life down under

Stories, travel tips, favorite places & spaces from a six month stint in Sydney 

Top Tips for Finding Great Food and Restaurants in Sydney


One of my favorite things about traveling to a new place is discovering great places to eat and drink.  During these last 5 months while living in Sydney, I’ve had the pleasure of exploring the food scene and indulging in all it has to offer. From brunch spots with incredible haloumi, poached eggs, & avocado dishes; fancy coffee shops that put Dunkin Donuts & Starbucks to shame, and cocktail bars that I am definitely going to miss back in Boston - the food scene is not just good, it's unbelievably good.

While there is never a lack of new spots to try, what is challenging is actually finding the best spots because there are restaurants, cafes, and bars everywhere!  Whether you're a local or are planning on visiting any part of Sydney- here are a few of the top ways I’ve been able to discover legendary eats!

Foursquarefoursquare

You may be familiar with Foursquare and know it solely as a place to check-in, but with the separation of their check-in feature (now called Swarm) the Foursquare app is a thing of beauty as it's designed solely for discovery and using your “tastes” to curate a list of options nearby depending on what you are in the mood for.  One of my favorite features of Foursquare is being able to select a specific location boundaries on a map and search within that area.  This helps you avoid being presented options that are a long walk away when your group is starting to get a little hangry. 

 

UrbanList

UrbanList is one of the best recommendation websites I’ve discovered down in Australia.  While it’s not perfect due to some broken links and a directory structure with too many layers (imo…), the food and drink recommendations never fail. They also have great copywriting and drool-worthy photos, reading through their articles is always a joy.

Check out one of my favorite curated lists:
50 Meals You Should Have Eaten If You Live in Sydney

 

Food blogs

One thing that’s evident about SydneySiders is they love their food. Food is fresh, delicious, and the variety of cuisines you can find here is spectacular. What is cool to see is Sydney’s passion for food means that many folks have taken their passion to the next level by documenting everything via blogs. Some of my favorites are I’m Still Hungry, who my friend Kait introduced to me (on behalf of us both, thank you for your Ramen post!), Chocolate Suze, and 2 Hungry Guys. Even with all of the technology that exists out there today, it's nice to get recommendations from locals and your friends that you trust.  Using the recommendations from popular food blogs is a great way to give your recommendations more of a human feel when you are travelling in a new city in which you don't know many people. 

Instagram

Finally, my favorite and final tip for how to find great food in Sydney - using Instagram. Many of the food bloggers have instagram accounts that feature their latest culinary adventure.  Start following a few of these people and begin to use the discover feature; instagram will then begin to show you similar photos - i.e. you’ll hit the jackpot in terms of foodie users and restaurant accounts. These days maintaining a blog is tough when you have a busy life, so many people (myself included) use their instagram account as sort of a mini-blog of their lives and interests. One other thing I’ve noticed is that while overall restaurant websites here in Australia are not the best, their instagram accounts are on point. 

 

Here’s how I use instagram to perform restaurant research:

-Find restaurant name via photo, location tag, or other instagram users posts.
-Type that name into Google to look for menu (cross your fingers it’s not an old menu from 2012!)
-Search the geotag on instagram to look through both Top and All photos to get a good idea about what the dishes look like and what’s popular
-Decide if it’s worth the trip!

There you have it, my top tips for leveraging technology to find great food in Sydney. Whether you’re a local or just planning a quick trip to Sydney, I hope you’ve found at least a few helpful tips and suggestions how to find some good eats!