Grill’d in Chatswood has healthy burgers in Sydney

Having walked past the tantalizing scents of Grill’d in Chatswood, Sydney, many times, I was excited to finally nosh at the joint touting healthy burgers.

Grill'd Chatswood Sydney interior

Grill’d serves a variety of burgers and sliders, made with chicken, beef, lamb and veggies, as well as offers steak sandwiches and salads. There are three — count ’em, three — vegetarian burger options! I definitely want to go back to try them all, but this time, i opted for the Field of Dreams ($11.50 AUD), a portobello mushroom burger that was one of the lowest-calorie options on the menu at about 470 calories for a huge sandwich. It was incredibly juicy and came with basil pesto, roasted peppers, cheddar cheese, lettuce and herbed mayo — and an Australian flag, for good measure.

Grill'd Chatswood Sydney Mushroom Burger

Be sure to pair your burger with some “chips” (French fries), too — I loved the thick-cut fries here because the seasoning was ample. The regular version ($4.80) is super-huge, and I wasn’t able to finish mine. Next time, I would get the snack version ($3.80).

I ordered the tomato relish thinking it would be ketchup-y (or tomato sauce-y, as Australians would say), but it was a sweet dipping sauce that didn’t satisfy my palate — though, with other ingredients, like on my mushroom burger, it was fine. Instead, I’d recommend the very spicy hot chilli mayo dipping sauce, which had a huge kick and is mighty tasty. Here it is, appropriately labeled “hot,” paired with the Friends of Falafel burger ($11.50):

Grill'd Chatswood Sydney falafel burger new

That’s the burger I might get next time, or the other veggie burger option, the Garden Goodness ($11.50), a veggie patty made with beetroot.

Grill’d is super-casual and popping on weekend nights, with street seating that gives plenty of opportunities for people-watching.

Grill'd Chatswood Sydney patio

The order-at-the-counter spot is stocked with local bottled beers and beers on draft. I loved the fun attitude, from the Australian burger flags, to the sassy copy on the knife holders:

Grill'd Chatswood Sydney knife

Learn more about Grill’d here.

Lid and Jar in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia a relaxing and delicious brunch and lunch spot

I absolutely love sitting outdoors while dining, and often the summer weather in Sydney is too beautiful not to. One of the best patios I’ve found in Chatswood is at Lid & Jar, a coffeehouse and restaurant serving delicious offerings for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Lid and Jar Chatswood patio Lid and Jar Chatswood upstairs coffee bar

The first time I went, breakfast serving was barely over — it ends at noon. If you love breakfast, though, you’re in luck, since several breakfast items also appear on the lunch menu, including the wonderful Crispy French Toast ($18 AUD), with natural Greek yoghurt, fresh strawberries and dried fruit compote sprinkled with candied nuts.

Lid and Jar Chatswood French toast

The abundance of berries makes for an amazing flavor combination, while the toasted oats on top give some crunchy textural variety. The cream that accompanies the bread is a perfect complement, and while I didn’t order this, I happily stole multiple bites.

I opted for the Fresh Corn Fritters (also $18), something unlike anything I’d ever had before.

Lid and Jar Chatswood corn fritters

I adored the plentiful arugula, avocado and tomato topping that was like a mini-salad, and the fritters were fried to perfection and packed full of corn. I left off the bacon, and it was an ideal lunch portion, leaving me full and happy.

I had to head back for brunch. The patio is so peaceful because it overlooks a grassy area near The Concourse theater.

Lid and Jar Chatswood view

It’s also dog-friendly, and seeing cute pooches makes any meal better.

I had a fresh cold-pressed green detox juice ($9.30), made with apple, pear, spinach and coconut water. I instantly felt the healthy nutrients perking me up, and it had the perfect amount of sweetness. The fresh cold-pressed orange juice ($9.30) was also spectacular, and both were great choices if you love fresh juice.

Lid and Jar Chatswood green juice Lid and Jar Chatswood pure orange juice

I wanted a veggie benedict with no meat or eggs. My server suggested avocado toast with sides of roasted tomatoes and hollandaise sauce, which was a fantastic suggestion and shaved a few bucks off the regular benedict price of $17-$18. The hollandaise sauce was thick and creamy, just like I like it, and the tomatoes were juicy and perfectly cooked.

Lid and Jar Chatswood avocado toast

Here’s the Smoked Salmon Benedict ($18):

Lid and Jar Chatswood salmon benedictIt doesn’t come with any sides but is an ample meal, for sure.

Lid & Jar features two levels, including indoor restaurant seating up top:
Lid and Jar Chatswood upstairs inside restaurant

and a second lower-level coffeehouse on the bottom, where you can order and take away from the sidewalk.

Lid and Jar Chatswood downstairs coffee bar

Lid and Jar Chatswood downstairs exterior

Lid and Jar Chatswood downstairs interior

Like many Sydney restaurants I’ve encountered, here a server takes your order, but you’ll pay at the counter. Everyone at Lid & Jar was extremely friendly, and the restaurant makes you feel instantly welcome. While I am striving to try new restaurants as often as possible, Lid & Jar is a place I can’t wait to return to for some dinner eats. Learn more about the Chatswood restaurant and coffeehouse here.

Chelsea Hotel in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia, a happening place for hipsters

I found my new favorite place in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia, recently: a pub/restaurant called Chelsea Hotel that made me happy for its abundance of light, its beautiful patio in the heart of the city and its myriad hanging plants that brought nature indoors.

The Chelsea Hotel Chatswood Sydney Australia

The place was packed around 6 p.m. on a Friday night, mostly with young hipsters listening to disco tunes and a lot of David Bowie from the live DJ.

The Chelsea Hotel Chatswood Sydney Australia

Food was mostly American fare, with some Aussie twists. The fried blue corn chips bar snack was perfect to share between two people ($4 AUD). The chips were freshly made and had the ideal amount of salt, and came with sour cream to dip them in. I admit, I’m a pretty picky vegetarian eater, but I’m trying to expand my palate more in Australia, including noshing on this sour cream side. I actually liked it a lot because it cooled off the warm chips and had a nice flavor to it.

The Chelsea Hotel Chatswood Sydney Australia

All “between bread” options come with thick-cut fries, which are my favorite type. I’m not a shoestring gal and never could find enough thick-cut fries in the States, but in Australia, everywhere I’ve had fries, they’ve been nice and thick. Score! Check out the chicken burger ($19), which came with habanero mayo (mayo is also big in Australia, and you’ll start to enjoy it on restaurant sandwiches if you don’t already), jalapeño, tomato and pineapple:

The Chelsea Hotel Chatswood Sydney Australia

I nommed on the spiced vege burger ($16), which came with yoghurt, tahini, tomato and lettuce. I swear I eat more than veggie burgers, but I was craving one this night, and I loved the spiced patty made with black beans and served with those delicious fries. Note: Aussies call ketchup “tomato sauce,” and be sure to ask for it if you like it, because it doesn’t always automatically come with fries.

The Chelsea Hotel Chatswood Sydney Australia

The bar was fully stocked with beer, wine and fruity cocktails, and Chelsea Hotel also offers several “cocktails to share,” which serve four people and are $25. There was lots of tumbler shaking at the bar, so try one of their signature drinks if you’re craving a cocktail.

The Chelsea Hotel Chatswood Sydney Australia The Chelsea Hotel Chatswood Sydney Australia

There are plenty of televisions playing Australian sport (that’s singular — even if you’re talking about multiple types of athletics, it’s still “sport” here), and the vibe is friendly, relaxed and chatty. Beautiful weather beckons people to the spacious patio, and I’d say it’s hard not to instantly fall in love with this spot’s tasty eats and comfortable atmosphere.

Learn more about Chelsea Hotel here.

Gourmet Pizza Kitchen in Chatswood, Sydney, satiates pizza cravings

When you’re jonesing for some quality pizza in Sydney, Gourmet Pizza Kitchen in Chatswood is a solid choice. The family-friendly restaurant, accommodating for big groups with a lively atmosphere, features wood-fired pies, stellar salads, salivating desserts and more.

Gourmet Pizza Kitchen in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia Gourmet Pizza Kitchen in Chatswood, Sydney, AustraliaI had a filling dinner there recently (I arrived as soon as the restaurant opened), the restaurant’s three-course meal for two ($29.50 AUD each), which was really four courses since the “twist” portion isn’t counted but is very filling. Each meal comes with drinks (you can get beer or wine, too) and choice of twists, a salad, a pizza and a dessert. It was a huge meal, and an affinity for pizza dough is a plus, since many of the offerings feature it.

For starters, there was the Sweet Chilli Twists (normally $7.90), dough brushed with a sweet chili glaze and served with sour cream. I loved the sweet and spicy combo, with cooling cream that made every bite delectable.

Gourmet Pizza Kitchen Sweet Chilli TwistsThe next course was a Rocket and Parmesan Salad (normally $12.90), with a heaping pile of parmesan, sun dried tomatoes, roasted pine nuts and balsamic dressing. The portion was plentiful, and I loved the restaurant didn’t skimp on all the goodies covering the greens.

Gourmet Pizza Kitchen Rocket and Parmesan SaladThe Martinique Pizza (normally $21.50, 26 centimeters, about 10 inches) was a fantastic vegetarian choice. It came with sun dried tomatoes, feta cheese, olives, basil pesto, arugula and roasted pine nuts. I loved the consistency of the dough — it was soft and chewy and not at all burnt. The toppings and cheese were again very generous, and with eight pieces for two to share, there will be plenty to take home if you order the same multi-course meal.

Gourmet Pizza Kitchen MARTINIQUE pizzaLast was one of my favorite parts, the dessert. If you aren’t sick of carbs by now, the Apple and Cinnamon Sticks (normally $12.90) are really tasty. Like a rolled-up apple pie, the dough was filled with apple and cream and topped with cinnamon and sugar, accompanied by melt-in-your-mouth vanilla ice cream and fresh whipped cream. I loved every bite and would come back to Gourmet Pizza Kitchen for this dessert alone.

Gourmet Pizza Kitchen Apple and Cinnamon SticksFor the abundance of food you get, the deal is a steal for only a little over $20 USD per person — and that includes alcohol! I’d recommend Gourmet Pizza Kitchen whenever you want a filling meal with fresh ingredients and flavors that will leave your taste buds happy.

To learn more about Gourmet Pizza Kitchen, head here.