1 – 31 October 2014
New South Wales

Australia’s dining scene is vibrant all year round but it reaches a peak in October, when chefs, restaurateurs and providores throughout New South Wales pull out all the stops to showcase the state’s gourmet offerings. The month is jam-packed with one-off dinners, fabulous breakfast, lunch and dessert deals, pop-up events, glamorous parties, kitchen-gardening workshops, food talks and night markets.

Reasons to attend

1. The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Month is part of Australia’s largest food festival (companion events unfold in Brisbane in July, Canberra in October and Melbourne in November). Find out exactly where Australia’s cutting-edge cuisine is at by taste-testing your way around Sydney and the rest of the state.

2. One of Good Food Month’s most popular events is the Night Noodle Markets in Hyde Park North, in the city centre. Thousands of hungry people descend on the park over the course of the event to snack on authentic Asian hawker-style street food such as pork buns, pad thai, duck pancakes and Shanghai-style soup dumplings, accompanied by Australian wines. Our tip? Go early to avoid the queues and find the best open-air seat under the twinkling fairy lights.

3. Budget-friendly Let’s Do Lunch is a firm fixture on the Good Food Month calendar. Head into one of the city’s leading restaurants on a weekday to enjoy a gourmet lunch (with a glass of wine, beer or mineral water) at a bargain price.

4. Parramatta sits at the geographic heart of Sydney. Hop aboard a suburban train or the ferry service from Circular Quay to check out Parramatta Lanes – a festival event that transforms hidden spaces throughout Parramatta with the addition of multicultural food stalls, pop-up bars, musicians and site-specific installations over four days.

5. Australians love nothing more than a good barbecue – so what better way to kick off Good Food Month than with a little Barbecue Madness? See just how tasty barbecued meat can be when the tongs are wielded by Sydney’s brightest culinary talents.

6. Acknowledging that breakfast (or brekkie, as they say in Australia) is the new black, the festival’s event calendar now includes the Breakfast Club. Sydney’s top cafes offer special set-menu breakfasts on weekdays that include a cup of tea or coffee in the price.

7. Serious gourmets will keep Tuesdays free to partake in one of the festival’s famed Hats Off Dinners. That’s when the select few chefs who have earned a coveted hat (or two or three) in The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide toss aside regular menus to cook up something really dazzling. Past dinners have paid homage to everything from the humble potato to Italian wedding feasts and the famed extravagance of Marie Antoinette.

8. Sometimes it’s difficult to satisfy late-night hunger pangs in Sydney – but not during October, when a diverse range of restaurants offer delicious snacks after 9pm as part of Good Food Month’s Supper Club. In 2013, these offerings included everything from make-your-own sushi and shallot pancake pizza with coconut tea to spicy crab sliders and camembert with port jam and ash-seasoned crackers.

What to look out for

Keep an eye out for events with international chefs who have flown in especially for the festival. Chef, restaurateur, TV personality and wildly successful cookbook author Yotam Ottolenghi – whose name is synonymous with adventurous food that uses Middle Eastern influences as a springboard –was a guest in 2014. Ottolenghi fronted a series of breakfasts, lunches and dinners as part of Good Food Month in both Sydney and Melbourne.

How to get there

Fly to Sydney and follow your nose to the nearest Good Food Month event. Many participating restaurants are clustered in the city centre and neighbouring suburbs such as Surry Hills, Darlinghurst and Paddington. For regional events in the Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Newcastle, hop aboard a train from Central Station.

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