The Fish Shop
In true Merivale fashion, The Fish Shop is immaculately finished in a delightful nautical style, with head chef Jeremy Strode presenting a rotating menu of sustainably sourced Australian seafood. Located at the neighbourly end of Potts Point, The Fish Shop is popular spot to indulge in a fancier version of fish n’ chips.
Harry's Cafe de Wheels
A staple on Sydney’s street food scene, Harry’s is a bustling food cart that’s been dishing up pies and hotdogs since 1938. It’s open until 4am on Fridays and Saturdays, making it a favourite among late-night revellers, but it hits the spot at any time of the day.
Charlies Cafe Woolloomooloo
An enduring no-frills café along Cowper Wharf Road, Charlies Café may be a non-descript little joint, but they are a reliable local go-to for homestyle burgers and breakfast classics. Compared to its high-end neighbours, Charlies likes to keep things simple, a philosophy that is serving this local favourite well.
This street-side trattoria serves up woodfired pizza the traditional way: thin base, crispy crust, and topped with the freshest ingredients. It only takes one visit to realise just how proud the staff are of their pizza-making, and so they should be. Score an outdoor seat if you can, and order a gourmet pizza (or handmade pasta).
Dumpling and Noodle House
This tiny shopfront gives way to one of the best dumpling spots in Sydney – cheap or otherwise. It’s a neighbourhood haunt so there’s usually a bit of a line, but once you’re in, you can feast on steamed, boiled and fried dumplings and hand-stretched noodles until your heart’s content.
At Smashed Burger in Woolloomooloo, they like to keep things simple, burgers fries and three kinds of milkshakes. As the name suggests, they smash all kinds of meat for their burgers, before slow roasting it for 12-hours. Otherwise opt for the smashed bowl – all the filling but without the bun.
These guys are not your average local chicken store. Thirsty Bird serves southern style fried chicken with an array of sides to choose from. Their rigorous preparation process of brining, air drying and seasoning makes for some of the city’s most succulent chicken around.
Petal Met Sugar
Delicate cakes mingled with delicate flowers, Petal Met Sugar is a café-slash-florist and perhaps one of the prettiest patisseries in Sydney. Run by ex-Zumbo patissier, Elsa Li, and florist Angela Wong, Petal Met Sugar delights with sweet treats and Japanese-inspired creations.
Black Velvet Sydney
If we had to give an award to the Sydney cake shop with the best window display, it’d be Black Velvet. After travelling the world learning to master the cake-making craft, owner Orlando Sanpo opened the luxe shop in Darlinghurst. The store whips up gorgeous cakes, chocolates and over 100 flavours of cupcakes.
Flour and Stone
Packing an impressive amount of flair and flavour for such a petite cafe, Flour and Stone is every local’s patisserie pitstop in Woolloomooloo. Sitting behind Cook + Phillip Park, they have made it way too easy to grab a delectable coffee and a treat from their menu - a mingling of timeless favourites to modern pastries.
At the business end of Woolloomooloo is a bustling Brazilian restaurant. An all you can eat style concept, the waitstaff at Churrasco will bring meats and sides to your table until you have had your fill. Slow cooked via an open flame, the meats here have a flavour that will transport you back to the motherland.
Burgers Anonymous does one thing, and does it well: fuss-free, American-style burgers. They’re stuffed with house-made patties, pickles, tomato, onion and melted cheese, and if you’re feeling fancy, you can ask for double-smoked, triple-glazed bacon or extra cheese. With hip-hop music playing in the background, the team also serves up veggie burgers, fries, and fried pickles.
Amid bustling Oxford Street, BL Burgers serves up Juicy patties and generous fillings that keep locals well-fuelled, especially come the weekend. A spinoff little brother of Bar Luca, BL serves the same burgers as it’s inner-city relation including the acclaimed Blame Canada burger.
RivaReno Gelato is quite simply, legendary. Why? because they take gelato-making seriously. They store the gelato in traditional Italian cylindrical containers so as not to be exposed to the air – meaning the flavours are more intense. Their flavours change weekly, plus you can get the gelato in the form of a cake or on a stick!
Johnny Wong's Dumpling Bar
Plump, juicy Taiwanese -style dumplings of all kinds are made fresh in-house at Johnny Wong’s Dumpling Bar in Darlinghurst. A popular night-time eat, this dumpling bar only seats 30, but the wait is worth it. On ‘Wong Tang Wednesdays,’ dumplings are just $1 each and the music is classic golden-era rap.
In under a year, Fishbowl’s first restaurant in Bondi Beach had become such a success, they opened another much bigger store in Surry Hills. Not your average salad bar, Fishbowl is a sashimi bar (think sushi with more flexibility and customisation). The bowls are a build-your-own style, starting with a rice, salad or noodle base topped with protein, Japanese-style vegetables, a dressing and then a crunchy topping.
South Dowling Sandwiches
For over 15 years, the ‘Dowlo’ has been a staple on Sydney’s sandwich scene – and yes, there’s a scene, and it’s a thriving one at that! Here, ordering is easy: just choose white or brown bread, and one of the eight options on offer, and you’ll have a huge sandwich in front of you in minutes.
A standout on Sydney’s Israeli scene, Shenkin Eatery is famous among foodies for its falafel and haloumi dishes, as well as its burekasim (savoury pastries). Sitting on the border of Darlinghurst and Surry Hills, this branch serves up breakfast and lunch seven days a week, as well as grab-and-go coffees and baked goods.