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Aug 7, 2007 01:54 AM

one night in sydney for solo san francisco foodie

hey everyone,

I'm going to be in Sydney on a Sunday night by myself. I'm traveling by myself. Any recommendations? Somewhere that would be good for a solo person?

thanks in advance!

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  1. I went to Rockpool by the Rocks in Sydney (near Sydney Harbour Bridge) a few years ago and it was great. Not sure what it is like now, but then it was one of the best restaurants in Sydney, fantastic food, predominant seafood as you would expect.

    1. If you are only in town for one night I would strongly recommend Quay. Amazing food and amazing views. Plus, the restaurant is located neither several other very nice places to grab a drink before or after dinner.

      9 Replies
      1. re: moss8418

        it would be helpful to know where you are staying, what kind of food you are interested in, etc. i gather from your post that you want to go somewhere that you will be comfortable on your own? and whilst quay is great, it is "fine dining" with a set menu and that is something i wouldn't want to do on my own.

        a little more comfortable and enjoyable on your own might be longrain - communal tables or even eat in the cocktail lounge.

        if you could provide some more detail that would help in steering you in the right direction

        1. re: kmh

          Yes, sorry for the vague request. I have ended up going to Australia on a very last minute vacation (2 days planning!). I had a full day in Sydney to wander around, I am headed to Cannes for a few days to go diving, and then I'm headed to Alice springs for a few days to camp in the outback. After that, I have one last night in Sydney. Since I'll be running around and diving and camping, I thought for my final night it would be nice to stay somewhere decent and have a nice meal. I have no idea where I'm staying, but I was going to try find myself a nice ($150 range?) boutique hotel somewhere.

          I agree that I'd like to stay away from fine dining. Communal tables could work, or somewhere I could eat a bar would be great (in SF, at some of the good/hip restaurants you can eat at the bar).

          I'm really open minded in terms of kind of food. Even eating a sushi bar could work, but I don't know if sushi is significantly better or different than in SF.

          So, now you can see why I was vague? I honestly have no idea :)


          1. re: ak45

            that makes it much easier... although it's still a minefield. being a sunday night you might be in luck with a good hotel deal, and not sure if you mean USD150 or AUD150, but Sydney is an expensive city when it comes to accommodation.
            check out for specials on sydney hotels.

   is a lovely little boutique hotel in darlinghurst - the rooms are small however funky fit out and good use of space (still go for the largest room you can afford). a short stroll from here you will be spoiled for choice with some of sydney's trendiest, and finest. this area is fashionable in some blocks and then you have about a block of Kings Cross - sydney's red light district (pretty tame unless you go looking for trouble) in the area: Hugo's bar and pizza, fratelli paradiso, jimmy liks, and any number of the cafes and bars. apperitif is restaurant come wine bar with a french take on small plates as well as main meals; if you want to nibble the night away with nice wines this could be the place for you.

            haven't stayed there but apparently vibe hotels are quite good and the one in the city is near the aforementioned longrain (communal tables AND bar food) and also spice i am (arguably the best thai food in town). a couple of blocks away in surry hills is the the bentley bar serving up great food, and as it's name suggests, has both restaurant and bar

            external X recently gave toko (crown street surry hills) a great review on this site

            the establishment has accommodation (and some specials can be found on wotif) several bars, est. (considered one of the best restaurants) and e-sushi as well as bar food, several bars etc. although it can be a bit OTT

            Blue (ex W hotel is on Woolloomoolloo wharf - home to russell crowe) and along there are a host of restaurants from casual pizza to upmarket indian. if people watching is your thing then that could work for you. across the road is the Tilbury Hotel - of course bar food and restaurant there.

            if you're going to stay in town, then a nice idea would be to plant yourself on the forecourt of opera bar (under a gas heater if it's cold) and watch the sun set behind the harbour bridge with a few cold ones and some food (can't vouch for the food, better than average but won't knock your socks off).

            anything else?

            1. re: kmh

              Kirkton is a great idea, but it is a grungy area- but a real mix of people - but it will be perfect for my resturant selection - Jimmy Liks - you can eat at the bar and the modern asian food is fantastic - it's in Kings Cross, a short walk away.

              1. re: katea

                turns out the restaurant within kirketon has re-opened as Kells Kitchen.
                yet to see a review, but they aim to be one of sydney's best breakfast places...

                the area is grungy in parts for sure, but I don't think it's a show stopper as a short stroll gets you into either potts point or in the other direction, paddington.

                we recommend o/seas friends to stay in this area as its vibrant and doesn't have the clinical feel nor the price tag of the cbd 5*. the feedback we get is great as they feel like they are experiencing sydney rather than just touristing the opera house

                1. re: kmh

                  hi kmh and katea! thanks so much for the tips! I'll definitely look into staying at Kirkton. In my previous quick run through the city, Darlinghurst and Kings Cross didn't seem that grungy (but it was during the day). That being said, I'm not scared by grungy, and I don't think I really want to stay in CBD. thanks for the advice!

                  1. re: ak45

                    it really isn't that bad. like i said there is a block or two of prostitution and heroin but really, you have to go looking for trouble.
                    put it this way, i wouldn't recommend a friend of ours to stay somewhere that isn't safe. We ourselves have stayed in the area between house moves...
                    we often find that grunge and cutting edge are often close together

                    1. re: kmh

                      It's not bad at all, I used to live there, you just never know quite who is going to be on your doorstep when you go out!

                      1. re: katea

                        variety is the spice of life!!! ;)

      2. I think one of your problems could be that many top restaurants are closed on Sunday nights - for example I am pretty certain Rockpool and Quay (already recommended) are closed.

        The Kirkton is OK to stay, but the the restaurants around this area seem to have dropped off a bit. I think Sailor Thai canteen in the Rocks is open Sunday and has a communal table, Longrain (another Thai) used to have communal tables and I think is open Sundays. There is a new place in the Rocks called "Pony" which does mod oz food and it has a long communal table - I ate there for Sunday lunch last month and it was good, with very friendly staff.

        5 Replies
        1. re: PhilD

          Interesting comments...actually, now that I think about it, trying out some mod oz food while I'm in Australia is a great idea. Is Pony the best for a solo person? Is there anywhere in Darlinghurst area?

          I admit, I like the idea of staying in Darlinghurst/Kings Cross more than CBD. Another boutique hotel I had considered that seems near the Rocks, is Pensione, which is about $40 cheaper than Kirketon....but the Kirketon does sound better.

          1. re: ak45

            pensione is also run by eight hotels (same as kirketon)
            kirketon is in darlinghurst - trendy & grungy whilst pensione is in china town (grungy but not hip grungy) and probably a mile or so from the rocks (other side of the cbd)

            from darlinghurst you could skip up to crown street in surry hills and go to bird cow fish (good mod oz with a bistro feel - no bar area). if you are of the (how do i say this?) rainbow persuasion the white horse on crown could be a good sunday night option - this is a bar/pub that tends to draw in a beautiful crowd come sunday afternoon. back toward the cross you have hugos (bar pizza), apperitif, bayswater brasserie, onde (recently got a good mention by hungry jack on this board), yellow bistro, etc. and then there is also the consideration of ducking up to oxford street for sunday night at the paddington inn.

            also have a look at

            1. re: kmh

              Kmh - good recomendations, but some are closed Sunday. Bird Cow Fish is the expresso bar only on Sunday, Hugo's is closed, Yellow is not open for dinner, however the Bayswater Brasserie and Onde are open.

              1. re: PhilD

                aha, only breakfast and lunch at BCF on sunday - i knew i had been on a sunday, just not for dinner.
                you got me on yellow! however hugo's "bar pizza" is open "from 3pm Sundays" as is Hugos lounge.

                here is an excellent article on the subject

                1. re: kmh

                  I booked a night at the Kirketon! And, now I just need to get a chance and look at the list of recs everyone has recommended for dinner! thanks!

                  Yes, it really is too bad that one my night to splurge is a Sunday night :(

        2. How About the Bondi Icebergs Pub area below the Restuarant?

          I'm not completely sure about the food on that level - but the views great, & places to wander around after