Sydney is a city known for its cafe culture; from pouring incredible flat whites to avocado and feta on sourdough, the cafes here will forever change your standards on brunch. Since there are endless cafes scattered throughout the city, you may be slightly overwhelmed with choice. Below is a list of my favourite cafes in Sydney after eating my way through the city for two weeks.
Bondi is arguably Australia’s most popular, well-known beach, so paying a visit to this long stretch of golden sand and crystal blue water is a given when in Sydney. While spending the day basking in the sun on Bondi would be a day well spent, putting your walking shoes on and doing the Bondi coastal walk to Coogee should not be missed. This scenic walk takes you along the coast, past six beautiful beaches, and a number of other Instagram-worthy viewpoints. I did the Bondi coastal walk twice while in Sydney and would have done it again if I’d had the time.
If you’ve ever done a bit of wandering through the alleyways around LKF, you’ve likely walked past Westwood Carvery along Wo On Lane. This is one of those restaurants you probably wouldn’t take much notice of, as it’s quite small and doesn’t really stand out among the other restaurants and bars lining the street. That being said, I ended up going to Westwood Carvery for dinner the other night and was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed the food, vibe, and service.
Beef and Liberty has recently opened up in California Tower in LKF, boasting an incredibly large dining area with ample seating outside on the terrace, and a beautiful open kitchen and bar. While most people are familiar with Beef and Liberty’s burgers, this is their first location to serve a weekend brunch (that doesn’t just consist of burgers and fries). There is something for everyone on the Beef and Liberty brunch menu; from granola and yogurt to a mac ‘n cheese sandwich, the vibe is great, and nothing is over HK$80, which is unheard of in Hong Kong. Basically, this is one kick-ass brunch.
The Spit to Manly hike is a well-known route to any Sydney local and is the perfect day outing if you’re looking for something similar to the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk, but less touristy and crowded. The walk is a relatively easy 10 km and should take about 3 hours, depending on whether you stop at some of the beaches. As you go on your hike, you’ll walk past over six beautiful beaches, some of which are quite secluded, that you can go for a quick dip to cool off before continuing the hike. This was one of the highlights of my time in Sydney and I would highly recommend it if you have the time.
The Blue Mountains of Sydney is a world heritage area and natural park, consequently making it a very popular tourist destination. Located about 1.5 hours from central Sydney, it’s relatively easy to get to and, once there, you can spend the night in one of the many Blue Mountains hotels, go hiking, explore caves, ride a cable car, see The Three Sisters, and much more. Though I didn’t exactly find the Blue Mountains to be overly impressive (perhaps because, as a Canadian, I’ve grown up surrounded by vast greenery), it was a nice day trip to get out of the city center and explore the outlying areas of Sydney.
Elgin Street in Hong Kong’s SoHo is well-known for an incredibly high turnover rate for restaurants thanks to excessive rent hikes, so it’s somewhat surprising to see new concepts willingly open up. One such restaurant that has disregarded Elgin Street’s curse is 12000 FRANCS. Unlike other restaurants serving modern European cuisine, 12000 FRANCS brings diners refreshing ingredient-driven dishes that uses both traditional and modern preservation methods. Even the name, 12000 FRANCS, comes from the intriguing story of Napoleon Bonaparte who, in 1795, offered this amount in cash to anyone who was able to develop a food preservation method for his armies. Just that alone should have you wanting to pay this restaurant a visit.
Brunch and Thai food lovers, rejoice! Mak Mak has recently launched a brunch comprised of all their favourite a la carte items in a buffet-style format that won’t disappoint. Mak Mak brunch offers 20+ dishes in single-serving sizes that you can order and re-order as many times as your stomach can handle. There’s also a free-flow drink option of mocktails, Thai cocktails, or Veuve Champagne to really get you in the boozy brunch spirit. Basically, be sure to wear your stretchy pants and don’t plan anything, save for a nap, afterwards.
Having been to Maison Eight in TST for dinner when it first opened, I was excited to hear they recently launched a brunch menu (since I’m all about that eggs benny goodness). Maison Eight isn’t exactly in a convenient location (but that could just be me being stuck in my HK Island bubble), but the views from the dining area as well as the outdoor terrace make the trek worth your time. As for the food, Maison Eight brunch offers diners the option of one, two, or three-courses and attempts to please all with a good mix of typical brunch dishes, as well as a handful of fine dining dishes taken from their a la carte menu.
Casual, fuss-free Southern Californian food is what newly opened Commissary is all about. The concept is a mash-up between Yenn Wong (JIA Group) and Morgan McGlone (Belles Hot Chicken in Sydney and Melbourne), so expectations for this newcomer were high. The atmosphere is surprisingly easy-going and the food is a mix of light and hearty colorful dishes, offering diners a handful of items that you won’t see on many (if any) other restaurant menus in Hong Kong.