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10 Cool Places to Eat in Sydney

Choosing a place to eat can be an arduous task especially when you’re from out of town or stressing out about where to take that special someone (or something). This selection of eateries and restaurants is based on what has a cool, unique and or interesting atmosphere and of course great food.

#1 The Grounds

The Grounds is the closest thing to food heaven in Sydney.  With great food along with expertly roasted coffee, a market where you can buy local artisan food, and the ‘grounds’ where you wonder around and pick up a seedling or two or simply admire the current seasons fare.  You’ll be in for a wait so get in early, pop your name on the list and have a look around. (And look cool)

#2 Mr. Wong

Mr Wong takes Dim Sum and just makes it better. Without a doubt the best dumplings you will have this side of the Great Wall, you can easily spend hours working your way through the menu and wine list, and soak up the incredible interiors that the newest Merivale restaurant has to offer.  Get in early when the doors open, or be prepared for a wait because this place has definitely not come quietly.

#3 Ms. G’s

You wouldn’t be faulted for walking past Ms G’s during the day and not paying any attention to it, but its once you step inside this surprising four-level restaurant that you get a true appreciation for this foodies favourite Merivale creation.  It’s a cool mix of Asian food that you definitely haven’t had before, start with the mini banh mis (mini pork belly sliders) and stick around for a bubble-tea cocktail.

#4 Frankie’s Pizza

You will stepping right into New York’s Little Italy when you hit the black and white tiles of Frankie’s Pizza. The pizza’s are just as you would expect from an American Pizzeria, soft but not soggy with you’re standard selection of toppings. Open from four pm until four am every day, and for just $16 a pizza or $5 a slice it’s hard to go wrong with this one.

#5 Chester White

From the owners of Surry Hills’ Buffalo Dining Club is Chester White, a Potts Point Italian joint sure to get your tongues wagging. The hole-in-the-wall hotspot offers plenty of delicious meat and cheese boards, a concise wine list and the pièce de résistance, Truffle Cacio e Pepe (or spaghetti served straight from a huge wheel of Sardinian truffled pecorino cheese).

#6 Nomad

If you want fine dining with an edge, Nomad is your go-to Sydney restaurant. Local seasonal produce and traditional culinary skills make up the menu at Nomad. Add to that an all-Australian wine list and and open plan kitchen and you’ve got an effortlessly chic dining experience in the heart of Surry Hills.

#7 ACME

If you’re on the hunt for good pasta in Sydney then look no further than ACME on Bayswater Road. Recognisable by a glowing neon green sign out front, ACME (named after the initials of each owners name) offers affordable carb-loading, sexy low-lit dining, cocktails and plenty of wine. As far as first dates go, ACME is sure to impress.

#8 Porteño

Porteño (which translates to ‘port city dweller’ and commonly used to refer to a resident of Buenos Aires) is an Argentinean grill that aims to brings a little bit of the country’s heavy, hearty deliciousness to the heart of Surry Hills. From a parilla grill you can enjoy whole lamb and suckling pig carcases or enjoy a drink at Porteño’s upstairs bar Gardel’s in a relaxed Buenos Airean-inspired setting.

#9 Icebergs

Does it get more iconically Australian than a restaurant overlooking Bondi Beach? We think not. If you’re keen on a quintessentially Aussie dining experience then Icebergs is a must-do. A sleek, sun-lit dining room over the water serves up dishes like pork belly with radicchio jam and beetroot, fusilli with broccoli, anchovy and seaweed and a Sunday brunch menu to make your hangover nothing but luxurious.

#10 The Butler

For French-inspired dining and incredible city views you can’t go past The Butler in Sydney’s Potts Point. From the guys behind Bondi Hardware, The Botanist and SoCal, The Butler boasts a pretty lush French Colonial fit-out and a menu for long lunches and dinner dates alike. Gorge on Creole lamb ribs, crisp pork belly, carpaccio and a shareable 450-gram beef rib eye with a carefully curated French and Australian cocktail list.

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12 May, 2016

Michael Casten

Food & Wine Contributor