The Grounds of the City

4.3
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1632 Reviews
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$40 and under
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Café
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.

Specials

High Tea - $35 per person

Settle into the city and spoil yourself with all the delights of our High Tea. Our seasonal menu includes a curated daily selection of house-made sweet & savoury offerings, fresh from The Grounds very own Bakery & Patisserie.

Terms and Conditions: High tea offering is $35 per person, or $40 with a glass of sparkling wine. Bookings must be secured with a credit card (our team will call to confirm) and must be confirmed by 11am on the day of your reservation. Bookings cancelled within a 24 hour period will be charged the full amount. All details can be found at our website.

Valid For: 1 - 20 people

Starts: July 18, 2019

Ends: May 31, 2020

Availability: Sun 2:30PM-5:00PM
Mon 2:30PM-4:30PM
Tue-Sat 2:30PM-5:00PM

What 1632 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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R
Sydney / NSW
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall1food1service1ambience4

Very disappointing experience. My companion and I are both (visibly) pregnant so chose TGOTC for a convenient lunch catch up. Despite booking and arriving on time we had to stand and wait for 15 mins before being seated.
Once seated we asked for water which took 10 mins and two reminders despite being right next to the water filling station.
I ordered the ploughmans salad and being pregnant I flagged that the chicken needed to be served hot (cold meat is not recommended by health guidelines). The dish arrived with cold chicken. When I queried with the waiter who rudely told me he needed to check with the kitchen. The waiter and chef proceeded to have a lengthy discussion within sight of our table, with the waiter returning to say “the chef says the chicken is perfectly cooked”....not the issue. Again I emphasized that I was pregnant and that’s not suitable and please could the chicken portion just be heated up. The waiter (again in a rude tone) said “fine we’ll just take off the chicken”. Given this would just leave me with bread and cheese I went to the galley to speak to the chef. They finally agreed to heat the chicken in the pan. It arrived and tasted lovely but super disappointing to have to work so hard to get a safe meal when I’d been so specific in the first place. Very few of the light meals are pregnancy Suitable, suggest TGOTC review the menu to make it more inclusive.

JE
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall3food4service2ambience3

Tables too crammed in, too close to adjacent patrons. Service was poor, possibly due to lack of staff, didnt get my first drink order until half way through my main. No option of a second drink. Hard to get water topped up too, very loud atmosphere. However gluten free food options were great and food was good.

NR
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food5service5ambience4

The Grounds of the City was a lovely restaurant, food and service were great.
What lets the experience down is the stuffiness and noise level. It is very hard to have a conversation.
Also the bathrooms are external to the restaurant and are public toilets which were located quit far from the restaurant and were not very clean.
I would still recommend this for a place to enjoy a good meal, not good for business meetings though.

AW
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Took my friends from overseas for dinner as recommended by my daughter and I made the right choice. We love everything about the the place. We will return.

P
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall1food3service1ambience4

The service was terrible and the food was cold. The manager did comp our entrees and a round of drinks but I still wouldn't go back.

SG
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Our first time there and we were pleasantly surprised with the booths, the stylish decor and the atmosphere. The booths were roomy and gave an element of privacy which we liked. The staff were friendly and took the food allergies very seriously otherwise it could have been a disaster. Service was good but we had a little difficulty understanding the Irish accent of our server but she was OK with repeating herself. We had entrees only with fries on the side and the size of the dishes meant we were satisfied without having mains. Overall a good experience and we will be back.

SS
Sydney / NSW
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall2food4service2ambience3

Always seems to be understaffed as service is always poor (staff are friendly but there just doesn't seem to be enough of them to take orders). Suited for tourists or a casual catch up when time is on your side. The one saving grace is the food which is quite good (but you are paying tourist prices). I wouldn't recommend for work related meetings as you just won't be able to get in and out quick enough.

HP
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience4

I like the menu but on arrival in front of you it’s disappointing. The two scrambled eggs were small and the two toast were huge. Maple bacon was good but have had better. Hot chocolate milk was not hot enough to mix with the chocolate syrup so the fun concept deconstruction didn’t work well.
Staff are super friendly and helpful but too busy turning over tables to check if you need anything else/ more drinks etc.

t
London
3 reviews
Dined on January 7, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Our fifth visit to the Grounds. Three timed for brunch and this our second for dinner. My husband and son enjoyed good T-bones, cooked perfectly and with yummy shoestring fries. I chose the grain, seed and roasted veggie salad with a buttermilk dressing and almonds. I was not impressed - waaaay too much quinoa, a major scarcity of both root veggies and seeds, both of which were the highlight when they could be tracked down. Didn't finish as a bowl if quinoa is not my idea of a decent meal.

Desert ordered was a cake for two from the bakery plus a rhubard fool. The cake came up immediately and franjly was not good. It was rock hard and clearly not fresh and the refrigeration had compounded this. They ate half between them and gave up. Fifteen minutes later and 10 after they'd finished my pud had still not arrived... why not hold back the cake until the menu pudding is ready? I don't enjoy sitting there eating way after everyone has finished.

We said we no longer wanted the fool, which was removed from the bill and then of course, despte me cancelling it, it turned up. We just took the bill and paid up.

This place is excellent for brunch but just misses the mark for dinner. Sadly, far too many superior choices out there for supper and as such we won't return, I'm afraid.

DB
1 review
Dined on January 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

If you need a great central CBD cafe with excellent service, staff, food and coffee then Grounds of the City if the place. Make sure you book!

VV
London
10 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience3

Service has been inefficient and slow. The last 2 times I was there my coffee came room temperature. It is due to it been seating at the counter, waiting to be brought to the table....

SW
Sydney / NSW
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic food and service, would recommend highly however if inside be prepared for the high noise level.

OT
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall3food1service5ambience5

Food was too rich and over priced, however the service was great and good coffee

C
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Thoroughly enjoy each time I go to the grounds of the city. So much fun, gorgeous atmosphere, delicious food and drinks and scrumptious desserts! Highly recommend.

MP
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience3

Unfortunately orders were wrong, eggs overdone, toast under cooked and extras (bacon) modest in serving size.

KG
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

This is the fourth time I have been here, each time I cannot fault it. Would recommend it.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Exceptional food, great atmosphere and service.

B
Sydney / NSW
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing meals
Fantastic quick service
Book to avoid waiting queuing or disappointment of missing out
The best place
Highly recommended
Fantastic value

AC
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, fast service, interesting space. Just make sure you make a booking!

YT
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

An American perspective- tried this place out after seeing so many reviews. The hubby doesn't eat breakfast but went with me and the kids to try it out. He thought he would just eat any leftovers but there weren't any. Portions here in Australia are not as big as in America. Pancakes were 1 fluffy medium size pancake with some fruit, not a stack of pancakes. My french toast was one slice of brioche bread cut in two with sliced strawberries, not several slices like I'd get at home. I also had the coffee black - not sure I'll get used to Australian coffee. They had 'deconstructed' coffee where you can mix the cream and sugar in yourself to get the mix you want. All in all it was good and I would recommend trying it out.

GH
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Loved everything except the noise level. Made conversation with people across the table very difficult.

MM
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Not a lot of room around the table. My chair kept hitting the person behind me. Looks great but a touch noisy.

RD
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall2food2service3ambience2

We asked on two occasions for coffees to be extra hot but they never were. Mushrooms in the omelette were chewy and difficult to swallow. Noise was terrible. Staff directions to toilet were vague and circuitous. Will not return and will not recommend.

A
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience2

Overrated, noisy with average food. Server was good, gratefully...

TC
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food as usual. Some of the fastest service in Sydney. Steak and eggs were ready before my coffee. Normally that's a "problem", but on this occasion, I was starving and didn't really need the coffee. Table was ready exactly on time. Online booking system is fantastic with a message letting you know your table is ready. 10/10

JP
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was amazing food and great service. Loved the layout

C
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall3food2service2ambience3

Coffee cane out late and when it did come out it was cold like it had been sitting there for 10 minutes. Both meals were luke-warm. The chef seemed to have done his part but the food had been left on the counter for too long. Don’t order the chunky potato hash, it’s tiny and hardly a hearty meal.

DD
Brisbane / QLD
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

French toast was delicious. Pancakes quite heavy but also delicious! If you sit inside, you can’t really order from the outside bakery menu. Great spot for breakfast.

JC
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience5

Live the place been there several tunes. But steak sandwich raw although I ordered well done. Second drinks took almost twenty minutes and when asked for a receipt we were given someone else’s 🤣🤣 will be back though I’m sure it was a one off

JB
Sydney / NSW
7 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience3

Overpriced, underwhelming food with slow and sloppy service. The coffee was lukewarm and all the dishes were similarly too cold for comfort. The vintage environment does not make up for bad food and tepid coffee. And $120 for breakfast for four people is ridiculous.

SP
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Whet for Bfast and Dinner great location and food.
The decor is fantastic and takes you back to yesteryear will be back.

A
Sydney / NSW
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great overall! The tide was unnecessarily low on the Prosecco, but generally good, thanks.

O
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely atmosphere and delicious high tea. Friendly and helpful staff.

JE
1 review
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience3

It’s a bit too noisey, however the main course was great, generous and really fresh. The fruit on the cake was wilted so probably the day before. Our waiter was a lovely chap and very considerate. I am sure I will come again and I will recommend it to friends.

AM
1 review
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a lovely Scottish waiter who took very good care of us - first time here for team Christmas lunch and will be back again soon for dinner!
Thank you!

DN
1 review
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Grounds never fails to deliver, great food and service alongside delicious coffee.

LD
Sydney / NSW
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience2

Nice food but small serves and very expensive for what you got.

BM
Sydney / NSW
2 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Amazing range of choice on the menu.
Such smooth coffee!
My friends felt the hot chocolate could have been hotter (their preference) but all in all agreed the food was superb.

Best bit is the locale, stylised interior and the service which wad professional and classy

PG
Sydney / NSW
3 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

I love it here - I’m a repeat visitor. Took my 20 year old son for the first time as he’s a little foodie. He loved it too, especially the deconstructed hot chocolate! Just a lovely little escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

EE
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Have been once before for a lovely dinner with girlfriends. The ambience here is great and quite romantic. It prompted me to make another booking here specifically for dessert and cocktails with a friend (as part of a progressive dinner especially for her birthday). I made a note of this in the booking I made 6 days earlier and reiterated this at the door when we arrived for my reservation, before being seated at the bar.

Was really looking forward to trying the Key Lime Baked Alaska and the Molten Choc & Walnut Cake and was disappointed to hear that we "weren't offered the dessert menu because there's no desserts available tonight". It was 8pm on a Saturday night - prime time in dinner service - and the only sweet options still available were the last 3 cakes left in the pastry display. We took 2 of these, which were nice enough - but together with an 'interesting' (but not overly nice) spiced rum cocktail, I felt a little disappointed by the overall service, and left feeling as though I didn't really make my friend's birthday celebration feel all that special.

Nevertheless, I love the fit-out and ambience here and would love to come back to try the high tea. The staff were all very friendly.