The Nighthawk Diner
Two chefs traded in the hatted Sydney restaurant scene for a food truck of their own, so the menu is as you’d expect; exceptional. The silver retro American-trailer can be found in the city, often in Martin Place, and on Sydney Food Trucks dishing up American classic, but they have since opened their permanent digs on Abercrombie St in Chippendale.
Koi Dessert Bar
Ever since he wowed the crowds with his delectable desserts on MasterChef, Reynold Poernomo has been busy building a sugary empire. His Indonesian-inspired dessert bars are seriously the stuff dreams are made of. Instaworthy Koi Dessert Bar is just as delicious as it looks.
Din Tai Fung
After the success of its Taipei restaurants, Din Tai Fung brought its dumplings Down Under, making Sydneysiders very happy. To Din Tai Fung, dumplings are an artform, in fact the eatery is famous for its xiao long bao, pork dumplings filled with meat and hot, soupy broth.
Kensington Street is home to Spice Alley, a tucked away lane of bustling cafes, restaurants and bars with a distinct Melbourne feel. Showcasing Asia’s best flavours – Japanese, Cantonese, Malaysian and Singaporean dishes served up in hawker-style diners with tables spilling onto the street with lantern canopy above.
Alex Lee Kitchen
Taking up position amongst the hawker-style dining options along Chippendale’s Spice Alley, Alex Lee’s Kitchen slings out mouth-watering laksa by the bucket load. Head chef Alex Lee (of Temasek and Ginger & Spice fame) brings Singaporean cuisine to spice loving locals.
Knight's Coffee & Tea Co
If you don’t know, now you know. Hiding underneath TAFE’s Marcus Clark Building, close to Central, this hole-in-the-wall serves up some of the best coffee in the Ultimo/Haymarket area. Owner and barista Jake Knight trained at Toby’s Estate, and now brews a range of beans, in a range of methods, at Knight’s Coffee & Tea Co.
Stroll past Coffee Trails any morning of the week, and you’ll spot the regulars chatting while they wait for their caffeine fix. Open seven days, Coffee Trails serves up specialty coffee, as well as a simple but strong list of brekkie and lunch classics – many of which feature a slice or two of Brasserie Bread.
Chambers Fine Coffee
This alfresco style two-storey coffee nook in the heart of Haymarket is buzzing with coffee connoisseurs who have made it their morning pitstop. The café roasts its beans in-house, and is known for its specialty coffee – it’s even a member of various associations across the world. Chambers also serves breakfast, lunch and dinner - and do all-day breakfasts which is something we can definitely get around. Don't leave without trying one of their Insta-ready frappes, smoothies or milkshakes!
Chapter Five Espresso
Before hopping on the train, Redfern locals caffeinate at Chapter Five Espresso. A welcome escape from the station scene, the café is cosy and tucked inside a terrace. The Mediterranean-influenced menu is scrawled on butcher’s paper, and the baristas whip up coffee using the café’s special house blend.
Menya Noodle Bar
Bring on the broth! This no-frills noodle bar is packed to the rafters at peak times with happy customers slurping bowls of ramen, laksa, udon and soba noodles. Touted as one of the best ramen restaurants in Sydney, Menya Noodle Bar makes its broth from scratch, and the lively communal table get customers in and out quickly.
Do Dee Paidang
Can you handle the heat? Do Dee Paidang is a fiery foodie haven, and the menu lists a few heat levels: from 'Devil' and 'Volcano' all the way to the burn-your-tongue 'Super Nova.' The eatery also offers a refreshing range of Thai iced teas to help you through your spicy meal.
Sydneysiders are obsessed with pho, and this bustling eatery dishes up one of the very best bowls. There are over ten types of pho on offer, all of which are made with a broth that strikes the perfect balance between sweet, savoury and salty. Pho aside, Pho Pasteur serves stir-fries, dry noodles, grilled meats and rice paper rolls.
The name says it all and this popular café joint has courageously taken Bondi’s clean eating scene outside the postcode. Bondi Wholefoods has an extensive smoothie range that makes it a perfect stop off between meals, which are gluten-free, dairy-free and always organic.
Culture Society - La Banette Patisserie
A slice of downtown Paris in downtown Glebe, La Banette will transport you to Paris with one bite of their sweet treats. The teeny-tiny shopfront exudes French provincial charm with its distressed wooden shelves, chic striped awning and smorgasbord of sweet desserts and pastries.
Mama's Buoi Surry Hills
A self-confessed mama’s boy, Bao Hoang’s eateries are inspired by his childhood – from the communal tables to the traditional Vietnamese food that his mum and aunties cooked. He now brings the flavours of their home-cooking to his eateries and cocktail bar, Mama’s Buoi.
Redfern is brimming with cafes, and Urban Piccolo is one of its standouts. The wide windows allow light to flood in while customers tuck into classic breakfast and lunch plates, which are refreshingly priced on the low side. The staff are friendly, and there’s outdoor seating available.
Ouroboros Wholefoods Cafe
This light-filled Surry Hills mainstay is loved by locals craving a delicious feed without the need to crunch out an extra gym session to work it off. The organic wholefood café brings healthy, hearty fare to patrons in their laidback venue, with communal tables and mouth-watering (but healthy) burgers perfect for making small-talk.
The Dessert Kitchen
The Dessert Kitchen has locations dotted around the world, and Haymarket locals have lucky access to its only Sydney site. The patisserie whips up what they call 'gourmet, guilt-free treats', and that's pretty accurate. The treats are light, fresh, and low in sugar and fat - but taste so indulgent, you'd never know the difference.
At Zilver, you can expect an authentic yum cha experience, with fast, frenzied service, and trolleys whizzing past piled high with steamed baskets. The seafood-focused restaurant also has a wall lined with live fish tanks – but the setting is on the sumptuous side. Think red and gold décor, and an LED screen wall flashing with images.