The Ultimate Business Travellers Guide to Sydney

15 June 2016

Sydney-siders may be a pleasure to do business with, but the city itself can be a complicated place, characterised by confounding geography and quirky infrastructure. To make the most of Sydney, it’s important to be flexible: take taxis and GPU ride services when you can, but be prepared to jump out and walk if you get stuck in one of the CBDs frequent traffic jams. You may need to jostle for position at the city’s best restaurants, bars, and gyms – after all, Sydney thrives on competition. A savvy traveller will discover a city that’s ideal for business, full of A-grade services and some of the best (and buzziest) restaurants in the world.

Best place for a business breakfast

Bambini Trust Restaurant & Wine Room

Drop in to this handsome, marble-clad meeting spot on a weekday morning and you’re bound to see some of Sydney’s key decision-makers fuelling up and hatching plans. The city’s big guns love Bambini Trust’s efficient staff and deep leather booths, and its parkside location is easy to reach from most corners of the CBD. On the menu: perfectly executed basics from lauded Sydney providers (banana bread and maple pecan butter from Sonoma, espresso from Single Origin Roasters) alongside more substantial fare such as an Alaskan crab omelette. Those with something to celebrate may be tempted by the breakfast Bloody Mary or a bottle of Bollinger.

185 Elizabeth Street, City; 

Best place for a lunchtime meeting

Cafe Sydney

It’s hardly the most discreet lunch spot in the city, but Cafe Sydney benefits from three key features: quick and seamless service from an army of smart wait staff, a reliable menu that doesn’t require deciphering, and a harbour vista that provides the perfect distraction if the conversation begins to falter. For a can’t-go-wrong meal, stick to the fresh seafood or, if you’re feeling lively, mix and match some of the menu’s Indian items, such as the tandoori salmon, with zesty Mediterranean salads. The balcony overlooking Circular Quay provides the best views and a degree of privacy (the tables are well spaced, so you can talk without fear of being overheard). 

31 Alfred Street, Circular Quay; 

Best coffee

Single Origin Roasters

The Single Origin crew pioneered locally roasted coffee in Sydney when they opened this all-in-one roastery and cafe in 2003. Thirteen years later, the brand’s beans are stocked at many of the city’s best restaurants and there are two additional Single Origin-branded venues – but the Reservoir Street original remains the must-visit destination for caffeine enthusiasts. The espresso, cold brew and filter coffees here are all world-class, and the staff can cater to the most finicky connoisseur. A modest menu of breakfast stuffs (including bacon and egg rolls with tomato/apple ketchup) and lunch items (Reuben sandwiches with smoked Wagyu, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese) rounds out the experience.

60-64 Reservoir Street, Surry Hills; 

Best co-working space

Tank Stream Labs

This multi-level space retains the edge over its rivals thanks to its prime location in between Martin Place and Circular Quay, its quality fit-out and varied membership options. In addition to full-time membership offering 24/7 access (from $650 a month) and day plans for infrequent visitors, Tank Stream Labs offers flexible part-time plans to workers looking for regular access at a lower price point. Amenities and recreational facilities such as showers and a racing simulator sweeten the deal for those without a hotel nearby, and the Australian Stock Exchange is just across the road for those in need of data or inspiration.

17-19 Bridge Street, city;

Best gym

LivingWell Health Club

Because this gym is owned by the Hilton group and located in the same building as its CBD hotel, you can be assured that the standards here are uniformly high. The well-proportioned facility includes top-notch cardio and weights rooms plus saunas, steam rooms and a 25-metre pool. Complimentary towels and toiletries make it particularly convenient for visitors who packed their bags in a hurry. You don’t need to be a hotel guest to visit, but you can take advantage of many Hilton’s facilities before, during, and after your training session, including express laundry and a health-conscious menu prepared by the hotel’s executive chef.

255 Pitt Street, city;

Best haircut

Sterling Hairdressing Parlour & Barber Shop

Located on the CBD fringe in Surry Hills, this relaxed salon is particularly suited to businessmen and women in need of no-nonsense cuts and treatments. Initially a men’s barbershop, Sterling soon extended its services to women when word got out about its winning combination of speed and style. These days, the clientele is evenly split between Surry Hills’s artsy residents and the city’s savvier business professionals. Those with complex requirements may prefer to visit one of Sydney’s glossier salons, but if you’re in need of a simple cut-throat shave or blow-dry, look no further.

3/29 Brisbane Street, Surry Hills; +61 2 9262 7777

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