A broke girl with a bucket list

Sydney’s Foodie Bucket List

Sydney’s Foodie Bucket List

So it turns out that Sydney has a lot more to offer than a few beaches and a larger than average coat hanger. It’s cafe culture is alive and thriving, which means if you’ve only got a few days in this beautiful city, or if you’re a broke student like me, you have to choose carefully. So here it is: the places you really should be spending your money on.


1 – Frankie’s Pizza
This place is pure genius. It’s a bar. It’s got live music. And it serves pizza. Straight out of the oven, hot, fresh pizza. Sure, the floor is sticky and the slices come out on paper plates but the atmosphere is so good here you’ll never want to leave. My resounding memory of Frankie’s is sitting in a booth with a drink in one hand, margarita in the other, listening to Sweet Child O’ Mine and watching as Chris Lilley got bombarded by fans at the bar. You have to experience it for yourself, but if I had it my way, every bar would have compulsory pizza by the slice.
award: best night out in Sydney
find them: 50 Hunter St Sydney (menu)


2 – Grounds of Alexandria
My advice: go on a Saturday. It might be insanely crowded and you’ll definitely have to wait half an hour for a table but the best thing about the Grounds is how it comes alive on the weekend: little donut and fresh fruit stalls, a juice bar, a burger shack, two different cafes and an awesome indoor artist’s market provide more than enough entertainment while you wait for a seat. Not to mention, the insanely gorgeous garden and small animal enclosure, complete with what I’m pretty sure is the biggest pig in Sydney. Seriously, if you’re not into food, go just for the pig – I promise it won’t disappoint! The menu amazing: my staple is the avocado on fresh sourdough with feta, pomegranate, za’atar and heirloom tomatoes. Or, even better for a sweet tooth is the incredible brioche french toast: topped with star anise poached pears, buffalo curd and salted pecans.
award: #1 chai latte in Sydney (it comes with star anise and a cinnamon stick!)
find them: 7a/2 Huntley St, Alexandria (menu)


3 – Kepos Street Kitchen
This Israeli-inspired menu was one of my favourites when my friends and I needed to escape for a seriously good breakfast or lunch out. I don’t think you can ever go wrong with this menu – a mouthwatering fusion of Tel Aviv inspired flavours and good old Aussie classics. The lamb kofta burger (pictured above), served with harissa relish, kohlrabi slaw and a huge serving of thick cut chips is the best cure for a rainy day that I know. That being said, the star of Kepos St Kitchen’s menu is his Moroccan lamb and pine nut cigars – served with watercress, poached eggs, goats cheese and …(wait for it) a vegemite tahini dipping sauce. And it is insanely delicious. If you’re looking for an escape from avocado on toast this is the first (and only) place you should come.
award: most creative use of vegemite
find them: 96 Kepos St, Redfern (menu)


4 – N2 Extreme Gelato
So you like ice cream? Why not make it an experience. N2 gelato doesn’t just give you crazy flavours – it’s hook is how it’s made: using liquid nitrogen. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of watching someone mix up banoffee gelato in a steaming pan, put a layer of whipped cream and chocolate on top then stick a syringe of caramel right into the middle. And what’s more – their flavours change every two weeks, which means you’ll always have an excuse to go back and try more!
award: most creative ice cream
find them: 184 King St, Newtown | 43/1 Dixon St (menu)


5 – Kürtősh
Inspired by the traditional Hungarian pastry, Kürtőskalács (better known as a chimney cake), Kürtősh is an awesome mix between traditional patisserie and bakery. Aside from it’s namesake, which comes in seven flavours including pistachio, cinnamon and chocolate, Kürtősh is worth visiting for it’s huge selection of slab cakes – sold by weight, not per piece. At just $4 per 100g, this proves a golden opportunity for indecisive people like me to taste a little of everything. My go to here, however, is the sweet potato pastry – although savoury and deceptively simple, it is easily my favourite thing to put in a packed lunch or to take away for a quick dinner on the go.
award: best portion sizes
find them: 20B-20C St Pauls St, Randwick | 316 Victoria St, Darlinghurst (menu)


6 – Speedo’s Cafe
Aside from being in one of the most picturesque locations you could choose to eat at in Sydney, Speedo’s earns crowds even during the week for a reason: the service is quick and the food is unreal. The menu is a balance of super healthy – like their ‘Protein Power’ brekkie, with egg whites, smoked salmon, avocado and spinach on toasted wholemeal bread, and their instagrammable pink pitaya bowl – and slightly less so, which can be seen by the rows of Nutella cronuts that line their front counter. My go to for breakfast is the ‘Lifesaver’: smoked salmon, light cream cheese, avocado and lemon served on toasted turkish bread – absolutely the best thing for a Sunday morning catch up overlooking the beach. However, if you’re doing the Coogee to Bondi and looking for some lunch, Speedo’s Garlic Prawn Linguine (pictured above) is unmissable. Don’t forget to book a table if you don’t want to wait for a good 20-30 minutes – especially on weekends! Speedo’s is always packed out!
award: best view
find them: 126 Ramsgate Ave, Bondi (menu)


7 – Soul Burger
At first glance, this may seem like a regular burger joint. And at second. And maybe at a third. It’s only until you look closely at the menu that you realise what Soul Burger is all about: plant based meat. This awesome restaurant stacks up some incredible burgers, all made completely meat free – and I can guarantee you won’t notice the difference. Honestly, this place cannot go wrong: they’re making amazing food (like their Soul B Special: double plant-based beef, veggie slaw, onion rings, caramelised onion, cheese, cheese sauce and soul b sauce) while maintaining an awesome mission. And hey, if plant-based meat isn’t your thing, this place is worth the trip to the Eastern Suburbs for their sweet potato fries. They are heaven.
award: most likely to save the planet
find them: 49 Perouse Rd, Randwick (menu)


8 – Bourke St Bakery
OK so the deal is if you’ve ever heard of Bourke St Bakery, you’ve probably heard about their ginger brûlée tart as well. It is the stuff of legend. (Legend itself is pictured above in the third row down, courtesy of Bourke St Bakery’s website) Luckily, I’m fortunate enough to live only a short walk away from them, and I can confirm it – the rumours are true. This tart definitely lives up to expectations. Aside from that though, Bourke St Bakery does (as you might have guessed) really, really, really good bread. If you don’t mind shelling out a little extra, their sourdough is out of this world good. I’m pretty sure I could happily live here.
award: embodying happiness in the shape of a tart
find them: 633 Bourke St, Surry Hills | 46A MacLeay St, Potts Point | 472-474 Gardeners Rd, Alexandria (menu)


9 – Foodcraft Espresso & Bakery
While Sydney is famous for it’s freakshakes, Foodcraft takes them to another level entirely with their ‘world famous’ Tella Ball Shakes. How about a salted caramel shake with a donut on the top filled with salted caramel? Or the same thing but with Nutella? Definitely not too much. Alternately, you could indulge in a stack of Belgian waffles, with nutella, banana, strawberries and macadamia brittle. Or if sweet really isn’t your style, Foodcraft’s field mushroom roti with rocket, prosciutto, poached egg and tomato chutney is definitely the way you should be starting your day.
award: best food/drink hybrid
find them: 33 Bridge St, Erskenville (menu)

10 – Gelato Messina
God bless Messina. It brings your childhood, be it apple pie, oreos, wagon wheels or cheesecake, and puts it into a gelato so you don’t have to. Open til 11pm in two locations near Sydney’s CBD, Messina is the perfect middle-of-the-night cravings run. Or middle-of-the-afternoon. For me, it’s worth spending a couple of extra dollars to get possibly the best ice cream in Sydney. You’ll have a hard time choosing between classic flavours such as salted coconut and mango sorbet, or apple pie (which are both my favourites) and the ever changing list of weekly specials. If you are visiting late at night though, be prepared to wait, as the cravings hit Sydney hard and the line usually goes out the door. Don’t worry, service is fast and they usually play some awesome tunes as you wait so make sure to leave a tip for the two or three people manning the counter for hundreds of hungry eaters!
award: most likely to make your childhood dream come true via ice cream
find them: 58 Mentmore Ave, Rosebury | 389 Crown St, Surry Hills | 241 Victoria St, Darlinghurst (menu)