Restaurants

Crafted By Matt Moran

Restaurant

Pull up a chair at the former Chiswick at the Gallery site for mid-week and weekend brunch, long lunches, and extraordinary views over Sydney Harbour.

Babylon

Restaurant

A 1200-square-metre rooftop bar and restaurant which rules over Pitt Street Mall.

Bar 83

Restaurant

This '70s-inspired cocktail lounge on the 83rd floor of Sydney Tower is the highest bar in town. Cocktails come from an ex-Baxter Inn and Hubert bartender whose drinks will almost distract you from the 260-degree views.

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Mumu

Restaurant

Southeast Asian street food is the focus at Merivale’s rowdy good-times diner: oysters spiked with Vietnamese-style vinaigrette, jungle curry with pipis and Phnom Penh fried chicken. To drink? Fresh cocktails and a famous yuzu slushie.

Above Par

Restaurant

Above Par is a sleek 60-seater bistro in the heart of the CBD, serving homestyle Levantine dishes from lunch and well into the evening.

Monopole

Restaurant

The CBD has some of the best cocktail bars in the world, but there’s a surprising lack of venues with a focus on vino. Since moving from its original Potts Point location, Monopole, with its clever mix of snacking and thoughtful drinks list, has changed that.

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Cafes

Joe Black X

Cafe

Hidden behind the heritage-listed Louis Vuitton building, this tiny espresso bar has no seats – just good coffee, pastries and ready-made paninis for a quick getaway.

Cabrito Coffee Traders

Cafe

A coffee nook that rejuvenates Sydney's laneways.

Sammy Junior

Cafe

This is the younger sibling of Maybe Sammy (arguably Sydney’s most acclaimed cocktail bar). It’s an all-day cafe and bar, where you can have cocktails at 10am and coffee ‘till 10pm. Come for half-serve cocktails on tap, strong coffee and a tight menu of versatile snacks.

Cross Eatery

Cafe

Proof that CBD cafes don't need to be cramped.

Klink Handmade Espresso

Cafe

A coffee oasis in the city.

Aqua S

Cafe

Come to this over-the-top ice creamery if you're into inventive flavours. Just take the bestselling flavour: blue sea salt ice-cream. Toppings include popping candy, flame-toasted marshmallow, caramel popcorn and fairy floss.

Bars

Old Mate's Place

Bar

Locate the discrete ground-level entrance, then climb four levels of steep, narrow stairs to reach this hidden rooftop. It’s completely worth it – you'll be rewarded with a killer cocktail bar set against a backdrop of towering CBD highrises.

Grandma’s Bar

Bar

A candle-lit den with “faded granny glamour” in spades. Lamps, mismatched armchairs and cheesy baked bean toasties are all comforting throwbacks, but the rum-heavy list of tiki drinks will really get you settled in.

Mary’s Underground

Bar

The Mary's Group snagged the old Basement space in Circular Quay and continued its legacy as an inner-city hub for live music. They've also thrown in a burger joint with the Mary's signatures: 'burgs, fried chicken and natural vino.

Continental Deli, Bar and Bistro CBD

Bar

The follow up to Newtown's distinctive tinned cocktail bar offers all the same thrills: cold cuts, cheese, canned goods, fine wine and stiff drinks.

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Double Deuce Lounge

Bar

Take the founders of Ramblin' Rascal, add a subterranean space and finish it off with a ’70s sheen and you have a guaranteed blockbuster cocktail bar. The vibe of the space – filled with wood panelling, plump leather couches and even a furry shag feature wall – is cool, easygoing and cheesy. A smooth funk and soul soundtrack rounds it all out.

Cantina Ok!

Bar

Word of warning: don't bother bringing a large group to this tiny mezcal-centric laneway bar – even if it were completely empty, you probably wouldn't fit. It's by the team behind Tio's Cerveceria. The friendly, knowledgeable staff here will help you navigate the cracking cocktail list with confidence (and you might even end up ordering Sydney's best Margarita).

Shops

Mecca Cosmetica The Strand

Shop

The Mecca Cosmetica flagship store is a personalised oasis.

Abbey’s Bookshop

Shop

If you’re going past the Queen Victoria Building, this longstanding independent is worth a visit. It stocks a wealth of Australian crime fiction, and if it’s true crime you’re after, history is another speciality.

Books Kinokuniya

Shop

Sydney’s art-lovers, design geeks, illustrators and photography buffs practically live in Books Kinokuniya. Its range of niche titles is unparalleled – and that’s not to mention the incredible manga and comic book selection. As far as Sydney’s best book shops go, this one is vying for best-in-show.

Fabbrica

Shop

A deli, wine store and by-the-gram pasta shop from the Ragazzi team. You can also take a seat inside for a quick aperitif and sandwich.

Growing Friends

Shop

The Royal Botanic Garden is huge, so you can be forgiven if you’ve never noticed this small retail nursery set on the eastern boundary, near Woolloomooloo. Outdoor plant seedlings are the thing here – more so than full-grown specimens, anyway – with prices starting from as little as $5. The stock is largely propagated from the RBG’s own collection and those of its counterparts in Mount Annan and the Blue Mountains. That means rare and exotic flowers, shrubs and creepers often pop up for sale, alongside a steadier supply of natives.

Double Monk

Shop

A good shoe can take as long to make as a luxury car.