Criteria: reasonably priced, good views, good vibes, ‘very Sydney’.
The Opera House, and dining on the harbour, is unparallel-able. Number one recommendation: book a bar seat at Cured and Cultured at Bennelong at 5.30pm. You’ll get to see the sun going down with incredible views of the harbour, accompanied by SUPERB food. MUST GET dessert (see my review).
Take them to Manly. Have an açai bowl from Bare Naked Bowls anytime until 2pm, and dinner at Sunset Sabi.
Take them to some markets. Carriageworks Farmers’ Market on saturday morning; Bondi Farmers’ Market; The Rocks markets; definitely Sydney Fish Markets for lunch. The markets often have lots of small free samples of food to try as well.
Barangaroo is a must. Get a drink and a snack from Smoke Bar in Barangaroo House. Your cheapest option is Belle’s Hot Chicken for some fried chicken and chips. Absolutely grab a bao for $7 from Zushi (they’ve probably never tried bao before either). If you’re not on a budget, Cirrus and Banksii are definitely the best restaurants in Barangaroo.
Bondi is essential. Finish the Bronte to Bondi walk at Speedo’s or Harry’s for breakfast or brunch. North Bondi Fish if it’s a sunny lunchtime.
Fish and chips with a view are essential. On the Northern Beaches, there’s stellar views at The Newport, or get the ferry from Circular Quay over to Doyle’s takeaway at Watson’s Bay.