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The Apollo, Potts Point

Chef Jonathan Barthelmess and restaurant impresario Sam Christie opened this 90-cover Greek joint on Macleay Street in Potts Point in 2012. The homely George Livissianis-designed space is decked out with curvy Thonet chairs and sculptural Artemide wall lights. There’s also an intimate chef’s table, beloved by the city’s more discreet diners. 

The Apollo serves the kind of food you’ll find yourself remembering long after you’ve left Sydney. It’s summed up by the saganaki cheese dish with oregano, honey and lemon, which arrives at the table bubbling in a cast-iron skillet pan. The roasted lamb with Greek yoghurt and lemon is as moreish a morsel as you can hope for and the taramasalata with cod roe and pitta is also a pleasure.

44 Macleay Street, 2011
+61 (0)2 8354 0888
theapollo.com.au
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Sean’s Panaroma, North Bondi

Sean’s Panaroma (the misspelling is intentional) offers the most relaxed and pleasurable dining experience in Bondi Beach, just a short walk round the bay from the main drags of Hall and Curlewis streets. This cosy 45-seater was set up by Sean Moran and partner Michael Robertson in 1993 after the pair spotted the boarded-up space by chance. 

The menu, put together by head chef Sam Robertson, changes daily, with options chalked on a simple blackboard. Regulars know, however, that a few favourite dishes are always on the table – linguine with shredded rocket, lemon, chilli and parmesan, for instance. For more adventurous types there is a five-course taster menu. Much of the produce comes straight from Moran and Robertson’s farm in Bilpin, while the seafood is fresh from the ocean.

270 Campbell Parade, 2026
+61 (0)2 9365 4924
seanspanaroma.co
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Bourke Street Bakery, Surry Hills

You’ll know you’ve come to the right place when you spot the lengthy line snaking down the street. Expect quality coffee, flaky pastries, spicy sausage rolls, fresh juices and bread of every measure, from sourdough to seeded loaves. Opened in 2004 by Paul Allam and David McGuinness, the flagship remains the most charming of their 15 spaces. You’re likely to glimpse our editors here when they’re in Sydney on assignment.

633 Bourke Street, 2010
+61 (0)2 9699 1011
bourkestreetbakery.com.au

Single O Roasters, Surry Hills

A pioneer of the famed Sydney coffee scene, Single O has been roasting top-notch beans in Botany Bay and selling excellent coffee in its Surry Hills café since 2003. Today you’ll spot the brand’s coffee all over the city as it’s sold wholesale to some of the best cafés. Expert baristas and a long menu make the visit to the original Surry Hills shop well worth it. We recommend sampling the signature Reservoir blend; it’s a light and fruity brew.

60-64 Reservoir Street, 2010
+61 (0)2 9211 0665
singleo.com.au
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Kepos Street Kitchen, Redfern

Whether you swing by this bright former terraced house for breakfast, lunch or dinner, chef Michael Rantissi’s light, Middle Eastern-inspired menu never misses the mark. Together with partner Kristy Frawley, Rantissi opened this Redfern hangout to showcase seasonally led home cooking, inspired by his childhood in Tel Aviv. Rantissi brings refined skills to unpretentious plates – and his relaxed take on food informs the atmosphere. Accompanied by hummus or stuffed in flatbread sandwiches, the falafel are a highlight.

96 Kepos Street, 2016
+61 (0)2 9319 3919
keposstreetkitchen.com.au
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  • The Urbanist