Australian Ballet Eating & Drinking Guide

Updated November 7th, 2019

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Imagine it: you fight your way through the packed foyer, find your seat and settle in to enjoy the show. Just as the curtain begins to lift, your stomach gives a loud rumble. Now you remember – you skipped lunch.

Don't risk an empty stomach ruining the performance. At these spots you can catch a quick meal or snacks before the show, or take your time for a full de-brief afterwards.

  • Peter Gilmore has made the culinary vision that earned him accolades at Quay more approachable at the Opera House.

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  • A quintessential Sydney location. This is one of the best views of Sydney harbour you'll find anywhere. And Opera Bar doesn't just coast by on its good looks: the drinks here are great, too. The hardest thing about a trip here is getting a table.

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  • A solid lunchtime dining option in the CBD, with an alfresco plant-filled terrace and a whopping 900-kilogram wood grill.

  • The Mary's crew 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.

  • From its opulent, art deco interior to the theatrical service from floor staff, Rockpool remains one of Sydney’s premiere special occasion restaurants. It champions sustainable, grass-fed beef from Blackmore Wagyu and Cape Grim, on a menu abound with raw seafood, pasta and uncomplicated sides. The experience is enhanced by a wine list to rival any in the country.

  • Part of the pantheon of Sydney’s Italian joints and the attention to detail and fresh produce is just as sharp now as it was back in 1988 (fish is still delivered twice-daily and the pastas are all house-made). CEOs and prime ministers past and present aren’t just framed on the walls – you might just catch them dining here, too.

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  • Vibrant Mexican food, super-rare tequilas and million-dollar views are all on the menu at this smart harbourside diner. But to really feel like a millionaire, splash out on the signature gold leaf Margarita.

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  • A modern Japanese restaurant where ’90s grunge and rock reigns supreme.

  • Apart from sides, there's only one thing on this menu: T-bone steaks, sold by weight.

  • Behind Hubert’s old-world charm is a reverence for classic hospitality and notably un-classic French food. Live jazz is a staple, along with one of the city’s best burger happy hours.

  • Eighty sherries and well-executed Spanish food to match.

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  • Moody jazz, heavy wooden beams and a bank of barbeque ducks in the old Tank nightclub space. A modern Shanghai-style dumpling den from Dan Hong and Merivale.

  • A specialist in the reliable teishoku, a set meal commonly cooked at home in Japan that involves rice, miso soup, a main dish and two smaller dishes.

  • This heritage corner site has lived many lives – but its most recent one is arguably its best. Come for freshly shucked oysters from the cabinet, premium Australian steaks and a focus on local and French wine varieties.

  • This is the show-stopping star of Matt Moran’s culinary empire. The artfully-plated dishes warrant the lofty price-tags, but those generous harbour views do a lot to offset the sting. This is one of Sydney’s great try-before-you-die restaurants – a pillar of modern Australian dining.

  • Since 1921, stunning views of the Harbour Bridge have attracted drinkers to this pub.

  • Sit under a lush green wall, cocktail in hand.

  • The liberation of Paris is the theme behind this polished cocktail bar from the team behind The Lobo. Settle into sophisticated surrounds for rum and rye Old Fashioneds and French-influenced dishes with modern Australian flair.

  • Burgers before the ballet. Why not?

  • Thai cuisine by David Thompson, one of the world’s most lauded Thai chefs.

  • Travel to another time at this jazzy, prohibition-themed bar. A tome-like list of spirits informs the cocktails here, mixed by a team of sharply-dressed bartenders who know their craft inside and out. To eat, it's European-influenced snacks served till late.

  • A modern Mexican diner where the Margaritas come several ways and the guacamole gets smashed right at your table. Come for street-style eats and share plates made with a market-to-table ethos, tequila masterclasses and more.

  • Bowery Lane is a sleek CBD spot offering shareable feasts.