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Customs House

Home > Sydney > Historic Houses | Food and Wine
by Aoife McGee (subscribe)
Sydney based freelance writer.I love cooking and eating out. I also love coffee. And cake. I adore cake.
Published January 15th 2010
Steeped in History, Customs House is only steps away from where the British Flag was first raised on the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788. Keep an eye out for the ghost of convict David O'Connor, who was hanged on the site in 1790. He apparently makes a ghostly appearance and may offer you some rum!

Originally built in 1845 in response to growing maritime trade, Customs House was the headquarters of the Custom Service. The City of Sydney refurbished the landmark heritage building in 2005 and it's now a public 'lounge room' for Sydneysiders and visitors alike.

It's a popular meeting place where you can access books, pore over magazines and newspapers, grab some lunch or a sumptuous evening meal, visit exhibitions or hold a special event.

In the foyer of Customs House is an interesting glass topped model of the city centre.

On the ground level, there's the Quay Bar, with outdoor dining, where you can sit and people watch with a coffee and a bite to eat, or unwind in the evenings with a few friends and a drink or two.

If you'd like delicious food with amazing views over Circular Quay and the Harbour, look no further than Cafe Sydney on the roof top, always buzzing at the weekends, with great atmosphere and tempting food.

Young Alfred's offers pasta, pizza and light meals. It's on the ground floor on the corner of Young and Alfred Streets, and its aim is to provide "Food for the soul and drink for the spirit".

On the upper levels are private function spaces for hire, exhibition area and a wonderful library with views to Circular Quay and beyond.

Circular quay is easily accessible by ferry, bus or train. See transport information
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Why? Good times, day or night!
When: Early til late, each area with its own business hours
Where: 31 Alfred Street, Circular Quay, Sydney
Cost: Free entry
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