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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
There is so much to love about this bakery-slash-café. Infinity Bakery has a rustic chic feel to it, the café’s menu is kept simple and naturally focuses on the breads they bake in-house (seriously you need to ty the sourdough). On your way out stock up on their bread and pastry selection.
Latin for gratitude, Gratia’s name carries essence in the cafe’s culture and all proceeds beyond operating costs go to charity. It doesn’t feel like a charitable meal, but one of restaurant quality instead. The refined menu features modern, eclectic pairings and you can feel pretty damn good about knowing where your money’s going.For the next three months, the good guys at Gratia have a pop-up cafe with OzHarvest and will be donating 100% of their profits to the food-rescue charity. ...
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.
Located on along Paddington’s Glenmore Road, Eat Thai has so much character, inside and out. In a weathered looking building, step through the doors and you will instantly be transported to another place – warm colours and bamboo throughout. The food is traditional Thai dishes and they have a full bar service.
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).
Vacanza (Italian for ‘holiday’) is sure to take you on a trip to the heart of Southern Italy. Preaching the Italian pizza philosophy of ‘less is more’, Vacanza is a favourite among Surry Hills locals, and that’s saying something for a neighbourhood that is spoilt for choice when it comes to seriously good pizza.
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.
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.
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.
Paramount Coffee Project
Raw concrete, timber and exposed brick in a light-filled space – beautiful interiors aside, the folks behind Paramount Coffee Project take their love for coffee to a new level. The coffee experience is designed to caffeinate as well as educate, so pull up a seat at one of the long communal tables and be ready to taste some seriously good brew.