Autumn is here, but it’s hardly time to retreat into ramen, fridge leftovers and order-in pizza. Far from it. There are still plenty of warm-weather-centric Sydney dining options to help extend the summer vibes, from eating at the beach to markets. Here’s our guide to what to try and where.
Bronte to Bondi coastal walk
The stereotype of the Bronte to Bondi coastal walk is a wind past the titular beaches and their cream sand, teal seas, bronzed locals and bustling lawns. Even when it’s not such a picture postcard scene, the trail offers a reliable front-seat to nature in all its glory. We suggest doing it in the afternoon – that way you can build up an appetite to quench at the newly renovated North Bondi RSL. Serving comfort classics like pizza, schnitzel, and roasts, the RSL sits at the north end of the beach on one of the best spots in town, offering million dollar views for a fraction of the price. With an upstairs balcony and dining area with doors that open to the beach below, there’s few better ways to rest your legs after a hard day’s stroll.
Gelato, soft serve and ice-cream
Sydney’s ice-cream scene has developed quickly over the past few years. Two Bar Italia alumni have opened in Marrickville (Gelato Franco) and Redfern (Ciccone & Sons); legendary operator Gelato Messina has expanded into pretty much everywhere; and fine-dining chefs behind Ume Burger, Devon and Good Times Artisan Ice Cream have all gotten into the soft-serve game.
Now’s the perfect time to explore the competing offerings because many of the ingredients that make up base flavours – such as limes, guava, passionfruit, pears, and lemons – are all coming into season. Note: one of the best gelatarias in town, Ciccone and Sons in Redfern, has a habit of closing mid-year.
Wendy Whiteley’s scenic Secret Garden in north Sydney and the Royal Botanic Gardens will give you harbour views with a horticulturally compelling backdrop. But for the real magic you need to travel south to the Royal National Park. There you’ll find freshwater viridian lagoons, sandstone cliffs with waterfalls and unspoiled Australian bush scenery.
Before you go, hit Sydney’s best delis, bakeries and bottle shops for supplies. In Newton grab a can of Oritz anchovies, a stick of sopressa and a block of Ossau Iraty (a sheep’s-milk cheese) from Continental Deli, then head next door to Black Star Pastry for a baguette, a few pastries and maybe even a bush-spiced kangaroo pie. Get some fresh seafood to go with a bottle of Moët Ice Imperial and ice in your freezer bag.
There’s something intrinsically attractive about dining outdoors, be it a casual or formal affair. The Workers in Balmain is definitely the latter – upon entry you’ll find a good measure of fluoro and leopard print Louis XV lounges, some vibrant foliage decorating a wall and gigantic portraits of illustrious Labor Party leaders Bob Hawke and Gough Whitlam. Food is casual and snack-size – think chicken wings, tacos, and sliders.
For something more stately, luxury hotel Intercontinental Double Bay has a rooftop patio open to the public featuring stunning views out across the hotel pool to Sydney Harbour and Double Bay itself. Open from midday to “one hour past sunset”, it’s of the city’s more intimate, stylish perches to watch the sun go down with a champagne in hand. The rooftop menu leans runs from small bites like Pacific oysters and a Spanish charcuterie board, to a wasabi salad and tuna ceviche.
Eating at Fratelli Paradiso in Potts Point any time of the year is a special event. But there’s a different feeling to eating an Italian breakfast (pastry, cappuccino and orange juice) on a sunlit table a few feet from the footpath watching the day and its participants wake. The same could be said about a street-side late afternoon tiramisu and espresso, or an early evening tagliatelle ragu.
It’s a similar experience at Dead Ringer. The cocktail-slinging restaurant has an outdoor seating area just above Bourke Street in Surry Hills. Have roast chicken and beef tartare with potato crisps and pickles, chased by toffee ice-cream with honeycomb and a white rum, fino and strawberry Regal Bramble to feel like you’ve been invited to a particularly decadent friend’s veranda party.
Sydney doesn’t have a true street-food culture, but Spice Alley in Chippendale is a clever attempt at mirroring the vibe and flavours of Georgetown, Malaysia. The streets are cobbled; there’s improvised seating on the street and poking out of repurposed homes; and some heritage terraces have been updated with hawker stalls serving Malaysian street food, dumplings, Thai salads, ramen and Korean comfort food.
On a warm autumnal night with a plate of roti, a few fried chicken wings and an iced drink, you can trick yourself into thinking summer won’t end.
This article is presented in partnership with Moët & Chandon Ice Imperial, the first Champagne designed to be served exclusively over ice. Please drink Moët & Chandon responsibly.