What to Eat in Sydney: 13 Treats You Should Not Miss
As the capital of New South Wales and one of the cultural capitals of Australia, Sydney is a fascinating city to explore no matter what brings you here. The gorgeous views of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, along with Darling Harbour, offer all the scenic pleasures you could want, and Australia's largest city also has some of the best cultural attractions and nightlife in the entire country.
But drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Sydney, and you'll soon discover that Sydney is also an incredible food city. Combining aboriginal and classic British food traditions with cuisines from around the world brought to Australia by waves of immigration, you'll find no shortage of incredible things to eat here. Plus, the best street food in Sydney will give you a delicious insight into what's new and exciting in the city.
Australian food is as unique and special as everything else about the country, so any food lover will have a great time when they visit Sydney. Don't worry if you're vegetarian; the best vegetarian restaurants in Sydney offer everything from fine dining to vegetarian dim sum to keep you fed and happy.
If you want to eat food that gives you insight into the culture and traditions of Sydney, here are the dishes you have to try while you're here.
Sydney Food: Strawberry Watermelon Cake
The first thing you'll notice about this cake is its beautiful pink color, which comes from the generous amount of fresh strawberries that are used in the recipe. The cake itself is light and fluffy, and the watermelon provides a refreshing contrast to the sweetness of the berries. This cake is perfect for a summer day, and you can find it at many of Sydney's top bakeries. However, Black Star Pastry is the original home of this cake that has become an icon of the city, and it's worth braving the sometimes long line to try this original and very refreshing treat.
Sydney Food: Pavlova
This meringue-based dessert was named after the famous Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who toured Australia in the 1920s. The dish consists of a crisp meringue shell topped with whipped cream and fruit, and it's incredibly light and refreshing. You can find pavlovas at most cafes and restaurants in Sydney, and it's a great way to pay homage to Australia's culinary history.
Sydney Food: Seafood
Sydney's coastal location is good for more than long beach walks. Sydney has the largest working fishing port in New South Wales, and that makes it an excellent place to try fresh seafood.
Sydney Fish Market is the place to go if you're catering for yourself. This wholesale fish market is where the top chefs in the city come to pick out fish pulled straight out of the waters of Sydney Harbor and beyond. However, even if you're not cooking, it's worth visiting the Sydney fish market to get a sense of the city's food culture. Besides, you'll also find tons of restaurants in the area that will cook up items straight from the fish market to give you some of the freshest and most delicious seafood you're ever likely to have.
Sydney Food: Meat Pies
You can't visit Australia without having a meat pie, and Sydney is the perfect place to try this classic dish. Meat pies are savory pastries filled with meat and gravy, and they're a popular snack food all over Australia. You can find them at most cafes and bakeries, but they're especially common at sporting events, where they are often served with mashed potatoes and mashed peas. If you want to try an iconic Australian meat pie, stop by Harry's Cafe de Wheels. This Sydney institution has been serving up pies since the 1940s, and it's now one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.
Meat pies may be an old tradition in Australia, but Sydney restaurants are forever reinventing this normally unfussy dish. These days, you can find meat pies with all kinds of creative fillings, including ones for the vegetarians out there.
Sydney Food: Barramundi
We already mentioned seafood, but barramundi is such an iconic dish of Sydney, Australia, that it would be weird to leave it out. As Australian as Bondi Beach, barramundi is a saltwater fish that's common in the waters around Sydney. It's often served grilled or fried, and it goes well with a variety of sauces and sides.
You can find this celebrated fish on the menus of seafood restaurants throughout town. If you're really lucky, you might even be able to enjoy it with a view of the Sydney Harbor Bridge for a truly Australian meal. However, be warned: a view like that doesn't come cheap.
Sydney Food: Sydney Rock Oyster
This is another classic seafood dish to eat in Sydney that deserves its own mention on our list. Sydney rock oysters are a type of oyster that's native to the waters around Sydney. They're usually served raw with a squeeze of lemon, and they make for a refreshing appetizer or main course.
You can find Sydney rock oysters at most seafood restaurants in town, but they're especially common during summer when they're in season. However, you can also find them year-round at places like The Rocks Oyster Bar & Restaurant, which is one of the best places in town to enjoy this local delicacy.
Sydney Food: Avocado Toast
You wouldn't think a dish this simple would be controversial. However, avocado toast is popular around the world and has become associated with a certain kind of hipster lifestyle. Whether it deserves that or not is up for debate, but what you can't deny is that avocado is an extremely popular food in Australia, and so this is one of the best things to eat in Sydney, especially for breakfast.
You can find avocado toast all over town, but some of the best places to try it include Reuben Hills and Two Good Eggs Cafe.
Smashed avocado is also a popular dish in Australia that's similar to avocado toast. However, it's usually served as a main course with other toppings like poached eggs, feta cheese, and grilled tomatoes.
Sydney Food: Bacon and Egg Roll
No prizes for guessing what's in this classic breakfast treat. The bacon and egg roll is an imported food that reveals Australia's British heritage, but in Sydney, this seemingly basic dish has been taken to new heights.
It seems like everywhere in Sydney does their bacon and egg roll a little differently. Sometimes you'll get it with smoked bacon, caramelized onions, or fresh-baked artisanal bread. But however it's served, this is a hearty and filling breakfast food that is also a great Sydney street food item. Perfect for enjoying on the go while you explore the city, there are few more delicious ways to start your day.
Sydney Food: Ginger Brule Tart
Just like the strawberry watermelon cake, the Ginger Brule Tart has outgrown its origins to become an icon of the city. Bourke Street Bakery is the establishment responsible for bringing this treat to the world, and they remain the best place to try it for yourself.
The Ginger Brule Tart is a sweet pastry that's filled with a ginger custard and topped with a layer of bruleed sugar. It's both delicious and pretty to look at, making it the perfect dessert to enjoy in Sydney.
And if your tastes lean more toward the savory than the sweet, don't worry. Bourke Street has plenty of options to tempt you, too. Don't miss their inventive fennel sausage roll or their chicken and leek pie.
Sydney Food: Lamington Cake
Sure, you might not be able to eat them on the beach. But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy a classic lamington cake while you're in Sydney.
This Australian dessert consists of squares of sponge cake that are dipped in chocolate and then rolled in shredded coconut. It's rich and indulgent, and it's the perfect thing to enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee.
If you want to try this treat for yourself, head to one of Sydney's many bakeries. There's even a dedicated lamington cafe called Lamingtons & Ladyfingers if you really want to go all out.
Sydney Food: Flat white
You might not think of coffee as something to eat, but in Australia, it definitely counts as a food group. And while there are plenty of great places to get coffee all over town, you haven't truly experienced Sydney until you've had a flat white.
This coffee drink is made with espresso and steamed milk, and it's become synonymous with Australian cafe culture. You can find flat whites all over Sydney, but some of the best places to get them include Reuben Hills, The Little Marionette, and Parramatta Lanes.
Sydney Food: Witchetty Grub
This next item on our list certainly isn't for everyone. But it is a classic part of Austrian cuisine, whether you like it or not. Bush tucker is a term used to refer to food harvested in the wilds the way aboriginal Australians did long before European contact, and one of the most famous items of bush tucker is the legendary witchetty grub.
The witchetty grub is the larva of a wood-feeding moth, and it's typically eaten raw. If that doesn't sound appetizing to you, don't worry. These days, it's more common to find them cooked, either roasted or fried.
While they might not be everyone's cup of tea, there's no denying that witchetty grubs are a uniquely Australian food. And if you're feeling adventurous, they're definitely worth trying at least once. On the plus side, the grubs provide a shot of protein that is low-fat and completely sustainable, so if you have the stomach to eat bugs, you can be assured that it's a healthy food item. Plus, this food has origins in Australia's most distant past, so it's a good way to pay homage to the country's aboriginal culture.
Sydney Food: Kangaroo Meat
Last but not least, we have one of the most iconic Australian animals: the kangaroo. While you might not see them hopping around the city streets, kangaroos are definitely something you can eat in Sydney.
Kangaroo meat is a lean, healthy option that's becoming increasingly popular in Australia. It's high in protein and low in fat, making it a great choice for athletes or anyone looking for a healthy meal option. Plus, it has a mild, gamey flavor that's unique and delicious.
If you're curious to try kangaroo meat for yourself, there are plenty of places to do so in Sydney. Head to one of the city's many butcher shops or specialty grocery stores, or check out a restaurant like Sydney Tower Buffet or Restaurant Hubert, where kangaroo is on the menu.
There are absolutely tons of great things to eat in Sydney. And there's far more on offer here than just Australian food. You'll also find incredible Chinese food and a variety of Asian cuisines in this immigrant city, along with excellent Italian, French, and American classics. Really, whatever you like to eat, you'll find your favorite food here.
And if you're worried about all the calories you're going to consume when visiting Sydney, don't be. Even though there are so many delicious things to eat in Sydney, there are also just as many ways to get some exercise. Take a surfing class on Bondi Beach or try some of the best hikes in Sydney, and you'll be ready to start eating your way through the city all over again.
Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage and free yourself up to explore the best things to eat in Sydney. You'll soon see why this is considered one of the world's best up-and-coming food cities.