Best Places to Eat in Sydney’s East.
Let’s face it, in Sydney we are spoilt for choice when it comes to dining – and so many these days stand out from the crowd. I am often asked for dining recommendations and so far I’ve never let anyone down.
Every since my days as a chef I have always been of the belief that a great restaurant is a balancing act of 3 core elements. Atmosphere, Great Service and Fabulous Food. If a restaurant nails these consistently, 9 times out of 10 they will attract a very loyal following of regular customers and the all very powerful word of mouth. It’s not as easy as it sounds.
In this article I have focused on my local area and the dining destinations that keep me coming back for more, more, more. These venues are all very different and unique from each other, however they all have three things in common: Atmosphere, Great Service and Fabulous Food!
Tell me about your favourite dining destination in the comments below.
Bloody Mary’s Sydney.
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you’ll notice I spend a lot of time at Bloody Mary’s. The reason is simple, atmosphere, service and really great food and drinks. I was never a fan of Bloody Mary cocktails before I tried the ‘fresh’ tomato juice that is made in-house by the owners. This juice has to be tasted to be believed. It has a moorish savoury flavour that marries beautifully with vodka and my favourite, a side of pickles. There is a menu dedicated to Bloody Mary’s and the sky’s the limit when it comes to garnishes. These are almost a meal within themselves.
The food menu has been carefully crafted to offer unique American style cuisine that takes you on a very pleasurable food journey. Bloody Mary’s is not your typical American diner, it’s a destination that ticks every box and then some.
Best times to visit: Breakfast, lunch and dinner. You’ll often find me there grazing on a weekend afternoon. Download the Secret DJ App from the App Store to select your own tunes.
What to eat: Buffalo Wings, Bloody Mary’s Beef Burger, Salmon Fillet, New York Steak & Mushrooms. Breakfast is always a treat also, as is dining at the round table in the courtyard.
Bloody Mary’s is also opening at Bondi Beach in time for summer.
Bistro Rex is situated under the Rex building on Macleay Street Potts Point and has immediate street cred thanks to its line-up of industry notables. Ex China Doll sommelier Josh Dunne has created a wine list to end all wine lists that compliments the perfectly structured French menu by head chef Jo Ward, (ex Bloodwood) and sous chef Michelle Powell (formally Spice Temple) and Baci Moore (ex manager of Spice Temple). You can read about my visit here.
Best times to visit: From 12pm till late. Bistro Rex doesn’t close after lunch so prepare to “Steak Frittes” whenever you feel like it.
What to eat: Oysters, Country pork terrine, Poached chicken breast, Steak frites or the 1KG T-Rex. Great dessert selection made fresh daily.
Chester White Cured Diner.
With its white picket fence and relaxed vibe, you will settle in very quickly at Chester White Cured Diner. It almost feels like you’ve popped into the neighbours’ place for an afternoon as you watch the local pedestrian traffic stroll by. The food menu and wine list is simple, very delicious and easy to choose from. The owners are very welcoming and engaging which adds to the charm. The signature Sardinian Truffled Pecorino cheese wheel filled with Spaghettini, cracked pepper, parsley and black truffles is an absolute must. If you haven’t tried this you need to!
Best times to visit: Lunch or Dinner. Weekend or Friday afternoons are my favourites.
What to eat: if you visit without trying the Spaghettini you’ll regret it.
Sticky Fingers Kitchen and Bar Surry Hills.
A stand-out in bustling Surry Hills, Sticky Fingers offers an Asian-influenced menu for breakfast and lunch. The semi-industrial interior and open environment is perfect for both small and larger groups of diners.
The menu is a journey within itself. Much time, consideration and creativity has been poured delicately into each menu item both on the AM and PM offerings. This is a perfect example of east meets west and you won’t leave disappointed or hungry for that matter, but you will leave craving more.
The rotating coffee options supplied by Marrickville’s Golden Cobra are perfectly brewed, if you’re walking by grab a takeaway.
Best times to visit: Breakfast and Lunch 7 Days.
What to eat: Truffled eggs, Peter’s Pancakes, Pulled pork benedict, the lunch time tasting board and the Asian terrine.
Almond Bar opened in 2007 and has been serving up modern Middle Eastern dishes to very satisfied customers ever since.
Owner Carol Salloum had a dream of bringing to life her family’s love of food and people and she has certainly achieved this along with her culinary talented sister Sharon. The food is fresh, full of flavour and prepared with love.
I had never tasted a lot of Middle Eastern flavours before visiting Almond Bar and now I’m hooked. Every dish is a beautiful assortment of seasonal ingredients with subtle spices and herbs. This is food made from the heart.
Best times to visit: Any evening except Mondays. Follow Almond Bar on social media for their monthly Syrian style breakfast dates as well as their annual Syrian BBQ held in the laneway behind the restaurant.
What to eat: Pumpkin kibbeh, fattoush, mukloubi with chicken and the pork shoulder.
Friggitoria Potts Point.
Friggitoria is on Bayswater Road, Potts Point and offers both dine-in and take-out options. The most impressive element to Friggitoria is its consistency, and incredible authentic Italian food. I’ve tried everything on the menu now, many things more than once, and the quality and presentation combined with the incredible genuine and caring service, is something the Sydney restaurant scene needs more of.
At Friggitoria, delicious food is guaranteed, as well as smiling Italian faces that create authentic Italian street food from the heart. Read more about Friggitoria here.
Best times to visit: Pop in and say hi to Chef Flávio anytime from 12pm except Sundays.
What to eat: The Sicilian rice ball filled with bolognese and peas is sensational. I also love the Italian beef meatballs and the Porchetta is divine.
Café Douce France Potts Point.
A gorgeous little piece of Paris in the heart of Potts Point and the omelettes are sensational too.
We visit France for five weeks each year and when we need our Sydney French fix we head to Café Douce to eat homemade pastries, delicious quiches and other French classics like baguettes and croissants. The coffee and conversation is always great too.
A relaxed environment to meet friends for that long overdue catch up, the people watching on Darlinghurst Road isn’t bad either.
Best times to visit: Anytime from 7am, 7 days.
What to eat: The omelette is always perfectly cooked and the pastries are just like you get in Paris.
Farmhouse Kings Cross.
If you’ve ever dreamed of dining in a Tuscan Farmhouse but can’t make it to Italy this year, gather your friends and head to the Farmhouse Kings Cross. The rustic ceiling beams and long table are the perfect setting for a long and enjoyable lunch or dinner.
The menu has already been decided by the chef when you book so you can sit back and simply enjoy the intimate environment and the fabulous Italian food. You’ll truly be transported to a beautiful place. The Farmhouse also cater for any dietary requirements.
Best times to visit: Wednesday – Saturday 6.30pm & 8.30pm sittings or Sunday – 2.00pm lunch & 6.30pm sittings.
What to eat: the set menu which is priced between $55 – $60 per person. I’ve had the beef cheeks several times and they are stunning.
Marcelle’s on Macleay.
Located in the heart of Potts Point and directly opposite the El Alamein Memorial Fountain, Marcelle’s is a weekend favourite of ours before or after a visit to the Kings Cross Markets. It has a great vibe coupled with the vibrant local service. You can either be seated on the pavement tables or indoors where you can take in the coffee aroma. The locals dressed in gym gear line the footpath waiting patiently for their Marcelle’s coffee fix while other customers enjoy a sit down breakfast or lunch as they contemplate the rest of their day ahead.
Best times to visit: I love the weekends but weekdays are great too.
What to eat: My favourite is the 3 Egg Omelette with goat’s curd and the Reuben Toastie with corned beef is pretty delicious too. Don’t forget to try the Lemon, Ginger and Raspberry Tea, it’s sensational.
Mad Pizza Darlinghurst and Kings Cross.
I’ve been visiting Mad Pizza ever since it opened across the road from our apartment. Whether it’s for take away or dining in, the menu has been designed to be unlike any other pizza restaurant. With its crisp and very tasty base, the toppings have been carefully crafted to offer your taste buds something that you’ll keep coming back for – Pizza that’s great tasting and, dare I say, good for you.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
The salad and pasta selections are great also, and the cocktails (especially the Negroni’s I have had in Potts Point) are sensational.
Best times to visit: I love visiting in the evening, check out their website for opening times for Darlinghurst, Potts Point, Bondi, Surry Hills and Newtown.
What to eat: Pizza of course, I love the Otto Bianco and the Porkies.
Bon Appétit, Mike X