Hello Sydneysiders and travellers,
You've arrived this page because you'd like to know a nice spot to eat. With so many cafes, eateries and restaurants in Sydney, and many misleading ads and Instagram posts it is no wonder you may feel a bit lost at times, so here are my most loved spots in Sydney; for coffee, breakfast/brunch, lunch, and dinner recommendations to suit every budget.
Note: I am based in Waterloo, so naturally I gravitate to places close to me, e.g. Surry Hills.
Haven - tailoring coffee joyously
Address: 30-34 Chalmers Street, Sydney NSW 2010
Kerabeareats' favourite order: Geisha Cold Brew, that's all.
I really enjoy Haven because they are consistent and consistently good. Their Geisha cold brew is always outstanding. They even tailor coffee to how you like it: sweet, nutty, acidic... you name it they will make it so.
Address: 76 Devonshire St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Kerabeareats' favourite order: Double single origin espresso/matcha latte with almond milk, whatever current special they are running at the time, and finish off with a DMC (Devon Matcha Cake).
My favourite story that I love to tell people: When I was still living in New Zealand I met a backpacker who told me, "It's worth going to Sydney JUST to go to Devon." So naturally, when I made the move permanent I made sure that Devon was the first place I visited. I had never had single origin coffee before, but my first single origin espresso (roasted by Grace & Taylor at the time) was so smooth, so juicy, and so satisfying that within 5 seconds it was gone. Then I asked for another one, and to this day it is still the ONLY cafe I will order a double espresso from, and ONLY from the Surry Hills site.
Address: 413 Crown St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Kerabeareats' favourite order: Cold Drip, Bacon Mac Daddy (croissant).
I really enjoy Cuckoo Callay for two reasons: fantastic menu concept and cafe space. Borrowed from the poem Jabberwocky from Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll, their menu has a place for funky dishes like Bacon Mac and Cheese croissants that look like Chesher Cat's mouth, and Crab Cake with Watermelon that looks like a dancing starfish that has emerged from Alice's ocean of tears. The best time to go is at around 8am, when the easterly sun shines through the Surry Hills trees and engulfs the cafe in rays of gold... there really is no better feeling.
Address: 2/42 Walker St, Rhodes NSW 2138
Kerabeareats' favourite order: Hoijicha latte with almond milk, Saffron Chicken Risotto.
One of the few Asian fusion cafes that actually do it well. Their establishment ticks all boxes: Delicious, yes. Beautifully presented, yes. Experimental, yes. Value for money, yes. Great atmosphere, yes.
Address: 415 Crown St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Kerabeareats' favourite order: Turkish coffee, Bosphorus Benedict (comes with Bay Lobster).
Not sorry to say, another Surry Hills cafe. While it may not like much from the outside, this Turkish-influenced brunch and lunch cafe is certainly a destination. One look at the menu and you will know why it has garnered so much attention of review sites like Tripadvisor, Google and Zomato, and when you taste their food you will also understand how they've stayed at the top for so long.
Address: 5/11 Wentworth Ave, Sydney NSW 2000
Kerabeareats' favourite order: Cold Brew, Song Tower (breakfast burger).
Soft Poached Eggs, House-made Hollandaise, Bacon, Mushroom, HASH BROWN between two pieces of soft brioche buns... is there anything else I need to say?
Address: 616 Bourke St, Surry Hills NSW 2010/4 Pitt St, Redfern NSW 2016
Kerabeareats' favourite order: Matcha latte with almond milk, Kenny's Omurice/Wagyu Hayashi, Matcha Tiramisu/Matcha Lamington
You may argue that I am biased, but my response to those who object to this opinion will be: Have you tried Kentaro's Omurice/Oratnek's Hayashi? What about their famous juicy tender Pork Katsu sandwich? Don't forget about their Miso Glazed Glazed Beef Belly with fresh greens, or the FACT that they are the masters of matcha... it's only home to the best Matcha Lamington and Matcha Tiramisu.
Address: 2/38 Albany St, St Leonards NSW 2065
Kerabeareats' favourite order: Long Black (in the morning), Soft Shell Crab on Gold Sand Congee.
A recent discovery that is SO GOOD that is made it on the list so quickly. What gets me every time about Mas.Que are the flavours and textures in their cooking; so much thought and care goes into every element of their dish, from the flame to the garnishings to the seasoning to the sauce. Eating at Mas.que is definitely an experience, and worth the visit even if you're on the other side of the bridge.
Address: 94A Pitt St, Redfern NSW 2016
Kerabeareats' favourite order: Wagyu Rice Bowl with Matching Tea, Matcha Tiramisu.
Lines out the door. Always booked up. Best rice bowls in Sydney. So good it made me love rice. The taglines list goes on! With every bite of Anna's food I am taken straight from Sydney to Japan in seconds.
Address: 478 Bourke St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Kerabeareats' favourite order: Double Ume Burger, Loaded (extra Wagyu mince sauce), Koji Fried Chicken, Hot Chips with umami salt and Nori Mayo.
My biggest dealbreaker is the sauce, otherwise I got some beef with them burgers! Haha, see what I did there? But seriously, it's the Wagyu Beef Mince sauce that separates Ume Burger from my other favourites places like Bar Luca and Belly Bao... it's the only thing more perfect than the already perfectly cooked Ume patty. Who knew that combining beef with more beef could make all the difference?
DINNER ($, $$, $$$)
Address: 423 Pitt St, Haymarket NSW 2000
Kerabeareats' favourite order: Sangria, Bravas (deep fried potatoes in sauce), Croquettas (fried mash potatoes), Scallops, Squid Ink Paella, Churros.
Encasa is my ultimate comfort food destination. Who doesn't love fried potatoes drown in aioli, soft and tender croquettas filled with cheesey potato and chorizo, cheesey scallops, rich and creamy paella, and light & crispy Spanish donut? Obviously, those who don't enjoy food. Luckily, you enjoy food, so I'm sure you'll love it.
Address: 267 Cleveland St, Redfern NSW 2016
Kerabeareats' favourite order: Amber ale (in a horn), any meat dish, any of their sides, and the Apple Pie with fire.
My experience at Mjolner in the least amount of words as possible: Walked through a hidden door labelled by Thor's hammer and entered a Viking den. Greeted by a Irish woman dressed as a warrior and offered complimentary Skal (alcoholic beverage). Received our second round of drinks in a handcrafted horn. Ate our Lamb leg meal with a hand-crafted Viking inspired knife. Finished the night off with a dessert that was lit on fire. A gift is given at the end if it's a special occasion. Summary? FUCKING AMAZING EXPERIENCE.
Felix Bar & Bistro ($$$)
Address: 2 Ash St, Sydney NSW 2000
Kerabeareats' favourite order: Red wine from France at no less than $200 a bottle, seafood platter with $250-$300 of lobster, crab, prawns and oysters, Spatchcock chicken, profiteroles.
The food and wine clearly speak for itself - what really sold me on this restaurant was the entire experience. Great lively music on arrival, warm lighting that set the mood, fantastic wait staff, impeccable service, and amazing food that was truly worth the money.
Address: 3/23 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo NSW 2000
Kerabeareats' favourite order: 6 donuts: Australian Honey and Sea Salt, Triple Matcha, Peanut Butter Chocolate Caramel, Boston Creme, Maple Brown Butter, and any of their special!
I have been a fan of Short Stop for as long as I can remember! I love their donuts because they are simply the best in terms of texture and flavour. If I am in the city, you know that I am making any excuse to go get myself a Short Stop donut.
Koi Dessert Bar
Address: 46 Kensington St, Chippendale NSW 2008
Kerabeareats' favourite order: Nomtella.
There isn't anyone I know who doesn't love Koi Dessert Bar. Their creations are not only beautiful but incredibly delicious, they will simply melt in your mouth... I highly recommend this place, especially if you're a traveller and want to go somewhere quintessentially Sydney!
Address: 272 Cleveland St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Kerabeareats' favourite order: One macaron, flavour chosen at the time on the fly.
I love Makmak so much that I make it my mission to try one flavour every time I walk past it - which turns out is once a week every week for work! So far my favourite flavours are Japanese Matcha and Mango Passionfruit. Note that this store is not sit-in, it's not a cafe, it's literally just the kitchen where they make their macarons and cookies.
So there are my most loved places in Sydney. Let me know what places you love to eat at, I would love to check it out!