Make a reservation

Party Size
For 2
Date
Fri, 6/22
Time
7:00 PM
Special offers available. See details

The Grounds of the City

4.1
587 reviews
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$40 and under
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Modern Australian
Top tags:
  • Lunch
  • Brunch
  • Casual
>Celebrate our birthday with us! Make a reservation with us after 6pm from Thursday 21st June - Sunday 1st July, and we’ll shout you a glass of sparkling on arrival.

The Grounds of the City, the second outpost from the team behind The Grounds of Alexandria, is bringing soul back to the CBD with old-school service and charm.

Located in the heart of the CBD and bustling with activity, The Grounds of the City is tailor-made for a marvellous time; no matter the occasion.

Start your day right as our baristas expertly serve up The Grounds house-roasted espresso and filter coffees, or end it in the best possible way and cosy in with our selection of cocktails and a dinner menu that features something for everyone.

You’ll find our coffee sommelier at The Barista’s Bar ready to take you through a tailored coffee experience, and our tea lady roaming the room with a trolley adorned with fresh coffee, our selection of ethically sourced teas and cakes.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Modern Australian
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Hours of Operation
Tuesday - Thursday
7:00am - 9:00pm

Friday
7:00am - 10:00pm

Saturday
8:00am - 10:00pm

Sunday
8:00am - 9:00pm

Monday
7:00am - 5:00pm

Breakfast is served until 11:30am daily, followed by a Lunch & Dinner menu from 11:45am until close.
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Phone number
(02) 9699 2235
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Payment Options:
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress Code
Smart Casual
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Executive Chef
Paul McGrath
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Catering
From client meetings to personal celebrations, our drop-off catering menu offers a selection of sweet and savoury options that can be combined to achieve the perfect offering for your occasion. To view our offering and order online, visit our website here.
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Neighbourhood
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Cross street
Park St, Sydney, AU-NSW 2000
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Parking Details
The Grounds of the City does not have any available parking, however Sydney CBD has a range of privately owned car parks located within walking distance. Two close by options include the Citigroup Centre Car Park located at 271 Pitt St or the Queen Victoria Building Car Park at 111 York St. Please ensure to check all information, including rates & opening hours, with the individual providers when planning your trip and be mindful of George St road closures due to council works.
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Public Transit
TRAIN - Exit the train at Town Hall Station. The Grounds of the City is located on the right hand side, directly across the road from The Queen Victoria Building.

BUS - Arrange a bus route to drop you at Town Hall Station, or the QVB on York St, located within walking distance from The Grounds of the City.
Additional
Beer, Cafe, Cocktails, Non-Smoking, Weekend Brunch, Wine

Special Offers

It's our 1st birthday! Glass of sparkling on arrival for you!

Celebrate our birthday with us! Make a dinner reservation for 6:00 p.m. or later at The Grounds of the City, from Thursday 21st June - Sunday 1st July, and we’ll shout you a glass of sparkling on arrival!

Terms and Conditions: Glass of sparkling wine only provided to diners over the age of 18.

Valid For: 1 - 20 people

Starts: 21 June 2018

Ends: 1 July 2018

Availability: Daily 18:00-23:00

What 587 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.2
Food
4.0
Service
4.3
Ambience
3.7
Value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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4.0Dined a day ago

Very loud but food was great!

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4.0Dined 2 days ago

Another great work lunch at the Grounds!
Was saddened to see that you took my favourite/usual order, tuna chirashi off for the Winter. Hope to see it back on the menu soon?

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2.0Dined 2 days ago

Orange juice wasn;t fresh
Food is ok but not amazing.

Nothing really special. Pricy for what we get

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3.0Dined 2 days ago

Service was very slow. Staff were friendly and intuitive. I assume that our server informed management of the delay in getting our main (we waited an hour for any food to be delivered to our table) as we were offered an apology and complimentary coffee and cake. Nice recovery!!

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2.0Dined 3 days ago

Food quality was great and came up quickly. Service was less than satisfactory. My waitress seemed to be in a bad mood therefore left my dining experience rather poorly.

I sincerely want to love this restaurant as the food is fantastic but over the last 3 visits service has been pretty bad.

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4.0Dined 4 days ago

Very crowded restaurant. Not enough servers as we had to wait a while to get served.

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3.0Dined 4 days ago

Was seated as soon as we walked in. The service was really good despite it being relatively busy. Our waiter was friendly, and took our drinks down straight away while we browsed the menu.

The drinks at the grounds have never failed. The Wu sloth of the coffee and the tea always delivers and the presentation is beautiful.

The food however has for some reason become less than sub par. I used to order the omelette with chives and it was always fresh but it seems they’ve changed the menu. More recently when I order food there it seems stale and not so fresh. As if it was prepared in advance and they just tried to heat it in a microwave. I ordered the pancakes and they were not warm, not fluffy like a solid buttermilk pancake should be. It tasted cold, stale and like the presentation was supposed to compensate for the lack of taste. The rhubarb compote and ricotta was fairly decent but the pancake itself just needed work. The same goes for the omelette.

I’m bothered enough to write this because I used to love how fresh the food was when they first opened and wish such quality was maintained.

Aside from the food the service, ambience and setting of the restaurant is beautiful.

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4.0Dined 4 days ago

Excellent food & service, the best cake & coffee in town.

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3.0Dined 5 days ago

Went there with a friend for a much needed catch up Sunday for lunch. Very busy but we booked and were seated immediately.
Quick service, good cocktails and good food. Overall a really good lunch, and will be back but I think their seafood meals portions could be bigger for the price.

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4.0Dined 5 days ago

Great service. A bit noisy inside but that’s not a problem unless you are after a quiet restaurant. A little pricey. The coffee and cake (strawberry sponge) is amazing and a huge portion size, so that’s worth the $9 a slice - it could easily feed two, maybe three. Also there is no way to contact them through phone if you are running a little late to your reservation, I tried. But good overall, very much enjoyed our meal!

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4.0Dined 6 days ago

A rare find for breakfast in the city on the weekend. Excellent food, fabulous staff, wonderful coffee. We went three times. We will definitely be back during our next trip.

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2.0Dined 6 days ago

Arrived 10 mins early told table not ready. Not offered a seat or seat at bar for drink whilst waiting. Just told they were busy. Not a very encouraging start to the evening.
Food was average.

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

Took boyfriend here for his birthday, food came quickly and arrived the same time as the drinks. Polite staff, delicious food. Great for coffee lovers and fans of sustainable dining.

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5.0Dined on 13 June 2018

My favorite cafe in the CBD. Menu has been updated and service/atmosphere is wonderful

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5.0Dined on 12 June 2018

We loved it! Menu options are fun, fancy and creative! Our servers were charming and added to our experience. Atmosphere was lovely and we can’t wait to come again!

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5.0Dined on 12 June 2018

My second week in a row visiting the grounds, always perfect.

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4.0Dined on 12 June 2018

Another nice lunch at the Grounds. I love that you take bookings! Service is always pleasant and please never take your tuna chirashi off the menu!

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1.0Dined on 12 June 2018

Service was slow, sparkling water was out of stock and it took over 30minutes to find out after multiple requests

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2.0Dined on 11 June 2018

Love the cake selection and the best coffee in town.

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3.0Dined on 11 June 2018

I wonder why I have to pay extra 9 dollar for holiday

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5.0Dined on 11 June 2018

The city-based-alternative to the Alexandria too-popular-for-its-own-good cafe.
City Grounds takes bookings, so be sure that you do, or you'll face a wait.
Now that I've been I can see what all the fuss is about. Really good food selection for our Brunch. The kind of menu that will bring you back again to sample the others on the list that you wanted to, but didn't order.

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1.0Dined on 10 June 2018

I scored low for several reasons:
1. I had to ask for the blaring music to be turned down twice and it was still overbearing and not conducive to be able to speak at a normal level. Ruined the ambiance as everyone in the restaurant was shouting over the music - which was POP music - Madonna is really not a great choice for a nice dining experience either.
2. The service was very so-so and very slow. Slow to take our order. Food slow to arrive. Slow to clear our plates away. We had to flag down the girl with the dessert trolly as no one came near us asking if we wanted dessert or coffee. Had to ask to order more drinks and water.
3. My food was good although expensive. I am confused as to what 'Grounds of the City' is trying to be? i.e. a 'cafe' or 'restaurant'?
4. We arrived at 12:30 and at around 3pm we were 'handed our bill' unsolicited (by some dude with a cap on) and asked to settle the bill and leave as the table was wanted. Ths was rude and extremely unprofessional and considering the slow and so-so and slow service.
Overall other than the quality of the food, I was really disappointed. I am not inclined to make any other recommendation to dine here. To me, The Grounds of Alexandria is far superior.

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4.0Dined on 9 June 2018

Great winter breakfast menu. Given how busy it was, service was pretty good

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5.0Dined on 9 June 2018

The Ground of the City never fails to disappoint. It is my 5th visit in the past year, and I will return again in a heartbeat. Thank you for organising for us to be seated in a booth, and making it the best afternoon tea date ever! We will be back soon :)

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4.0Dined on 8 June 2018

The food was good. The atmosphere was great. I will definitely go back.

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3.0Dined on 8 June 2018

The Grounds has cool retro decor, a great ambience and interesting menu. It's not cheap for a lunch cafe, and it was very crowded and noisy. You really have to book for lunch or you may have a long wait or not get in at all. My beetroot, caramelised onion and goats cheese tart was nice, but I was expecting a warm dish, and it was cold, so I was a bit disappointed. It also wasn't quite as tasty as I had hoped. My friend enjoyed her salad.

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3.0Dined on 7 June 2018

The mussels gratin, which I loved in the past, was very dry and the brioche crumb was black. However the rest of the meal was very tasty.

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2.0Dined on 6 June 2018

I ordered the chicken salad, a few pieces of shredded chicken, non-ripened tomatoes & lots of rocket and it was soaked in a very vinegar dressing. I couldn't eat it. Disappointing especially as it's an expensive menu!
I asked if they did sandwiches (as it was lunchtime) and was told only what's on the menu. Very fancy menu for a CBD location when you may just want a quick lunch option.
Staff not friendly, messed up our order twice!
Coffee was good, and the interior was beautiful but that's about it. Won't be returning.

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5.0Dined on 5 June 2018

Yummy food and an amazing atmosphere. You couldn't ask for anything better!

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4.0Dined on 5 June 2018

My second visit to Grounds and I ordered the same meal because I enjoyed it so much the first time. Boring I know; but not eating meat , my choices are always limited. I was not disappointed. The beetroot tart was just as yummy. Our table was next to the kitchen which was not ideal . Clattering plates and staff members having loud conversations was a bit annoying considering that the noise level is pretty high anyway. However, the friendly, helpful service and delicious food and moderately priced but good wine well outweighed any minor whinges. I come from outside of Sydney and have previously found it hard to find somewhere to have lunch in the shopping area which is not in a shopping centre and where I can have a glass of wine so I am happy to have found the Grounds. I will visit again but next time, when I book, request a table away from the kitchen.

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4.0Dined on 5 June 2018

the guests enjoyed the food and ambience. The staff went out of their way to located our group in a quieter part of the venue. Very pleasant

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5.0Dined on 4 June 2018

Great dining place for brunch.
Absolutely love the online table reservation system. Used to be a place that needed to queue to get in. This improvement is marvellous and will make me a return customer.

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5.0Dined on 4 June 2018

Fabulous: great setting, consistent, polished, staff knew what they were doing, presentation of food and beverage beautiful. Perfect for our birthday celebration brunch.

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5.0Dined on 3 June 2018

Loved the visit for afternoon cocktail and cake, would love to go again, meals served around us looked awesome, great menu

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5.0Dined on 3 June 2018

Great service and wonderful food. All staff were fantastic :)

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4.0Dined on 3 June 2018

The coffee is always lovely and the atmosphere is cosy with friendly staff.

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4.0Dined on 3 June 2018

The service was fantastic, bookings are certainly recommended if you are looking to dine in. The staff were always attentive to our needs.
Coffee was amazing!
Food was slightly late but was surprisingly rectified in our bill by the kind staff there!

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4.0Dined on 2 June 2018

Fabulous service our waiter was amazing. The food and atmosphere are second to none

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5.0Dined on 2 June 2018

This was our first visit to the Grounds of the City, we were very impressed. The service was the best, I wish I could remember the waiters name because he was amazing! The cocktails were great and the food even better! Unfortunately we live 200 km away so can't visit regularly but we will definitely back next visit to Sydney!

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4.0Dined on 2 June 2018

Fabulous service - our waitress was friendly and helpful. Portion size for the seafood was small even for city dining, but with a few sides we were fine. Great spot for pre-theatre dinner and post-theatre dessert.

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