When you visit a city, the guidebook recommends certain places to visit and Sydney is no exception. What is difficult is finding the food that the locals eat rather than restaurants aimed at tourists.
Being an expat means there are certain places in my home city that I miss when I am gone. Here’s four secret local eats in Sydney that I highly recommend as I always visit them as quickly as possible when I arrive.
Sai Thong Thai in Bexley North
Situated on Bexley Road moments from Bexley North railway station is Sai Thong Thai. I order from here or eat here at least twice each time I return to Sydney. It is owned and operated by a lovely lady who also does a lot of the cooking.
I particularly love the Thai Green Chicken Curry which I always ask for extra hot. In addition, the Pad Thai is perfection especially when you put some fresh chilli powder on top. I do like my food spicy!
The fact I’ve been coming here for over 14 years – not to mention the fact it is still in business – should speak for itself. The train from Central in Sydney takes 30 minutes to Bexley North and you turn right when you climb the station stairs. You walk along to traffic lights, cross and you’re there.
Yum Cha in Hurstville
Hurstville in southern Sydney is home to a large Asian population. This means there are numerous restaurants that cater to the locals and I always visit a Yum Cha restaurant when I’m home.
Once again it is around 30 minutes from the city by train. Hurstville is much bigger than Bexley North so you will need to check locations on Google Maps to find where you’re going. On my last visit, Golden Sands is where I ate lunch.
The servers come around with their trolleys and you pick and choose what you’d like to eat. Even mid-week at lunch time this place is busy. It is not particularly cheap but the food is quite good.
Sunny Harbour is also a great yum cha place in Hurstville which I recommend. Hopefully you will also enjoy the food when you visit either establishment.
Pineapple Bun and Hong Kong Milk Tea
Sticking with Hurstville in Sydney, you should visit the large Westfield mall. Inside there is a bakery on the ground floor that make Hong Kong style Pineapple buns and Hong Kong Milk Tea.
Pineapple buns are eaten at breakfast in Hong Kong with the tea. The bun is called a pineapple bun as the sugar on top is added in such a way that it looks like a pineapple. It is sweet and delicious and you need to have one!
Oporto is Popular in Sydney
Yes, a fast food restaurant has to make the list. Oporto is an Australian chain founded in 1976 by a Portuguese immigrant. They do amazing chicken burgers with a special sauce created by the founder.
The staple is the Bondi Burger which features the signature hot sauce. The chips are nice, the price is right and you can’t go wrong with Oporto. The chicken on the burgers is real, tender and grilled to perfection. You’ll find them all over Sydney so make sure you drop in.
Sydney is packed full of world class places to eat. From Michelin starred restaurants and celebrity chefs to fast food places, there is something for everyone. Thanks to the excellent climate and availability of fresh produce, food quality is always superb.
The four places above are my absolute favourites when I go home to visit and hopefully you will like them as much as I do. If you can only do one, go to Sai Thong Thai – you won’t be disappointed. Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.