Where To Eat & Drink Next Time You're In Sydney

By Rosie Herdman
Blue mackerel on toast from Saint Peter. Photo / Nikki To

A highlight of visiting Sydney, no matter what's on your agenda, is the food and drinks scene. There's a wealth of places to choose from, serving everything from cultishly popular sourdough pizza to high-end sustainable seafood. Great wine bars serve just-as-excellent dishes and cafes churn out fine coffee and croissants.

Here are the places you should add to your list the next time you're in the emerald city.

Poly's bustling wine bar. Photo / Supplied
Poly's bustling wine bar. Photo / Supplied

A much buzzed-about spot in the Paramount House complex, wine bar Poly is the place to find a great glass of wine with fuss-free but well-executed food. Run by Mat Lindsay, who's behind another Sydney must-visit venue, Ester, Poly's vibe is relaxed and informal.

Like Ester, the wine list revolves around natural and biodynamic wines made with minimal intervention, as well as a selection of beers, sake and cocktails chosen with a similar ethos in mind.

Foodwise, the menu changes regularly to match available produce. Expect sharing plates of a generous snack-size. If it's on the menu, a must-try is the smoked milk icecream with whipped honey for dessert hard to describe but impossible to forget. 74-76 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills

Saint Peter
For an exquisite dining experience that highlights the freshest seafood and seasonal vegetables, look no further than multi-award-winning Oxford St restaurant Saint Peter. The menu changes daily and its chef, owner Josh Niland, makes sure it is a demonstration of Australia's bountiful and varied ingredients.

Every dish, aside from hunks of sourdough bread to start and a few vegetable sides, revolves around sustainably sourced seafood; and everything, including the wine list, is from Australia.

It's amazing to see the varied meals that can be created with fish you won't just find a simple pan-fried fillet here, but truly boundary-pushing, delicious dishes using seafood in genius ways. 362 Oxford St, Paddington 

Garden fresh at Chiswick. Photo / Supplied
Garden fresh at Chiswick. Photo / Supplied

Located in a stunningly-kept garden that grows many of the ingredients, Chiswick touts itself as a fine-dining restaurant with a casual atmosphere. It's a beautiful and relaxing setting to enjoy a well-cooked meal.

At night-time it's cosy and warm, and the setting is even more spectacular for lunch on a sunny day. Expect a fairly large menu with a range of vegetable, fish and meat dishes, from nibbles to small and large sharing plates, along with more traditional mains. 65 Ocean St, Woollahra

Bella Brutta
Venue Bella Brutta's specialty is sourdough pizza but the accoutrements are also highly recommended start with some sourdough (yes, more bread but it's fermented so it's basically a health food) and order the Don Bocarte anchovies to slather on to each piece.

At $21 a tin, this might seem ridiculous but if you've never tried high-end anchovies, these are a revelation. As with all venues that prioritise local and seasonal produce, the pizza toppings are apt to change. You might find something like cavolo nero with chilli and fior di latte, paired with a simple mixed salad.

You can also add extra anchovies to any pizza you choose. Elsewhere on the menu you'll find antipasti, vegetable sides and simple classics for dessert, such as tiramisu. 135 King St, Newtown

A sweet array at Flour & Stone. Photo / Samantha Mackie
A sweet array at Flour & Stone. Photo / Samantha Mackie

Flour & Stone
Great things sometimes come in small packages as is the case with Flour & Stone. A cosy little daytime spot in Woolloomooloo, it's the perfect place to drink your morning tea or coffee in a handmade ceramic cup and choose something like a canele or a tart from the extensive offering of beautiful baked goods.

Flour & Stone also offers an appealing menu of breakfast and lunch dishes like saffron-poached pear, ricotta, pistachio and rose on toast, chicken leek and tarragon pies or pork and caraway sausage rolls, and some lovely looking sandwiches. 53 Riley St, Woolloomooloo

A commonly-heard refrain about Totti's is "it's impossible to get a table". It's easy to see why.

Should you venture down to the Bondi-based modern Italian restaurant, you'll find a selection of moreish and satisfying dishes like hand-made flatbreads puffed-up and hollow in the middle for dipping into burrata and tomatoes; fettuccine in a tomato sauce with stracciatella; and the star of the show, prawn casarecce pasta made with a prawn oil that adds an addictive depth to the dish.

The restaurant itself is beautiful, with the bulk of the tables arranged outside in a lush courtyard that will transport any diner straight to Italy. 283 Bondi Rd, Bondi

• Rosie Herdman was hosted in Sydney for some of these dining experiences by Destination NSW and IMG.

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