Away from the bridge and opera house, this fast-paced Aussie city boasts endless things to see, do, eat and drink. Our insider’s guide from a wine-loving local will ensure you hit the best spots...
Top Sydney wine bars and restaurants
Wander through the fish markets in Pyrmont and visit the Vic’s Meat smoker and wagyu bar.
Open from 10am until sold out, you can eat all types of meats, slow-cooked pork and ribs to your heart’s content.
Visit the store next door for cuts to take home and special homemade marinades and salt rubs. www.vicsmeatmarket.com.au/our-smoker
With an epic wine list paired with French bistro-inspired food, Hubert’s has firmly established itself as the sexiest restaurant in Sydney.
Get in early to snag a table (they don’t take reservations) or if you’re more of a night owl come in for a midnight feast as they’re open til 1am. www.restauranthubert.com
With 75 wines on the list, 50 of them by the glass, this Australianonly wine list is the must-go place to find out what’s at the forefront of winemaking in Australia.
Found something you love and want to take it home?
Everything on the wine list is available through the online wine store and can be delivered right to your door. www.nomadwine.com.au
The newly renovated Dolphin Hotel has made way for a great restaurant and adorable wine bar.
Sommelier James Hird (one of the founders of the Rootstock Wine Festival) has curated an amazing wine list of naturally inspired wines to pair with exciting dishes like bonito fish and foie gras crackers.
Sit down, settle in and enjoy. www.dolphinhotel.com.au
Championing native and sustainable Australian produce, Kylie Kwong’s restaurant is a Sydney institution.
House wines, beers, ciders and spirits are made in conjunction with some of Australia’s iconic and avant-garde winemakers, brewers and distillers, to be paired with the mouthwatering modern Asian fare.
You may need to go twice just to fit everything in. www.billykwong.com.au
Everyone needs a local haunt, and Ester in Chippendale is mine – the kind of place where they treat every guest like family.
Its set menu is one of the best value in town, with really innovative and consistently tasty food.
Ask for an Aperol Sour and tell them Sam sent you. www.ester-restaurant.com.au
Owned by Stu Knox (Australian Sommelier of the Year 2012), this wine bar is the place to visit – for locals and industry folk alike – to try the most exciting wines from around the globe.
Sit up at the bar and let Stu choose you a flight of wines paired with cheese and the awesome Fix beef tartare. www.fixwine.com.au
This farmers market is the best in Sydney – organic produce, spices, cakes, honey and the softest lambskin blankets (buy one and they’ll throw in a free lamb roll).
Walk to the end of the stalls and join the locals sitting in the park having a cheeky wine and nibbling on all the delicious wares. www.organicfoodmarkets.com.au/markets.php
Not only does the restaurant have an incredible view over Bondi Beach, it’s also one of the few remaining places you can still BYO wine in Sydney.
Come for Sunday lunch, bring a bottle of something tasty and rub shoulders with sommeliers on their day off, drinking favourites from their personal cellars. www.seanspanaroma.com
Rockpool Bar and Grill restaurant is geared more towards fine dining, but The Bar is a great place to grab a snack and wash it down with an incredible list of wines.
My must-do combo: wagyu cheeseburger and a grower Champagne. www.rockpool.com/rockpoolbarandgrillsydney
Sydney-based Samantha Payne is wine program director for Nomad in Surry Hills, a wine writer and consultant who posts via @sl_payne
This first appeared in Decanter magazine. Subscribe to the latest issue here
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