More and more travellers are flocking to dining destinations around the world to get the ultimate pic for the ‘gram. Drop into one of these Sydney social media foodie stars for that perfectly curated feed.
Located on the third floor of Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour, Hyde Hacienda is every Instagrammer’s dream: spectacular harbour views, lush baby pink velvet chairs, tropical plants and wisteria hanging from the ceiling. You won’t be able to get enough of their photogenic cocktails, including the vibrantly coloured Lychee and Hibiscus Martini, the venue's signature beverage. You know what they say – camera eats first!
If you visit Sydney and don’t pop into the ‘World’s Most Instagrammable Cafe’, did you really visit Sydney at all? Speedos is located along the mesmerising coastline of Bondi Beach and serves whimsical and vibrant dishes (with vegan, dairy and gluten-free options) reminiscent of the Mad Hatter’s tea party. Photogenic must-orders include the decadent Big Breaky, #GramWorthy pancake stacks with caramelised bananas and chia, and a colourful Green Goddess bowl.
Overlooking the postcard-pretty Manly Cove and Sydney Harbour (with the vista stretching to the CBD skyscrapers in the distance), water views don't come much more spectacular than those at Manly Pavilion. Housed in a 1930s bathing pavilion, the sunny deck is the ideal perch on a warm summer's day for a plate of pasta and some fresh seafood – and also one of the first venues you will come across if you are doing the gorgeous Spit Bridge to Manly Walk.
This rooftop bar and garden is, quite simply, a hidden green oasis nestled in the business district of North Sydney. Decked out with lush potted and hanging plants, full of natural light, and encased in floor-to-ceiling glass windows showing off the panoramic views of the surrounding office buildings, the setting is perfect for lingering a little bit longer during that after-work drink. The seasonally sourced menu and extensive wine list curated by the in-house sommelier are an added bonus.
Founded in 2014, Archie Rose is Australia's most highly awarded distillery producing a range of whiskies, gins, vodkas and rums. It’s also Sydney’s first inner-city distillery in 100 years, setting off a massive trend across Australia. Join a distillery tour followed by a guided tasting of the core range. While you’re there, get an industrial chic #OOTD complemented by the copper tubing, brick walls and exposed concrete floors, or film their charismatic bartenders in action.
It's been copied multiple times the world over, but that beautiful strawberry and watermelon cake originated at Black Star Pastry. Chef Christopher Thé originally created it for a wedding. Little did he know that his creation of layered almond dacquoise, rose-scented cream and watermelon would be declared “the world’s most Instagrammed cake” by The New York Times. Stop by their original outlet in Newtown or visit the Rosebery store after your Archie Rose tour.
When it comes to Instagrammable cafes in Sydney, it’s hard to leave Pyrmont's Two Sis & Co. off the list. Delightfully vibrant creations fill the menu, meaning that the camera will be eating first throughout the whole meal! A bright white wall provides a clean backdrop for photos of the dishes, which include everything from mermaid pancakes and syrup-filled shots to fairy-floss-topped ice lattes.
With 17,000 flowers suspended from the ceiling and stuck into feature walls, it's no wonder Social Hideout makes the list. The menu plays with Japanese and Mediterranean cuisine to create delicious and, of course, visually aesthetic eats. Popular menu dishes seem to have been designed for Instagram and include a milkshake served in a pretty gold bathtub topped with fairy floss, perfectly paired with their Red Velvet Benedict – eggs benedict with red velvet croissant. There are now two outposts of the pretty cafe: one in Parramatta and one in Waterloo.
Spread across two floors at the top of Hotel Palisade in the harbourside enclave of Millers Point, Henry Deane is a contemporary cocktail lounge encased entirely in glass and providing breathtaking, up-close views of Sydney Harbour. Sip on an Old Salty Girl (which comes topped with salted caramel pearls) or a cutesy Mini Martini, as you soak up the city’s beauty, and fuel up with a mix of small plates from the Food Between a Few menu (think caviar tins and cheese boards). It’ll be impossible to stop yourself from going snap-happy!
Housed inside the heritage-listed Griffiths Tea building, Chin Chin Sydney is an overload for the senses, driven by the philosophy that eating and drinking should be delicious, fun and oh-so-Instagrammable. Designed by George Livissianis, the marble tabletops, blonde woods and duck feather-topped seats make for quite the setting, especially when paired with the neon pink lighting. It's an interior design dream, and the food is just as trendy, with menu items like barbecue king salmon wrapped in banana leaf and whole coconut and turmeric rotisserie chicken.
Add a touch of luxury to your feed with a visit to The Botanica in Vaucluse. The paddock-to-plate restaurant is a leafy oasis nestled in the heart of Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, boasting its own lush gardens where you’ll find citrus trees and fragrant herbs that inspire the dishes. But the seasonal (and mouthwatering) menu isn't the only reason to visit: the chic dining space features glossy pink chairs, palm tree wallpaper, gilded mirrors and hanging plants.
With a theatrical open kitchen, marble benches, floral displays, Art Deco details, pretty pastel-hued colours – not to mention the huge arched windows overlooking the ocean and rolling waves – Mimi's is all about making a spectacle (in a fun, glam way). The menu changes regularly, but a popular way to start your feast is with a bump of black caviar served with an ice-cold shot of vodka. The seafood is exceptional (and always available), with fresh oysters, mud crab, lobster, abalone and fish options.
Perched on the waterfront at Watson's Bay (and reachable by a scenic ferry ride from Circular Quay), this bar meets restaurant is famous for its stunning sunset views, generous seafood platters and Hamptons-style design. The white-and-blue striped umbrellas and palm trees lend it a playful nautical vibe, and the Sydney Harbour backdrop is simply breathtaking.
No list would be complete without The Grounds, in a former 1920s industrial precinct in the inner city suburb of Alexandria. It houses a cafe, sustainable garden, coffee roastery, animal farm, and so much more! The enchanting garden should be your first photo stop – the arbour laced with bougainvillaea and interwoven lighting is the ultimate setting to spice up your feed. You also can’t miss the enchanting glass house, which provides the perfect combination of natural light and flourishing foliage.