From the bustling train station at Milsons Point at the foot of the Harbour Bridge, down to the big cheesy grin that is Luna Park by the harbour, Kirribilli and Milsons Point have their fair share of spectacular views. But add a cheap and cheerful lunch to the bargain and you’re enjoying some A-grade eats set among some great Sydney scenery.
1. Fish and chip pack at Fisherman's Cove – $9.90
2 Ennis Road, Kirribilli
This old-school fish and chip joint might also offers pork roasts, barbecue chickens and a range of burgers, but locals come for the takeaway packs of fish and chips. It’s a simple box of freshly fried (or grilled) white fish with crisp fat chips, with an option to swap out the chips for salad (but that might be missing the point). It’s the perfect meal to take down to that view of the harbour a little further down the road.
2. Healthy Noodles at Kirrakaze Sushi Plus – $10
Shop 3, 3a–9b Broughton Street, Kirribilli
This tiny little sushi joint has a big propeller on the wall and has been turning out freshly made sushi rolls for years. But for something a little more substantial, try the hot dish of healthy noodles. It’s an uncomplicated plate of bean curd, mushrooms, shallots and seaweed with a hefty serving of noodles and it’s a refreshingly clean taste for sunny days.
3. Corn chips with Queso at The Botanist – $10
The Botanist is one of the newer venues in Kirribilli and there’s plenty of attention to detail at this botany-inspired small bar. This one's a bit cheeky because it's more a snack than a full-on lunch, but the dish of corn chips with cheese and tomato salsa is perfect when you just want a little nibble while you enjoy the lovely surrounds. Think Friday afternoon with a jug of Turbo Pimms.
4. Steak Pie at San Antonio Sourdough Bakery on Burton – $5
32 Burton Street, Kirribilli
This great little sourdough bakery is the second of the San Antonio breed in Kirribilli (the other is over on Alfred Street in a subterranean food court). This cosy little cafe has a window display full of freshly baked sourdough bread and plenty of flaky pastries on offer too. Fresh pies for $5 make for a warming lunch and are easy to transport to the harbour. But eating in is lovely as well and you can finish it off with a tiny little brioche for $2 and still get change from $10.
5. Croque Monsieur at Epi d'Or – $8.50
Shop 11/9 Bligh Street, Kirribilli
A tiny little hole-in-the-wall cafe with pink walls and French imagery, they pump out hot Mecca coffee here and collect afternoon sunshine at the dainty tables. It really is a small space – with barely room for 10 people – but the Brasserie bread and expertly toasted, cheesy Croque Monsieurs are worth squeezing in for.
6. Hot dog at Batch Burgers & Espresso – $9
This 1950s-inspired American diner is the newest kid on the Kirribilli block. Grab a stool at the bar and order the hotdog with plenty of mustard, your choice of sauce for the beef sausage, all in a fluffy white bun. We recommend stretching the budget to include a shake.
7. Barbecue Pork Buns at Street Market – $5
Shop 3/12 Fitzroy Street, Kirribilli
Sneak up the steps to this first floor ‘Asian tapas’ spot above the foot traffic of Fitzroy Street and you’ll find a tasty array of flavours inspired by yum cha and the bustling street markets of Asia. There are clutches of Shanghai soup buns ($5) and trios of pan-fried taro cakes, but the barbecue pork buns (three for $5) are a fluffy winner every time. Yum Cha lunch menu is available from Thursday to Sunday.
8. Tom Kha Kai soup at Bangkok Sidewalk – $8.90
Shop 2/31 Fitzroy Street, Kirribilli
There are plenty of Thai restaurants on offer in Kirribilli, but our pick is Bangkok Sidewalk (which comes courtesy of the Papaya and Fat Monk’s crew), complete with baskets of menus out the front to tempt you in. The Tom Kha Kai chicken and coconut broth soup is a fragrant and slightly spicy bowl, with a hint of roast chilli jam. It’s full of fresh oyster mushrooms and bobbing cherry tomatoes and it’s equally good whether you’re eating in or taking away.
9. Salami Panini at Pompidou – $9.50
3/48 Alfred Street, Kirribilli
Nestled around a corner on a small, pedestrian-friendly side street (just off Alfred Street) is Pompidou café. You can’t miss the bright yellow seating and they’re busy churning out Toby’s Estate coffee and a Mediterranean feel menu. All their fresh sandwiches and wraps in the display come in under the $10 mark. There’s tuna and chicken options, but the salami Panini is a favourite, bursting with greens and thick slices of small goods.
10. Steak Sandwich at Maestro's – $9
1/94-96 Alfred Street, Kirribilli
This tiny place might not look like much, but it has a band of loyal followers who come for the uncomplicated and hearty burgers, sandwiches and wraps, as well as owner Dominic’s random outbursts of operatic singing and imported beer. The steak sandwich is full of thinly sliced, cooked to order steak, plenty of barbecue sauce, freshly sliced tomato and greens, all bookended with unpretentious toasted white bread. Sometimes simple is best.