It may vie for Australia’s culinary crown with Melbourne, but Sydney’s stellar gastronomic scene still puts it at the top table of the world’s foodie hot spots—especially when it comes to multicultural cuisine. From sea-fresh rock oysters to exotic ice creams, here are our tips for dishes not to miss in this vibrant city.
Dim Sum: Make a beeline for Chinatown to sample what has to be some of the world’s most delicious dim sum. Hit a sunny restaurant terrace and take your pick from pushcarts piled with baskets of melt-in-your-mouth prawn dumplings, fluffy pork buns, and cheong fun steamed rice rolls.
Rock Oysters: A Sydney institution, these sweet oysters are served almost everywhere, from high-end eateries to casual beachside haunts, and usually with lashings of fresh lemon and mignonette sauce. Many places offer cut-price oyster happy hours, too. Down these marine morsels at a café overlooking Bondi Beach for the ultimate Sydney seafood experience.
Korean Fried Chicken: Sydneysiders love fried chicken in all its forms, but it’s Korean Fried Chicken—KFC for short—that truly fires their passion. Drop by Haymarket’s food courts and markets to sample some of the crispiest and juiciest versions served every which way—traditional, boneless, sweet and spicy, tossed in cheese powder, or with garlic.
Gelato and Ice Cream: Gelato—the denser Italian version of regular ice cream—reigns supreme in Sydney and comes in almost every imaginable flavor and serving style, many inspired by the city’s multicultural culinary riffs. Top picks are soft-serve, sundaes, and vegan and dairy-free creations in gorgeous flavors such as lotus cream, peach iced tea, panna cotta, and dirty chai.
Peruvian to Pizza and Beyond
Sydney’s international foodscape is nowhere more on show than in the upscale Paddington neighborhood and multicultural quarters such as Cabramatta and Auburn. The cafés, restaurants, and market outlets here serve up everything from Vietnamese noodles and Peruvian ceviche to Lebanese meze, Japanese gyoza, and Italian pizza, so you can treat your tastebuds to a round-the-world trip. Alternatively, make tracks for the historical Rocks area to feast on British-style pub grub and great Thai, Chinese, and Italian cuisine.