There’s an art to dining alone. At worst you’ll endure an awkward 30-minutes or so, at best you’ll get to be completely and utterly selfish and have an exquisite meal of your choosing. Whether you’re in Sydney as a solo traveler, for work or play the city has a wealth of dining options for the solo diner. Here are six of our favorites.
Don’t be fooled by the blackboard menu and informal service, the food is seriously good at Fratelli Fresh and the selection of craft beers and wines only adds to the experience. There are four Fratelli Fresh restaurants in the city precinct and the menus feature well-priced Italian staples such as pasta and pizza, but all dishes are hand-crafted and include premium ingredients. If you’re in the mood for lighter style dishes, the salad selection is outstanding and you’ll feel healthy enough, in the end, to finish off the meal with house-made Italian gelato. Aperitivo Hour (4–6 p.m. is a good time to visit, with discounted wines, beers and pizza.
Four venues, including 11 Bridge St., Sydney; fratellifresh.com
Le Petit Flot
This warm, easy going light-filled bistro is part of the Tank Stream Hotel and features large communal dining tables, ideal for solo travellers. The menu is a very attractive combination of French influences, local Australian produce and an Asian twist—which in many ways is the best way to describe ‘modern Australian cuisine.’ The dishes are well priced and the service team clearly knew their wines.
97 Pitt St, Sydney; lepetitflot.com
O Bar & Dining
Unlike most revolving restaurants, O Bar & Dining is frequented mainly by locals who go for top-class food, very chic style, smooth service and, yes, those views. Grab a comfortable seat in the bar area before 6 p.m., start with one of their designer cocktails, order some of Michael Moore’s trademark fresh tapas dishes and watch the sun go down and lights come up. In 90 minutes, you not only get to take a spin around Sydney, you get to understand why Australian cuisine and wines are as attractive as the views.
264 George St, Sydney; obardining.com.au
Sydney’s hottest new dining precinct is Barangaroo, on the waterfront just beyond the historic Rocks district. There is a wide range of restaurants ranging from formal to casual, but for solo diners with a love of seafood and fine wines, Cirrus ticks all the boxes. There is seating outside with superb views across Darling Harbour, or bench seating where you can ask the sommelier to recommend a flight of wines to match your dishes. The menu focuses on sustainably-caught seafood and fresh seasonal local produce. Follow your dinner with a stroll around the new waterside Barangaroo Park.
23 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo, cirrusdining.com.au
Ash Street Cellar
You can hear the buzz of the Ivy complex a street away—it is an imposing, glamorous urban oasis in the midst of Sydney’s central business district with eight bars, including a rooftop pool bar. Pick a bar to suit your mood, but my favourite is Ash Street Cellar in a hidden laneway just off George Street. The tightly packed chairs and tables on the pavement are great for people watching and there is a very serious wine list which offers the clever option of 150ml glasses or a 450ml ‘pitcher’ of wine, as well as full bottles. I liked the ambiance so much that I stayed for a meal of Spanish-oriented tapas. 1 Ash Street, Sydney merivale.com.au/ashstcellar
The Opera Bar
Photo Credit: Destination NSW
If you come to Sydney, you have to visit the Sydney Opera House. For once, this building is deserving of the word ‘iconic’. Performances often need to be booked well in advance, but if you just want to sit and marvel at the architecture, gawk at the incredible harbour vista and take in what makes Sydney such an energetic destination, grab a seat the Opera Bar and you’ll be singing from the hymn sheet. This bar is understandably popular and you’ll find plenty of other visitors to the city wanting to combine a drink, maybe some fresh Sydney oysters and the Opera House/Harbour bridge combination. With such an epic backdrop, it’s not surprising that the cocktails are designed to be photographed for Instagram and Facebook feeds. The beer list is extensive with the house organic pale ale matching the sparkling setting.
Lower Concourse, Bennelong Point (Sydney Opera House)
Peter Hook is a journalist and travel industry professional who has lived in Sydney for a number of decades, exploring every part of the city and discovering its best restaurants, entertainment, attractions and activities.