Though CAPA International Education strongly encourages our students to experience as much of the local culture as possible while studying abroad, we also know that sometimes it’s necessary to seek out a few comforts of home. Here are 10 tips for our students in Sydney looking for a taste of home.
1. JAZZ CITY DINER. Located about 15 minutes by bus or 30 minutes by foot from Meriton Waterloo (student accommodation) is Jazz City Diner, a throw back to the classic American diners of the 1930s. From the decor to the uniforms, American owner and chef Dan McGuirt has hit the nail on the head! Since 2010, Jazz City Diner has been serving New Orleans and diner meal favourites in Darlinghurst. Highlights include chicken and waffles, chilli cheese fries, a Thanksgiving turkey burger, pecan pie and malted milk shakes made with homemade ice cream. Expect to spend around $30 for dinner and a beverage, but be sure to call ahead to make a reservation as this 24 seat hole-in-the-wall fills up quickly!
Photo: Jazz City Diner, Sydney by Tasmin Brown
2. SUGAR MILL. Kings Cross is known for its hustle and bustle and for being the area to head to for a late night out. Sugar Mill is no exception with food and drinks served late 364 days a year. At Sugar Mill, you can feel confident ordering classic American cocktails like an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan and know that the bartender will get your order right. Bar snacks include nachos, onion rings, and buckets of fried chicken. If you are in the mood for something a bit more substantial, Sugar Mill also serves a sloppy joe burger, various kinds of tacos, and a shaved corn-on-the-cob salad. Cocktails start at $15 and meals are about $20. Save room for their apple high top pie with ice cream for dessert.
Photo from the Sugar Mill's Facebook page
3. BLUE PLATE GRILL. Only a 15 minute bus ride from the CAPA Sydney office is the suburb of Neutral Bay. With a few American food options in the area, Blue Plate Grill is definitely the stand out. Jambalaya, crab cakes, buffalo wings, spinach and artichoke dip, jalapeno poppers, corn bread, and pumpkin pie are just some of the highlights on the menu. Blue Plate Grill also does brunch on the weekends with such favorites as bagels with lox, waffles, huevos rancheros, and breakfast burritos. Meals are $20-$30 for dinner and around $12 for brunch. If you are missing the taste of Budweiser, MGD, Samuel Adams or Sierra Nevada then stop by on a Monday night for all night happy hour.
Photo: Buffalo wings with blue cheese at Blue Plate Grill, Sydney by Tonywinardi
4. THE DIP. Sick of snags and in the mood for a real hot dog? Located inside the tiki-tastic Goodgod Small Club in Chinatown is The Dip. Known for their American-style hot dogs, pulled pork sandwiches, and double bean nachos a meal here will set you back about $12. If you’re feeling adventurous, try a taste of the “Ice Cold Guac”-sweet avocado ice cream with strawberry salsa and waffle chips. For drinks, hit the bar at Goodgod Small Club and share one of their punch jugs ($30), with names such as the Chevy Chase, the Mavado, Cherry Moon, and Mint Jalopy there is a flavor to match every taste!
Photo: The Texas Slaw Dawg from The Dip's website
5. MR. CRACKLES. If you are on a really tight budget but still want to satisfy your craving for American food while in Sydney, look no further than Mr. Crackles. Conveniently located a short bus ride away from the Meriton, Mr. Crackles is the place to go if you are craving chili cheese fries ($8.50), sloppy joes ($5.50-$8.50 depending on size), or hot dogs ($5-$7.50). And with Mr. Crackles open until 3 am on Saturday and Sunday mornings, it’s sure to be open no matter when a craving for the taste of home hits.
Photo: Mr Crackles Carry Out, Sydney by Rachel Murdolo via Time Out Sydney
6. PANCAKES ON THE ROCKS. The closest thing Sydney has to Denny’s or IHOP, Pancakes on the Rocks is also one of the few restaurants locally that is opened 24 hours a day. Did you know that most Australians think of pancakes as a dessert food and almost always serve them with ice cream? Be adventurous and try chocolate and orange pancakes or one of the savory pancake options or stick to typical American comfort food and order yourself a stack of classic pancakes served with whipped butter and maple syrup. Ribs, steaks, and pizzas are also on the menu. A stack of pancakes costs about $12.
Photo: Pancakes on the Rocks, Sydney - Devil's Delight by Derwin Lau
7. HARD ROCK CAFE. No matter where you are in the world, you’re probably never too far away from a Hard Rock Cafe. Though it may have originated in London, the iconic restaurant serves American style food and has over 175 locations in 53 countries. If you’re craving fajitas, a New York strip steak, potato skins, or a cheeseburger with a slice of American cheese on it head to Darling Harbour. Be sure to check out the memorabilia they have decorating the walls from US musical acts such as the Black Eyed Peas, Michael Jackson and Aerosmith.
Photo: Hard Rock Cafe Sydney by lesather
8. KING STREET BREWHOUSE. When you find yourself missing being able to watch the NFL, MLB, NHL or NBA on TV head to King St. Brewhouse. If the game you want to watch is not on screen, they will try to find it for you. King St. Brewhouse also offers a discount card that entitles cardholders to 20% off their All Day Menu. Dishes are between $20-$30 apiece. Australia is also starting to get in to the craft beer market and King St. Brewhouse has heaps of local offerings to try.
Photo from Venue Mob's website
9. DAVID JONES FOOD HALL. Located on Market St. in the CBD or Central Business District of Sydney you’ll find a David Jones Food Hall. There is a sushi train, oyster bar, Panini bar, and a noodle bar. You’ll also find an American food section where you can pick up canned pumpkin to make pumpkin pies, Crisco for baking, various American cereals, Aunt Jemima pancake syrup and Jiffy baking mixes.
Photo: David Jones Food Hall from David Jones website
10. LOSURDO'S FRESH EXPRESS. When you find yourself in need of a snack either on your way to class or on your way home, stop in to Losurdo’s Fresh Express located inside Greenwood Plaza attached to North Sydney train station. Losurdo’s carries bags of Hershey’s Kisses, Peanut Butter MnMs, Hershey’s chocolate, caramel, and strawberry syrup, as well as other American candy and a range of American soft drinks that are hard to find anywhere else.
Photo from Sage G via Yelp
Have any more recommendations? Leave us a comment!