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Bar Quattro: Buonissimo Italiano on Hyde Park
This is one of my favourite spots in the city to have lunch, morning tea or afternoon tea. It has a great location at the back of St James Station looking out onto Hyde Park & up towards the Archibald Fountain. You can also watch all the Chess players (check my Sydndy local customs tips for more info re these).
Now, location & ambience are only part of the total equation of course so let me tell you about the food & coffee. They are both good quality & no more than average price for decent quality food & coffee in Sydney
Favorite Dish: If I have lunch here I usually have the Atlantic Salmon with an accompanying green salad. It's not only a very tasty dish, but another opportunity to get my fill of those healthy omega 3 oils.
Of course to finish my meal I have my usual Mocha on Soy Milk & it is always a good quality cup of coffee here at Bar Quattro
Obelisk Cafe: Overlooking the Historic Little Verdant Triangle
This, my seventh restaurant tip matches up with my eighth must see activity where this very good little cafe does indeed overlook the verdant, historic little triangle which is Macquarie Place, named after the man that I believe was the then Colony of New South Wales' most visionary Governor. He was responsible for many of the historic buildings that we can still see today in Sydney.
The ambience here is very much linked to the lovely green, relaxing coolness not so much the history itself. If you want to escape not only the hustle & bustle, but also the higher (tourist oriented) prices of Circular Quay & its eating places then take a less than 5 minute walk & eat with the workers from nearby office blocks & businesses. Learn a little of our history & save yourselves a bit of money while enjoying the best coffee I've found in the city of Sydney. Almost as good as the coffee at Cozzi Cafe in Coogee.
Favorite Dish: Now I can't tell you my favourite dish from here as I only used it as a break from walking, a bit of a brief pit stop, so to speak, to refuel & recharge before continuing on my little journey of exploration.
Of course the vital ingredient in that is good coffee & here I found the best coffee yet in my exploration of the cafes & restaurants of Sydney. The "CALIMA" Colombian coffee served here is lovely. My usual mocha on soy milk was excellent. I also enjoyed a blueberry friand & a large (their standart serving) apple juice. These 3 items came to $10 (Australian).
Their breakfast special of Bacon, 2 eggs on a Vienna roll with juice & either tea or coffee was $9.90 compared to Portobello's $20 Aussie special (which was virtually the same foood & drinks). Mind you I think I would have preferred their "Yummy Pancake with mixed berries, maple syrup & juice & tea or coffee", for a mere $8.90.
Lunch options ranged in price from Salads from $10 to $12& their most expensive lunch item was a Club Sandwich with Turkey & I'm not sure what else as I can't read my scribble from the other morning!!!!
It is table service so grab a comfy spot (all have nice relaxing outlooks) & wait for one of the lovely waitresses to take your order.
All in all a very good value option in a lovely historic spot with excellent coffee!
Beanbah Espresso: Undiscovered Gem in Macquarie St (near Hyde Park)
Dare I say yet again, "funny how things happen"? But I have to because I set out to have lunch at Beuno Vista Cafe on Level 14 of the Law Courts building with fabulous views & good value food, but it was way too busy when I got there & didn't have time.....,
So I ended up right next door at street level at this little gem of a place that I've walked past before, but never gone in.
Wasn't too busy so knew my limited time would fit in nicely so in I went to be greeted by either the manager of owner with real personality & character. Not only him (who may have been of Italian, Greek or Lebanese descent), but also the wait stuff had the gr8 Aussie attitude to relaxed openness & friendliness. Often this attitude can result in service also being a little laid back, but not here. It was spot on!
Things I like about this place:-
The food, so read on below.
The service with a smile & a good amount of attentiveness. Let me elaborate on that. They actually asked when I ordered whether I wanted my coffee straight away or later on. Most places I have to specify later on as they automatically bring it out straight way, often with the cold drink you've ordered. Not only that, but I was asked just a few minutes before finishing my meal, if I would like my coffee then received just as I was swallowing the last mouthful ...., excellent timing. Not often you get that at a down to earth eating place such as this
Speaking of coffee, they stock Calima Cafe de Colombia coffee just as Obelisk Cafe in Macquarie Place does & I find it very good indeed.
I will definitely be going back here again & I recommend that you give it a go if you are in this part of town during your stay.
Favorite Dish: You are beginning to understand that I enjoy my tucker & that I am a little bit on the fussy side without being too picky. I enjoy risotto as a dish, but frankly have had a lot of rather ordinary ones. Not the case at Beanbah. I chose the Chicken & Asparague Risotto. It was a beautifully creamy risotto, but not too liquidy & had a reasonable amount of chicken & asparagus. It was an ideal amount for lunch too. Very enjoyable indeed.
I had a cold drink (had been walking extensively though Hyde Park for a couple of hours in the sun) of Splitrock lightly carbonated Pink Grapefruit drink. And of course, as you've read above a very good coffee.
A couple of points to finish off with.
No credit cards so cash only. They are open from earlyish breakfast through to late afternoon. They provide free jugs of water (too many don't)
Cafe Bitter and Twisted: Much Better Than It's Name Sounds lol!
Ambience - on a mild Autumn day with a coolish breeze blowing, Cafe Bitter & Twisted's (have to love that name. lol!) warm ochre coloured walls, with similar coloured (bit more brownish orange) timber flooring & almsot matching tables & chairs, were very welcoming.
Friendly service is always a very good start & today this was no exception. To me this always makes such a difference to my dining experience. This is really a pretty down to earth place. It's open 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Saturday & prides itself on making its own mayonnaise, pesto, tapanade, gaucamole & chicken stock & only uses fresh quality ingredients in all its dishes.
It was quite well patronised by local workers from businesses & offices nearby.
Favorite Dish: It's not bad value either. From $7.90 - $9.30 you can get a range of Sandwiches & Melts.Larger meals such as Burgers & Club Sandwiches come from $7.90 - 12.50. Pasta etc comes from $9.10 to $14.50. Also a range of salads is available from a Caesat at $9.30 to a pan fried squid on a bed of aromatic Asian salad leaves for $14. A choice of 3 different Risottos at $14.50 & $15.50 rounds out the range of choices.
I settled on having Chicken & Asparagus Risotto accompanied by a freshly squeezed Pineapple, Carrot & Ginger juice.
To finish me off completely I had a gluten free chocolate muffin of course accompanied by my usual Mocha coffee on Soy milk. The muffin was really yummy, not too big and/or heavy as they can tend to be & with just a nice amount of moistness. The coffee wasn't too bad either.
Cafes For Breakfast & Lunch only: The Craic Pott Cafe, Potts Point
We arrived in Sydney at 7 am local time on a Friday morning. Much to our delight,clearing customs, passport control and quarantine took almost no time. We found ourselves ready to roll into Sydney by 7:30 am, and we ran into Tan of Tan's Tours.......another smooth transition. Long story short, we were AT the Victoria Court Hotel by 8:30 am. Our room wasn't quite available, but we checked in, and then went exploring the Potts Point area. We'd boarded a plan some17 hours earlier, and had only had minimal sleep. WE NEEDED A BIT OF COFFEE.
I saw a little place called the Craic Pott Cafe. Upon entry, I was informed of its proper pronunciation, "Crack-Pot Cafe". This irreverent little joint was just what we needed on our first hours in Sydney. They had several splended coffees and coffee-based drinks for purchase, along with fresh breads, muffins and such. You could even get a hot "brekkie", Aussie slang for breakfast. I wasn't quite ready for anything heavy, and neither were Bonnie and Sara, we just chose the simple stuff below.
And, the fellow behind the counter asked if we'd like to sit outside to enjoy our coffee. We looked at him a bit askew, as it was slightly chilly in the morning shade of Victoria Street. He said "no worries on the chill, mate. I'll start the heater." He then proceeded to fire up a lovely "over table" propane heater. So, we sat out in the fresh air, warm and toasty, enjoying our coffee.
The Craic Pott was a perfect start to our relationship with Australia. Informal, friendly, and maybe a little puckish. The guys running the place reminded me of that famous line from Crocodile Dundee, where Paul Hogan says "they're just kids having fun".
Favorite Dish: Well, we went for coffee and snacks. Bonnie had her usual black coffee, aka coffee dark in Oz. Being the most informed coffee aficionado in our family, her pronouncement of "very good" speaks for the family. Sara and I, being coffee lightweights, went with a cappuccino, which was also well done. For our snacks, we shared homemade banana-walnut muffins, and a few slices of homemade cinnamon raisin bread....nice and thick, hot from the toaster with butter. Ummmmm.
Cafes For Breakfast & Lunch only: The Coffeeshop at Hyde Park
This one falls into the category of being a "quickie tip". I don't have a lot of information on this little coffeeshop, no official address or phone number. But...
If you're in Sydney visiting Hyde Park, and you're in the mood for a mid-morning or even mid-afternoon cup of Joe, check out the little coffeeshop at the Elizabeth Street/Liverpool Street corner of the park. (Near the ANZAC Memorial)
This little shop really hit the spot one morning for us. We'd just returned from a jaunt down to Chinatown, and really needed some morning fuel to get through to lunch. Our continental brekkie at the Victoria Court had been quite a few hours earlier. : )
Our friend Aussiedoug has mentioned to us that this little shop had good muffins, pastries and (of course) coffee. And as always, Doug was on the mark.
Favorite Dish: Well, it's a coffeeshop, soooooo the proof in the pudding, so to speak, will be their coffee.
Darned good brew, folks. Hearty, flavorful and rich. As always, my wife had black (coffee, dark) and my daughter and I did cappuccino. We also had some freshly baked muffins for a "snackie".
Good stuff. If you need a refueling stop, I'd suggest giving this little stand a try. AND....there's public restrooms right next to them, which is always a welcome sight when you're out on city walkabout.
Buena Vista Cafe bar: Breakfast with a view
Very Yummy breakfast .... at affordable prices. what makes this place special is the fantastic harbour views.
Good cheap lunches too...
Open Monday-Friday 7am-5pm
Favorite Dish: Poached eggs or eggs benedict or if its lunchtime pastas, fish or gourmet lamb pie!
STATE GOURMET FOODS: QUICK HEARTY BREKKY & FRIENDLY SERVICE
This cafe was inside Martin Place train station and my friend and I, both volunteers at the World Youth Day just finished attending the special audience with Pope Benedict at the Domain and we were both hungry. We didn't have breakfast so we thought of scouting where to get brekky - hot food fast! We passed by this little cafe/take away shop and didn't think of going there . However, after looking at the other selections in the area, we went back there as the ladies manning the shop were very friendly and helpful. We said we wanted something hot and also easy to eat. One suggest the croissants and we saw cooked eggs, fried mushrooms, tomatoes, etc. SO we ordered egg and bacon on croissants and we were happy with the food!
Favorite Dish: The bacon and egg croissant was delicious because the croissant itself was freshly baked and really tasty, not to mention very filling. Coffee (decaf) was nice too and really hot, unlike ijn spme cafes where I get disappointed because the water seems to be not so hot when served!
Cafes For Breakfast & Lunch only: BIG Breakfast
Would highly recommend Playfair Cafe (Shop 21,The Rocks Centre (Playfair Street),THE ROCKS
NSW 2000, Australia, P: (02) 9251 3317. Went there every morning during our week long stay in Sydney. They do the best egg, bacon and cheese rolls and they are enormous just the thing to set off your busy day touring the city, also try the breakfast wraps (yummy). The cafe is also great if you are planning to visit the Rocks Markets at the weekend as its just a short walk from there and its also right next to the Tourist Information Centre.
Favorite Dish: Egg, bacon, cheese rolls
Sonoma: Sydney's best bread
I visited a couple of the Sonoma cafes along my travels. The first was in Bondi, but I also ate breakfast at the Glebe cafe before checking out the markets. Both were bustling with locals grabbing sit down meals, but much of the line up of people also seemed to be picking up the loaves, coffees and pastries to go.
The service was great and possibly one of the best coffees I had.
Favorite Dish: I really enjoyed the Breakfast Tartine - so delicious and incredibly filling. Almost like a breakfast pizza. After seeing what the locals did, I had to pick up a loaf of the bread and managed to finish that off in a couple of days with just two of us. These guys seriously know good bread!
Pancake Kingdom: For Those Who Appreciate The Finest in Life!
We like our customers to experience the finest in healthy, home-made style meals.
Here at Pancake Kingdom, you can indulge in a varieth of dishes that are not only well priced but full of flavours: Strawberry Chocolate, Bolognaise Twist, Vegetarian, Polar Bear, Mexican and Much, Much More!
Favorite Dish: Polar Bear (with ice-cream), Chicken and Cheese and so on..(no comments- have to try!)
Sunrise Bakery (???): Best Salad Sandwich at a cheap price
A small Bakery in Bondi which does a very tasty salad sandwich at a cheap price.
Favorite Dish: The salad sandwich, simple food which tastes wonderful.
And only $2.50- $3.50
The bakery foods look delicious, but I haven't tried them yet.
MALTESE CAFE: Great tucker at a cheap price
It's a small cafe that sells small pastry type pies(very yummy) called pastizes for 0.80 cents each.
Chicken & Mushroom
Cheese(white, feta i think)
Does good coffee as well.
Favorite Dish: It's a good idea to get there around lunch time coz
they sit the pie trays out once they're cooked so they can get cool.
Best to buy one of each that are sitting out to cool, check which are actually hot, they buy some more of the hot one's.
The cold pastizes, you can take home to reheat
Or buy them by the frozen dozen($8) & take the home to cook, yum!
~4 - 4:30 PM on a Saturday iz a great to to drop in for a bite.
A bit of a crowd so there's plenty of just cooked hot pastizes ready to be enjoyed.
Read the daily newspapers there or eat with friends.
Il Espresso: Great Coffee
Very close to our hotel last week was a small cafe that makes a mean coffee and toasted panini.
Favorite Dish: Bacon and egg toasted panini with mayo.
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