Sydney Foodie Guide

By Sydney Expert: Suanne, February 2011

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When you come to Sydney remember we are foodies! We love our food and our culturally diverse menus are heavily influenced by Asian cuisine. Sometimes our American visitors arrive on our shores and get surprised at our lack of Mexican restaurants…but remember we are in the Asia Pacific region and so much about what goes on in Sydney is influenced by our proximity to Asia. I am so often asked what typical Australian food is and I would say to you now that it can be anything from Fish and Chips to Pad Thai!

Getting used to our food culture can be difficult….so let me help you negotiate around it. Firstly…expect nothing for free! Yep…I am afraid it’s a legacy of our convict days. So expect no free soda or coffee refills and it’s rare to get a free basket of bread put on your dining table. On the other hand some of our artisan bread is really delicious and worth paying for to nibble on before your meal arrives

If you want real value for money food while you are here, try eating at our wonderful pubs. All our pubs have terrific reasonably priced bistro style food and you can even get a great cappuccino at most of our pubs nowadays.

We love love love our coffee and everyone has their own favourite little coffee place to which they are very loyal. So expect to see loads of independent cafes,  but not many Starbucks outlets. Get used to drinking cappuccinos, café lattes and macchiato and start to say goodbye to drip filtered coffee which is seen very rarely down under.

Lastly, let’s explore the etiquette of tipping in Australia. It’s untrue to say we do not tip. We do tip...but we tip differently. For example we are unlikely to hand around one dollar notes to every porter, taxi driver and bell hop in town BUT we most definitely leave a tip in a restaurant, particularly if you receive good service. The amount is likely to be around 10%. Like most people around the world, we believe that leaving a tip is a token of appreciation for the good service you have received so of course, if the service has been bad then don’t leave a tip.

So welcome to Sydney and enjoy our food. I believe one of the best meals to have in Sydney is a Sydney beachside breakfast. Try poached eggs with roasted tomatoes, avocado and mushrooms with a side of turkish toast and of course a cappuccino. Enjoy!

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