In a city as large and vibrant as Sydney, it’s difficult to know every bakery, bookstore and restaurant worth remembering along your routes. But with light rail services starting soon, we’ve pulled out some of our favourite places to eat, drink and see along the CBD section of the line.
Kitchen By Mike
Kitchen By Mike was “a bit of a game changer” when it first opened in Rosebery back in 2012. That venue closed in 2015, but the restaurant returned this year to a new location on Bent Street in the CBD. Chef Mike McEnearney remains at the helm preparing his signature eats: there are platters stacked with fresh salads by day, and seasonal small plates and grilled steaks to share come evening. This spot is ideal for a quick breakfast, first date or long lunch.
Sydney’s one-and-only pakora and chai bar, Flyover Fritterie is a fun lunch spot on Temperance Lane that specialises in snacky Indian street food. Specifically, pakora: a crunchy vegetable fritter fried to perfection in chickpea flour. There are only ever four items on the menu (a burger, a salad, a lentil dish and a snack, all incorporating pakora), and they’re all vegan. Grab a cup of house-made chai to seal the delicious deal.
Ground Control Café
Office workers stream into Ground Control for their caffeine fix every day, and with good reason: this hole-in-the-wall cafe under Circular Quay station serves up some of the best specialty coffee in the area. It’s also a great spot to grab some food to go. The glass cabinet is always stacked with delicious pastries and sandwiches, and the prices are some of the best by the harbour.
The Morrison Bar & Oyster Room
This classy, sprawling bar and restaurant in the heart of the CBD is a popular spot for after-work drinks, particularly in spring and summer when you can sit out on the porch, down oysters and sip your bubbly as you watch commuters rush by. There’s a special on every day: bottomless bubbly and oysters on weekends, and cheap Espresso Martinis and double happy hours on weekdays.
From the team behind Salt Meats Cheese comes this greenery-laden rooftop bar in Circular Quay with glimpses of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. There’s a lovely drinks list, mostly made up of European-style cocktails (plus a dedicated spritz menu for Spring). Go for happy hour and catch the sunset. If you’re peckish, order the antipasto and Italian-inspired snacks. After something more substantial? Order pasta and woodfired pizza from the Salt Meats Cheese restaurant downstairs and it’ll be delivered to you on the rooftop.
One of Sydney’s biggest and best bookshops, Books Kinokuniya is a lovely spot to stop by for a browse near Town Hall station. According to the store the shelves here hold over 300,000 volumes, with titles in English, French, Japanese and German. It’s famous for its extensive manga selection and in-store author events – keep an eye on the calendar.