Back in the day, getting lunch in the city was never a super-tasty affair, just lots of mediocre sandwiches and overpriced steaks for the suits, but thankfully, times are a-changin’! We’ve found you the best cafes and restaurants in Sydney’s CBD to grab lunch, so there is no excuse to be munching on a wilted salad anymore.
Pablo & Rusty’s 161
Even the most reluctant of salad eaters will find it hard to pass up the warm salad of smoked rainbow trout on offer at this Castlereagh Street café, with aged chorizo, kipfler potato, watercress, soft egg, blood limes and orange, manchego and chipotle dressing. The coffee on offer is some of the best in the CBD, too, so make sure you grab one to take back to the office with you.
Fresh, delicious and packing a punch, lunch at Mejico is sure to keep you bright and happy well into the afternoon. Start out with something from the ceviche raw bar, before moving onto some of their delectable tacos and larger plates, like the amazing chargrilled Hunter Valley lamb with serrano chilli, garlic and house-made chimichurri.
There may be no better cuisine perfect for lunchtime than Vietnamese. Fresh and incredibly satisfying without inducing a food coma, it makes for a lunch time winner. The hard part comes when ordering, fresh rice paper rolls are a classic, pho noodle soup is warming soul food, and the rice bowls are just damn delicious. Located super central near Town Hall, we suggest multiple visits to Madame Nhu.
Mordeo Bistro & Bar
Mordeo means ‘devour’, and with classic southern European fare on offer it’s very easy to do just that. The fully licensed bar offers boutique wines and homemade artisan beer, fresh pasta is made daily and a ‘pasta and panini bar’ makes this city bistro hard to beat. With the option to takeaway their paninis, this is one Sydney restaurant you should be visiting come lunchtime.
Everything on the menu at the newest branch of the Fratelli family is available to takeaway, making it one of the best lunches in the business district. Located on Macquarie Street, NSW parliamentarians can enjoy antipasto, pasta, salads, risotto and seasonal Italian food, similar to the other Fratelli branches.
Keeping the Sydney burger game strong, Neil Perry has thrown his hat in the ring with Burger Project. The American style burgers on offer are simple, juicy and delicious, reminiscent of Shake Shack burgers overseas, just without the plane ticket. Quick and super delicious, it’s the perfect lunchtime treat to get you through the week.
Dan Hong is at the helm of this Cantonese-style restaurant so you know you’re in for a delicious meal. Featuring over 60 dishes and an unrivalled dim sum selection, it’s perfect for a quick lunch snack or large celebratory events. The char sui is a must try, and if that doesn’t convince you, Kimye ate here when they were in Sydney.
A perfect spot to get a quick bite by yourself or have a long meal with friends, Vapiano’s freshly made pizzas and pastas are well worth a try. Charge all your food and drink to your chip card you collect on your way in, and just pay as you leave. Easy and breezy, carby and delicious.
Swine & Co.
Vegetarians, look away! We’ll be hamming up the pork talk while we convince the swine lovers to get down to Swine & Co. Paying homage to the pig, suckling pig and slow roasted cuts are leading the menu at this CBD restaurant. If you’re after a quick pork fix, the deli is also full of meaty sandwiches to sink your teeth into.
Committed to locally sourced, quality seasonal produce and wines that speak of their place and style, Pei Modern is one of Sydney’s best new restaurants and is offering a modern twist on classic bistronomie. Culinary hero Mark Best is leading the kitchen churning out delicious meals, perfect for a long lunch with friends or family in the heart of the city.
If you’re looking for excellent South American and Mexican cuisine in the middle of the CBD, add Per Kilo to your hitlist. With a range of gluten free options as well as some of the best burritos in town, it’s easy to see why there’s a line out the door come lunch hour. Don’t miss the corrientazo – a traditional Colombian office worker’s lunch box for something super authentic.