• Monika Prica

Visit these Refugee-run Restaurants this Summer (Sydney edition)

It’s officially summer and with loosened restrictions, people are out and about exploring the very best of Sydney!

After a tough year for the hospitality industry, it is important that we continue to look after our small businesses that have been struggling because of the pandemic.

In light of this, the Women’s Creative Hub team has put together a list of our top recommendations for refugee-run restaurants and food-related activities that will be sure to keep you occupied this summer!

Refugee-run Restaurants:

Parliament on King

This cosy cafe and bookshop is the perfect place for a morning coffee, or afternoon drink and wind-down read. While operating as a social enterprise supporting refugees and asylum seekers, they also offer wine, spirits and snacks to enjoy during evening performances from comedians and more.

This funky place is also offering social catering, with vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options available!

📍632 King St, Erskineville NSW 2043

Almond Bar

Run by sisters Carol and Sharon Salloum since 2007, this bar serves traditional and modern Middle Eastern style dishes. From a unique brunch menu, to a delicious assortment of feasts for dinner, Almond Bar is sure to leave you with a grin by dessert time. If the food itself isn’t impressive enough, the two sisters are also working on educating and training Syrian refugees to establish their own employment.

Catering also available.

📍379 Liverpool St Darlinghurst NSW 2010

Lentil as Anything

This unique and quirky eatery was founded by Shanaka Fernando, who kickstarted the idea of ‘pay-as-you-feel’ dining. The artsy interior welcomes all ages, with an exciting menu that changes daily and is based on seasonal produce and foods. Lentil Newtown also offers workshops and event hosting, as well as supporting volunteers through employment-enriching barista and

hospitality training.

📍391 King St, Newtown NSW 2042


If you’re feeling something a little classy, Portal is the ideal place. With a range of dishes made from fresh and organic ingredients, this classy Mezzanine lobby will be the perfect stop on a hot summer's day. After every purchase, customers receive a bouncing ball to choose which cause or foundation they would like to support.

A cafe truly making a difference!

📍1 Martin Pl, Sydney NSW 2000

Colombo Social

For some Sri Lankan spice, Colombo Social is your place to be. This wholesome restaurant brings home-cooked recipes together with ‘Aussie favourites’ to form the best combo!

This inspirational eatery also created the #plateitforward initiative, where they cooked over 41,500 meals to the most vulnerable members of the Sydney community, including

elderly Aboriginals and refugee and asylum seekers.

📍159 Enmore Rd, Enmore NSW 2042

Creative Things to do!

Taste Cultural Food Tours

What better way to explore all the culture and zest Sydney has to offer, than through an insightful food tour! Taste brings local guides to different areas of Sydney’s multicultural cuisines. Most tours also come with a history of food and culture, stories behind traditional recipes or even sight-seeing!

While you are enjoying your tour, Taste is supporting local communities and new Australian settlers through training and employment opportunities.

Some of the tours available include:

  • Taste of Afghanistan, Syria and Persia - Merrylands

  • Taste of Chinatown - Haymarket Sydney

  • Taste of Vietnam - Cabramatta

  • Taste of Greece, Lebanon and Vietnam - Bankstown

  • Taste of India

To see more, visit https://www.tastetours.com.au/

So, round up your group of friends or family for a fun day of tasting and learning about Sydneys’ rich cultures.

Online Cooking Tutorials

If you’re thinking about what to cook when you invite your friends and family over for a summer lunch or dinner, get creative with online cooking classes and tutorials!

Hamed’s Persian Kitchen

Hamed, founder of Cafe Sunshine and SalamaTea located in Melbourne, specialises in Persian meals that are bound to impress for a summer barbecue!

Check out http://www.hamedspersiankitchen.com/videos/ for a tutorial on making Persian omelettes, or visit his recipes to learn how to cook Chicken-Pomegranate-Walnut Stew (Fesenjun).

Chandra’s Kitchen

One of our own Hub women, Chandra, brings delicious and easy-to-follow recipes on her youtube channel.

From Chicken Chips to Malay Achcharu (Pickled Chutney), delight your guests with a taste of Sri Lanka!

Written by: Monika Prica (Hub Volunteer)

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