Australia is a multicultural nation, and nowhere is this more evident than in our food culture. Sydney is home to a large number of nationalities, which, luckily for us, show off their national talents through the delicious form of food.
Deciding where to eat out in Sydney can be tough, with almost every international taste catered for. You should have no trouble finding a travel favourite or food from back home. The city tends to have different cuisines cluster together in areas. As a brief outline, Haymarket is the city’s Chinatown, while the nearby Liverpool St in the CBD houses the Spanish Quarter. A little further out of the city, the suburb of Leichhardt will provide an array of Italian restaurants, while Lakemba serves up great Lebanese.
There are also plenty of options to suit the student budget. Chinatown and local pubs are often a good bet, offering cheap lunch deals and dinner specials. Serving both food and alcohol, pubs are the great location to bridge the gap between eating out and staying out, and Sydney is known for its vast amount of pubs – there are usually over 10 to each suburb! For those wanting to party, there are plenty of popular nightclubs, bars and dancing spots to be found in the nightlife districts of Oxford St in Darlinghurst and Kings Cross.
But nightlife in Sydney is not just about drinking, contrary to what some local students might say. The increase in late night eateries and dessert bars around Sydney and the outer suburbs means you can now head out after 10 pm and find a quiet place to unwind.
Avoid the constant temptation of fast food in the CBD by heading to Chinatown for some of the best food that this city has to offer! Don’t expect just Chinese cuisine either; this is the area for Malaysian, Japanese, Taiwanese and more. The best dumpling houses can be found tucked away in arcades.
Don’t be put off by the bars lining George St. Instead, check out the alleyways and hidden entries of the CBD. Thanks to a small bar revival, with a little investigation you can find amazing bars tucked away in the CBD. Highlights include Grandma’s Bar, a replica of your grandmother’s lounge room tucked under a guitar store that serves cocktails in cute teacups, the Baxter Inn and GoodGod Small Club, a ‘danceteria’, with DJs every night of the week and cocktails named after Chevy Chase!
Not only does Sydney’s east offer an array of enticing food options, but these are also some of the loveliest beachside spots to dine at. Bondi is your best bet for a wide variety of choices – if you’re after a fancy night out (with fantastic views) check out Bondi Icebergs. Closer to the city, Darlinghurst is a good place to for cool bars and nightclubs – check out the little bars on Stanley St then head up to Oxford St for a night of dancing.
After eating delicious food and gazing out to sea, a drink is in order. Again, Bondi Icebergs is an excellent choice for a classy cocktail and B-grade celebrity spotting. For a more unusual tipple, check out Rum Diaries (which is just as it sounds, a rum bar) or for live music, make a visit to Bondi’s Beach Road Hotel, which features great beers on tap and a gig or DJ every night!
The north of Sydney is lucky enough to have a food option that stays open 24 hours and has good food! Maisy’s Café on Military Road in Neutral Bay is the perfect option for late-night dining. If you’re keeping more regular hours, check out the North Sydney Hotel for some of the best pub food that side of the bridge.
North Sydney’s nightlife, long ago a bit of a dead zone, has recently taken off with venues like Hugo’s Manly, Newport Arms Hotel and the Rag and Famish stepping up their game to offer bars and nightspots to rival Sydney’s inner city.
If you’re in the mood for Thai, Newtown’s King St will answer your prayers. Almost every second store is home to a Thai restaurant. The tricky part is finding your favourite!. If Thai won’t hit the spot check out the more unusual cuisines on offer – Na Zdrowie on Glebe Point Road offers amazing Polish food (and a vodka list longer than any you’ll ever have seen!)
The inner west’s nightlife is dominated by pubs. Newtown’s Courthouse, Enmore’s Sly Fox and Glebe’s AB Hotel are consistently popular and serve good cold beer for reasonable prices. If you’re after something a bit fancier, check out one of the many new small bars – from Corridor in Newtown, to Enmore’s Midnight Special and Glebe’s The Little Guy.
Parramatta is home to an exciting mix of cuisines, boasting over 180 restaurants cafés and bars. Go to Church St for modern outdoor dining, George St for beer gardens and cool cafés and Harris Park for some of the best Indian restaurants in Australia.
There are plenty of great pubs in the area such as the Albion Hotel and the Roxy Hotel. The latter was developed into a massive entertainment complex, and it receives world class acts on a regular basis. The Parramatta Leagues Club is also an interesting place to check out. It houses various restaurants and bars as well as the Parramatta Eels NRL (Rugby League) club.