Graze Before You Gaze – What’s On The Menu At ‘Vivid Sydney’

With over 80 light installations to see, more than 170 creative ideas talks to be inspired by & eclectic music performances at over 22 venues across the city, there is no denying that experiencing Vivid Sydney will make you hungry. Thankfully, as Sydney lights up from the 27th of May to the 18th of June, food retailers have prepared a delicious offering of Vivid Sydney-inspired food & beverages that will satisfy visitors’ appetites all over the city.

New South Wales (NSW) Minister for Trade, Tourism & Major Events, Stuart Ayres, said “Vivid Sydney is set to once again delight visitors with some of Sydney’s hippest purveyors of food and beverage presenting a smorgasbord of Vivid-inspired treats that showcase our city’s world-class food and wine culture. With so much to choose from, foodies can even plan their own Vivid Sydney dining trail to ensure they’re not only experiencing the best light, music and ideas, but they’re also tasting the best cocktails, market food, and gelato. It’s the perfect addition for a night out at Vivid Sydney.”

Here are 14 of the many unique food and beverage experiences on offer at Vivid Sydney:

  1. This year for the first time at Vivid Sydney, two Sydney based production powerhouses, Motti+Smith and Paper Moose have collaborated to bring Martin Place their very own 8 Bits+Bytes burger activation. Throughout the festival, 5 of Sydney’s best burger houses including Mary’s, Milk Bar by Café ish, Pub Life Kitchen, Bang Bang Sammy’s Burger Bar will be making visitors burger dreams come true. Themed like the inside of a vintage arcade game, visitors will be able to vote for their favourite burger in an interactive burger battle which will be tallied in realtime on a digital score board.
  2. For Vivid Sydney 2016, the ground-breaking Songlines will showcase ancient Aboriginal stories on the Sydney Opera House sails. In keeping with this year’s stunning Lighting Of The Sails, restaurants across the Opera House will celebrate Australia’s rich culinary heritage with uniquely local ingredients. Opera Bar will serve oyster shots enriched with Indigenous berries and herbs for vibrant colouring, with ‘bush tucker’, including fingerlimes, lemon myrtle & smoked macadamia nuts. Colourful cocktails, a GIF photo booth, projections and lights will add to the playful Vivid Sydney festival atmosphere.
  3. Carriageworks are hosting a series of bespoke dining experiences called Sydney Table, created by Sydney’s leading forces in food and creative industries. At each dinner, 50 guests will be treated to an evening designed and prepared by some of Australia’s most exciting talents from the fields of food, music, art and design. The line-up includes Sam Miller from Silvereye & artist Lisa Madigan. For the full program & ticketing information, visit:
  4. Visitors can chow down in Chatswood ahead of previewing the vibrant WildLight – The Bio-Kinetic City installations. Throughout Vivid Sydney at Chatswood, the precinct will have market stalls in the Mall, food trucks on Anderson Street, and the new Asian inspired Hawker lane in Westfield Chatswood. At Chatswood Interchange visitors can enjoy a meal at Chatswood’s newest dining precinct, The District, open daily until 11pm. The Concourse, and Chatswood Chase will also offer food options galore with restaurants, desert bars, and coffee shops.
  5. At the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, visitors can sit down, relax and unwind at Busby’s Bar for a Tyrrell’s Wine & a bite to eat as they take in the spectacular light installations and join in their 200th birthday celebrations. For those on the move, Busby’s Bites will offer a delicious range of food from gourmet cheese toasty’s, beef brisket or lamb shoulder rolls, to heart-warming soups. There are also sweet treats on offer with hot mini doughnuts and Liquid Lindt chocolate shots. Busby’s Bar is named after James Busby, who collected vine cuttings from Europe that were planted in the Garden in 1833 which were critical to the evolution of the Australian wine industry of today. Busby’s Bar & Busby’s Bites will be open from 6pm – 11pm every night during Vivid Sydney.
  6. This year, The Galeries will bring Vivid Sydney indoors with impressive installations lighting up the centre. As visitors explore the dazzling Perspectives installation they can enjoy fine dining until 10pm at The ArtHouse Hotel, Graffiti Italian Ristorante, Lotus & Sushi Hotaru to name but a few.
  7. At Westfield Sydney, the Enchanted Forest installation offers a perfect backdrop to diners on level 5 & 6 of the centre. The food court includes a variety of cusines such as delicious dumplings from Tim Ho Wan & Din Tai Fung with late night bites open to the public until 9pm from Thursday to Saturday.
  8. 12 Squares at Central Park will have a pop-up bar located next to Chippendale Green offering the perfect spot for visitors to sit back with a drink & enjoy the impressive projections. The lower ground dining district offers an alfresco dining experience with soulful Asian comfort food from Ippudo, traditional fall off the bone ribs and indulgent burgers from Ribs & Burgers, all offering family friendly outlets that could feed an army.
  9. Chef Peter Gilmore’s menu at Bennelong at the Sydney Opera House celebrates the abundant flavours and diversity of Australian produce, and no dish highlights this more than the locally sourced red claw yabbies from Mandandanji country in South West Queensland, served with lemon jam, cultured cream and buckwheat pikelets. The Bennelong Billy, an Aussie rum-based cocktail with river mint, quandong liqueur & strawberry gum served over crushed ice will also be on offer during Vivid Sydney.
  10. Showcasing the very best producers and chefs from across Sydney and regional NSW, The Night Market at Carriageworks will be Sydney’s first large scale immersive contemporary food and wine event. Curated by Carriageworks Farmers Market Creative Director, Mike McEnearney, these markets on 4 June & 18 June will feature over 50 stallholders including Young Henry’s, Archie Rose Distillery, Icebergs, PortenoCornersmith to name but a few.
  11. As the lights come on, the Eat Drink, Western Foyers heaters will turn up at the Sydney Opera House, ready to serve winter warmers featuring a selection of award-winning NSW wine & produce, carefully curated by Chef Lauren Murdoch. Visitors can sample Palmer’s Island mulloway with roast tomato sauce, saffron potato & rouille or for those on the go, a pop-up on the Forecourt will serve Lozzie’s Hot Dogs, jaffles, soup & other family-friendly food and drinks.
  12. The team behind TiosThe Cliff Dive are back in a perfect haze with the hotly anticipated return of the Deep Purple Pool Hall pop-up bar at the Sydney Opera House. This hidden speak-easy is likened to a piece of Americana flotsam washed up on Sydney Harbour. Guests will follow the 8-ball up the western stairs to discover a unique bar, run by ARIA Catering. The venue is about juxtaposing high & low culture, bringing artisanal beer & wine from some of Australia’s smallest & best producers to the domain of opera & sparkling wine.
  13. 1 burger is never enough, so Blackstar Pastry, Little Marionette & N2 Extreme Gelato have teamed up to create ice cream burgers in Martin Place. For those visitors not boarding the burger bandwagon, other on-site food offerings include Bar Pho & Sandweesh. Martin Place will host a pop-up bar on-site serving Young Henry’s Beer, 4 Pines Beer, Batlow Cider James Estate Hunter Valley Wines.
  14. Parked trucks with scrumptious foodie treats will line Hickson Road Reserve throughout Vivid Sydney serving meals from the likes of Happy As Larry, Urban Pasta & Agape Organic. The City Of Sydney Food Trucks will rotate throughout the festival & will offer everything from yum cha favourites to New York-style pastrami sandwiches, organic pizzas, soft tacos & gourmet bangers and burgers. The trucks are a great place to grab a quick meal to take with you as you stroll around the famous Light Walk.

Owned managed and produced by the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, Vivid Sydney is set to once again transform the city into a colourful canvas of light, music & ideas for 23 nights from the 27th of May to the 18th of June. For more information, visit

Media Release: Vivid Sydney