would be our house on wheels for three months to come. And where do lots of people (including us) go when moving into their new home?  IKEA! As you’ve probably experienced yourself, you can wander around IKEA for hours on end. At some point you’ll get hungry and go stuff yourself with Swedish Meatballs for only $9.99. Classic IKEA shopping day. Brecht shook things up that day and went with the Salmon Fillet ($11.99).

We like trying the local fast food joints in the countries we visit. In Australia one of those is  Hungry Jack's. Brecht got a great deal with the Double BBQ Bacon Stacker Meal for $10.30 (limited time offer). I had a Bacon Deluxe Tamer Menu ($11.95). It’s a fast food burger like many others. I think we like McDonalds better. Ask for ketchup if you want some, it’s complementary. Do stay away from the Frozen Fanta from Hungry Jack’s. They might look good, but they aren’t. I swear.

Solid meals in Sydney

Your average restaurant, not great, but you can’t really go wrong. Here are some tips for solid meals in Sydney.

Fairly close to our AirBnB apartment was Redfern Continental, a small neighbourhood restaurant. We had dinner there with my moms cousin, Jos, who lives in Sydney. We got a table out on the sidewalk, enjoying the nice evening temperatures of Sydney. As it is the case with sidewalks, we sat at the edge of a rather busy street, so it could have been cosier. The food was quite good though. Brecht had the Crab Linguine (a special at the time, not sure about the price), I had the Penne Arabiatta ($18).

On a beautiful sunny day in Sydney, we decided to check out the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk. You can’t walk on an empty stomach though, so we got some takeout fish and chips from  Bondi Surf Seafood. Brecht ordered Tuna Fish & Chips ($11.90), I Barramundi Fish & Chips ($15.99). It was quite good, but not as great as the fish and chips we would have a couple of weeks later in Moeraki, New Zealand. Don’t forget to order some delicious tartare ($2.50)!

Crab Linguine at Redfern ContinentalCrab Linguine at Redfern Continental
Bondi Surf Seafood Fish & ChipsBondi Surf Seafood Fish & Chips
Burger at Tudor HotelBurger at Tudor Hotel
Brecht with his favourite Belgian BeerBrecht with his favourite Belgian Beer

In Sydney, Brecht and I went to one of our first comedy shows together: Tudor Comedy. It’s a free show hosting multiple comedians, held every Thursday night in the  Tudor Hotel. Before the show, we grabbed dinner in the downstairs restaurant. Brecht ordered the New York Strip Steak ($26), I the Tudor Wagyu Nachos Burger ($19). The food was OK, nothing too special.

We can hardly restrain ourselves when we know there’s a Belgian Beer Café in town. So in Sydney, we went to the Belgian Beer Café Heritage. Brecht had the Chicken Vol au Vont ($26), I the Beef Stew ($28). The food was not bad, but we definitely had better versions of these Belgian classics in Belgium (duh!). It was overprized as well, in our opinion. So we’d say, don’t go for the food, but do stop by to try one (or more if you can take it) of our great Belgian beers! Brecht’s favourite is a Duvel ($15), I prefer brown beers and went with a Chimay Blue ($17). We easily paid triple of what we would have paid in Belgium for the same beers, but we sure enjoyed that taste from home.

Fancy food in Sydney

Like to spend a little more, or have an Instagram-worthy dish? Here are some tips for fancy food in Sydney.

A quirky looking café called The Fine Food Store got our attention while walking through The Rocks on Australia Day. All dishes on the menu sounded promising, leaving us with a difficult choice to make. Brecht ended up ordering the Smoked Chicken Club Sandwich ($12.50), I the Five Grain Organic Ham Baguette ($12), both delicious and photogenic.

Lunch at The Fine Food StoreLunch at The Fine Food Store
Delicious Monte Beef FilletDelicious Monte Beef Fillet
The Meat & Wine CoThe Meat & Wine Co

It had been a while since we had a real good steak, and boy do we love a good steak. So we booked a table at The Meat & Wine Co at Circular Quay (there’s one at Darling Harbour as well). We both ordered a 200gr Monte Beef Fillet, costing us $35 each. What a nice piece of meat, absolutely delicious! My tastebuds get going just thinking about it. You have to be prepared to get your wallet out though, because the $35 each only includes the steak and fries or home made mash, both very good. If you’d like some sauce, you pay $4 extra, if you want some vegetables, you pay about $10 extra. The Peppercorn Sauce was a little too peppery for me, but the Mushroom Sauce was nice. We ordered some Green Beans, Hazelnuts and Caramelised Onions to share, but the green beans were undercooked for our taste. It’s a nice, fancy restaurant with friendly staff, delicious steak and yum desserts. Yes, we went all the way, ordering a Chocolate & Hazelnut Fondant ($16) and a Crème Brûlée ($12) to end this wonderful night.

I think it’s quite obvious which restaurant was our favourite in Sydney. The Meat & Wine Co! Although I wasn’t that much of a fan of the Aussie pies, Brecht loved them. So we recommend you to give Harry’s Cafe de Wheels a chance when you’re in Sydney. If not for the pies, do it for the bragging rights: you ate where many big stars have eaten before you. Enjoy!


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Where to eat in SydneyWhere to eat in Sydney