The best Sydney CBD lunch
Looking for best Sydney CBD lunch deals? We don’t blame you. With an offer so rich, finding the optimum choice might seem tricky, not to mention that Sydney is famous for its display of international cuisines spanning all continents. How do you get to decide, then? Our recommendation is: start with a glass of some exotic wine, a unique cocktail or a pint of craft beer!
Best lunch Sydney CBD
Of course, there’s a shortcut to all that pondering. We can help you find the best lunch Sydney CBD, provided that you are a gourmet like us. The best thing about Sydney is that it is home to so many international cuisines that people with even the most specific of tastes will find it difficult to pinpoint only one venue. And that’s exactly how we want it to be — everyone should get to choose away!
Starting with a classic choice here, Hotel Harbour Rocks (34 Harrington St.) is home to one of tourists’ favourite fine dining venues, namely Scarlett Restaurant. Scarlett’s is a good choice for both local and international dishes, is affordable, relaxed and located on the site of Sydney’s first hospital. We especially like their cheese selection, but main courses are no less impressive.
Enjoy a mixture of domestic and exotic ingredients, with fresh produce sampled from the best local farmers. From entrée to desserts, Scarlett Restaurant will not let you down.
Sydney Tower Buffet Rotating Restaurant
Sydney Tower Buffet Rotating Restaurant (Sydney Tower, Pitt St.), is a landmark in its own right. Mostly it serves local cuisine, with several notable exceptions. Offered is a number of courses (over 50, to be more precise), from fresh seafood and braised fish, to braised pork belly, to roast kangaroo and crocodile!
The restaurant is so much more than just a dining venue. Due to its splendid location, it creates many an opportunity for taking photos. Or, one can simply sit back, relax and take in the 360-degree views of the city, while enjoying a once-in-a-lifetime fine dining experience.
By “once in a lifetime,” we imply a grand menu hardly found anywhere else: a variety of dips, cheeses and condiments, a large selection of salads, Korean vegetable dumplings, steamed bok choy with soy and sesame oil, soy & honey chicken wings, salt & chili squid, emu, bush tomato, lemon thyme, beef ragù with orecchiette pasta and grated parmesan.
There’s also camel with dried fruit and bush herbs, crocodile with baby spinach, and 16-spiced kangaroo rump with pearl couscous, mixed dried fruit, fried onion, and mizkan vinaigrette, among other courses.
As promised, Sydney Tower Buffet does include some exceptions.
Sydney Harbour Sky Deck Gold Penfolds Dinner Cruise
Sydney Harbour Sky Deck Gold Penfolds Dinner Cruise is a unique opportunity to dine on the waters of the Sydney Harbour (aboard the flagship MV Sydney 2000). The cruise includes six deluxe courses (vegetarian options are not available) on top of Penfolds gold selection of bin and vintage wines.
A full open bar with vintage Australian wines, among other choices, goes without saying. For the ultimate hedonism, there is live music, courtesy of the lounge singer and pianist.
Timeline: the evening starts with a welcome reception and priority boarding. As the vessel sets sail, you will get to enjoy a selection of appetizers. Just when the time is right, you will head to the Sky Deck for the exclusive dinner and unlimited wine, beer, house spirits and soft drinks.
Enjoy sightseeing with fine dining as Sydney’s most famous attractions pass by (or the other way around) — Sydney Opera House, Fort Denison, Sydney Harbour Bridge and many more.
Sample menu: a selection of canapés, Queensland Snapper with seafood broth, smoked ocean trout with Avruga black caviar, Osso Bucco Rabu with orecchiette, seared aged Angus Beef Fillet with rich veal jus, White Tiramisu with coffee biscotto. Matching wines are included.
Sydney Opera House and Sydney Symphony Orchestra Dinner Package
The Sydney Opera House and Sydney Symphony Orchestra Dinner Package is just perfect for those who would like to kill two birds with one stone. The tour begins with a guided one-hour tour of the Sydney Opera House, continues at Aria/Bennelong Restaurant (your choice) and ends with a premium seat for the music of the Sydney Symphony.
Details: The Sydney Opera House tour includes access to parts of the building that are normally off-limits. The 3-course dinner takes place at Aria or Bennelong Restaurant. Music: your program of choice (classical, jazz or Broadway hits) and a Sydney Symphony Orchestra show.
Note: Bennelong serves modern Australian cuisine (everything from roasted Tasmanian octopus to twice-cooked goat curd soufflé). Aria Restaurant serves Australian cuisine (everything from Yellowfin tuna, sea urchin and silken tofu to Kurobuta porchetta, snow pea and dill mustard).
Sydney Showboat Dinner Cruise
Ever since its founding in 1987, Sydney Showboat has been the most popular harbour dinner venue. The Sydney Showboat Dinner Cruise combines a unique dinner experience with Sydney Harbour cruising and a live cabaret show. The Cruise includes a deluxe three-course dinner menu, one-hour live show and unforgettable night views of the Sydney Harbour and city attractions.
Sample menu: smoked salmon rolls/Tandoori chicken tulips, butterfly garlic with herb and chilli prawns (entrée), 1824 New York cut Australian steak, roasted potato, garlic aioli, crispy eschallot, broccolini, cherry tomatoes and jus or oven-roasted chicken breast with creamy mash, slivered asparagus, Japanese beans, sweet corn, roasted pine nut sauce beurre blanc (mains), and Vanilla bean panna cotta, Rich chocolate cake and Heavenly tiramisu.
Sample vegetarian menu: salad of roma tomatoes, asparagus spears and avocado drizzled with balsamic vinegar (entrée), pumpkin and ricotta ravioli, asparagus slithers, corn, edamame with fresh pesto (main) and Heavenly tiramisu/fruit platter.
Captain Cook Club Dinner Cruise - Circular Quay
The Captain Cook Club Dinner Cruise - Circular Quay takes place aboard Sydney 2000 or John Cadman 2. The cruise is not all about food; there’s a good deal of dancing, too! More precisely, included in the package are a three-course deluxe dinner, Sydney Harbour cruising (Sydney Harbour, Opera House & Harbour Bridge), and live band and dancing.
Sample menu: smoked ocean trout, fennel with black caviar and a dill mayonnaise dressing/smoked chicken fillets, with mango salad and honey Dijon mustard/spinach and ricotta ravioli, napolitana saalsa with grana padano cheese/Tre Colori – assorted seasonal greens, baby bocconcini, basil infused heirloom tomatoes with a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (entrée).
There’s also grilled salmon fillet, accompanied by Dutch carrots, asparagus, served with capers and lemon oil/beef tenderloin fillet, sautéed mushrooms, served with seeded mustard jus/pumpkin and spinach stuffed chicken breast with baby broccoli, roasted vegetables and chicken jus/slow cooked lamb shank and mash potatoes with sugo di Pomodoro, a rich tomato vegetable sauce/vegetable gratin with infused tomato and pesto sauce (mains).
For dessert, there’s a Bavarian vanilla slice, strawberries and chocolate sauce/orange and chocolate flourless cake with butterscotch sauce/Manhattan cheesecake set on crushed biscuit topped with the finest mix of cream cheese/smooth chocolate roche with raspberry coulis/slow baked lemon and lime tart, served with a dollop of thickened cream.
Note: Neither of the packages include hotel Sydney pickup and drop-off.
Activities to engage in after having the best lunch Sydney CBD
What happens after having the very best lunch Sydney CBD? Does one head to a party, a pub, back to the hotel or take a walk? A combination of all these? Something else? Undecided? We don’t think there is a universal formula; rather, it all comes down to the taste, weather conditions, company and probably a couple of dozen other factors besides.
Similar to Sydney CBD lunch choices, activities to enjoy pretty much everywhere in the city are countless. That doesn’t mean that some are not more popular than others, but not everyone relies on mass recommendations. We happen to be among those, so we will take the liberty of bringing forth our personal favourite not-to-miss tours.
Blue Mountains Day Trip and River Cruise
Rather than an after-lunch activity, the Blue Mountains Day Trip and River Cruise should be considered a pre-dinner adventure. But it is still one of a kind. This is the tour that will see you discovering Blue Mountains and all UNESCO-listed landmarks (e.g., Leura and Scenic World, Jamison Valley, and Three Sisters).
The tour starts with a morning pickup from your hotel Sydney and a 1.5-hour drive to Leura. In the town, there’s a brief break with complimentary morning tea and boutique exploration. From there, the guide will take you straight to Echo Point, where the region’s best known rock formations (Three Sisters) are located.
Next up is Scenic World, where you will get to enjoy rides on the cable car, railway and skyway. Descending the track on the Scenic Railway will bring you to a rain forest and further to the Scenic Cableway commanding aerial views over as Orphan Rock, Mt Solitary, Three Sisters and Katoomba Falls. Then it’s time for lunch in Wentworth Falls.
A leisurely walk through the area is up after lunch, and after that it’s time to head back to Sydney, But not without stopping at the Featherdale Wildlife Park, where you will “meet” many species close up (2,000 creatures, approximately). After that tranquil experience, it’s time to board a boat on the Parramatta River and cruise back to the Harbour City.
Port Stephens Day Tour: Dolphin Watching, Sandboarding and Australian Wildlife
The Port Stephens Day Tour is one of those experiences that are remembered for life. Australia's North Coast is spectacular; Port Stephens and the Stockton Bight Sand Dunes simply leave everyone breathless. The tour starts with an early hotel pickup; it’s a long adventure from there.
Heading north in a comfortable coach, the group will stop at the Australian Reptile Park. Do not let the name trick you, though. The species you will get to see there include many Australian native animals, not reptiles alone. Wombats, platypus, Tasmanian devils and wallabies are only some among them.
After spending some 45 minutes at the park, it’s back to the coach and off to Nelson Bay (lunch) and further to Port Stephens. Then comes the 1.5-hour wild bottlenose dolphin cruise, which you will enjoy with a cup of coffee/tea and some biscuits.
Afterwards, a 4WD-vehicle will bring you to the Stockton Bight Sand Dunes. Sandboarding down the dunes is optional (and recommended!). It’s one hour of pure fun before heading back to Sydney.
Surf Development Course
For those of you staying in Sydney for a while, the 12-week surf development course (Australian Surf Tours) might be an interesting opportunity. It is the most in-depth course of its kind, structured as to allow gradual development. Not only will it help you master the skill, but it will also boost your confidence and set you on the right path of continuing into a surf industry career.
The first two weeks stipulate an intensive Surf Camp program, where beginners will level up to intermediate. After that, it is some serious surfing at a variety of amazing beaches. Throughout the course, you will live surfer-style. That is to say, you will get around town on a bike or skateboard and stay at a specially prepared surf camp.
Every morning, breakfast is served in the common room. In short, you will get to experience the collective surfing spirit to the fullest. The course also includes many optional activities, such as visits to a board shaper, rainforest walks, fitness sessions, a climb up Illawarra Escarpment… When we say the course is the opportunity one gets to enjoy only once, we mean it to the letter.
Sydney CBD lunch deals meet adventure
As you can see, best Sydney CBD lunch deals are only integral to a far bigger adventure… called experiencing Sydney! Don’t lose out on anything — enjoy the finest food, best sightseeing tours and discovering Sydneysiders’ favourite hanging spots.
Learn more about Sydney in our guide:
- Fun things to do in Sydney
- Sydney activities
- Restaurants Sydney CBD
- Restaurants in The Rocks
- Romantic restaurants Sydney
- Bars Sydney
- Sydney Hotel Deals
- Things to in Sydney