My mom came over to visit for a couple days and she asked me for suggestions on where to go. This is a list of places I like, mostly involving nommage.

Touristy Shit – You wanna see “the sights”? These are the only good ones.

  • Opera House – great iconic building with a nice view that’s free. chill out at the Opera Bar, think about eating at Quay.
  • MCA – right near the Opera House is where you can check out a lot of contemporary art.
  • The Bridge – Walking across the bridge is great for a view and it’s also totally free.
  • Ferry Ride – for a few bucks, you can get a great tour of Sydney Harbour.

Beaches – Sydney is a beach city and there’s touristy ones, ones that belong to Brazilians and quiet ones and ones where people go surfing and shit for real.

  • Balmoral – my fave beach. quiet and relaxed. chill at Bather’s Pavilion and enjoy the beach right outside with a beautiful view, fine white sand etc etc.
  • Northern Beaches – any one of Dee Why, Freshwater, Palm Beach, Whale Beach and more are all relatively unspoiled and spectacular, especially in the morning. Freshwater is also home to some excellent Sardinian food from Pilu at Freshwater.
  • Bronte – great city beach. go here and hit up Three Blue Ducks.

Coffee – Possibly one of the few world class things Sydney can lay claim to. There’s lots of fantastic places but I usually go to just 3. If I happen to be in Newtown, I might get an affogato at Campos though.

  • Single Origin Roasters, Surry Hills
  • Mecca on King St, CBD
  • Coffee Alchemy in Marrickville

Sourdough – Sydney has some good bread. I like 2. Sonoma’s Miche is relatively easy to obtain, either from dining out at a lot of good restaurants or simply buying a round at a few grocers or dropping by one of their cafes. Iggy’s also supplies a few very good restaurants and has an outlet in Bronte. It’s arguably the best sourdough in Sydney.

Surry Hills – Home to my favourite eating and drinking places in Sydney, Slurry is where all the hipsters live. So many small bars popping up I can’t keep track.

  • Single Origin Roasters – straight up fave cafe in Sydney, with Shoji Sasa (Barista Of The Year 2012) pulling the shots at the sideshow and tasty, simple food
  • Bourke Street Bakery – original outpost of a growing mini empire, I eat pork + fennel sausage rolls like they were dai baos back in SG, two at a time
  • Bodega – great modern South American meets Australian tapas bar
  • Porteno – great Argentinian grill joint run by Elvis Abrahanowicz and Ben Milgate, the same dudes who run Bodega
  • Bentley – modernist food Brent Savage style
  • MoVida – the only Melbournian import warmly accepted by Sydneysiders
  • Via Alley – curios, fashunz and photography shit
  • Title – arthouse music, books and film
  • Formaggi Ocello – providore of fine Italian cheeses, hams and suchlike
  • Absinthe Salon – small bar serving ONLY absinthe, no flames on sugar, just water dripping from vintage gear
  • Low 302 – great vibe, great cocktails
  • Monster Children – street art gallery
  • Outre Gallery – modern graphic art
  • Urban Uprising – more street art!
  • Somedays – fashion and art retail store
  • Pop Shop – silly gifts and shit

Thai Food – Outside of Thailand, I reckon Sydney has the best Thai food. These are my faves, populist though they may be.

  • Chat Thai, Haymarket – get some skewers, get some whole fish, some sum tom, some sticky rice + mango and wash it down with a blended watermelon ice
  • Spice I Am, Surry Hills – get the pad prik king and the massaman
  • Home, Sussex St CBD – you can watch them steam dumplings on muslin cloth out front

Vietnamese/Marrickville – Pretty good Vietnamese can be found in Sydney too! The real stuff is a little more out of the way, like in Cabramatta but the stuff in the city is still good and Marrickville isn’t that far away plus it’s got aforementioned Coffee Alchemy nearby. Get someone with a car to bring you.

  • Pasteur, Haymarket – cheap ass pho, grilled beef, sugarcane prawns and spring rolls
  • Miss Chu’s, several outlets, including one on George Street – simple and trendy street food
  • Marrickville Pork Roll, Marrickville – banh mi
  • Pho Bac Hai Duong – pho
  • Any other Vietnamese joint in Marrickville is bound to be at least decent and probably really good

Sweets – There’s plenty of good sweets in Sydney that are not Tim Tams.

  • Gelato Messina, Darlinghurst – The main and original store, with a cool little patisserie style store next door. Cheap as well. I recommend the hazelnut/pistachio.
  • Pompei’s, Bondi – the chocolate is by Amedei and it is pure sex. the fior di latte is also excellent as are the nut versions. pizza ain’t bad either.
  • Black Star Pastry, Newtown – brilliant pastries from Christopher The.
  • Zumbo, Balmain – Australia’s most famous patissier is probably a little overhyped and shit but he still makes nice sweets. lotsa locations but the first one was in Balmain. I think the one in The Star is the most accessible.
  • Meetfresh – a Taiwanese import but man those sweet potato/taro gnocchis have an awesome texture. get the Signature with herbal jelly, pearls and taro balls, the triumvirate of AZN awesome. *edit somehow they’ve removed the fucking pearls from the signature dessert. at least in the chatswood store. I am miffed. get anything with the herbal jelly though, it comes with a herbal jelly syrup based granita.