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How about some lesser priced cafes and pubs?

California
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How about some lesser priced cafes and pubs?

You've given us some ideas about the 'finest' dining in Sydney, which probably spells lots of $$$. Now some tips on some good cafes and pubs where the working class people stop by for food and drink would be appreciated. My husband and I enjoy traveling, but we can't afford the top hotels and the four-star restaurants. Is there a website that lists places to dine in Sydney according to price?

Diane M

Sydney Australia
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1. Re: How about some lesser priced cafes and pubs?

In the CBD Vietnamese is the least expensive way to have a great meal. Stacks of options down on George St Haymarket. My favourite is City House, I reckon they do the best rice vermicelli in Sydney and their pickled carrot is by far the best. You can eat really well for less than $10. My brother prefers Pasteur next door.

For pubs it's a well known fact that it's cheaper in the outer suburbs> I think a price review reckoned Campbelltown is the cheapest place to get drunk in Sydney. In the eastern Suburbs for example they charge a LOT more. For food you're better off elsewhere, though there is a great lebanese pizza place cheap as chips and delicious in Campbelltown too (you'd need directions it's tucked away near the train station).

In the burbs, or for that matter in the CBD, RSL and Leagues Clubs are the place to go, and though some are increasingly including up market options, they always have the pensioner specials available that are quite acceptable. They subsidise the food on the assumption you'll be funnelling money into the pokies and alcohol. There's a (leagues?) club in Elizabeth St not far from Martin Place, if you're feeling adventurous and have a car, Smithfield RSL and Wenty Leagues are both pretty good for food (these are out west).

You also find a range of $5 steak options around the city. These are sometimes conditional on buying a drink, but many people don't object to that LOL.

You can eat well at Blackbird in Cockle Bay for less than $20, similar at places like Darlings Brasserie in Kent St, (just up (north) from the walk from Darling Harbour and Cockle Bay) , depending on what you select off the menu and how many courses you have. Though Darlings is only open for lunch I think. If you have your main meal at lunch you don't have a problem as there's stacks of cheapish places catering to the office workers.

Most pubs also have eating sections or pub meals that are reasonably priced. I'm hopeless at remembering pub names though unfortunately, perhaps wander in and sus places out where you happen to be.

Sydney Australia
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2. Re: How about some lesser priced cafes and pubs?

If you're staying in Manly, The Ying Wah at Balgowlah is incredibly cheap for good quality chinese food. The do an excellent sweet and sour and without doubt the only place where I actively enjoy the chow mein. Very consistent over many years. I don't know how they maintain such reasonable prices, and they still give you generous proportions.

Sydney
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3. Re: How about some lesser priced cafes and pubs?

Where are you staying in Sydney? If you are staying in Sydney City, Eastern Suburbs or Manly (which are generally where people travelling to Sydney stay) I think a trip out to the Western Suburbs is probably a little to far for food (over an hour by train and they are not nice areas). There are a ton of little cafes and cheap eateries scattered around the touristy areas of Sydney where you can get a good meal for under $15. If you are an office worker in Sydney most people just grab a sandwich from one of the many food courts in Sydney (most are of a decent standard) If you are staying in the CBD a nice idea might be to catch a bus or ferry (15mins) to Balmain for a cheap dinner. Balmain I think has the most pubs in the smallest area in Sydney and has everything from very upmarket pubs/bars to very relaxed, much cheaper eats. It is a very nice area that started as very working class and if you like ppl watching there is a great blend of people, everything from 20 somethings who have just moved out of home sharing a cheap flat to old eccentric millionaires. I also think Chinatown/Haymarket is a great option - It is hard to find a bad restaurant there and consider yum cha (I think you guys call it dim sum)on a Sunday afternoon. Can be as cheap as $10 but last time I went to the The Regal (my fave) with my sister, ate a disgusting amount of food (did not need dinner) for $18 each. If that gives you alive. My last thought is Darlinghurst. A ton of trendy (some inexpensive some expensive)cafes, all quite good. Only 5 mins from the city centre and once again a good mix of people for people watching.

Sydney Australia
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4. Re: How about some lesser priced cafes and pubs?

It's true, not too many tourists would want to hike out west for a meal or evening out. Though to be fair, some do stay in the cheaper areas to save a bit of money. I work with one traveller who is living at Richmond. And plenty of younguns do to take advantage of the cost differential, my daughter for one, though she lives in Kingsford.

"Nice" is in the eye of the beholder. Many wouldn't consider Darlinghurst a "nice" area either, or Balmain either, though they've been given the stamp of approval of some higher income folk wanting to live closer to the city. Generally an area seems to be considered "nice" if the property values are high, and gentrification is well under way. That's handy for Balmain and Darlinghurst because if you say you're eating there, you can imply that you've got money. If you eat somewhere like Wenty Leagues or Smithfield or heaven forbid in Campbelltown (which has some of the nicest and newest clubs around BTW)then of course it's clear that you're less well off (Not).

See what a classless society Australia really is?

Sydney Australia
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5. Re: How about some lesser priced cafes and pubs?

The Glenmore Hotel in the Rocks area. Sweeneys Hotel in Clarence Street city. The Sydney Fish Markets. Does anyone know if you can still get those $5 meals at Scruffy Murphys??? The hotel is...well...extremely ordinary, but the cheap meals were ok. You could have steak for $5 or a guiness pie for around $10. The Occidental Hotel cnr York & Barrick sts good for a quick lunch and beer.

Irish pub (cnr Erskine & Kent sts..forget the name)has hearty lunches. Of course these meals will not be prepared by the finest chefs, but the workers go there!

Sydney Australia
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6. Re: How about some lesser priced cafes and pubs?

Oops...the Occidental is of course the corner of York and Erskine sts. Snodge my inlaws lived on 5 acres in Campbelltown area for over 20years. Sold up last year got $1M for their place and happily living on waterfront on Gold Coast now. I have eaten out that way many times, and can say that there were plenty of very good places to choose from.

California
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7. Re: How about some lesser priced cafes and pubs?

We're staying in the King's Cross area (Hotel 59), and in the four visits we've made to Sydney, we've always stayed there and felt perfectly safe. One of the restaurants we enjoyed there was the Fountain Cafe. We aren't backpacking students; we're senior citizens who'd rather not spend a lot of money on meals, but would still like something substantial. We love pub food and, also, I think we'll try Chinatown, which we haven't visited in past visits. We may eat lunch out of the city, but not dinner. What do you suggest for lunch in Bondi Beach area? We want to make the big beach walk and would like to find a little cafe for lunch.

Thanks to all for the suggestions so far.

Diane M

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
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8. Re: How about some lesser priced cafes and pubs?

there are plenty of cafes along the promanade at bondi..all reasonable price.

try bill and toni's at darlinghurst italian and very cheap...icon in sydney.

chinatown - cheap chinese

pub food...always is good and reasonable.

fish markets at glebe.

www.eatability.com.au lists all restaurants/menus and prices.

California
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9. Re: How about some lesser priced cafes and pubs?

Many thanks for that restaurant link, Ellemay. We'll have lots of places to choose from.

Diane M

United Kingdom
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10. Re: How about some lesser priced cafes and pubs?

How about Harry's Cafe de Wheels at Woolloomooloo - a bit touristy for some, maybe, but we enjoyed it. We loved the walk there from the Opera House through the Botanical Gardens - look out for the bats and colourful birds.

We also enjoyed a good breakfast or two at a basement cafe called The Bull Pen which I think was on York Street - very basic place, no frills, but we enjoyed the food and the service. Our children said that the milk shakes were the best they had ever had.