Australian Pavlova with berries on a white plate.

Foods in Sydney: A Gastronomic Journey Through the City

by | Australia, Culture, Food

Australian Food You Simply Can’t Miss

In Sydney, Australia, the culinary scene is as vibrant and diverse as the city itself. With influences from across the globe, the food here is a delightful experience for every foodie. So, don your explorer’s hat and join us on a delicious journey through the best foods and drinks to try in the gem of the southern hemisphere.

Take a look at our 12 picks for foods to try in Sydney (drinks, too!)

australian meat pies

Meat Pies

In the vibrant urban setting of Sydney, the humble meat pie holds a place of high esteem, embodying a beloved culinary tradition that spans generations. This simple yet satisfying staple is a ubiquitous presence, whether one finds oneself amidst the energetic throng of a football match or within the plush confines of a fine-dining establishment. The Aussie classic represents a gastronomic experience that is not to be missed. The aussie meat pie that’s charm lies in its composition – a perfect balance of texture and flavor. A crust that is perfectly flaky and golden encases a filling of juicy minced meat, each bite presenting an explosion of flavors. The meat, slow-cooked to perfection, is imbued with a rich gravy that enhances its natural savory notes. To add an extra touch of indulgence, the meat is intertwined with a generous helping of melted cheese, which lends a creamy, luscious dimension to the pie, ensuring a heartwarming treat that delights the palate and nourishes the soul.

Try the classic beef or chicken curry at Anything but Humble or a hearty vegan pie at Funky Pies

Fish and Chips

No trip to Sydney, Australia’s vibrant and bustling harbor city, is truly complete without indulging in the classic culinary delight of fish and chips. A staple in the Australian diet, it is a favorite amongst locals and visitors alike, providing a taste of the country’s rich and diverse seafood bounty. Known for its high-quality ocean-caught fare, Sydney boasts an abundance of reputable fish n’ chip shops spread across its diverse suburbs and along the beautiful coastline. It’s at these establishments that you can experience seafood as it should be – freshly caught, skillfully prepared and served hot.

The fish, covered in a crispy, golden batter that provides a delightful crunch with each bite, pairs perfectly with a side of thick-cut chips. These accompaniments are more than just a side dish. They often steal the show with their perfect blend of softness and crunch, seasoned to perfection, providing a comforting counterbalance to the lightness of the fish. Whether you’re a seafood connoisseur or a casual foodie, indulging in Sydney’s fish and chips is a gastronomic adventure you shouldn’t miss.

There are a number of casual spots to grab this dish. A standout is Salmon and Bear.


Sydney Rock Oysters

Indulging in Sydney’s local cuisine is an absolute must when visiting this vibrant city, and at the heart of this gastronomic adventure, you will find Sydney Rock Oysters. These petite oysters, native to the city, are harvested from the pristine local waters, ensuring utmost freshness and quality. Their unique taste profile is characterized by a sweet, creamy texture that melts in your mouth, leaving behind an unforgettable flavor. These delicacies are best enjoyed in their natural state, with just a squeeze of lemon to enhance their briny goodness. However, there’s more than one way to savor the richness of Sydney Rock Oysters. You might consider trying them Kilpatrick style, where they are covered in bacon and a Worcestershire-based sauce before being grilled to perfection. Alternatively, a simple dash of tangy vinaigrette can add a delightful complexity to the oysters’ sweet creaminess. Whichever way you choose to enjoy them, missing out on Sydney Rock Oysters during your visit would be nothing short of a culinary crime.

Get them at Kickin Inn

Prawns on the Barbie

The Australian summertime tradition of barbecuing, particularly in the vibrant city of Sydney, is an experience that should definitely be on your bucket list. Picture this: a warm, sunny day, the gentle sea breeze on your face, and the company of good friends, all setting the perfect mood for a classic Aussie ‘barbie’.

Among the many delicacies that you can savor, one dish stands out – the Australian king or tiger prawns. Freshly caught and grilled to perfection on the barbie, these prawns are a true gastronomic delight. Australian chefs’ love for prawns knows no bounds, and this is reflected in the meticulous preparation process.

To prepare, the prawns are generously slathered with a delicious mix of garlic butter, bringing out the rich flavors of the crustaceans. A squeeze of fresh lemon is then added to balance the buttery richness. To complete the culinary masterpiece, a sprinkling of herbs like parsley or coriander is added, which lends an aromatic touch to the perfectly grilled prawns.

Once cooked, these juicy crustaceans, with their unique mix of flavors, are an absolute treat to the senses. The taste of the king or tiger prawns, grilled on an Aussie barbie, is sure to make an impression that will last a lifetime.

We found them on the menu at Fish on the Rocks

Australian Barramundi

The Australian Barramundi, a cornerstone of the region’s cuisine, holds a special place in the hearts of both locals and tourists alike. Revered for its robust and versatile nature, this fish forms the canvas for an array of herbs and spices that color Sydney’s dynamic culinary landscape. The Barramundi’s succulent meat, when grilled, lends itself to a smoky undertone that pairs beautifully with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. When fried, its crispy exterior hides beneath it a tender, flaky flesh that melts in your mouth – a testament to Sydney’s culinary expertise. The steamed version, a gentler approach to this fish, allows the subtle sweetness of the Barramundi to shine through, delicately balancing the flavors of any accompanying herbs and spices. Each variant, a culinary masterpiece in its own right, is an ambassador of Sydney’s seafood offerings, offering a delightful dive into the city’s gastronomic excellence.

Find it at Fish Market Cafe



If you find yourself craving a delightful sweet treat, Lamingtons should undeniably be on your list. Originating from Australia, these delightful delicacies have a long-standing tradition and are a celebrated part of the Australian culinary heritage. At the heart of a Lamington is a light and airy sponge cake, tender and moist in every bite. The cake is then generously coated with a layer of rich, velvety chocolate, adding a perfect balance of sweetness that tantalizes the palate. But the enchantment doesn’t end there. Each cake is then rolled meticulously in desiccated coconut, adding a delightful crunch and a refreshing, tropical twist to the flavor profile. It’s this unique combination of textures and flavors that make Lamingtons an irresistible treat for any sweet tooth. Whether as a perfect accompaniment to your afternoon cup of tea, or a delightful dessert option at parties, Lamingtons never fail to leave a lasting impression.

Try one at Luscious Kiki Cakes

Chicken Parmigiana

Next on our culinary journey through the heart of Sydney, we find ourselves drawn to a quintessential local favorite, the delectable Chicken Parmigiana, or ‘Chicken Parma’, as it has been affectionately nicknamed by the locals. This dish, a staple on the menus of Sydney’s bustling pub scene, is a glorious concoction that masterfully combines a breaded chicken breast with a generous layer of flavorful tomato sauce, all topped off with a blanket of melted, bubbling cheese. The preparation of Chicken Parma is an art unto itself, each element coming together to create a symphony of textures and flavors. The crunchy exterior of the breaded chicken gives way to its succulent interior, contrasted perfectly by the tangy tomato sauce. The piece de resistance, the melted cheese, adds a layer of creamy richness that brings the entire dish together. Every bite of this classic pub dish delivers a burst of wholesome, hearty flavor that dances on the palette, making it a comforting option that has stood the test of time and is ideal for any day of the week. Whether it’s a lazy Sunday afternoon or a bustling Wednesday night, a plate of Chicken Parma is always a good idea when you find yourself in Sydney.

Give it a try at Primi Italian

Acai Bowls

If you’re in search of a lighter, more health-conscious option to start your day, Sydney’s trendy acai bowls are the answer. These magnificently vibrant and healthy bowls are not native to Australia but have their roots in the exotic lands of Brazil. In Sydney, they’ve caused quite a gastronomic storm and have been swiftly adopted into the daily lives of its health-conscious citizens. The primary ingredient, acai berries, are blended meticulously until they reach the consistency of a smoothie. This velvety base is then adorned with an assortment of fresh fruits that add a pop of color and a burst of natural sweetness. To introduce a hint of crunchiness, granola is sprinkled generously over the top. A final drizzle of honey adds the perfect touch of decadence to this otherwise guilt-free meal. The end result is not only incredibly delicious to the palate but is also pleasing to the eye. They make for a power-packed breakfast that provides an abundance of nutrients to fuel your body for the day ahead!


When you’re exploring the culinary landscape of Sydney, you absolutely can’t ignore the city’s vibrant wine scene. Australia is renowned worldwide for its exceptional wines, and Sydney offers a vast selection of venues where you can sample the country’s vintages. Not only will you find local New South Wales wines, but also a variety from the country’s different wine regions.

One must-try is the Australian Shiraz, a robust red wine with a punchy character that resonates with both local and international wine connoisseurs. For those who favor a lighter taste, Australian Chardonnay offers a delightful blend of fruit notes with a hint of oak. If you’re a fan of sparkling wines, then you can’t go wrong with Tasmania’s cool-climate varieties. Whether you’re a seasoned wine enthusiast or a curious beginner, Sydney’s wine offerings are sure to delight your palate and enrich your Australian food journey.

Visit a wine bar and try some Aussie wines. Bar Copains has food and local wines.

Craft Beer

Craft beer in Sydney is experiencing a significant surge in popularity, with local breweries and craft beer bars popping up across the city. Sydney’s craft beer scene is characterized by its diversity, creativity, and relentless pursuit of quality. Each brewery brings its unique flair, experimenting with unconventional ingredients and brewing techniques to create distinct flavor profiles. From the hop-heavy IPAs at Young Henry’s in Newtown to the perfectly balanced ales at Batch Brewing Co. in Marrickville, there’s a brew for every palate. The city’s craft beer movement is more than just a trend – it’s a testament to Sydney’s evolving taste and appreciation for finely crafted brews.

Go for a tasting at Young Henry’s

Flat White

Of course, no culinary expedition in Sydney can truly be deemed complete without savoring a cup of Australia’s beloved coffee – the Flat White. Picture a wonderfully rich, creamy espresso, characterized by its velvety texture and robust flavor. The beauty of the Flat White lies in the delicate interplay of its two main components: the espresso and the microfoam milk. Poured into a small, cozy cup, it presents a symphony of taste, achieving the perfect balance between the full-bodied strength of the coffee and the creamy, soothing essence of the milk. This isn’t just a coffee; it’s a handcrafted work of art, an ode to the refined Australian coffee culture. Whether you’re kick-starting a brand-new day with its invigorating aroma or seeking an afternoon pick-me-up, the Flat White is more than just a beverage. It’s an essential Sydney experience, a comforting ritual, and a testament to the city’s thriving café culture.

Try one at St. Dreux

australian pavlova with mixed berries


The grand finale of any authentic Australian dining experience must undoubtedly be the iconic Pavlova. This delightful dessert, boasting a meringue base, is a culinary homage to the renowned Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. The dessert, much like the dancer, embodies a refined balance of strength and delicacy. The Pavlova’s outer layer gives way to a satisfying crunch, a stark contrast to the soft, marshmallow-like interior that unfurls as you dig in. This delectable creation is traditionally topped with a generous dollop of whipped cream, which lends a velvety creaminess that perfectly complements the meringue’s sweetness. The crowning glory of the Pavlova, however, is the burst of fresh fruits that adorn the top. The fruits not only add a splash of color and freshness but also cut through the sweetness, striking a perfect balance. One bite of this sweet indulgence, with its symphony of textures and flavors, is enough to leave you enchanted, with a craving for more that lingers long after the last morsel has been savored.

 Try one at Rockpool Bar & Grill or buy a whole pavlova base at Woolworths and top it with fresh fruit.

From traditional Aussie barbecues to avant-garde gastronomic creations, Sydney has something to satisfy every palate and leave you yearning for more. The city’s food landscape is a testament to its multicultural society, offering a myriad of dishes that are as diverse as its population. From the exotic flavors of Thai, Indian and Chinese, to the refined tastes of French and Italian cuisine, each restaurant on the streets of Sydney presents a unique culinary experience. The next time you’re visiting the city, make sure to explore its vast and delicious food scene.

Sydney’s food landscape is not just a collection of eateries but an exciting amalgamation of tradition and innovation that has transformed the city into a culinary paradise. Each dish tells a story, offering a unique glimpse into the city’s rich cultural diversity and deep-seated love for food. From iconic seafood dishes handpicked from the Pacific to innovative pastries layered with unexpected flavors, the city’s culinary repertoire is a vibrant mix of old and new. So, if you’re planning a visit to Sydney, make sure to savor these delectable experiences. Not only will you get a taste of Sydney’s culinary expertise, you will also experience the city’s hospitality and love for diverse cultures — all conveyed through food. Get ready to create your own gastronomic memories and immerse yourself in Sydney’s enticing food culture.

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