How to find the restaurant that's right for you
The three main ways of finding a restaurant on our website is by suburb, region and by cuisine. And just so you don’t go to all the trouble of locating your restaurant only to find it’s out of your price range, we’ve included the pricing symbols beside them (hover your mouse over the $$$$ box), along with the phone number and a number of other types of useful information.
Use the grey grid in each review for details on the following:
You’ll get a ballpark idea of prices by the dollar rating, but we also include specific prices of dishes. These are, to the best of our knowledge, accurate at the time of printing but we’re on the shelves for the best part of a year and things can change in that time.
If price is important to you, as it is to most of us, the safest approach is to ask the cost of an average entree and main when you phone to make a booking. There’s every chance the dishes we mention won’t still be on the menu when you go, as menus tend to be seasonal and keep changing to keep regulars interested. If you want to sample a particular dish, ask if it’s on when you phone.
The listings that appear in Cheap Eats were chosen by our team of reviewers as the best of the eateries we’ve visited where you can have an entree + main for:
$30 or less ($ symbol)
$50 or less ($$ symbol)
Cuisine description is an imprecise science that doesn’t cover everything. We try to use terms that are familiar, with regional specialisation indicated in the body of the listing. Sometimes, restaurants insist that their food be described in a particular way and we do our best to accommodate those requests. In recent years, we’ve noticed a tendency for some chefs to describe their food as Modern European where once it would usually have been referred to as Modern Australian. The difference? We think it’s that Mod Oz uses Asian flavours and Modern European doesn’t. But don’t quote us.
Hours can change according to seasons and diners’ habits, so we mostly describe the trading hours by mealtimes: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Where the service is continuous or the mealtimes are unusually early or late, we may quote specific times.
Licensing & BYO
Every listing tells you whether a restaurant is licensed, BYO, both or neither. The last will be shown by the words “No alcohol”, meaning the restaurant owner does not allow the consumption of alcohol on the premises. This is usually for religious reasons and should be respected. We also specify the corkage charge and whether it’s per person or per bottle.
Occasionally, some of the non-BYO restaurants are happy for you to bring a special bottle for a celebration but always check first; and when you do, be sure to ask about the corkage, which seems to be climbing fast around town. It could make you decide to leave your special bottle at home.
Here, we indicate whether any or all of the major cards are taken and EFTPOS is available. If you have a lesser-known card, check with the restaurant.
Summer or winter, Sydneysiders love to dine al fresco. Why wouldn’t we, with the kind of views and climate we enjoy? Smoking is forbidden by law inside NSW restaurants (though some with club licences retain a small indoor smoking area), so many smokers prefer to dine where they can still light up between courses — outside. Now, many places don’t even allow smoking in their outdoor areas, so if it’s an important feature for you, check before you go.
Wheelchair access is detailed only if there is good access to both the restaurant itself and the toilet. Sometimes we find it necessary to rely on the restaurant owner’s opinion as to the level of wheelchair access, so it’s always wise to phone ahead and check.
This indicates whether there are separate function rooms and how many people they can accommodate, or whether the whole restaurant or part of it is available for private functions.
More and more restaurants now have websites, which can give a more up-to-the-minute idea of the menu and what the restaurant looks like. Some include booking links as well, so we include web addresses.
Many of us like to have a few glasses of wine or beer with our meal and not worry about losing a licence or getting a parking fine. It’s hardly fair that one person has to miss out on 50 per cent of the wining and dining experience, so why not let CityRail drive you? You’ll dispense with parking problems and everyone can relax and enjoy themselves. To make it easy for you, we give walking directions for all restaurants within an easy 15-minute stroll of a train station.