Got the midday meal blues?
Lunch is by far the worst meal of the day. A bold claim to some. But for us it’s often a sad salad between meetings, a soggy sambo or something rushed and boring. It can be, well, a bit drab. So in a bid to change our minds on the contentious issue of the midday meal, we decided to hunt down the best places for lunch in Sydney. The result? Well, let’s just say we’re now lunch converts here at Quisine!
One of the most picturesque cities in the world, Sydney is well-versed in the art of the long lunch. It’s all about indulging in fresh, creative dishes with your best mates and a spectacular view of Bondi, Sydney Harbour or any of the spectacular beaches, reserves and cliffs. And midday wine, obviously.
The best places for lunch in Sydney are extensive to say the least. We actually had quite a tricky time narrowing this list down to just six restaurants. But here we are. The selection is varied but each place has an excellent vibe, food and drink offering and location. Recipe for lunchtime success? We think so!
So, forget about brunch and dinner and discover the best places for lunch in Sydney!
Our top picks
Shuk just gets us. Offering Instagrammable food, delicious drinks and a relaxed vibe, each Shuk venue makes for the perfect long lunch any day of the week. Specialising in Israeli and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, the dishes are fresh, flavourful and creative. With branches in Bondi, Elizabeth Bay and Chatswood, you can get your Shuk fix anywhere, anytime (within opening hours). For lunch, you can choose from the all-day and lunch sections of the menu which feature dishes like green shakshuka, beef kofta with salatim and pan-roasted barramundi. Cocktails and wine are also most definitely available.
What: Pan-roasted barramundi with miso eggplant, kale, tahini & chives.
Bondi: 2 Mitchell Street, North Bondi, Sydney 2026
Chatswood: Shop R03, 260 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood, Sydney 2067
Elizabeth Bay: 61-69 Roslyn Gardens, Elizabeth Bay, Sydney 2011
When: Individual opening hours here
Machiavelli Ristorante Italiano
No list about the best places for lunch in Sydney would be complete without the legendary Machiavelli Ristorante Italiano. Specialising in traditional Italian cuisine since 1988, this spot is all about quality food and wine. With a focus on Neapolitan cuisine specifically, you’ll find a delightful array of dishes that are perfect for trying over lunch. It’s also located in the heart of the Sydney CBD on Clarence Street which is ideal for extended work lunches or a break mid-shop.
What: Linguine vongole with white wine & cherry tomato sauce topped with fresh parsley.
Where: 123 Clarence Street, Sydney CBD 2000
Lunch: Mon – Fri: 12 – 3pm
Dinner: Mon – Sat: 6 – 9:15pm
Salt Meats Cheese – Circular Quay
With a prime position in Circular Quay, this branch of Salts Meats Cheese combines a stellar view of the Sydney Harbour and delicious food. Contemporary Italian cuisine is the name of the game at this Sydneyside favourite, and most of it is designed to be shared. So when thinking of lunch plans, we recommend heading here with friends who love to share. Besides, this way you get to try a bit of everything. Also, definitely check out their banger lunch deal which gets you pizza, pasta or a main with wine, beer or a softy for only 25 big ones. Bloody great stuff, friends.
What: Lamb pappardelle cooked with slow-cooked ragù, Sangiovese & pecorino Toscano.
Where: L201 Alfred St, Sydney CBD 2000
Lunch: Mon – Sun: Midday – 3pm
Dinner: Mon – Fri: 5:30pm til late; Sat – Sun: 5pm til late
Situated on the historic Jones Wharf in Pyrmont, Cafe Morso is a fab idea for a long lunch. With sweeping views across the harbour to East Balmain and North Sydney, you’ll love dining at this industrial-chic venue. What could be better than dining al fresco and enjoying the fresh sea breeze as you feast on locally-sourced produce and perhaps indulge in a cocktail or two? For us, this is what lunch in Sydney is all about. They also offer a selection of cold-pressed juices, smoothies and other delicious bits and pieces, meaning it’ll suit all your friends down to a tee.
What: Beechwood-smoked barramundi with cocktail potatoes, confit tomatoes, kale & quinoa salad with lemon and parsley dressing.
Where: 108/26-32 Pirrama Rd, Jones Bay Wharf, Pyrmont, Sydney 2009
When: Mon – Fri: 7 – 3.30pm; Sat: 9 – 2:30pm; Sun: 8 – 3:30pm
Also open in the evening for private events and functions.
Shirt Bar Barangaroo
It’s all about local, ethical, organic and sustainable produce at Shirt Bar Barangaroo. And we are here for it. Designed with a ‘feel good’ philosophy that’s about making you and the team feel guilt-free when it comes to dining, the menu curated by David Koorey will delight your senses in every way. The same goes for the drinks, too. For lunch you can expect dishes to share, salads, pasta, charcuterie platters and mains such as schnitzel, brisket and fish. Delicious, stylish and conscious, Shirt Bar Barangaroo is without a doubt one of the best places for lunch in Sydney.
What: Brisket hoagie of pulled beef and mortadella with provolone & chilli pepper aioli & fries.
Where: Shop 7a/100 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo South, Sydney 2000
When: Mon: 7:30 – 8pm; Tues: 7:30 – 9pm; Wed – Thurs: 7:30 – 10pm; Fri: 7:30 til midnight
Chiosco by Ormeggio
Last but certainly not least, we have Chiosco by Ormeggio. An Italian trattoria by the sea, this stunning spot is located directly next to its sister-restaurant Ormeggio at The Spit. Surrounded by views of Middle Harbour, you can relax on the deck, indulge in delicious food and catch up with your friends or family. Expect to find antipasto, pasta, classic Italian mains and a sharing feast option that’s a great choice for groups. This is the perfect choice when you want something casual but with fine dining food. Does it get any better? We think not!
What: Grilled king prawns with burnt orange and pistachio.
Where: The Jetty, D’albora Marinas, Spit Road, Mosman, Sydney 2088
Lunch: Mon – Sun: 8 – 4:30pm
Dinner: 5:30 – 10:30pm