Didn’t quite make that 7pm dinner reservation? Welcome to the world of after-dark dining – and we’re not talking greasy kebabs. Whether you’re craving a post-show bite, a midnight snack or a full-blown meal, more and more of the city’s top kitchens are staying open and cooking up a storm till late.
Not only is it quicker to get a table, but you’ll often find yourself eating with a crowd of characters, including some with sky-high expectations, like chefs and hospitality workers. Here’s where to go for a late night food fix in Sydney.
This Italian underground bar and restaurant oozes European charm, from its sleek interiors to the romantic mood lighting. The menu is refined and select, and when we say refined, we mean there's only one main thing they serve – the classic Tuscan steak dish, bistecca alla Fiorentina. This is only available until 10 am, but late-nighters can choose from their Venetian-style bar menu which is equally as delectable. It includes cured meat platters, pecorino slices drizzles with truffle honey and a hearty bowl of Ragu if you're about a bowl of pasta at 2am.
3 Dalley St, Sydney
At this iconic Cantonese restaurant, you can get a full seafood spread (including lobster fresh from the tank), Mongolian lamb, Peking duck pancakes and pork ribs until 4am daily. The eatery is a magnet for hospitality staff and celebrity chefs, so you know it's going to be good. Plus, the menu is massive – so the hungrier you are, the better!
Open daily, 12pm-4am
393-399 Sussex Street, Sydney
Bunkered down in Bligh Street, Restaurant Hubert is an romantic Parisian, post-war-style restaurant with elegant velvet draped touches and fringed lamps throughout. It always feels like night-time when you're underground here, but come actual night time, the place really becomes a buzzing hotspot. Choose from their Bar Pincer menu and you'll be greeted with Duck Parfait with Liver Mousse and Maple Jelly or try the Malakoff, which is literally a ball of fried Gruyère – the ultimate late-night indulgence.
15 Bligh Street, Sydney
The QVB's new late-night Champagne parlour is the place to dine, drink and be seen in the city. Open from Thursday to Sunday till 2am, this luxe bar brings the late-night vibes – you'll find Champagne by the bottle and perfected aperitifs. Some menu standouts include the Steak tartare with anchovy toast as well as the smoked salmon and crème fraîche on pikelets.
Level 1, Queen Victoria Building, 455 George Street Sydney
Sometimes, you just need a slice of pizza. When the cravings hit, head to Frankie’s in the CBD, a retro pizza parlour that doubles as one of Sydney’s late-night champions. A huge hospitality hangout, it’s reminiscent of an American dive bar: think checkerboard floors, wooden booths, pinball machines and live entertainment every night. The menu offers a range of craft beers as well as cheesy, classic pizzas.
Open Monday-Thursday, Saturday & Sunday, 4pm-3am; Friday, 12pm-3am
50 Hunter Street, Sydney
Photo Credit - Wolter Peeters and Harry's Cafe de Wheels
Everyone knows Harry’s. The gourmet pie shop
https://www.sitchu.com.au/sydney/eat-drink/10-best-sydneys-best-pies/is Sydney’s street food icon, and has been an after-dark dining pit stop for decades. Its locations in Tempe, Campbelltown and Haymarket pump out pies till late, and the original Woolloomooloo truck serves until 2am most days, and 4am on Fridays and Saturdays. If you’re stuck, opt for the signature ‘Tiger’, a chunky lean beef pie with mash, mushy peas and lashings of gravy.
Opening hours vary between locations
Woollomooloo, Haymarket, Tempe, Campbelltown
Located in a heritage-listed basement, Renowned New York bar Employees Only is beautiful but without the pretense.. Bringing its late night vibes and world-class cocktails to Sydney, this is a newbie you'll want to sink your teeth into ASAP. Pair drinks with their all-night bar menu (available until 2:30 am) and you'll be more than content.
Devour their Monterey Jack cheeseburger with pancetta and jalapeños if you're after a naughty night snack, or if you're feeling fancy, the caviar service might be more up your alley. If you're still at the bar when it's closing time, you'll receive a complimentary bowl of chicken soup. How soul-warming!
9A Barrack Street, Sydney
Inspired by the streets and markets of Thailand, Chat Thai is a family-owned eatery with multiple locations throughout the city, so you're likely to find this Sydney stalwart no matter where you are. Their Haymarket outpost serves supper from 10pm-2am so when you're in Thaitown, you'll probably end up here if you're looking for a late-night feed. Choose from the likes of grilled pork skewers to curries, soups, noodles or our favourite, the pineapple fried rice.
20 Campbell St, Haymarket
Tucked away on Pailings Lane, Merivale's Bar Topa is a Spanish-style tapas bar. Expect a vibrant atmosphere packed into a pint-sized space – ideal for a cosy late night bite. Traditional Mediterranean flavours reign supreme, so expect bites like salted cod and sliced jamón, or opt for their heartier tapas menu cooked on 'la plancha' – the Spanish-style grill. The kitchen is open until 10:30pm and the bar until 1am, so it's the perfect pit stop before your Uber ride home.
4 Palings Lane, Sydney
For cheap, cheerful and authentic Malaysian food, head to Mamak. The Haymarket location usually has a line of people snaking out the door, waiting to indulge in spicy curries, satay skewers and succulent ayam goreng (fried chicken). The award-winning restaurant is best known for its roti, which is flaky yet fluffy, and served up in sweet or savoury styles.
Open Monday to Friday, 11.30am-2.30pm and 5.30pm-10pm; Friday & Saturday, 11.30am-2am
15 Goulburn Street, Haymarket
On the Oxford Street strip, Big Poppa’s has all the ingredients for an after-dark dining spot: old-school, hip-hop music, a huge wine and cocktail list, and a kitchen that’s open until 3am. Its dedicated cheese is made up of 26 blue, hard, and soft and oozy varieties that pair well with the cured meats board. For your main, order the ricotta gnocchi while sipping on one of their signature cocktails.
Open daily, 5pm-3am
96 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst
With a prime position on Cleveland Street, Surry Hills, Fatima’s is bustling every day of the week. Walk past the takeaway counter to the restaurant out back, and get ready to feast. Start with labneh and spinach ladyfingers, before moving onto a platter. There are meat and vegetarian options, but leave a little room for dessert – the baklava is next-level.
Open daily, 10am-3am
296 Cleveland Street, Sydney
Sitting pretty in a Paddington terrace, 10 William Street offers a chic late-night dining experience. Run by the Fratelli Paradiso brothers, the chefs take last orders at 11pm, so you can linger a little longer over the marinated olives and freshly made lamb pappardelle. Order a glass of vino from the world-class European wine list, and treat yourself to the fabulously fluffy tiramisu for dessert.
Open Monday-Thursday, 5pm-12am; Friday & Saturday, 12pm-12am
10 William Street, Paddington
Photo Credit - Domino Postiglione and 10 William St
When plump, juicy dumplings are calling your name, make your way to Darlinghurst’s dumpling house. The dumplings are made fresh in-house daily, and can be boiled, steamed or fried. Try the prawn and scallop, mushroom and bamboo, or pork, cabbage and garlic chive, and mix it up with a serve of buns or pancakes. On ‘Wong Tang Wednesdays,’ dumplings are just $1 each. How many can you handle?
Open Wednesday, Thursday & Sunday, 6pm-11pm; Friday & Saturday, 6pm-2am
Level 1, 383 Bourke Street, Darlinghurst
You couldn't find a feed more conveniently located than Mr Crackles. This pork-laden-haven resides smack bang in the action of Oxford Street. Open until 4:30am on Saturdays you’ll be tempted to order one of everything; from pork rolls, to hot dogs to salads topped with irresistibly crisp crackling. And after eight long hours of dancing, you will well and truly deserve it.
155 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst
Photo Credit - El Loco and The Sydney Searcher
This cantina is buzzing every night thanks to its $7 tacos, casual vibe, and late-night hours. Gather the amigos and make it a fiesta with Baja fish or pork and pineapple salsa tacos, dulce de leche churros, and a jalapeno margarita. The menu also features quesadillas, tortas and hot dogs, as well as more virtuous options such as grilled fish and salads.
Open Monday to Thursday, 10am till late; Friday & Saturday, 10am-3am; Sunday 12pm-10pm
Excelsior Hotel, 64 Foveaux Street, Surry Hills